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RSS begins its outreach to make its philosophy, perspective clear to rivals

The comparison evoked a furious BJP to demand an immediate apology. The party leaders also called the Congress chief "immature."

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Aug 27, 2018, 05.30 PM IST
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PTI
Mohan-Bhagwat-
The RSS head Mohan Bhagwat himself will address these lectures which are meant to explain the sangh's perspective on various issues and clear misconceptions about its working and ideology, a senior leader said.
NEW DELHI:The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is likely to invite its sharpest critic, Rahul Gandhi, along with leaders from various political parties, specifically from the opposition to a lecture series, " 'Future of Bharat: An RSS perspective' to be held between September 17 and 19 at Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi.

The RSS head Mohan Bhagwat himself will address these lectures which are meant to explain the sangh's perspective on various issues and clear misconceptions about its working and ideology, a senior leader said.

According to a top sangh leader, during the three days, the RSS chief will speak on Hindutva and the role of the Sangh in the Hindu society on one day and on the importance of social harmony in the Hindu society the other day.

The third day could be dedicated to presenting the sangh's views on contemporary issues of national importance which include nationalism, polarisation, increasing intolerance to dissent, role of women in the Indian society, national security issues among others, he added.

"There is a specific allegation that the RSS is dalit virodhi (opposed to dalits) which is not true. Bhagwatji will clear the air about these misconceptions," another RSS leader said,

Apart from the Congress president, several other opposition leaders, like Sitaram Yechury of the Left, are also likely to be invited.

"The Sangh will put together a list of people from fields such as education, health, culture, sciences, politics, business and other sectors who will be invited. Senior heads of the sangh will go and invite them personally," an official said.

Announcing the programme, Arun Kumar, an RSS leader said the organisation will have the final say over the guest list. "It is our prerogative to choose who to invite or not. Leave this to us... But people from all walks of life, including from different political outfits, ideologies and religions, will be invited."

The RSS started its out reach programme almost three years ago, when Bhagwat started meeting select groups of people in different cities. During the course of time, he also met industrialist Ratan Tata and even exchanged views with film stars Ajay Devgn and Aamir Khan. In June, former president Pranab Mukherjee, a veteran leader of the party, attended an event at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur and addressed workers.

The RSS has been under attack from Congress president Rahul Gandhi who in his latest comments made in London, said that the RSS's idea was "similar to the idea of the Muslim brotherhood in the Arab world" and went on to draw parallels.

The comparison evoked a furious BJP to demand an immediate apology. The party leaders also called the Congress chief "immature." Gandhi also accused the RSS of trying to change the nature of India and capture its institutions and had said that there was no place for women in the RSS, a comment he had made even during the start of Gujarat elections last year.
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