Despite the Christmas break, schools in Ahmedabad are organising trips for students to the exhibition on Indian culture organised at RSS workers’ convention.
The exhibition was unveiled on Friday, the opening day of the three-day convention of RSS office bearers (Karyakarta Shibhir) at Dastan Farm on the outskirts of Ahmedabad city.
Hundreds of school children chaperoned by their teachers made a beeline for the exhibition, which included various videos, photo displays and installations depicting Indian culture, traditions and history.
“We have sent invitation to 50 schools in the vicinity and nearly 10,000 students are expected to attend. Today, children from 15 schools have arrived,” Nirav Raval, co-organiser of the exhibition told The Hindu.
The RSS has about 4,000 child swayamsevaks, who are scheduled to participate on the concluding day of the convention, when RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will deliver his address.
A video on Indian history showcasing Indian leaders and freedom fighters made no mention of Muslim leaders of the Independence movement, even as the contribution of Jamsetji Tata and Madam Cama was recognised.
“It was just a three-minute video, so it is not possible to show everything. Many of the Hindu leaders also could not be listed. There is no bias as such,” Parag Shah, the exhibition’s curator said.
The video also claimed that plastic surgery was performed in ancient India; a claim which had created a stir when Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a reference to it.
A model of a thatched village hut was erected in the centre of the exhibition area to depict the indigenous way of life. Global warming and sustainable development are some of the themes the RSS has chosen to focus upon in their convention, apart from staple topics, such as cow protection.
Inaugurating the convention, Suresh Soni, joint general secretary and senior leader of the RSS said the world was looking towards the East to seek a panacea for global warming.
“Global terrorism, global recession and global warming are the challenges before the world today for which an alternative system and lifestyle are needed. Intellectuals are looking towards India. India will play an instrumental role in bringing about philosophical and attitudinal change,” Mr. Soni said.
He said Indians have to keep one step towards progress and keep one step grounded in tradition.
About 25,800 active RSS workers from 1,450 shakhas will be attending the convention that will conclude on Sunday. The event has been organised after 15 years. The last such convention by the RSS was held in 2000.
Chief Minister Anandiben Patel visited the exhibition in the afternoon. “She watched all the 37 videos,” Mr. Shah said.