There was this talk that Bangalore was increasingly becoming like the West. That the youngsters had started aping the West and there was an indication that the culture of this once laid back city was changing.
Bangalore had grown leaps and bounds thanks to the invasion of the Information Technology sector. While many felt the change was required, several others felt that the IT industry was eroding the values and morals of the Indian youth.
The latest to step into the issue is the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Yes, the RSS has now set up IT shakhas. What does this IT shakha do? It is aimed at grooming the IT personnel towards the RSS way of thinking.
The coordinator of the shakha, Suresh Naik, said that this would involve the stimulation of the mind and the IT professionals will be taught to have a more nationalistic approach. The IT shakha will not be a typical RSS shakha involving exercise and games.
The RSS holds IT milans regularly and the last one to be held was during the 150th anniversary of the first war on Independence. During such important occasions, the IT wing of the RSS sends out messages through social networking sites to its members, who in turn will have to spread the message around to likeminded persons. The RSS says that it has been working since the past six years on this concept and it is picking up very well now.
At present there are around 30 IT shakhas in Bangalore and each of them have around 15 members who are from the IT and BPO sector. The members are largely in the age group of 25 and 30 and at least half of them are new to the RSS ideology. There are other members who have been associated with the RSS since a long time and it is these members who have introduced the rest to the new concept of IT shakha.
A member of the shakha who did not want to be identified for this report said the members met every Sunday and discussed issues pertaining to Indian nationalism and the measures to be taken to safeguard culture etc. The member who is working with Mphasis, a BPO, says that the date and details of the meetings are posted online. He says that it is essential that they meet in person since the discussions will have more impact then. These meeting are known as IT milans, he says.
The coordinators of the IT shakhas said nobody is forced to join.
Only those with an inclination towards the RSS ideology are asked to join. However, there are several persons with an RSS ideology but are unaware of this concept. Hence there is a need to spread the word around, the RSS points out.
Such IT shakhas are slowly growing in popularity in Bangalore and it is clear that the message is being spread far and wide. The RSS says that it is impressed with the response it has got so far and this has prompted them to open up similar shakhas both in Pune and Hyderabad where many IT companies are based.
During the IT milans, apart from discussing problems facing the country, issues such as terrorism, conversions and current affairs are also discussed. The IT wing of the RSS says that in none of the meetings is technology discussed as the members say that it reminds them of work.
Several members in the IT sector said that there is no harm in attending IT milans. As long as it is not destructive in nature, there should be no problem, the members said.
The RSS website – www.rss.org (I was not able to access the site. Either its disbarred or not up)