Skip to main content

Journos "insulted", told to leave RSS-sponsored women's wing meet at disputed site on child development

Rostrum of the RSS-sponsored meet
By Nachiketa Desai*
Journalists and press photographers from Ahmedabad were invited to attend the inaugural session of a two-day all-India workshop of the women volunteers and office-bearers of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at a Hindu temple-cum-educational institution complex at Pirana village, some 25 km away from the city.
They were told to come to the office of the Vishwa Samwad Kendra, an outfit of the RSS which operates in the heart of Ahmedabad, in the Ellisbrige area, by 8.30 am. They were taken about 25 km away to the workshop venue, and chaperoned to the front row supposed to be reserved for the media.
The function started at 10 am sharp with the lighting up of lamp by Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel and singing of a prayer in chorus. The mahant was seated on a seat fashioned after a crude throne while the chief minister sat in a small chair next to him.
The two-day meet kicked off on Saturday, interestingly, on what has been dubbed as a disputed site of Imam Shah Bawa dargah at Pirana, a sufi shrine where Hindus and Muslims have been offering prayers for centuries. This is for the first time that a chief minister attended an event at this site.
After a brief welcome speech by the local organizer and introduction of those seated on the stage, Gitatai Gunde, convener of the national coordination committee of all the women's outfits of RSS -- Akhil Bharatiya Mahila Samiti Samanvay Samiti – was invited to give an introduction of her organization.
Before she started her speech, an announcement was made that all journalists should vacate their seats and leave the meeting hall as light refreshment awaited them in the basement of the building. The journalists said they would prefer to remain present for the speeches to get over and only then break for refreshment.
At this stage, Gunde commanded the journalists and press photographers to vacate the hall immediately so that she could continue with her speech. This was around 10.10 am. The organizers had clearly mentioned in the invitation card that journalists would be allowed to attend the function till 10.30. But no, Gunde would not allow them to sit any longer.
So, the journalists left the place muttering, "This is our insult. Why did you invite us if not allowed to report the speeches?" The organizers tried to persuade them to go to the basement for refreshment. But journalists refused saying, "We would rather listen to the speeches."
In about five minutes, the journalists were told to take their seats in the hall. But no sooner did they take their seats, Gunde started admonishing them again. "Why have you come back? You have been told to get out, can't you follow what we want you to do?", she shouted from the public address system.
Insulted thus, not once, but twice, in the presence of the chief minister, the journalists decided to leave for Ahmedabad without having snacks and tea. The journalists and photographers were from The Times of India, DNA, India Today, UNI and a couple of TV channels.
What surprised the scribes was, the organizers had declared the event was being held after a gap of after 15 years, when it had organised a similar event and the agenda of the workshop was on economy. This time, the topic of discussion, they were told, would be purely social, mainly related to related child development – its problems and solutions.
Among those who were to lecture the 300-odd participants, women and men, on child development issues included senior RSS officer bearers Krishnagopal and Anirudh Deshpande, apart from Gunde and the Gujarat chief minister.
---
*Consulting political editor, UNI

Comments

Anonymous said…
Goondaraj
Unknown said…
Vinaash kaale vipreet buddhi. Well this is an exhibition of RSS brand of Bhartiy sanskriti (Indian culture). The moto of Indian culture used to respect the guests like gods. They hv turned it up side down.

TRENDING

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Russia, China to call the shots in Middle East, as Muslim nations turn into house of cards

By Haider Abbas* Only a naive would buy that the ‘situation of ceasefire’ between the State of Israel and Hamas would continue, as if the foiled attempt to demolish Al Aqsa this time, is not be repeated, if not in any near future then in sometime to come. Israel already has spurned the ‘ceasefire’ by storming Al Aqsa after the Friday prayers on May 21.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Modi-led regime 'contributed' 60% to rise of global poverty, yet Hindutva is intact

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* In recent years, the Hindutva politics has caused long term damage to India and Indians. The so called 56-inch macho PM, the propaganda master manufactures and survives all political crisis including the current mismanagement of the Coronavirus pandemic in India. In spite of deaths and destitutions, the social, cultural, economic and religious base of Hindutva is intact.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.