29 July, 2021

The Wages Of Dissent

The swadeshi outfits live on government funding, their 'oppositional' politics notwithstanding

Jitender Gupta
The Wages Of Dissent
Veteran rss leader and founder of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (sjm) Dattopant Thengadi may have vociferously declared war on the Atal Behari Vajpayee government. But his broadside has been such that it's not rocked the government ship at all, what with Thengadi's 'comrades' currying favour with the establishment at every given opportunity. This strategy of equivocation has worked well for the various rss organisations—their prosperity graph has soared with funds from the Centre pouring in. This also explains the sjm toning down its all-or-nothing position on the government's economic policies.

The earnestness, or the lack of it, in Thengadi and Co's criticism of the bjp-led government becomes evident when one learns that a 'grassroots' organisation like the Swadeshi Jagaran Foundation (sjf), which just two years ago had a corpus fund of Rs 8.5 lakh, has metamorphosed into a high-profile event management group of sorts, and now commands a budget of Rs 8 crore. The sjf travel bills alone total a whopping Rs 30 lakh a year.

The need or the greed to corner financial resources...

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