From renovating and reviving deserted temples in the Kashmir to expansion of new "shakhas" in the higher reaches of the Himalayas, the RashtriyaSwayamsevakSangh (RSS) seems to be on an expansion mode in Jammu and Kashmir. Besides expansion plans, the top leadership of the RSS also endorses fresh delimitation of Assembly constituencies in the state which would subsequently benefit the Jammu region by giving it more seats than Kashmir, IANS reported.
Top sources in the RSS office in New Delhi said that scoresof ancient temples deserted in the Valley and would now be renovated andrevived for Hindu pilgrims. RSS pracharaks are now trying to revive desertedtemples not only in the Valley but also in Jammu. On reviving ancient templesin the state, the RSS in its annual report (2019), says: "'Purmandal' is aholy place on the banks of Devikariver, 40 km away from Jammu. Once a centre ofSanskrit learning, over a period of time this place has been ignored. To reviveit's (temple) importance a trust has been formed."
To bring the minorities residing in border areas and placesfar off from Srinagar into the mainstream, RSS leaders have launched a megaproject called "EkalVidyalaya" (one teacher, one class). "Theconcept is that a single teacher virtually runs a small school in a singleclass. Remote villages where education has not yet reached are covered underEkalVidyalaya," said a senior functionary of the RSS working in Jammu andKashmir.
As of now, 6,000 teachers are involved in the project whichcovers area such as Ladakh and Kargil. Besides the teaching project, RSS isalso focusing on people residing near the international border and Line ofControl. The RSS report says that "the border areas suffer fromindiscriminate firings across the border. As a consequence the people sufferfrom migration, disruption in education and health services and a generalfeeling of insecurity. Efforts have been launched to address these issues. As aprimary step 457 villages out of total 701 were surveyed. A core committee hasbeen formed with the help of various like mindedorganisations."
On the issue of delimitation of state assemblyconstituencies, the senior functionary of the RSS said that the Sangh hadalways opposed the move of the former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah who frozethe delimitation exercise until 2026 by amending the Jammu and KashmirRepresentation of the People Act, 1957.
"We are with the sentiments of the people who feel thatJammu region requires more seats on basis of its population. We hope thegovernment would consider their demand," the RSS functionary said. Sourcessaid RSS leaders are of the view that the government should considerdelimitation of Assembly constituencies as Farooq Abdullah's move was aimed atbenefiting political parties which were eyeing the Muslim vote bank in theValley region.However, a fresh delimitation (if brought aboutby a Delimitation Commission) could alter the electoral map of the state, thusenabling a larger representation from Jammu by virtue of its size. Adelimitation exercise on these lines could affect the composition of the stateAssembly with the Jammu region contributing more seats to the House, hithertodominated by representatives from the Valley.