New Delhi : After internal reports that Mohan Bhagwat’s reservation comment may have adversely affected the BJP’s prospects in Bihar, the RSS has come out with specific data to prove that there is a beeline among Bihari youth to get connected to the Sangh and its ideology.
Senior RSS functionaries have claimed a more than three hundred percent jump in their membership requests from the state in the month of October alone. RSS chief Mohan Rao Bhagwat’s statement that there was a need to review whether caste based reservations had actually benefited those who needed it became the most potent weapon for Grand Alliance leaders, particularly Lalu Prasad, against BJP in this all-important Bihar battle. BJP leadership has been on the defensive ever since and tried repeatedly to affirm that there was no question of any such review.
According to official sources, the average figure for online membership requests was 278 for Bihar during January-June 2015. This number rose to an average 501 members in July- September trimester. But between October 1 and 15 alone, the figure jumped to 594 in Bihar. ‘‘At this rate, the number could be well above 1000 by month-end,’’ an official calculated.
When compared to the average data on the national scale, the RSS says membership requests went up by 100 percent nationally in the first half of October. But in Bihar, the jump is to the tune of 325 percent. This rise is in comparison to the data from January-to June 2015, as against the first two weeks of October.
RSS has found it easier to keep a tab on its membership drive ever since it started the online membership system ‘Join RSS’ through its website. Analysing the above data in the context of Bihar, RSS Publicity Chief Manmohan Vaidya remarked that the flooding of requests in October could only mean that ‘‘today’s youth of Bihar was fed up with the communal and divisive politics of so-called ‘secular leaders.’ ’’ The sudden spurt in the membership could be a result of this communal and divisive politics, he mused. Vaidya, however, refused to go into the social or caste mapping of the members saying the requests were mainly from youth between the 20-25 age group and this segment was perhaps finding the RSS as the best option in their bid to ‘connect with their cultural roots’ and ‘to do something for the society’.