External Affairs Ministry Sponsors BJP Abroad, Crosses the Line: Yechury

Published on: June 12, 2016
 
 
 
In a strongly worded letter in his capacity as member of the Consultative Committee of the Ministry of External affairs, Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of the CPI-M and member of the Rajya Sabha has objected to the ministry, along with Indian High Commission, Ministry of Ayush and the ICSSR)'s support and sponsorship of the ‘Overseas Friends of BJP Malaysia.’ The poster released by the OF BJP (Overseas Friends of the BJP) Malaysia, advertises the the observations of the International Day of Yoga on June 19, 2016 (see image).

Demanding a thorough investigation into the matter, the letter, a copy of which is available with Sabrangindia says that while “Supporting activities abroad that strengthen public opinion in those countries about India and spread goodwill is understandable. But so far as I have known, the Government of India or its Commissions abroad or any of its other arms and institutions do not support the declared activities of political parties abroad. There have been complaints in the past of how the ruling party at the Centre has used subtle methods to promote the activities of their party's affiliates in these countries. But what we see here is a brazen effort and the public declaration that a voluntary unofficial event is being officially supported by your ministry, its mission in Malaysia and other organisations of the government of India.”
 
Yechury has requested a response to the concerns raised as also the matter to be placed on the agenda for discussions at at the next meeting of the Consultative Committee. This comes up at a time when the RSS-driven Cetral government is believed to be considering announcing that membership of the RSS and Jaamat-e-Islaami does not preclude enrolling in government jobs as public servants.

This development comes fast on the heels of news reports, dated June 10 that said that the government was seriously considering the repeal of a 1966 law,
reiterated subsequently in 1975 and 1980, requiring those joining government service to declare that they are not affiliated to either Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or Jamaat-e-Islami. Both the countries prime minister, Narendra Modi and home minister, Rajnath Singh are primary members of the RSS that was a banned organisation following the assassination in cold blood of Mahatma Gandhi. It was the Gujarat government under Keshubhai Patel first, in 2001, that had sought to legitimise RSS membership for government servants.

Several state governments under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is in fact a parliamentary wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have already reversed this central government law, be it Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh or Gujarat.
 
References:

1. Sardar’s tight leash on Sangh chief Guru Golwalkar’s pledge of good conduct fails to impress government
2. The Ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is both Hate-Ridden and Supremacist - Part 1
3. CPIM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on the RSS