Chennai: RSS joint general secretary Dr Manmohan Vaidya on Thursday expressed confidence that the Sangh would able to strengthen its base in Tamil Nadu, explaining that there is much in common between Periyar's Dravidian principles and the RSS ideology, as both advocate equality in society without caste and communal differences and class distinctions.
“Periyar had campaigned for a society where everyone, particularly the poor and the backward castes, have equal rights and could live in dignity. He had worked tirelessly towards creating a casteless society. RSS too advocates and practises the same ideology”, Dr Vaidya said at a select media interaction here.
He admitted that the RSS work in Tamil Nadu could be a bit more difficult compared to elsewhere in India “because we must overcome the artificial divisions created by vested interests”. However, the Sangh would emerge successful in winning the Tamil hearts as the “great unifying factor is spirituality, that’s just the way of Indian living over centuries, marked by kindness, sharing, mutual respect and tolerance, and such other virtues”, Dr Vaidya said.
Elaborating on the RSS ideology, he said the Sangh has several Muslim and Christian members attending the shakhas, which number over 57,000 spread across the country. There is neither religious preaching nor any political discourse at the RSS meetings and shakhas. “We have Dr C I Issac, a renowned history professor, as an important member in Kerala. He has written several well-researched articles on being Hindu”, he said.
“A Dravidian leader, who presided over a RSS conference in Tamil Nadu a couple of years ago, had said in his speech that he had actually come to close down the shakhas because he was under the impression that extreme Hinduism was being preached there, but after seeing that the shakhas practiced no class/caste/religious distinctions, he was going back happy that his mind has changed and he now knew the truth about RSS”, Dr Vaidya said.
Dr Vaidya is here to be part of the faculty at the RSS summer camp, being attended by over 300 members from all the southern states. There are 80 such camps happening across the country. “There are lectures on spiritualism, clean living, social issues and ways of bringing about positive change among the people, apart from physical training”, explained the RSS leader.