RSS irked by Modi Govt stance on marriage age? Sangh conclave in March would tell us more on that

Increasing marriage age of girls, hijab issue come in for criticism from RSS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi might wake up to some dissenting voices from within the saffron fold, soon. A couple of decisions taken by the Modi government with regard to social issues are reportedly attracting the ire of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS).

With the RSS making it clear that it does not agree with the government stance on the issue of legal age of marriage for girls and other developments, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leaders are possibly in for some serious criticism.

The RSS has come down heavily on the government’s stance on not just the issue of legal age of marriage of girls, but also the Karnataka hijab issue. In fact, the hijab issue has been blown out of proportions while it should have been handled as a local issue, feels the RSS.

RSS to take up issues at March conclave

These different opinions are likely to be taken for debate at the annual meeting of the highest decision-making body Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) baithak, scheduled to be organised in Ahmedabad from March 11 to 13 this year. A report in this regard has said that the RSS might not want to agree with the government thoughts on these issues, and could come in for some serious criticism.

When the RSS thinks so, it remains to be seen how the BJP will respond. Significant is the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha conclave, as it would be a venue for the coming together of all senior leaders of the RSS, representatives from across the country and over 30 associated organisations.

The RSS is reportedly cross with the BJP and the ruling front and it has a difference of opinion over the issue of marriageable age of girls in the country. The report has quoted RSS leaders as saying that marriages happen much early among the tribals. Lashing out at the government’s stance that early marriages would impede education and bring in early pregnancy, they said that the question is how much should the government interfere in such matters. According to the RSS, certain things should be left to the society.

Obviously irked by the bill ushered in by the Narendra Modi government last December aiming at increasing the marriage age of girls from 18 to 21 years, the RSS would bring the issue to the table at the conclave in March. It is also believed that the RSS is all for leaving the issue of marital rape to the families so that they can decide the way they want!

RSS and Hijab row

Hijab issue should have been handled at local level, feels Sangh

Also, regarding the hijab controversy in Karnataka, the RSS is of the opinion that it has been unnecessarily blown out of proportion. The Sangh is of the opinion that it should have been handled at the local level.

Will the RSS unleash its difference of opinion on the government and make the Modi cabinet cringe? With the Sangh holding huge clout among many BJP leaders, the March conclave would be something to watch out for. Modi and his men are not too open for criticism. But how the government would handle criticism when it comes directly from the Sangh is to be seen.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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