RSS connections of Anna Hazare led movement for Jan Lokpal

By Md. Ali,

New Delhi: The secular credentials of the Anna led movement for Jan Lokpal, has been conspicuous since its very beginning because of its RSS connections. What is interesting is that if, on the one hand Anna Hazare and other leaders of this movement, have categorically denied RSS “backing”, on the other hand, those from the RSS and the BJP have left no opportunity to own and accept the strong connections of the movement with the saffron group.

Support TwoCircles

Congress used the RSS links of the Anna Hazare led movement to discredit it as “stage managed” by Fascist groups. Hazare in turn rejected the claim. But his rejection of the charges stand in complete opposition to the claims made by some senior RSS and BJP leaders.

Anna, Khaki and Bhagwa: Saffron brigade at Ramleela ground

On Thursday a prominent member of India Against Corruption, wrote an article in the Indian Express, titled “Does this look like the RSS creation to you?” It was a passionate but weakly argued article, which hardly provided any evidence against the charges leveled against the anti-corruption movement, of being strongly backed by the RSS and its affiliated groups.

The way RSS has managed to in cash the Anna phenomenon can be understood by the fact that when On August 17, the Sangh convened a weeklong co-ordination-cum-brainstorming session of its affiliates at Ujjain to take stock of the Hazare agitation. Although, such a meeting was called after five years, the Sangh officially said it was a “pre-scheduled, routine meeting,” as Telegraph reported.

While talking to press Sangh general secretary Suresh “Bhaiyya” Joshi, said: “The RSS, in a resolution it had passed at its national delegates’ convention in March 2011, said clearly that it will support the campaigns against corruption. Accordingly, our swayamsevaks have participated constructively in all these andolans.”

Joshi was right. According to reports a brand new organization Yuva Vahini has been launched by the youth wing of the BJP to support the Anna Hazare led anti-corruption movement.

“We are planning to enroll 10 lakh new volunteers, under the banner of the Yuva Vahini to go to Ramleela Maidan to support Anna Hazare,” the Hindu reported one enthusiast of the Yuva Vahini as saying.

On Wednesday Sushma Swaraj, the senior BJP leader made it very clear during a debate in Lok Sabha that RSS is very much a part of India Against Corruption, the body under whose banner Anna Hazare is agitating for a strong Lokpal Bill.

Saffron activists at Ramleela groun

Swaraj emphasized on the fact that even though there is no secret pact between Anna Hazare camp and the RSS but the Hindutva organization is officially mobilizing support through Youth against Corruption, an arm of the RSS student wing, Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Swaraj’s claim came few days before another frank acceptance by KN Govindacharya, the saffron ideologue that “at least 10 percent” of the crowd at Ramleela ground belongs to RSS.

One can understand the reason behind the frank acceptance by the RSS and the BJP leaders, highlighting the RSS links of the movement. Obviously in this politically and emotionally charged atmosphere where anti-government mood reigns, leaders from the Hindutva organizations want to juxtapose themselves along with the anti-corruption mood of the country as opposed to the UPA government which is being portrayed as “mother” of all the corrupt governments.

Even though the efforts of leaders associated with India Against Corruption, to distance the movement from the Hindutva organization is quite understandable, the fact of the matter is that the volunteers of the RSS affiliated groups, are not only present there at Ramleela ground in huge numbers, they are also mobilizing support across the country for Anna led movement against corruption. The mass mobilization of and by Hindutva affiliated groups can be seen by scores of saffron clad volunteers at the Ramleela ground.

[Photos by Md Ali,]