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An RSS swayamsevak being issued an identity card, which includes a bar code and a phone number. 

(Photo: Neeraj Gupta/ The Quint)

In Photos: Ahead of 2019 Polls, a Look At RSS’ Mega Training Camp

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat launched a training camp named ‘Rashtriyaday’ in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.

3 min read

Months before the 2019 general elections, the RSS has laid the foundation stone of its first congregation – a mega training camp.

Name: Rashtriyaday, meaning the upliftment of the country.

Place: Meerut in western Uttar Pradesh.

This is the same region of Uttar Pradesh that has recently seen a spate of atrocities against Dalits. And, from the stage, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat spoke about brotherhood. “All Hindus are brothers,” he said.

However, one wonders whether the event was merely a concern for societal matters or whether it had a strong political undertone to it.

The Quint brings you some candid shots from the event.

More than 3 lakh participants had registered at the training camp, of which around 2.25 lakh participants were below the age of 40. Around a lakh were students. The Sangh’s mega training camp proved to be the right platform to spread its message among the youth. 

RSS volunteers from 14 districts of western Uttar Pradesh participated in the programme. For the first time, the right-wing body campaigned door-to-door to bring more people in, many of whom who came for the first time.

During the day-long event, blazing heat shot up the temperature by afternoon. Around 1 pm, the temperature was around 28 degrees Celsius. Participants brought their own bottles of water, but the Sangh had also arranged for the same.

However, it wasn’t enough to quench the thirst of those present at the camp.

Mohan Bhagwat arrived at the event at 3 pm. The RSS chief addressed the gathering from a stage which was 182-feet wide and 35-feet tall. Bhagwat said the event was not a show of strength but a platform where the RSS’ strength would be evaluated.

The question is, will the Sangh be able to evaluate its strength and be able to tap the pulse of voters for the 2019 general elections?

(The story was initially published on Quint Hindi.)

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