Bihar cops keeping tabs on RSS members?

Written by Sabrangindia | Published on: July 19, 2019
A Bihar cop has set the cat among the pigeons by writing a letter asking his team to gather details of all Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) members in their areas. In a letter dated May 28, 2019, that has now become public after going viral on social media, the Superintendent of Police (Special Branch) has asked all District Superintendents of Police to collect information on functionaries and office bearers of the RSS as well as 18 organisations associated with it.

RSS

The letter reportedly says, “Gather all details including names, addresses, telephone numbers and business associations of all office-bearers (presidents, vice-presidents, secretaries, treasurers, joint secretaries or others, if any) of the RSS and its following associate organizations within a week.” It goes on to name the 18 organisations: Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Hindu Jagaran Samiti, Dharm Jagaran Samanvay Samiti, Hindu Rashtra Sena, Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, Shiksha Bharti, Muslim Rashtriya Manch, Durga Vahini, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, Bharatiya Rail Sangh, ABVP, Akhil Bharatiya Shikshak Mahasangh, Hindu Mahasabha, Hindu Yuva Vahini and the Hindu Putra Sangh.

Now, given that this letter was written in May, chances are that the task has been completed and all this information has been collected and recorded. But the purpose is not clear. It is noteworthy though that this took place in Bihar, the state of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar whose party the Janata Dal (United) or JDU has partnered with the BJP to form a coalition government in the state. The RSS is regarded as the ideological parent of the BJP.

Interestingly, Kumar had in 2016 given a call for a “Sangh Mukt Bharat”. Shortly after that Sabrang India had carried a piece by Ravi Nair, Tapan Bose and Teesta Setalvad titled RSS Mukt Bharat: The Whys and Wherefores of a Critical Political Campaign analysing the Modi regime’s attempt to repeal a 1966 law that requires  those joining government service, to declare that they are not affiliated to either Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or Jamaat-e-Islami.

In light of all this, one wonders if Nitish Kumar is trying just to keep tabs on a right wing supremacist organisation that purportedly controls his alliance partner in the state, or is it a power move aimed at showing who’s the boss?