Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh

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Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) is a subsidiary of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for supporting and mobilising Hindus living outside India. Founded in the 1940s in Kenya, it is currently active and receiving funds from 39 countries and boasts 570 branches.[1][2]

History[edit]

Two volunteer members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (swayamsevaks) that had settled in Kenya in the 1940s and started a shakha (branch). Since such shakhas were not on 'national' (rashtriya) soil, they were renamed as the branches of Bharatiya Swayamsevak Sangh, later Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS). RSS Pracharaks Bhaurao Deoras and others spent several years abroad to develop the organisation. During the Emergency RSS was banned in India and, consequently, sent its organisers abroad to seek support and carry out activism.[1]

The British wing of the HSS was established in 1966, and shakas were established in cities like Birmingham and Bradford.[3]

In North America, the HSS gave the lead to the sister organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP, World Hindu Council), which was founded in Canada in 1970 and in the United States in 1971. The HSS followed in its wake.[4] Currently, the United States has 146 branches of the HSS, the largest network outside the Indian subcontinent.[5]

Australia[edit]

The HSS organisation in Australia, as elsewhere, says that its focus is on the country in which it is based and that it does not send money to India. It claims to be "ideologically inspired by the RSS vision of a progressive and dynamic Hindu society that can deal with its internal and external challenges, and contribute to the welfare of the whole world". Aside from providing links to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), they also have links with organisations such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Hindu Youth Network. The professed aim is to raise awareness in matters relating to Hindus but support no specific political party or candidate.[6]

Nepal[edit]

The HSS was established in Nepal around 1992 by a group of Nepali students who were influenced by leaders of the Hindu nationalist RSS while studying in India. The two bodies share a similar Hindutva ideology. Their presence is particularly prevalent in the Terai region and they have regimented programs of education, dissemination of ideology and exercise as elsewhere in the world.[7]

The Nepali HSS has been among several groups campaigning for a reversal of Nepal's 2006 decision to become a secular state after years of being ruled by a Hindu royal family. They say that the king had not favoured Hindus, that the decision was engineered by anti-Hindu groups, included communists and missionaries, and that in any event, it was unnecessary because there had been no persecution of religious minorities under the previous system. Among their demands has been that only Hindus should be appointed to high official posts.[7][8]

United Kingdom[edit]

The UK HSS organisation was established in 1966.[9] HSS is involved in personality development for young people in the UK. UK HSS runs Shakha for men, Samiti for women and Balgokulam for children with increasingly popularity. UK HSS is actively involved in developing relationships with the local community. UK HSS has introduced many new sports in the UK like Kho-kho, ring, etc.

Consequent on claims made in a television broadcast by ITV's Exposure programme in the UK on 18 February 2015, the Charity Commission for England and Wales announced that it was opening an investigation into the HSS and two other organisations that were featured.[10] The two other organisations claimed to serve Muslim and Sikh communities.[11] The Charities Commission was unable obtain a Visa to visit India to investigate the money trail. They were told that their mandate was only to work in the UK.[12][13]

Among the claims against the HSS made in the broadcast was that a tutor at a summer camp told children that "the number of good Muslims 'can be counted on fingers'" and that "to destroy Hindu history is the secret conspiracy of the Christians". HSS responded by saying that it "promotes diversity and unity" and that it was conducting an internal investigation into the alleged comments "to ensure that those who made them are better informed, trained or prevented from making statements which may be interpreted as anti another community."[14]

United States[edit]

In the US, the HSS registered as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation in 1989.[15]

Kenya[edit]

HSS Kenya was started in Nairobi on 14 January 1947 by Jagadish Chandra Shashtri with his colleagues. It was originally known as Bhartiya Swayamsevak Sangh. Since then it has spread throughout Kenya with Shakhas operational in Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret, and Meru. HSS in Kenya also runs a socio-cultural-religious organisation of Hindus by the name of Hindu Religious Service Centre (HRSC). It was started in Nairobi in 1947. It is involved in many social service activities and has contributed to the Kenyan society in many ways. HSS Kenya was one of the crucibles for the Hindu Council of Kenya, which later on became the main political organization for the defense of Hindus in Kenya.[citation needed]

Liberia[edit]

HSS Liberia was started in Monrovia on 29 October 2017 By Rohit suji with his colleagues,

File:Hss Liberia.jpg
HSS Liberia, Starter 14 October 2017

Before HSS started its activity in Liberia since 2014, HYFIL (formed by Migrant swayam sevaks) was active in Liberia. It is a socio-cultural face of the Hindu community in Liberia. Since the establishment of HSS shaka in Liberia, they did a number of remarkable seva works which help the local Liberian's educational and lifestyle development. in 16 December 2018 Sevika Shakha also started in Liberia.

File:Hss womens shakha Liberia.jpg
HSS Liberia Sevika Shakha started separately on 16 December 2018

Presence elsewhere[edit]

The RSS announced in 2014 that there were plans to establish HSS chapters in countries such as Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Norway. It claimed that the two organisations worked closely together and shared a similar ideology but were not as one.[16]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Jaffrelot 2009, p. 362.
  2. From US to UK, how RSS went global with overseas wing Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh in 39 countries, Zee News, 21 December 2015.
  3. Starrs 2001, p. 13.
  4. Jaffrelot 2011, pp. 700–701.
  5. From US to UK, how RSS went global with overseas wing Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh in 39 countries, Zee News, 21 December 2015.
  6. "FAQs". HSS Australia. 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 Mulmi, Amish Raj (2013). The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and Hindutva in Nepal. Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS) and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. pp. 22–32.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Lawoti, Mahendra; Hangen, Susan (2013), Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict in Nepal: Identities and Mobilization After 1990, Routledge, pp. 234–, ISBN 978-0-415-78097-1<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "HSS UK". HSS UK. 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "New charity investigations: Global Aid Trust and Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (UK)". The Charities Commission. 18 February 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "RSS-inspired charity, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, under probe in the UK over "extremist" views". The Indian Express. PTI. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "British Public Is Funding Hindutva Extremism". 27 February 2004.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "IN BAD FAITH? BRITISH CHARITY & HINDU EXTREMISM" (PDF).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Exposure: Hatred and extremist views in charities". ITV. 18 February 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "FAQ". HSS US. 2015. Archived from the original on 8 May 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Uttam, Kumar (8 October 2014). "RSS plans to join Hindu groups, expand in the West". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 15 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Bibliography[edit]