To reach out to the youth brigade in the state RSS has also started an online process to recruit people in the organization for propagating its ideology
Ahead of the Assembly elections in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the parent organization of BJP, has decided to increase its footprints in different parts of Kashmir valley to further strengthen BJP’s base in the region.
Though the Hindu population is in a hopeless minority in different parts of Kashmir valley even then Kashmir figures prominently on the RSS wish list.
We want to send across a clear message, “It is not about Hindus, it is about nationalism. We want to reach out to the local Kashmiri population and tell them that they belong to us“, a senior state RSS leader said after returning from Jhansi where top brass of the RSS brainstormed for five days and reviewed the performance of different state units.
After the formation of BJP-PDP government in the state, RSS had launched its special drive in the state with the sole objective of reaching out to the large sections of society in all three regions of the state.
The recent Lok Sabha results have also necessitated this urgent outreach programme.
Despite claiming heavy enrolment in Kashmir valley, the BJP recently failed to garner enough votes in sync with its claim that it is spreading its footprints in the valley.
In the recently held Lok Sabha polls, BJP managed to get only 2.96 per cent of votes in the Kashmir Valley which is slightly higher than 1.33 per cent as compared to the 2014 polls.
From time to time, the party machinery was holding special mass awareness programs and door to door campaign to increase its cadre base in the valley but it failed to attract voters in the poll arena.
With BJP retaining its base in Jammu region, the top brass is keen on improving its voter tally in the Kashmir valley to realise its dream of forming its own government in the state. By spreading its footprints RSS wants to achieve its primary aim of connecting with the Muslim majority Kashmiri population in the state.
Out of 89 Assembly seats in the state, Jammu region accounts for 37 seats while Kashmir valley sends 46 legislators in the state legislature. Four seats are filled from Ladakh region.
RSS increased its presence after the formation of BJP-PDP alliance government in J&k
At the micro level, in the last five years, RSS has managed to engage a large number of people in the region and has also improved its presence by conducting special classes in remote areas.
After the formation of BJP-PDP government in the state, RSS had launched its special drive in the state with the sole objective of reaching out to the large sections of society in all three regions of the state. The top brass of the RSS organised series of programs and regularly visited the state to review the performance of its state unit. On several occasions, even national level meetings were organised to push its core agenda and send across a tough message that RSS is working on its core agenda of integrating Kashmir valley with the rest of the country.
Special emphasis was laid on finding a foot hold in the cold desert region of Ladakh and different parts of Kashmir valley.
According to inside reports, the total number of ‘RSS shakhas‘ in the state increased from 370 to 500 in the last four years”.
In these shakhas, the volunteers (Swayamsewaks) are made familiar with the ideology of the Sangh and taught how to propagate it by reaching out to the people and involving masses.
At present, RSS is running around 300 Shakhas in Jammu and Ladakh on a daily basis and more than 100 such shakhas are organised on weekly basis, besides similar events are organised at different places on monthly basis keeping in mind the hilly terrain and strength of volunteers in the area.
To reach out to the youth brigade in the state RSS has also started an online process to recruit people in the organization for propagating its ideology.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.