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Number of shakhas has doubled in 10 years: RSS leader

Rashtriya Seva Samithi (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat addresses to RSS volunteers during 'Shakha', in Patna on July 22, 2013.   | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has grown steadily over the last 10 years and not necessarily after 2014, when the BJP came to power, said Arun Kumar, national publicity chief of the RSS. Over the last 10 years, the number of its shakhas and membership have doubled, he said.

“It indicates that the organisation is growing at an annual rate of 20-25%,” Mr. Kumar said in Kolkata on Tuesday. Mr Kumar added that the RSS now runs 50,000 daily shakhas and 10,000 weekly IT (information technology) milan (meetings) exclusively for urban professionals,” he said. “Five to six lakh people attend the daily shakhas.”

Many senior RSS members in the districts told this correspondent that less and less young men are attending shakhas in Bengal even though more and more are joining the RSS. Mr. Kumar did not entirely agree with the observation. “We can say that participation and the number of weekly congregations is increasing. The participation in daily shakhas remains steady – neither increasing nor decreasing,” he said. The possible reason [for less people attending the shakhas] could be work-related, he said.

“Today’s lifestyle is different and people do not necessarily live near their workplaces and often need to leave for work early, and thus they cannot attend the daily assemblies regularly,” said Anil Ghosh, a senior RSS activist in Domkal block of Murshidabad district.

When asked if the RSS was obstructed in a more organised manner in West Bengal during the Left’s rule than the TMC’s, Mr. Kumar said that the society was “accepting the RSS” and it was growing during TMC’s time. More than 1 lakh youth are training under various training modules of the RSS and about 40 lakh people are attached to monthly activities of the organisation, Mr. Kumar said.


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