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Posted at: Oct 13, 2017, 1:48 AM; last updated: Oct 13, 2017, 11:18 AM (IST)

RSS rules out women entry into ‘shakhas’

RSS rules out women entry into ‘shakhas’
A file photo

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 12

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has categorically dismissed reports that it was considering entry of women in “shakhas”—its daily meetings. In a series of tweets from its official handle, the BJP’s ideological fountainhead termed reports quoting chief spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya “deliberately concocted” and “baseless”.

“Deliberately concocted baseless reports appeared in some media that the RSS will consider entry of women in shakhas.”

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“What Dr Vaidya said was that the RSS works with only men in shakhas and through them, we connect with their families. Shakha work among women is being conducted by Rashtra Sevika Samiti.”

"In all programmes and  campaigns in society women are also participating. Women create an atmosphere of cooperation in families to support the RSS," the Hindu organisation said on the issue that became viral after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's observations on the presence of women in the sangh

Aiming to target the BJP and the RSS in poll-bound Gujarat, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had told a gathering that the saffron party was not interested in women’s rights. “How many women are in the RSS? Have you ever seen women in shorts working with the RSS? I have never seen. You see women in the Congress all the time. In the RSS, you will never see women. God knows what mistakes women have committed that they cannot be a part of the RSS,” he said.

Rahul’s words, specifically those related to shorts, invited severe condemnation from BJP leaders, who asked him to apologise for “indecent and derogatory” remarks.

Specifically on this point, Vaidya was quoted as saying: “It is like going to a men’s hockey match and trying to look for women players. If you want to see women players, you have to go to a women’s hockey match.”

“The RSS only had camps for men, but this did not mean it did not work with women,” he added. Notably, the Rashtra Sevika Samiti is its parallel organisation, also referred to as its “women wing”.

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