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Will RSS Now Make This Film? Band, Baaja Aur Shakha 

Sangh organising a four-day camp in Bengaluru next month for instrumentalists to ensure consistency in its band
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is set to drill musical harmony into its shakhas. It is organising a fourday camp in Bengaluru next month for instrumentalists from its band across the country for this purpose.While it organises state-level band camps once in five years, this is the first time it is organising a camp to train instrumentalists from across the coun try. The purpose is to have consistency in the band so that more people are driven to join the Sangh, said a pracharak of RSS, the BJP‘s ideological mothership which has seen a spurt in its membership numbers since the party came to power.

The RSS is also set to expand its `ghosh tarang’, or band members who play bass drums, cym ass drums, cym bals and flutes that accompany the drills band set, by includ ing the sax ophone, clar inet and trumpet in all its shakhas, and train the ghosh swayamsevaks or band members in the new instruments.

“Some of the new instruments are being used in some shakhas,“ said the pracharak. “But the idea is to have consistency in band strategy and inclusion of local flavour so that our ghosh pradarshan (public performance) is more appealing and energise people to join us. There will be more additions of musical instruments from other states,“ the pracharak said, on condition of anonymity.

The camp is scheduled to begin from January 7. Later, in February, in yet another training of band members, 30,000 swayamsevaks will be trained in Maharashtra on the nuances of the RSS band.

RSS’ senior pracharak and prachar pramukh Manmohan Vaidya told ET that the Sangh founder KB Hedgewar had introduced the band to support marches, make them disciplined and uniform, and thereby bring in unity in Hindu society.

“Many of the earlier members used to spend long hours listening to the bands of British police.Hedgewar was most modern in his thinking. For both music and uni forms in the shakhas, his choices reflected that. It was after 1974 that Indian names were adopted for the instruments played as part of the band,“ said Vaidya.

At the training to be held in Bengaluru, where RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will also be present, the band members will be put through a session on tuning their instruments, playing and maintaining them, apart from adhering to a consistent playing meth od and timing.

The instruments in the RSS band at present include the side drum, which has been named by the Sangh as anaka, the bass drum (panava), the bugle (shanka), the flute (vamshi), the triangle (thribhuja) and string percussion instrument (jhallari).

“The purpose of the camp is to enhance the quality of the band set, learn new instruments and rachana (compositions) and understand the sanctity of ghosh.The focus will be on learn ing how to incorporate ghosh for inculcating qualities of a swayamsevak and strengthening shakhas,“ the pracharak said.

Another pracharak said the camp in Bengaluru is specially being held for the artists who play instruments such as the clarinet, saxophone and trumpet and which will now be used more in the band.He said various units of the Sangh are thinking of using the band at family camps and festivities.

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