Srinagar: Buoyed by their increasing strength in Jammu and Kashmir, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will conduct its first-ever torch procession in the heart of Srinagar on Wednesday to commemorate the birthday anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, the ideological inspiration of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) idea of “cultural nationalism”.
“We would be conducting a torch rally in Srinagar. We would conduct it onWednesday afternoon during which 500 of our members are expected to participate. The rally is in commemoration of the birthday of our ideological inspiration Swami Vivekananda ji,” state vice president of BJP’s youth wing Er Aijaz told Kashmir Reader. “It will be the first time ever that we will take out such a torch rally in Srinagar.”
Er Aijaz said the motive of rally would be to make people understand the teachings of Vivekananda, besides persuading them to emulate Vivekanand’s example.
“We will conduct the torch rally from Sonawar Park located near Ram Munshi Bagh police station to the Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) at Dal Gate,” Aijaz said. “Our rally will be part of the nationwide celebration of Swamiji’s birthday convened by the BJP. He was a great personality whose ideas of education are still relevant. It is also the time to tell Kashmiris the real history of India and its greatness.”
Vivekananda, 19th-century Hindu reformer, was born on January 12, 1863. The major element of his message was nationalist. He saw his effort very much in terms of a revitalisation of the Hindu nation, which carried the essence of Hindu philosophy.
The RSS, the ideological fountainhead of the BJP, celebrates his birthday across India.
Besides assuming Vivekananda as ideological inspiration for its own ideas of ‘cultural nationalism’, the RSS believes he is the perfect role model for youth.
RSS chief Mohan Baghwat has time and again said that Vivekananda’s teachings are relevant to this time and he has been the guiding force for the Sangh throughout the world.
“The mission of Swami Vivekananda and RSS is similar. His thoughts are as useful today as they used to be then. His thoughts throw light on India’s development as well as the world’s,” Bhagwat has been quoted saying once during a rally.
The torch rally will come soon after RSS-affiliated political wings of the BJP jointly conducted a students’ conference in Delhi in which more than two thousand Kashmiri students participated. The Kashmiri students shared their experiences regarding problems faced by them in educational institutions outside Kashmir.
Office-bearers of the BJP’s youth and Muslim wings told Kashmir Reader earlier that they were actively conducting political activities and conferences in Kashmir which has led to an increase in the number of their members, to a figure of eight lakh in Kashmir alone. They further said their activities were meant to bring Kashmiris into the “national mainstream” and to understand the “shared Indian history between Hindus and Muslims” for living a life of “co-existence”.