History teaches that the first target of government repression is to gag freedom of speech. Maha Vikas Aghadi government not only targeted freedom of speech, but it displayed high level of intolerance when it attempted to suppress a lecture cum student interactive programme, “SANGH PARICHAY VARG” (Knowing RSS) by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the biggest social organisation dedicated to India’s resurgence and global peace. What is more shocking MVA govt carried a propaganda to vilify RSS.
RSS had organised “SANGH PARICHAY VARG” from 9 am to 12:30 pm, on 15 February, to interact with students of Journalism from different colleges conducting Journalism Courses by Vishwa Sambad Kendra (VSK) Pune. Hence, RSS put a notice in, Ranade Institute, a premier Institute of Pune University, notifying the students to attend the “VARG.” The authorities had also not planned any other lecture during this period.
This was enough to rattle National Students Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of the Indian National Congress, which preaches ‘Freedom Of Expression’ and Tolerance. But, do they practice what they preach? In no time, matter reached to, Revenue Minister, Balasaheb Thorat, who tweeted:
“The Swayamsevaks from @RSSorg who have been made a part of educational institutes in the state with the blessing of previous BJP led government. They are now campaigning inside varsity campuses.”
Even Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule strongly objected the programme in her tweet: What is happening in Savitribai Phule Pune University? Whose idea was it to organise this event? Department of Communication and Journalism has put this up in their time table. Is the Vice-Chancellor aware that such a program is being organized (sic)?”
To bust the propaganda against RSS, it must be clarified that Vishwa Sanvad Kendra (VSK) had organised the programme at its Motibaug branch office in Shaniwar Peth, not in the premises of any campus. After NSUI and other anti Hindu student organisations made ruckus to seek attention of their bosses and public in general, Ranade Institute withdrew the notice about the Varga, and called it “cancelled.”
However, VSK contacted all the concerned institutes and students to inform that this program would be conducted at the same venue and at the same time. And VSK successfully conducted “SANGH PARICHAY VARG” (Knowing RSS) at the same venue, wherein 43 students including 18 girls participated in the programme, as withdrawing of the notice by Ranade Institute made very little impact on the programme.
Propaganda against RSS continues as certain news reports that SANGH PARICHAY VARG” (Knowing RSS) is cancelled to mislead people. But, in the picture below professor Aniruddha Deshpande, the chief speaker, can be seen giving lecture to students.