Students unions and opposition party Congress have raised serious objections to the incident of RSS workers climbing atop a heritage monument and chanting communals and ‘objectionable slogans.
The alleged incident, according to a report by Indian Express, took place on 24 December when a group of RSS workers clibmed the top of the Kareng Ghar, an 18th-century palace which is now an ASI-protected monument, near Sivasagar to chant Hindu-Hindu bhai bhai and Bharat Mata Ki Jai slogans.
Writing to the Union Culture Minister, Mahesh Sharma, the leader of the Opposition in the Assam Assembly, Debabrata Saikia, said, “The Kareng Ghar is one of the very few Centrally-protected monuments in Assam and a symbol of Assam’s secular identity. The participants of a RSS training session in the Kareng Ghar premises and chanting slogans from the heritage site amounts to misusing it as defined in the Rules for Protected Monuments of ASI.”
Sharma, himself is known for communally insensitive actions and statements in the past.
The Kareng Ghar is a royal palace of the Ahom kings in Garhgaon, about 15 km from Sivasagar. Incidentally, the BJP chief Amit Shah had invoked the Ahom dynasty to woo the local Assamese population while campaigning for the assembly elections earlier this year.
All Tai Ahom Students’ Union (ATASU), local units of Asom Jatiyabadi Yuva-Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) president Litul Buragohain said, “The RSS trainees climbed atop the protected monument and raised slogans like ‘Hindu-Hindu bhai-bhai’, which is definitely against the social norms of Assam, particularly because the Ahom kings had played a major role in establishing a secular society.”
He dared the RSS to raise such slogans on the Tajmahal or Qutub Minar premises- both also ASI protected sites.
The RSS, for its part has justified the act adding that there was nothing “objectionable” in the RSS trainees shouting some slogans from atop the historic Kareng Ghar.
“The 76 participants of a seven-day primary training camp took part in a cleanliness drive in the Kareng Ghar on December 24, after which they went up the palace with due permission from the authorities. They indeed raised ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ and ‘Hindu-Hindu bhai-bhai’ slogans. But these are not anti-national or communal slogans,” Ranjib Sharma, an RSS spokesman was quoted as saying.