LOKPAL BILL PROTEST
Is RSS running the Anna show?
It is not an allegation by the Congress but an open admission by senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj
The bulk of support to crusader Anna Hazare is coming from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) youth cadres. It is not an allegation by the Congress but an open admission by senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj.
She attacked Home Minister P Chidambaram in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday during a debate on the Hazare episode, the text of which was released on Thursday, for getting agitated for the RSS involvement in the people's movement launched by the crusader for a strong and effective Lokpal to curb corruption.
Asserting that there should be no doubt about the RSS role in Hazare's crusade, she pointed out that the RSS is a part of India Against Corruption movement, the body under whose banner he is agitating for a strong Lokpal Bill. She pointed out that the RSS is not extending any secret support but officially mobilising support through Youth against Corruption, an arm of the RSS student wing, Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
"Why do the police not take any action when separatists from Kashmir come and make seditious speeches in Delhi? You protect their human rights. But if a sadhu in saffron or a Gandhian supported by the RSS comes to protest in Delhi, you start raining batons on them. I want to know why people get agitated by the mere mention of the RSS," she asked, asserting that the RSS is a nationalist organisation.
She wanted all to know the political clout the RSS wields in the country, though being an unregistered "cultural organisation." She pointed out that "116 MPs in this House and 45 members of the Upper House owe allegiance to the RSS while seven chief ministers of various states are also committed to the RSS."
"Do you still believe the RSS does not have support in the country? Why is the government then getting so agitated and upset if a people's movement is supported by the RSS," she asked.
Iftikhar Gilani is Special Correspondent with Tehelka.com