K C Kannan, RSS leader on contemporary issues – Interview

published on February 1, 2013

K.C. Kannan, 48, is one of the top office bearers of the Worlds largest voluntary organization, RSS. He is a native of Pandalam in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. He became an RSS Pracharak during his college days. He has held various positions like RSS Jilla Pracharak, Pranth Shareerik Shikshan Pramukh and Kshetreeya Shareerik Shikshan Pramukh,Akhil Bharatiya Sharirik Pramukh. For the past two years, he is holding the position of Saha-Sarkaryavahak(Joint General Secretary) of RSS.  

Though he is based in Hyderbad, he travels continuously across the globe to give instructions to Swayamsevaks and helping them to develop their physical and mental strengths to protect Hindu society. 

Sri K.C.Kannan recently spoke to Haindava Keralam at Delhi. Following are excerpts from the interview.

What is your take one one of the common accusation that RSS is a Fascist organization?

Sangh has never been Fascist, is not Fascist now and will never be Fascist in future either. Sangh is a social service organization. Sangh is an organization that has been making its contributions towards social causes, at the same time maintaining its distance from the political sphere.

Sangh is an organization of patriots that has been selflessly striving, from the time of its inception, to safeguard the nation’s culture and uphold the same in front of all other nations, regarding every aspect of life. Never once has the organization displayed Fascist behavior. The seeds of these doubts regarding any such malicious propaganda have been cleverly sown in the minds of people by mischief mongers, who are clear adversaries.  

Is the aim of Sangh being restricted to Bharat alone?

KrinVantho Viswam Aryam, Lokasamastha Sukhino Bhavanthu, Vasudhaeva Kudumbakam- these have been the desires of our ancestors. And fulfilling the mission is the aspiration of Sangh. But, before we bring about any changes to the entire world, it is important to culture our own dwelling. And our dwelling is Bharat. This dwelling should be fortified. The aim of Sangh is the restoration of the glory of Bharat. If you have noticed, this aspect is made clear in the Sangh Praarthana Geet itself. Safeguarding the nation’s Dharma and raising it to its rightful glory. After the accomplishment of this mission, the next task is to lead the entire world to this path.

Bharat did adhere to this concept initially. Those days, Bharat was Jagat Janani. She was Jagat Guru. We need to get back to the same spot and be the guiding beacon, showing the entire world the path to righteousness. You can call it the first step: a striving towards the param vaibhavam of Bharat by Sangh.

Are Shakhas unable to attract youth now? What is the solution?

The conclusion that Shakhas are unable to attract the youth is wrong. The best example that can be showcased is the Sanghik at Kollam, where a lakh swayamsevaks participated. If you had observed, you have seen that the number of youths preceded the elderly members.  Even today, the Shakha continues to attract new members. There are lakhs of members who are associated with thousands of Shakhas. This is not the scenario in Kerala alone, but in the whole of Bharat.

Dalit’s do not get to be a part of RSS and if so, they do not get to occupy prime positions- this is an allegation framed by media. What is the real picture?

It has been years since there has been a flow of people from the section being termed as ‘Dalits’, into the Sangh, by leaving  organizations  like Communist party. In Sangh, there are activists from this section, who shoulder responsibilities that can be termed ‘regular’ and ‘vital’. However Sangh has never done a census to find out the exact number. In Shakhas, the caste is never asked nor declared. Hence Sangh has never published a caste related census. Those who attend Shakhas know that people hailing from all castes are a part of Sangh and that there are numerous pracharaks (Full time workers) hailing from the section being termed as ‘Dalit’.

What is the opinion of Sangh on ancient texts like ‘Manusmrithi’?

The Shruthis have always been texts that sing the eternal truth. However, Smrithis have been codified laws written for a specific period. There is no necessity to take into consideration these laws in another period of time. For this reason, the Smrithis have never been regarded as a source of eternal truths. Hence when viewed from another period of time, one is likely to see glaring discrepancies. For this reason, there is the need to put into writing newer Smrithis, with the passage of time. It is the Shruthis that are everlasting. This is the view of Sangh.

What is Sangh’s view on reservation?

Sangh is against provision of reservation based on religion. Such moves were made in Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The possibility of these activities not resulting in yet another partition cannot be ruled out. The events that preceded the partition of the nation were something similar. And so Sangh is categorically against any reservation which is done on the basis of religion. But, as the architects of the constitution have specified, Sangh supports the policy of granting reservation to the section of people who are deprived of life’s necessities. That is, reservation should be given to sections that are deprived, till they prosper. There should be organizations to monitor their progress, to gauge their pace of development. If the desired and right pace of progress has been achieved, the reservations should come to an end too. This is the view held by Sangh.

Hindu youths are now taking the path of extremism, as part of counter strategy to thwart the moves of fanatic organizations like Popular Front of India. Isn’t this, in reality, a setback for Sangh?

The religiously based Jihadi groups have, from time immemorial, been resorting to disruptive activities in society, in Bharat. Kerala is one among the badly hit states. In such circumstances, the youth tends to take a decision to counter these anti-social moves. But if a stand similar to the ones taken by the Jihadis is taken, anything against national interest will always be objected to, strongly by Sangh. Hence it is necessary that the youth contemplate this particular issue with equanimity. The stand taken by a certain section cannot be termed as a setback for Sangh.

This is a democracy; people can go ahead with their lives, according to their interests. Those who agree with the strategy of Sangh can align themselves with Sangh and work shoulder to shoulder. But if there are people who want to tread the path of ambush, it cannot be said that it is a failure on the part of Sangh. If the government and allied agencies put in effort, the activities of Jihadi and other anti-social organizations can definitely be curbed and put to an end.

The threat being put forth by Communism- does Sangh see that as inferior to the threat being issued by Islamic terrorism?

Both are two sides of the same coin. Both groups do not accept the national cause. There is absolutely no difference in the condition of nations being ruled by Communist ideology and which have been placed under the rule of Islamic terror. The ideology being propagated by both groups is against national interests. Therefore the threat posed by Islamic terrorism with regard to national interest, the same is the challenge posed by Communism.

The article published in Kesari has sought assistance from the Communist party as well. Can it be seen as Sangh’s views on this matter?

Kesari is a well known magazine, published from Kerala, having tremendous readership. There are many contributors too, who have various outlooks, views and opinions. This article need be seen as one of them. The views expressed in the article are that of the writer. That need not be seen as the views held by Sangh. It has been clarified by Sar Kaaryavaah Manya Bhayyaji Joshi in a press meet held in connection with Akhil Bharatiya Karya Karini Baithak held in Chennai.

There have been numerous instances, where RSS has never put in effort in clarifying allegations. How relevant is this in the days, when social media is gaining relevance?

It is not Sangh’s nature to issue clarifications on every topic under the sun. Sangh is an organization that has undertaken a special mission as its task. The task is vyakthi nirman or shaping individual quality. Sangh has undertaken this task for years as a tapasya, a meditative endeavour. There are many allegations cropping up, most of them are politically motivated. Sangh is not a political organization and so issuing responses to the day to day politically connected activities is not the responsibility of the organization. If there is the need to convey or communicate anything, it has always been done systematically.

When Swayamsevaks enter political realm, resort to corruption. What is the way to overcome this?

It is wrong to say that all Swayamsevaks are like this. There are scores of them, who have entered the political field and have rendered their undertaking in all austerity. Those who have deviated from this are just a few. When ties with the Shakha do not exist anymore, it is not possible to vouch for their deeds either.  As long as they are connected with the Shakha, their actions can be guaranteed. There are people who have entered political field after a brief tryst with the Shakha. In such cases, Sangh cannot issue any assurance on their behalf or undertake any responsibility for their actions. But as long as a swayamsevak is associated with a Shakha and is a part of the Shakha, he will never go wayward. An assurance can be given in this aspect.

It is being seen that many RSS activists openly denounce Gandhi and hold Godse in the highest esteem.  What can be the reason behind this?

Swayamsevaks have a right to independent thought they could have inclinations towards certain thought streams. That is not Sangh’s view or outlook. There are numerous others who have the notion diametrically opposite to what you have asked now.  Hence Sangh is not answerable to the viewpoint and outlook expressed by a few swayamsevaks.

A couple of mainstream media houses have reported that the number of RSS Shakhas seem to have dwindled in number. How true is this?

If you take into account, the report that has come in from the evening Shakhas has shown a dwindling number. The reason was discovered to be a decline in the number of children, along with reasons like children going for tuition classes. But, when morning and night Shakhas were opened for bal-swayamsevaks, the situation improved on a far-reaching scale. There sprung up proposals at national level, for resurrecting Shakhas at places where they had stopped functioning. These were implemented too. If you look into the statistics tabled at the recently concluded Chennai Baithak, you will see an overwhelming rise in the number of Shakhas.

Sangh related work has now been going on full-fledged since many years. However, it has been noted that not many from Kerala are entrusted with Akhil Bharatiya responsibilities. What could be the reason behind this?

Kerala has stood witness to glorious Sangh activities right from the time RSS began. States that have not been entrusted with Akhil Bharatiya responsibilities are comparatively sizeable. When tasks are assigned, the antiquity of Sangh activities or the count of existing Shakhas is not taken into account. There are exclusive guidelines for this. Sangh does not even think of area uniformity in distribution of tasks. Going by the guidelines, there have been 3 or 4 persons too, who have been entrusted with greater responsibilities.

Isn’t it true that RSS activists do not read much into literature outside Sangh writing?

Not sure as to where you have got the notion from. Swayamsevaks read all kinds of literature, specially swayamsevaks who have full-fledged reading habit resort to most modern methods to enhance their reading habit and acquire knowledge. There are many who do research activities. In fcat when there is a discussion, where these people participate, we get the most comprehensive view of the maladies afflicting the world at large. There is a tremendous exchange of positive and constructive ideas and thoughts. So, the question asked stands erroneous.

There is news that a channel by name Janam is being launched in Kerala. Is there a plan of launching similar such channels at national levels?

Janam channel is not being run by Sangh. Instead it is being run by Swayamsevaks. There is a difference between the two. And there is no information about a similar channel run elsewhere in Bharat.

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