Hitting out at Rahul Gandhi for his remarks in which he seemed to suggest that the RSS discriminated against women, the Hindutva organisation today sought an apology from the Congress vice-president, saying he should first understand the activities of the Sangh. Addressing a gathering of students in Vadodara on the second day of his poll campaign in Gujarat today, Gandhi alleged that the RSS discriminated against women and also asked whether any woman was ever seen in its ‘shakhas’ (assembly), wearing shorts.
Reacting to the Congress leader’s remarks, Vijay Thakar, media in-charge of the Gujarat unit of the RSS, in a statement issued here, said, “Rahul Gandhi should first understand the activities of the Sangh and refrain from making such comments on such a matter which do not have any substance. “He should apologise because he is not aware of the functioning of the RSS. There is a Rashtra Sevika Samiti, a parallel body of the RSS, and both are engaged in nation building since 1936 and wedded to the nationalist ideology.”
Thakar said it was not always necessary to come out together to achieve the same goal. “The women members of the RSS have been helping directly or indirectly in achieving the goals. Women have always participated in the RSS’ activities,” he added. Meanwhile, talking to reporters in Nagpur, Shantakka, the Pramukh Sanchalika of the Rashtra Sevika Samiti, said, “The Rashtra Sevika Samiti, which is inspired by the RSS, has been working for the last 81 years. Both the Rashtra Sevika Samiti and the RSS are parallel organisations. “Rahul Gandhi should have first seen how the Rashtra Sevika Samiti functioned and then commented on it. The samiti takes part in two important annual meetings of the RSS and also participates in the meetings of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS).”
The ABPS is the highest body for policy formulation and decision making of the RSS. During his address in Vadodara, Rahul Gandhi said, “How many women are there in the RSS…. Have you ever seen any woman in the ‘shakhas’ wearing shorts? I have never seen them…In the Congress, you will see women at every level of the organisation.”