New Delhi: In yet another move, that can be seen as an attempt in normalising the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP, one of its affiliates has organised a three-day long reach out initiatives to the youth in Delhi.

The conclave is titled ‘Vimarsh 2018’ that is organised by the Youth United for Vision and Action (YUVA). It describes itself as “unique, diverse and pragmatic platform that endeavours to impart a holistic and inclusive idea of development for youth of our nation”.

This year, Nand Kumar of RSS affiliate Prajna Pravah and RSS thinker Ganga Hari will, in a way, represent the beliefs of RSS.

Last year too it was organised where RSS Sah-Sarkaryawah Krishna Gopal and RSS Akhil Bhartiya Prachar Pramukh Arun Kumar were in attendance. But this time, it is been organised in a much bigger scale.

YUVA, the host of the event, has been previously associated with the University of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, GGS Indraprastha University, Jamia Millia Islamia, IIT Delhi and others.

Vimarsh 2017 witnessed students across Delhi campuses attending the conclave. NITI Aayog, Finance Ministry, Bharat Prakashan, Gandhi Darshan Samiti, and IIMC had earlier partnered with Vimarsh.

From Niti Aayog’s Unnat Pandit to Principal Economic Advisor of Government Of India Dr. Sanjeev Sanyal and several others attended the brainstorming session last year.

Over the three days between October 22 and 24, Vimarsh will have a youth-centric discussion at Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi. 

RSS on reaching out spree

This is not the first time that RSS, which is often seen as an organisation shrouded in mystery, is out to shed its image. Just last month, from September 17 to 19, at Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan, RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat answered an array of questions from the invited guests.

Questions ranging from the concept of Hindu Rashtra to secularism, he answered each one of them, taking his time. While explaining his vision for India, Bhagwat stated what he means by espousing Hindu cause, something that has made many centrists stay away from the RSS.

“The RSS is trying to unite all Hindus... All Indians are Hindus by identity. Hindutva is the balance between all religions. A Hindu’s true belief is unity…No one is an outsider in India. Hindutva is different from Hinduism. Hindutva is about unity,” he said. And thus, he tried to dent the Congress’s theory of Hindutva versus Hinduism.

Rebranding RSS’s Vijaya Dashami event

This Vijaya Dashami, the foundation day of RSS, Bhagwat used it as a way to normalising RSS, by getting Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi as the chief guest.

Last year, former president Pranab Mukherjee was there in that seat. These may look as a simple PR exercise, but deep down it has a different connotation of the RSS trying to show the world that they are just like others, but with its own sense of nationalism that is the crux of its foundation.

So, while many may run the risk of dismissing it outright as a right-wing event, actually it is the RSS making steady inroads to every section of society and showcasing its brand of nationalism where it is not seen with suspicion.