*Hindu Rights to Survive with Dignity & Sovereignty *Join Hindu Freedom Movement to make Bharat Hindu Rashtra within 2025 *Jai Shri Ram *Jayatu Jayatu Hindu Rashtram *Editor: Upananda Brahmachari.
Vasudha Venugopal | ET Bureau | New Delhi | April 20, 2016:: Concerned about “depleting sentiments for the country” and its values among the young generation, RSS plans to take the ‘Balagokulam’ movement for enriching moral values in children to all major cities in the country as a “corrective measure”.
In a boudhik meeting of its senior office bearers recently , Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has decided to organise Balagokulam — weekly cultural and moral science classes through teachings of Hindu epics for children of up to 18 years on every Sunday — in around 5000 locations across the country starting June 1, RSS insiders said.
Started in the 1975 in Kerala by RSS, Balagokulam was registered in 1981 as a nationwide cultural movement.
The Kerala unit of the sangh, which has been running several classes across metro cities and in the state, has now been asked to expand these classes systematically to all major towns and villages and identify pracharaks and mid-level teachers, mostly of history and language, who can connect with children and head these programmes.
The classes, to be held in houses of pracharaks or community halls, “will facilitate children to appreciate, learn and practice Hindu way of life, instil confidence in children about their identity and raise Hindu awareness in the society around”, said its concept note.
The classes will be for two hours in a week where in children, through traditional Indian games, stories from puranas, bhajans and shlokas, will learn ideals of dharma and patriotism and make good friends, the note said.
“Presently the Balagokulams are run in Kerala and in some cities by some Malayalee families but we want to expand it to other states,” said J Nandakumar, all India Sah-Prachar Pramukh of RSS.
He added that the movement was very successful in Kerala and needed to be replicated in other states too.
Along with lectures on Hindu epics and the Hindu way of life “that is the most compassionate and rightful”, the children will also be taught to speak in their mother tongue and the study of Sanskrit will be encouraged, he said.
“There is little scope in mainstream education for Indian values and sanskars. Government cannot be expected to do everything, including training our youth to be patriotic. Our youth need to have pride in our culture to become self-respecting and loving of our motherland. These classes will bring them closer to our heritage,” Nandakumar said.
Another senior RSS pracharak said events such as the JNU controversy and the “anti Bharat Mata chanting” have hurt RSS a lot. “If some of our youth are actually supporting slogans that break our country it seriously shows how the upbringing has been,” he said.
Recently an initiative called Gokul Darshan was launched in Delhi with much fanfare, to conduct over 75 weekly classes that will revolve around study of puranas, Gita, shlokas, Sanskrit, stories of legendary Indians, etc. A year after the course there will be an exam to help participating children evaluate their understanding of Indian epics and values. For the Delhi prantha, a team of senior pracharaks has been put together to ensure the initiative gets going.
“The focus is to make them interesting so that every class has at least 65-70 children from different families. For instance, we have quizzes on the rivers of the country, characters of Ramayana and traditional versions of games such as ludo and chess,” said Dushyant Dante, who is also part of the initiative.