Urmimala Bhattacharjee | Jan 20, 2018 | 4 min read
Headline:In diverse Northeast, RSS chief preaches acceptance and unity
Strap: Sangh invites tribal leaders of Northeast at its show of strength
By Chandrani Sinha and Urmi Bhattacharjee
Guwahati: Targeting the diverse population of the Northeast states, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s mega rally on Sunday aimed at establishing the point that the Sangh is all for accepting diverse cultures of the country and uniting them in the larger interest of the nation.
The Luitporia Hindu Samavesha, organised by RSS at Khanapara ground in Guwahati, saw participation from various tribal leaders from across Northeast, BJP ministers and other dignitaries of the region. As many as 40,000 RSS volunteers attended the rally. They performed shakha exercises in the morning until the arrival of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, which was followed by a rendition of RSS prayers and ‘Luitporia Hindu ami’, an anthem of the North Assam RSS unit, which translates to “we are the Hindu of Brahmaputra valley”.
Inviting people to learn about the practices of the Sangh, Bhagwat said, “The Sangh’s strength is not to scare anyone or dominate anybody, it is for social causes. Don’t just remain a spectator, or a sympathiser, try to come down and learn the culture of the Sangh. Mothers and sisters need to send their sons to the shakhas so that they can understand our vision.”
The RSS rally comes ahead of the elections in three Northeastern states - Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya - scheduled for February. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Sangh’s political arm, made inroads into the Northeast in 2016 with a victory in Assam.
BJP MLA from Hojai constituency in Assam, Shiladitya Dev, said, “If anyone can save Assam right now, it is the RSS. It is a national, cultural organisation that has the discipline to conduct a congregation of this massive scale. I invite all opposition parties and groups to come and see what the RSS really is.”
Addressing the gathering, Bhagwat said the goal of RSS is to bring the country back on its feet. “It is not a selfish or conservative motive. There is a need for it. Around the world, humanity has tried many things for world peace over the past 2,000 years, but they have failed. They need a new route and India will provide that new path for the people. India has been doing so since millenniums,” he said.
“As a nation state, we have the right to provide enlightenment to the struggling world. The time is ripe for it. It may seem difficult and impossible to some, but with efforts and self-discipline, we can achieve these goals,” Bhagwat added.
While the tribal leaders from the Northeast region and other local leaders were seated on the dais along with Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Assam minister and BJP convener for the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Himanta Biswa Sarma, BJP general secretary and in charge for Northeast Ram Madhav, dressed in RSS uniform, was seen sitting among the spectators.
Highlighting the country’s diversity, Bhagwat said, “Accept and respect all diversity. This is how human life is accomplished… ‘Sujala suphala malayajashitala…’ was how abundant out motherland was. This made us open and broadminded, which led us to welcome more and more people; nature protected us and blessed us with abundance.”
Veteran Assamese actor Pranjal Saikia, who was among the spectators at the rally, said Hindutva is a culture and not just a religion.
Speaking about his participation in the rally, king of Mayong, a village near Guwahati that is known for black magic and sorcery, Tarani Singha, said, “RSS and its affiliates have taken up the initiative to secure the Hindu culture. Hindutva should be protected, and that is why I came here to understand more about their mission and vision.”
(Chandrani Sinha and Urmi Bhattacharjee are Guwahati-based freelance writers. Both are members of 101Reporters.com, a pan-India network of grassroots reporters.)
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