Side-stepping the core issue, when it comes to the RSS

IMG-20151016-WA0033A news story by the title “Muslim family in UP alleges boy taken from school to attend RSS camp” hit the pages of certain newspapers recently. News story go on to say: “a controversy has erupted after the father of a Muslim boy claimed his son was picked up from school and taken to a RSS camp held in local BJP MP Jagdambika Pal’s school at Siddharth Nagar district between October 10 and 17.” He claimed his son had to attend sessions where “anti-Islamic poems and literature” were read out. The 15-year old boy’s father has lodged a complaint in this regard with the district magistrate as well as the State Minority Commission (SMC) for teaching “anti-Muslim ethics” in the RSS camp.

The RSS District Sah Prachar Pramukh Vipul Singh, however, denied the allegations, by saying: “It seems that local Muslim leaders had sent the boy to the camp with a changed name with some wrong intentions. As he failed to execute the same, they are now trying to malign the RSS’s image.”

The Principal of the local government junior high school in Uska Bazar town of Siddharth Nagar has said he was not aware how the student ended up at the RSS camp. The father of the boy Gulzar Ahmed has decided to withdraw Gulzar and his two other children from the school where as the Circle Officer (City) Mohammad Akmal Khan, who conducted an inquiry, said Gulzar has admitted he did not know it was an RSS camp, but wanted to go there as three of his friends were attending it. “His friends told him Muslims were not allowed in the camp and so he changed his name,” Khan said.

Question that everybody is side-stepping is that camps are being organized even in various schools of UP, where “anti-Muslim ethics” are being taught and “anti-Islamic poems and literature” are being read out, in front of children who have not even attained adulthood. It is a matter of time that this venom that is being injected, and whose manifest replications we have repeatedly seen in towns and villages of western UP, will show its dirty face in east UP as well.

The State Government need to take the Principal of the Government junior high school to task who said he was not aware how the Muslim student ended up at the RSS camp. What he should instead explain is why so many students went to a RSS camp that was meant for boys of one community alone. Is the Principal not aiding the spread of venom against a particular community by allowing the students of one community alone to attend the camp?

Moreover, if the State Government really wish to act, it should cancel the registration of school that organized the camp of students where a certain community’s participation was restricted. Instead of taking action against the real culprits, allegations are being levelled against the boy by RSS spokesman, claiming that “Muslim leaders had sent the boy to the camp with a changed name with some wrong intentions.”

This is a clear proof for the Central Home Ministry to act and ban all congregations by RSS, even those which are being held in the garb of ‘cultural promotion’. If this is not done, and instead of side-lining the core issue, matters are allowed to exist as it is, the entire Hindi belt, if not the country, might see serious repercussions in the future.

Ironically, while all this is happening, and several cases of killings and attacks on members of minority community has come to light, BJP President Amit Shah recently dismissed protests against growing intolerance in the country as a “perception” limited to “Lutyen’s Zone”, the area in the heart of the seat of power in the Capital. “The perception is only limited to Lutyen’s Zone. Had such incidents taken place because of the BJP, RSS or VHP, then why are no protests in Gujarat, MP, Rajasthan and Goa?” he said on the Aap ki Adalat show on India TV. On writers returning their Sahitya Academy awards, Shah said they were doing it because of incidents that took place in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, ruled by SP and Congress, respectively. “Vote bank politics is dominating law and order. That’s the reason why there is growing tension in both communities,” he said and blamed the UP government for taking ‘unilateral action’ in Dadri lynching case which was causing friction between communities.

Again side-lining the core issue, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju feels PM Narendra Modi is adequately addressing the problem. He is of view that “The PM will speak when necessary… He is speaking at the right time on right issues, and since this issue is under Home Ministry, Home is speaking.”

Speaking at the Idea Exchange program of Indian Express, Kiren Rijiju passed the blame on the state governments to take action in such issues, including the cow slaughter issue. He said: “India is a very diverse society. What is a very important social issue in Haryana, will not be an important issue for the state of Nagaland. India also has a federal structure that says that all state governments have their priorities and they need to take care of their people and look at their own governance. So, for the national parties, there is a larger context to issues which they incorporate in their national agenda. At the same time, state governments have been given freedom to examine matters in their own way. After all, we need to respect the sentiments of all sections of society. That is why we cannot generalize these things.”

It is time for Home Ministry to act, and to act tough. It remains to be seen how far the Home Ministry and the PM will go to take action against an organizations about which some allege it is they who dictate the terms to the party in power.

Aziz Haider/RNI News Bureau