New Delhi / Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh softens its line on gay marriage

The Hindu : Sep 11, 2019, 11:04 AM

A new book on the challenges of the 21st Century through the prism of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) argues that while currently the organisation is not in favour of gay marriage (while in favour of reading down of Article 377), the matter “can be discussed in future.”

The book, The RSS: Roadmaps For The 21st Century (Rupa Books) is authored by Sunil Ambekar, who is the organising national secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the RSS.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Ambekar, who occupies an important position in the RSS hierarchy, said the organisation was clear that it did not oppose the decriminalisation of gay sex but had reservations about institutionalisation of gay marriage, adding however, that the issue “could be discussed in future” and was not a closed chapter.

The BJP-led Union government had not opposed the reading down of Article 377 and the RSS had also supported that view last year when the Supreme Court finally read down the Article.

Future challenges

Mr. Ambekar’s book, in fact looks at the challenges of 21st century social and cultural life and what should be the RSS’ response to the same. It has chapters on the ABVP’s work among the transgender community, and a big emphasis on the issue of social justice, how caste disparities are leading to caste being irrelevant as a scheme of social categorisation in India. The RSS, argues the book, has scope for the inclusion of all categories of people in its fold.

An important chapter of the book is about the future shape of society, due to urbanisation, tackling social anomie that arises out of urban living and changes in the nature of community and family. Instead of commenting on the virtues of joint or nuclear families, the book says that fostering a sense of community, in any place, is the key to lessening social alienation. “The West developed but at the cost of the environment, family, happiness and world peace, our challenge is to find a better way to be, in this movement towards developed societies,” he said. The book is to be out on October 1.