Seva Dal to get makeover to counter RSS

Seva Dal to get makeover to counter RSS

Lalji Desai, chief organiser, All India Congress Seva Dal

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Congress' Seva Dal has launched massive outreach programme to attract the youth to its fold by offering them its own version of nationalism complete with a popular dress code.

Ninety-five years after it came into existence, the Seva Dal is all set to launch the Young Brigade — that would reach out to the people in times of distress as also counter the RSS by espousing the principles of nationalism based on secularism, tolerance and pluralism.

“The Seva Dal Young Brigade will have a dress code of Royal Blue Jeans, white T-shirt and a cap,” Lalji Desai, chief organiser, All India Congress Seva Dal told Deccan Herald here.

Desai said the Seva Dal was not active for the last few years and was restricted to managing Congress events.

“There will be no saluting the party leaders. Our salute is only reserved for the Tri-colour,” Desai said adding that the Seva Dal will soon organise flag hoisting events on the last Sunday of every month at 1,000 places.

The 'Dhwaj Vandana' programme will be followed by a discussion on the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

“We had organised 'Dhwaj Vandana' programmes at nine places in Delhi on June 24. We will publicise them once we get into the groove,” Desai said adding that the Seva Dal also plans to launch extensive five-stage training programme for volunteers.

He said the Seva Dal seniors will continue to don the white shirt, white trousers and the Gandhi cap as their uniform.

“The youngsters wearing jeans and white T-shirts will have to earn their spurs to become eligible for the white on a white uniform,” Desai said.

Desai said Congress president Rahul Gandhi had granted complete autonomy and independence to the Seva Dal in its working. Rahul also asked the Seva Dal to be at the vanguard in spreading the “true spirit of nationalism and patriotism”.

The Seva Dal was founded by N S Hardikar of the Hubbali Seva Mandal in 1923. Hardikar was a contemporary of RSS founder K B Hedgewar. However, Hardikar came under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi, while Hedgewar went on to start the RSS in 1925.

The idea of reviving the Seva Dal into a robust organisation is the Congress way of challenging the hegemony of the RSS and the BJP on issues such as nationalism and patriotism.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)