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Tamil Nadu: RSS camps held successfully across the state; Dravidian forces attempt to disrupt them fails


Tamil Nadu recently witnessed the annual RSS camps taking place across the state with great success. In Chennai, the camp was conducted from April 23 to May 7 at Amritha Vidyalaya School in Kovur, with more than 250 individuals participating in it.

Similar camps were also organised in Trichy, Tirunelveli, and Krishnagiri. However, amidst the camps, certain Dravidian outfits made attempts to create trouble, but their efforts failed miserably. In Krishnagiri, an RSS camp scheduled to start on May 7 at RBS Matriculation School in Uthangarai faced opposition. On May 9, a group of cadres from Dravidar Kazhagam, DMK, and Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Party met with the assistant commissioner of Uthangarai and submitted a memorandum demanding the cancellation of the RSS camp.

The memorandum alleged that conducting the camp violated the model code of conduct and the Tamil Nadu school education department’s order prohibiting religious gatherings and meetings within school premises. Notable members of the Dravidar Kazhagam, include Krishnagiri district president Dravida Mani, district secretary Ponmudi, central committee member Prabhu, district vice-president Vandi Arumugam, Uthangarai taluka secretary Sivaraj, DMK functionary Thanigai Kumaran, district IT wing vice-president Kalidas, and Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi Krishnagiri district secretary Gubendran, district functionary Asokan, and CPM district functionary Lenin, were part of the team that submitted the memorandum.

In response, the Dravidar Kazhagam announced a protest against the RSS camp, which will take place outside the premises of RBS School. Despite these challenges, the RSS camps proceeded smoothly, showcasing the determination and resilience of the participants and organisers.

Functionaries from Dravidar Kazhagam (DK), DMK, Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK), and Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) had come together to voice their concerns over the RSS camp being conducted at RBS School in Uthangarai. In a joint effort, they submitted a memorandum to the Uthangarai police, demanding the immediate cessation of the camp.

The Dravidar Kazhagam took a step further by announcing a protest, scheduled to be held outside the school premises. Interestingly, it has been revealed that the Dravidar Kazhagam itself organised a camp exclusively for children, with the aim of instilling anti-Hindu ideological thoughts in young minds. This revelation has raised questions regarding the consistency of the Dravidian elements’ opposition to RSS camps in schools. It is noteworthy that they did not show any opposition towards the mass Namaz gathering organised by the Tamil Nadu Tawheed Jamaat at a government school premises in Tiruppur.

Anti-RSS sentiments ignited by Dravidian outfits in recent times 

Instances of Dravidian elements targeting RSS activities in Tamil Nadu have been recurrent in recent times, highlighting the ongoing ideological clash in the state. One such incident occurred in October 2022 when the radical Dravidian outfit, Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, protested against RSS cadres engaging in cleaning activities within a corporation school premises in Coimbatore.

In response, the school education department issued a show cause notice to the headmaster and initiated an investigation. Similarly, the same organisation staged a demonstration against an RSS Prathmik camp held at a private school in December 2021.

In September 2019, fringe Tamil separatist outfits, namely Tamil Nadu Adi Dravidar Munnetra Kazhagam and Tamil Nadu Desiya Padhukkapu Kazhagam, held a demonstration opposing an RSS camp in Orathanadu, Thanjavur district. The tensions escalated in May 2019, when six individuals were arrested for pelting stones at an RSS camp in Mayiladuthurai.

Moreover, in Thiruvannamalai, educational institutions faced troubles from the government in various ways, indicating a broader resistance to the RSS presence. Notably, there have been instances where Muslim outfits organised protests in front of such institutions hosting RSS camps.

Dravidar Kazhagam and Muslim organisations Conduct Exclusive Summer Camps In The State 

In a bid to propagate their ideologies and provide educational opportunities, Dravidar Kazhagam, along with various Muslim organisations, conducted exclusive summer camps for children across Tamil Nadu. While Dravidian elements were seen opposing the RSS camp, the focus of these camps was to impart specific ideological thoughts to young minds.

Dravidar Kazhagam organised a summer camp from April 28 to May 2 at the Periyar Maniammai Institute of Science and Technology in Salem. The camp aimed to indoctrinate Anti-Hindu ideological thoughts in school children attending the programme. Concurrently, Muslim organisations such as Tamil Nadu Tawheed Jamaat and Yegatatva Muslim Jamaat conducted summer camps throughout the state, targeting Muslim children. These camps sought to instill Wahhabi ideology among the participants. Christian outfits also organised summer special camps, but with a different focus.

Dravidar Kazhagam summer camp poster for children. The leaflet says 2,500 as fee for the camp

These camps primarily emphasised skill development, language improvement, along with teachings from Abrahamic literature and the Christian faith. They particularly targeted underprivileged and illiterate parents, providing incentives such as food, travel, and books for their children to attend the camp. Recent reports highlight a case where a government school teacher was exposed by a student for allegedly conducting bible classes during the camp. This incident has brought attention to the need for transparency and adherence to secular principles in educational initiatives.