Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has decided to celebrate ‘Vikram Samvat’ – the beginning of Hindu New Year – on a grand scale with swadeshi as its theme and asked Hindus to hoist flags with the ‘Om’ symbol on their houses to mark the day.
The decision comes close on the heels of the VHP deciding to organise Ram Mahotsava on the occasion of Ram Navami on March 28.
The Hindu New Year falls on March 21 this year.
“Though the Sangh has been celebrating the Hindu New Year for long, this time it has decided to celebrate the ‘Vikram Samvat’ in a big way,” RSS Vibhag Pracharak Amarnath Verma told PTI over phone.
‘Vikram Samvat’ is said to have been founded by emperor Vikramaditya of Ujjain following his victory over the Sakas in 56 BC. It is a lunar calendar based on ancient Hindu tradition and is 56.7 years ahead of the solar Gregorian calendar.
Verma said that as the RSS has always been advocating ‘swadeshi’, it has urged people to light their houses with indigenous lighting on the Hindu New Year that falls on March 21 this year.
“The lighting should be indigenous and not using Chinese light as the RSS had always being advocating swadeshi and Bhartiyata,” he said.
Verma said Governor Ram Naik has written to Information and Broadcasting Ministry to issue a stamp on Vikramaditya who founded the Vikram Samvat.
“The Governor has sent a letter to the central government to issue a stamp on emperor Vikramaditya on the occasion,” he said.
Verma said New Year flags with ‘Om’ sign would be hoisted atop every Hindu household to mark the occasion.
He said Hindus will light a “diya” at their homes to mark the beginning of New Year.
“We had been distributing diaries, calendars and others items on the occasion,” he said.
In the Vikram Samvat, the New Year begins with the first day after the new moon, in the month of Chaitra Shukla Paksha Prathama, which usually falls in Marchâ€“April in the Gregorian calendar.
The nine-day Navaratri festival begins on Mach 21 and culminates on Ram Navami day. The mega event comes close on the heels of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat saying that society has expectations from the organisation and that it should expand further.
“Time has come when the entire society wants RSS and has expectations of it. To fulfil those expectations, the organisation must expand,” Bhagwat had said at ‘Rashtra Raksha Sangam’ in Kanpur.
“RSS work is to unite Hindu society, to make it fearless, self-reliant, selfless and the one which is ready to live and die for the country,” he had said.
The RSS programme comes at a time when VHP is seeking to “mobilise” Hindus and “remind them of their resolve” for construction of a Ram temple. VHP had decided to organise ‘Ram Mahotsava’ for the first time on the lines of Durga Puja across the country.
“We will celebrate Ram Mahotsava from March 21 or March 22 and it will continue till April 1. This will be for the first time that such an event is being organised by the organisation,” VHP media in-charge Sharad Sharma had said.
This programme would be organised in every village in the country, he said.
“It will give strength to Ram Janmbhoomi movement. The programme will not only be organised in villages where temples are located, but at those places also where there is no such arrangement,” Sharma had said.
“During the Mahotsava, statues of Lord Ram will be worshipped for 10 days as it is done during Navratras. These statues will either be enshrined permanently or immersed,” he said.
He said Hindus have already been asked to take a pledge for construction of the temple.
“But to strengthen the resolve and to ensure that it is fulfilled, people will be asked to renew their pledge,” Sharma said.