RSS bid to make US-born Indians ‘confident’

via Hindustan Times published on February 21, 2007

KANPUR : The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) has embarked on a mission to convert non-resident Indians from ‘American Born Confused Desi’ (ABCD) into ‘American Born Confident Desi’. 


Full-time functionaries of the RSS have undertaken the responsibility to imbibe Indian culture and values among NRIs with the help of its 740 international ‘shakhas’ (branches) spanning in more than 40 countries the world over.


Out of the 740 international shakhas, 120 are being convened on daily basis like any other RSS shakha operating in India. All international shakhas are being regulated and controlled by a special cell of the RSS aptly named the ‘foreign affairs cell’.  


Hong Kong is the international headquarters of the party’s foreign affairs cell and a full-time functionary of the organisation is regulating it. The international affairs of the RSS, specially the monitoring of shakhas all over Asia, Europe and America, are being controlled from Hong Kong.


Talking to Hindustan Times, head of the cell Ravi Kumar, who was in the city, informed that RSS had undertaken the responsibility to connect the Indian diaspora abroad with the Indian mainstream.


“At present, almost all NRIs are completely cut off from the Indian culture and are not even aware of festivals like Makarsankranti,” said Kumar.  On the importance of international RSS shakhas, Kumar stated that an NRI, especially a youth, was a confused person.


No matter how much he tried to identify himself with the culture of the country he lived in, an NRI would always remain an Indian, he added. This confusion led to the ‘American Born Confused Desi’ tag for an NRI. Now RSS is trying to change it into ‘American Born Confident Desi’, Kumar pointed out.  On the acceptance of RSS shakha by the respective foreign governments, Kumar stated that impressed by the working of the RSS foreign governments had extended all support. 


Impressed by the teachings and moral values the shakhas preach, the Australian government even offered financial assistance to the RSS, Kumar stated. “But, when we refused to take any financial assistance the Australian government issued free travel passes to RSS functionaries who often travel from one city to another for regulating the shakas,” informed Kumar.  The British government too offered financial assistance to RSS shakhas, Kumar added.  


Impressed by the contribution made by Indians to the Australian society, their government had also asked RSS to name any day of the year that could be dedicated to Indians, especially some Indian festival.                                                          

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