OPEN LETTER

Treat everyone equally

India Hindu Nationalism

Open Letter to RSS general secretary on the organisation's image makeover

Dear Suresh Joshi,

It is heartening to note that the RSS is now heading towards certain progressive directions in conformity with the changing time and mindset of the people. The decision to support women’s entry in certain temples is definitely a correct step towards gender equality. Similarly, the advice to review the reservation policy to ensure that the benefit does reach the deserving section, is also appreciable and needs to be considered in its fair perspective by all the stakeholders. Further, transformation towards trousers from knickers had been overdue for quite a long time and RSS should be applauded to respond to the call of the time. All the above decisions by the RSS does reflect an intent to have an image makeover. It has been embroiled in several controversies in the past, hence always targeted by all the non-BJP parties. In fact, RSS as a cultural organisation, has always been mocked by various quarters time and again. Therefore, a correction of its image was overdue and should have been initiated long back. However, as you may be aware, the RSS has always been known as a staunch pro-Hindu organisation which always reportedly propagates Hindu-Rashtra thereby leaving a scarce space to the minorities. The alleged affiliated outfits to the RSS are being frequently blamed for verbal & physical violent activities against Muslim and Christian communities, which eventually lead to the hatred and mistrust among the communities. It would, therefore, be pertinent to mention that the biggest “image makeover” of the RSS can be accomplished only after the organisation succeeds in convincing the minorities that it is in no way against their interest and that it treats them at par with others without doubting their integrity and patriotism.

Pramod Srivastava
Delhi

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Short-term solution?

Good to see the change! But one wonders whether the change is from within or is this superficial makeup. Supporting women's entry into temples, opposing reservation for the affluent castes are movements in the right direction! The only hope is that the intent is real and not only grandstanding! Or is this is a political scenario of I-pretend-to-beat-while-you-pretend-to-cry! The RSS has taken a stand whilst the BJP are not like the two faces of the same coin. We are confused now. People voted for a particular party but the cultural party is calling the shots. We voted for development but all issues are making headlines except development. If the makeover is genuine , then the RSS should be seeing its words into action! Unnecessary interference in educational campus, love jihad, beef bans, nationalism and many such irrelevant and divisive controversies should be shunned. Please understand that this is a country of diversity and pluralism and unless you understand that and abide by that, there will not be any difference whether one wears shorts or pants. The thought of today's youth is more on liberate ideologies than uniforms. This should reflect in its spirit or it will be that 'the leopard is trying to change its spots'.

Anil J. Rebello

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Keep it up!

It’s truly a welcome change. By backing women entry to the temples you have proved that you support a change against our hypocritical Indian society. You have paved a new path for the women folk by considering equality between sexes. This indiscriminate gesture should be applauded. By opposing quota for affluent classes you have shown that every citizen has equal rights and should not be biased upon based on caste or creed. Change of its outfit from khaki shorts to trousers has given a trendy look to the RSS group. This makeover may also reflect a new trend in your thoughts. A thought which should not be biased with religion. A true spirit of makeover indeed.

Arathi Raghuveer
Mysuru

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Showing the way

It is heartening to note that your 'august organisation' has rose to the occasion or changed as per the need of our dynamic society, which always floats like a lotus on water irrespective of its levels seasonally. The first thing of social prominence is the entry of women into temples like any other devotee irrespective sex. If popular singer Yesudas and gifted storyteller Punathil Kunjabdulla can visit Sabarimala and Sri Mookambika temples irrespective of their religious identity, why there should be discrimination in other temples to the entry of believers? The second point is that the cessation of quota to the affluent. The quota should be only to the needy—socially and economically. But reservation to the ST and SC should continue because they suffered for many centuries. To attain social and economic equality, only a vibrant RSS can fill in the blanks. The last point, more pertinent is its change of uniform from khaki shorts to coffee-brown trousers. Once upon a time the police uniform up to and including sub-inspectors were khaki shorts. But now it has changed without any hindrance to flexibility. Can those organisations who aped the RSS in their outwardly appearance be able to match them as per the below mentioned Ganageetham in practice and spirit?

Namasthe Sada Vathsale Mathrubhoome
Twayaa Hindubhoome Sukham Vardhithoham

S.V. Vijayan
Bengaluru

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