How RSS linked institute quietly groomed thousands of 'Hindu nationalist' civil servants

 RSS backed Samkalp Foundation is working since 1986 to produce civil servants on its ideology

Indian female journalist Sanya Dhingra in “The Print” and few other journalists have written detailed accounts that how a RSS backed IAS institute Samkalp foundation quietly groomed thousands of civil servants on its Hindu nationalist ideology since 1986.

These reports are clearly showing that how the RSS and its political face the ruling BJP silently infiltrated the Indian civil service and other state institutions through its coaching centres and institutes since 1990s. For the 34-year-old institute, grooming as many successful candidates, in whatever way, is hardly an aberration.

The increasing numbers of candidates coached in RSS linked institute are being inducted into Indian civil services every year. The numbers are rising in recent years. For instance, out of the 759 candidates picked by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to enter the civil services this year, as many as 466 had undertaken Samkalp’s Interview Guidance Program (IGP), the foundation claims.

This is happening at a time when hardline Hindu nationalists are propagating the increased numbers of Muslim students belonging Jamia Delhi and other Muslim owned education institutions are qualifying for Indian civil services after clearing the Civil Services Examination. But there is no mentioning of Samkalp Foundation which claims 61% success rate in Civil Services Examination.

According to its website, as many as 649 candidates had enrolled for the IGP, out of the 990 candidates chosen by the UPSC in 2018. In 2017, 2016 and 2015, the numbers were 689, 648 and 670 against the total recruitment of 1,099, 1,078 and 1,236, respectively.

The number of candidates who actually get trained at Samkalp from the preliminary examination stage all the way up to the interview is, however, said to be much lower, according to sources. The exact figures aren’t available on the website, but insiders claim it would be 10 per cent of those who finally qualify.

Over the years, Samkalp has emerged as one of the leading civil services coaching institutes across the country. But unlike other commercial coaching centres, it is non-profit, and is aggressively opposed to media coverage.

“Our approach is very different from other coaching centres… We like to work quietly, and not interact with the media at all. We don’t want publicity. We have not interacted with the media in the last 30 years,” said R.S. Gupta, former Delhi Police commissioner who is a senior office-bearer of the foundation.

“The information related to Samkalp is only meant for the Samkalp family — the students who come here, and their families,” he said, refusing to share any information about the foundation.

For the foundation, which has close links with the RSS, lack of publicity is not a concern, with senior BJP leaders addressing its events each year.

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and Nagaland Governor and former IPS officer R.N. Ravi are set to be the chief guests for an event scheduled to be held coming Sunday. The two leaders would interact with successful candidates at the programme.

Last year, Home Minister Amit Shah and senior RSS functionary Krishna Gopal had delivered a lecture on national security to retired and serving civil servants at an event organised by Samkalp. Gopal is one of the senior-most ‘mentors’ at the foundation.

The foundation’s photo gallery on its website is filled with photographs of its students with BJP ministers such as Smriti Irani, Prakash Javadekar and Ramesh Pokhriyal.

Yet, when asked what the nature of affiliation between the RSS and Samkalp is, Gupta simply said, “We are an independent organisation under the Societies Registration Act.”

An RSS worker, who did not wish to be identified, said, “You can call Samkalp an RSS-inspired body instead of an RSS-affiliated body.”

Talking about the idea behind the inception of the foundation, the worker said, “In the 1980s, it was felt that there was a need for guidance for the RSS Swayamsevaks and volunteers who wish to crack the UPSC…”

RSS workers The Print spoke to also said the centre was started as a way to ensure the “bureaucracy is rid of its Leftist bent gradually”.

They said there was a feeling at the time that people from JNU and other such places dominate the bureaucracy, and while a political movement was under way to make the BJP a formidable political force, a need was also felt for an effort to “bring in nationalists in the bureaucracy”.

“It is now you see bureaucrats who are unabashedly nationalistic… This was not the case back in the day,” added the worker quoted above.

Started in 1986, Samkalp reportedly coached 26 aspirants in its first batch, 14 of whom qualified for the civil services.

By 1999-2000, more than 100 interviewees had reportedly approached Samkalp as its success rate went up to 90 per cent. Over the years, the foundation started centres in different cities like Agra, Ludhiana, Bhopal and Bhilai, apart from its first centres in Delhi.

While Gupta said there is no screening test for candidates who come to Samkalp, the RSS worker quoted above said a screening test is conducted to ensure the standards of the organisation are maintained, and at the same time, those with “extremist views” do not get enrolled.

The students enrolled in this institution are not taught hard Hindutva, the real goal and ideology od RSS but soft Hindutva to make them sympathetic to the cause of RSS.   

 “For example, Naxalism or Communism is never glorified, importance of removal of Article 370 is taught, and importance of the Uniform Civil Code is taught. This body of knowledge is then used during and beyond the exam.”

It is a well-known fact that RSS through its networks of Ashrams and education institutes have infiltrated the state institutions.  The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is an extremist Hindu organization, founded in 1925. RSS wants to make India as a Hindu state. It wants to abolish the secular and democratic constitution and replace it with one based on Hindutva ideology.

The organization has its own training centres where its workers are trained in extremism. World organizations have declared it a terrorist organization a terrorist. This organization has the support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and leading political figures of BJP who are members or sympathisers of the RSS.

                                                           Khalid Bhatti                                          



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