Why does AAP think nationalism campaigns need a venture akin to RSS Shakhas?
AAP is building Tiranga Shakhas to discuss nationalism and issues with the peopleThe great Indian political circus plays on, offering much fodder for both the political analyst as well as the common man on the street to debate on. Though a supposedly non-political entity, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has been actively referred to when it come to the politics of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The RSS and its shakhas have been closely connected with the politics that BJP follows.The fairly young Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), however, was born out of peculiar circumstances, and so haven’t had the luxury of building a RSS shakha-style base. But then AAP, though not very approving of the RSS or its shakhas, wants to create an alternative shakha space for the common man.It is this thinking that has led the AAP to roll out Tiranga Shakhas, of course with the Tricolour at the centre of all of it, where people from all walks of life, caste, creed, gender, can come together. As per Kejriwal’s plan, the Tiranga Shakhas will have people converge, read the Preamble to the Constitution aloud, narrate tales from the freedom movement, and also talk and discuss current affairs of importance, such as inflation, unemployment and more. AAP would most likely be ready with the Tiranga Shakhas blueprint very soon and will roll out the new movement by July.Tiranga Shakhas to counter BJP agendaAAP leaders are reportedly looking to roll out the Tiranga Shakhas from Uttar Pradesh, and this could be part of an AAP strategy to counter the BJP’s nationalistic push in the most populous state of the country. AAP’s Tiranga Shakhas also aim at unleashing campaigns centred around real nationalism, and will hoist high-mast Tricolours, usher in a deshbhakti curriculum in schools and more.Significant is the fact that the party is toeing a similar line as the RSS for its Tiranga Shakhas by appointing members called pramukhs as organisers and would hoist its own flag at shakhas, the way the RSS does. AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh is the man behind the Tiranga Shakhas and he would roll out the first one in Lucknow on July 1.What the AAP envisions through the launch of its Tiranga Shakhas is what it calls a ‘detoxification of the atmosphere polluted by RSS and its agenda of hatred’. With as many as 75 districts in Uttar Pradesh set to have AAP’s Tiranga Shakhas by the month of July, the party helmed by Arvind Kejriwal seems to be bent on creating a parallel force that would decimate the moves taken by the RSS through its men-only shakhas and also making the people aware of many burning issues plaguing the nation and finding solutions to ever growing problems. The party visualises around 10,000 Tiranga Shakhas, going forward.What advantage do Tiranga Shakhas bring to the common man?The question that arises when one learns of the Tiranga Shakha venture being rolled out by the AAP is the country actually needs such a parallel force. The move may be noble, but how do states or the country benefit through the launch of such a venture.Working amidst the common man and striving to address various issues and finding solutions don’t need such an RSS-like initiative. AAP, being a political entity, the common man on the street would look at having a people’s representative addressing their issues and helping them come out of problems. Creating shakhas akin to what the RSS has been doing, may be with a few additional goals, is not what the country needs.It remains to be seen whether the AAP as an alternative political force will be able to do good for the voter who is always bogged down by issues that crop up every time a government turns a blind eye to his problems.