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Mamata’s got another headache — more and more people from Bengal want to join RSS

RSS website is seeing a steady rise in people from Bengal applying to join the organisation. Numbers show Bengal is second only to UP.

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New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has more reasons to worry: Bengalis are showing a great interest in the BJP’s ideological patron, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

According to RSS functionaries, people in West Bengal are second only to those from Uttar Pradesh in applying online to be members of the organisation.

Sample this: On the ‘Join RSS’ initiative, started by the organisation on its official website, West Bengal stood at sixth position in 2017 with 7,400 requests for the entire year. This increased to around 9,000 in 2018 but until 15 June this year, the online applications from the state have crossed 7,700 already.

Only those from Uttar Pradesh have shown more interest — their number stands at 9,392 for the same period.

According to an RSS functionary, the numbers from West Bengal are all the more impressive as the state has only two RSS units as compared to Uttar Pradesh where the RSS has divided itself into six units.

Another RSS functionary said there has been a surge in online applications to join the organisation this year. The total number of requests received from across the country has already crossed 62,000; it was a lakh in 2017 and 1,100,00 in 2018.

The maximum number of applications are received from Uttar Pradesh followed by West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi, according to the RSS functionary.

“People from across the country are showing an enthusiasm to become part of the RSS. There is a facility in the Sangh website for those who are desirous of joining the Sangh and we have got a good response,” said Narendra Thakur, the RSS’ All India co-convener for media relations.  “As far as West Bengal is concerned, in the past few years, the number of requests are going up steadily.”

Also read: ‘RSS is family’ and what to do with non-Hindus: An RSS trainee’s camp notebook

The ‘surge’ in West Bengal

The RSS has been present in North Bengal for the last two decades but it is only in the last few years, especially post-2014, that it has become really active across the region. The total number of RSS shakhas in North Bengal has grown to approximately 500, an almost three-fold increase since 2010, a senior RSS functionary of Siliguri district, who did not want to be named, told ThePrint. With the growth in shakhas, the number of swayamsevaks has also increased.

Although RSS maintains that it does not indulge in any political activity, a number of senior BJP leaders point out that it is the RSS’ work on the ground that made the party increase its footprint in the state, especially in North Bengal.

The BJP won 18 of Bengal’s 42 Lok Sabha seats, giving a big jolt to the ruling Trinamool Congress headed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The party is now gearing up for the municipal and assembly elections.

According to another RSS functionary, West Bengal is witnessing a “surge” in applications due to the “atrocities” being meted out to the Hindu community.

“The way Hindus are being treated in West Bengal is not hidden from anyone. The state is witnessing rampant violence because of it,” said the functionary. “People have seen the work being done by the RSS and they want to connect with us. This online membership facilitates that.”

According to the same functionary, of the total applications, 70 per cent are from those in the 20-35 age group and 60 per cent are from those looking to join the shakhas. “The rest, who are unable to take out time to join a shakha still want to be connected in some way or the other and they do social work by getting associated with our other organisations,” he added.

Also read: Argumentative & individualist – Why Modi was an unusual RSS swayamsevak

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  1. No membership in RSS. Come into Shaka. Pranam Bhagava dhvaj. Join othet Sbayamsevak. Say Prarythana. You are Swayamsevak.

  2. I am a RSS swayamsewak. To become Swayamsewak, there is no membership. It is fake that, online membership has gone up since there is nothing called member in RSS. You just can start attending the Shakha.

  3. Being a me!ber of RSS is not a joke. The kind of self discipline required is far beyond the capacity of majority of Indians. But then the kind of yeomen social services they provide are far more than practically any agency or NGO in the world. And that too without looking for credit. Only time I saw them publicise their efforts was after Kerala disaster when they found wrong people and politicians claiming credit for their work.

  4. West Bengal people are hell-bent to oust Mamata Government from power. BJP is
    exploiting this situation . Basically Bengal
    mindset is very much left-oriented . So, in the long run, Bengal will once again embrace

    • When will the usually intelligent people of Bengal understand that the Left (be it the CPM variety or a variant of the Congress) has failed them for decades on end now? Long term prosperity and growth will not come through leftist politics! Even a period of growth in Congress Party only came when they pursued a liberal economic policy with diminution of curbs and controls and freeing up of th Indian genius fro enterprise and hard work!

  5. Mamta became CM with Singur. In 2019 LS elections she did not even bother to visit Singur that has now become a vast tract of desolate land. That one Tata project would have brought in the Ambanis, Adanis,Infosys, etc but then Mamta would not have become a CM. The people of Bengal have seen through her regression. She will lose very badly in State Assembly elections 2 years or so from now irrespective of kishore kumar or prashant kishore. And Indian Bengali is quite aware of what is happening with Local Dada becoming extra constitutional figures of that Area. She is 100% on her way out. Blatant Appeasement shall no longer work. The vacuum is being filled up fast!

  6. Is it possible to imagine a muslim ruler suppress muslim population in a muslim country???
    But it is possible in India by hindu mamta banerjee.she suppressed hindus for last 8yrs,she didint allow hindus to grow.she helped muslims do whatever they want.the stories are so much.
    Hindus and well to do muslims realised this .Now hindus realised they want a party which take care their nation,state and people .So RSS is ladder to bjp .

  7. How long can Mamata politically survive on liberals’ sympathy and Muslims appeasement when majority Hindus are feeling not only neglected but hurt? Her ambition of becoming prime minister by leading opposition has encouraged her to mindlessly oppose Modi who has once invited Mamta to join NDA. Had she borrowed part of Nitish Kumar’s head or part of wisdom of Navin Patnaik, she would have been welcoming RSS rather than worrying about it. Bhagavat Geeta’s preaching have come true for Mamata who now can’t do any thing except waiting to see her final electoral defeat.

  8. Remember I m not a member of rss but if they call their cadet .. I go.. so it’s just mere a number but it will be 4xwhat has been mentioned

  9. Achha hai. Getting up bright and early with the sun, working out for those who cannot afford a gym. Had the dress code been trousers, even I might have joined …

    • So you prefer to join the gang of Mamta’s goons instead? Suggest a better alternative since you are so eloquent. Why don’t you replace Derek O’Brien?

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