Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh cadres, who were credited with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s resounding victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, are losing faith in the central government. Troubled by the recent controversies involving union ministers and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s seeming “failure” to fulfil “most” of the campaign promises, they’ve been lately venting their frustration to the RSS brass in letters.

In the last three months, a sizeable number of RSS pracharaks and swayamsevaks have sent complaints against the government to the RSS’ Nagpur headquarters. “We have received several thousand letters in the last three months,” said a senior RSS office-bearer based in Nagpur. “They are written by our pracharaks and swayamsevaks in different parts of the country. Most of these contain complaints with regard to the functioning of the government of Modiji.”

Pracharaks are RSS full-timers who take the vow of celibacy and dedicate themselves to the organisation, while swayamsevaks are the volunteer members who act under the supervision of local-level pracharaks. It is believed that the BJP’s victory in the 2014 elections owed a lot to the groundwork done by these pracharaks and swayamsevaks, who were galvanised by the prospect of getting a former pracharak as prime minister.

That excitement is dissipating, if the recent letters addressed to RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat are anything to go by.

Corrective measures

“Most of the promises we made [during the Lok Sabha elections] have remained unfulfilled,” said a letter sent by a pracharak in Gujarat that was read out by the RSS office-bearer. “The failure of the Modi government has caused us much personal frustration.”

According to the office-bearer, another letter, written by a pracharak in West Bengal, asked: “Would it be possible for the Sangh to take corrective steps, either by giving him [Modi] a proper roadmap [of governance] or by forcing him to introduce major decentralisation of power at the level of ministers so that those who have faith in the Sangh can work independent of him?” The letter added: “As of now, the Sangh’s image has also started getting tarnished along with the image of Modiji.”

More alarming for the BJP was a letter written by a pracharak in Bihar. “I fear that Modiji may not have similar appeal in Bihar as in 2014 [Lok Sabha elections],” it said, according to the RSS office-bearer.  “He will have to do rapid course correction to convince the people of Bihar [at the time of the upcoming Assembly polls] that he is not a hawabaaz [bluffer].” Hawabaaz was the word used by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for Modi after the elections results in Delhi in February showed the BJP headed towards a disastrous defeat.

According to the RSS office-bearer, most of the complaints have come from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh.