Tough times bring out the best in people, it is during such times that the character of a person is tested. The Corona outbreak is one such event in the history of mankind that has affected all beings, rich and poor alike. It has tested the most developed of countries and their healthcare systems. India, thankfully, has responded timely and efficiently, thereby containing the spread of the virus to a large extent.
During any pandemic, there is only so much that a Government can do, if a community has to fight the pandemic, then individuals and welfare organisations have to come together and do their bit. What Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and their countless swayamsevaks have shown during the Corona outbreak with their selfless service, is how an organisation despite being the most maligned by a section of English media, continues to work for the betterment of India and helps all those in need, regardless of the community they come from.
One of the finest examples of RSS Swayamsevaks taking along all sections of the society is how they distributed food kits to 986 sex workers in New Delhi, that contained 2,500-kilogram flour and 1,250-kilogram rice. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad, slandering which has become a profession for many, launched nation-wide helpline numbers for all those who needed any help during the lockdown. This helpline was launched on 30thof March, merely 5 days after the Lockdown began.
Even the student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and its karyakartas, have done a commendable job in reaching out to the needy during the Lockdown. Students from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, who were studying in Jaipur, were fast running out of supplies. With a mere phone call to those in positions of responsibility at ABVP Jaipur, all essential supplies reached these students within a day.
In the finest traditions of the Sangh, the ABVP Jharkhand unit opened ‘Aahar Kendra’ in various parts of the state and ABVP Karyakartas themselves prepared food for thousands of people since the lockdown. Even in its Awadh unit, karyakartas of ABVP have been providing food packets to 800 people on a daily basis in the lockdown period. Within two days of Lockdown, ABVP launched its helplines numbers to help students across the country who were stuck due to the Corona Outbreak. It is important to understand here, that a student organisation had the kind of organisational acumen and the will of its karyakartas to help people at the height of the Corona pandemic. It is surely something that we don’t see often in other student organisations in India.
For the longest time, the RSS has been accused of being anti-minority. Swayamsevaks have been dehumanised by a section of media and the Left ecosystem as people who are bloodthirsty and violent by nature. However, their selfless service to all sections of the society in the last two months, when Corona was spreading at an alarming rate, has brought out the true nature of RSS in front of the people of India. In Samba district of Maharashtra, RSS Swayamsevaks were informed of some Muslim workers needing essentials, within no time, help reached these Muslim workers, many of whom were migrants from various parts of the country.
The sheer magnitude of the relief work carried out by RSS during the Lockdown is something worth pondering on. Until the 20th May, RSS had served in 85,701 places in India. With 4,79, 949 volunteers, RSS donated 1, 10, 55, 450 ration kits, served 7, 11, 46, 500 food packets, 27, 98, 091 migrants workers were helped in different ways, 39, 851 blood donations camps were organised and 62, 81, 117 masks were distributed to people across India.
One incident that caught the attention of the public, was when Pune Mahanagar Palika reached out to RSS Jankalyan Samiti, Pune for conducting testing of people showing symptoms in containment zones of Pune district. This was after RSS Jankalyan Samiti voluntarily offered their service for testing of people.
These statistics show the massive organisational effort made by RSS and the ability to mobilise people whenever the country is in need. It speaks volumes about the organisational structure of RSS, considering how a big country like India is divided on many lines, to get people to work for a single objective in such a short span of time, is admirable and praiseworthy.
Not only in India, but even in the United States, which is the worst affected of all countries, Sewa International, has been helping authorities by providing masks and other essentials.
The lockdown due to the outbreak of Corona was an opportunity for people cutting across ideological lines to come together. However, there is very little that we see, of the Left helping the needy. Only in their traditional strongholds, of Kerala and West Bengal, has the Left done some relief work. They have been absent in most states of India, certainly, with a series of losses politically, it has rendered the Left with little to no presence in most districts of India. In no way, has the Left been able to even provide a fraction of aid and assistance as the RSS has, over the past two months.
Last month, authorities found free food kits meant for distribution amongst the poor from Left party offices in Kottayam, Kerala. A similar incident was reported from TV Puram, near Vaikom, Kerala. Such instances make people wonder if the Left is even serious about the efforts it needs to put, while helping people during Lockdown.
It is a known principle in Law that the deity is minor and the entire wealth of the temple belongs to the deity. KB Mohandas, a functionary of CPI(M) All India Lawyers Union and Chairman of the Guruvayoor Devaswom, that manages the Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple in Thrissur district, handed over a cheque of Rs.5 Crore to Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund, in open violation of established laws. At a time when temples are finding it hard to pay salaries for their staff, the Communist regime in Kerala decides to misappropriate funds meant for the deity and upkeep of the temple.
One can make out, that perhaps today’s Left is more into politicising of issues and providing intellectual cover for radical elements who break rules and harass the medical staff treating them. It is time for India to see through the vicious game that the Left has played over these years, their lack of intent in helping people even during a pandemic and their brazen attempts to lie to the people of India. RSS and Left, over the past two months, have shown what they can do in testing times, it is for India to choose, either selfless service for all or propaganda for some.
(The article has been written by Ganesh Turerao, the National In-Charge of Think India and Ajay Kashyap who is a graduate from Gujarat National Law University)