RSS makes a U-turn: Why the right wing group has decided to defer its rally in Tamil Nadu?

A day after the Madras High Court gave a green signal to go ahead with its rally in Tamil Nadu, the right-wing group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Saturday - November 5 took a U-turn and announced that it defers the rally owing to not winning a judgment in line with its schedule. RSS is the root of the BJP and it is the first time in recent years that the group has come up with a plan to rally on one of its biggest hotbeds. 

Initially, RSS announced that it would organize a statewide rally in Tamil Nadu on October 2, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. However, citing the intelligence reports that such rallies would spark untoward incidents, the police denied permission to the right-wing group to conduct the rally, after which the RSS has approached the Madras High Court and sought a directive to revoke the curb from the police department. 

In the following days, there were intense hearings between RSS and the police department and the court finally ruled in favor of RSS, allowing the group to carry out the rally on November 6 and directing the police to submit the intelligence reports. After the ruling, the Tamil Nadu police issued instructions to all the district Superintendents of Police (SPs) to allow the rally based on the prevailing law and order situations in their respective districts. 

The Tamil Nadu police put a ban on RSS for conducting a statewide rally by allowing the group to organize the marches only at six places. Several district police chiefs have denied permission based on the law and order situations and intelligence reports. RSS, which has planned to conduct the rally at 50 places across the state, again knocked on the doors of the Madras High Court to seek a directive to go ahead with its plan. 

Based on the plea, the High Court bench comprising Justice GK Ilanthiraiyan has ordered the police to disclose the intelligence reports. After the perusal, the judge came down hard on the police for denying permission for the rally at several places. According to sources, the police had filed a report that contained FIRs filed against the RSS articles in support of its argument on why the rally was banned. 

However, the judge found that these FIRs were registered a decade ago and cited that there was no supportive material to deny the permission. Justice Ilanthiraiyan said, "I do not find any material for the denial of permission to hold the rally in all the 47 places." After the hearing, the High Court on Friday - November 4 permitted RSS to organize its rally in 44 places, while banning such rallies in six other places.

The RSS sought permission to hold the events in 50 places. However, the judge said the rally cannot be allowed at six places where the situation is not conducive. These six places are - Coimbatore, Mettupalayam, Pollachi, Palladam, Arumanai in Kanniyakumari, and Nagercoil. Barring these six places, the RSS got a clear go to organize its rally on November 6- Sunday. 

The High Court has also instructed the RSS to organize the rally with several conditions such as - the RSS should conduct its events on grounds or stadium, no one in the rally should sing songs or speak ill of any individual, caste, and religion, they should not talk or express anything in favor of organizations banned by the Union government, and they should also not indulge in any act disturbing the sovereignty and the integrity of the country. 

In his order, Justice Ilanthiraiyan said that the participants at the RSS rally should not possess any lathi, brick, or weapon that may cause injury to anyone. The RSS is also directed to undertake to compensate the cost for any damage that may occur to any private or public property during the rally. The judge also awarded liberty to the police to take necessary action had the RSS violated these conditions. 

However, the RSS took a U-turn on Saturday- November 5 a day ahead of its scheduled rally, and announced that it has decided to defer the rally on Sunday. According to reports, the RSS has decided to defer the rally on the grounds that it wasn't permitted to go with its plan of conducting the rally at 50 places across the state. As the court has given permission for 44 places, the right-wing group has further decided to challenge the single-judge order and to conduct the rally at all 50 places.