In preparation for its centenary year, which begins on Vijaydashami next year, the RSS is planning to update its long-standing training system known as Officers Training Camps (OTC) or Sangh Shiksha Varg.
Discussions are underway to determine whether the traditional "dand" (bamboo stick) should be replaced with a shorter version.
Although the stick is not officially part of the Sangh uniform, it has become somewhat of an emblem for the organization.
During a recent meeting held in Ooty from July 13 to 15, a thorough discussion took place regarding this matter. Based on the suggestions put forth, a decision will be announced at the Kendriya Karyakari Mandal meeting later this year.
Currently, the first-year and second-year camps are each conducted for a duration of 20 days, while the third-year training, held exclusively in Nagpur, lasts for 25 days annually.
According to reports, the prevailing majority opinion is to reduce the length of the first-year camps to 15 days and extend the second- and third-year camps to 20 days.
It has been learned that one suggestion is to hold first-year camps for 15 days, while second/third year camps may be further reduced. The first-year camp will now be referred to as Sangh Shiksha Varg, and the camps for the other years will be called Karyakarta Vikas Shivir.
During discussions, the use of dand as a training tool in these camps was also brought up. As an experiment, the RSS has already introduced a smaller version of the dand called Yashti, which is approximately 3 feet long compared to the traditional 5.3 feet dand.
When the RSS calls swayamsevaks with dand, it is specifically mentioned that they should come "in uniform with dand."
According to reports, no decision has been made on this matter yet.
The majority of RSS camps are typically held from April to June each year, with some also taking place in the winter. This year, the camps were held at over a hundred locations and involved more than 20,000 trainees.
According to one source, there are plans to make significant changes to the duration and format of the training camps. The details and specifics of these changes are still being discussed and worked out.
The new system is expected to be announced during the Karyakari Mandal meeting, and it is likely that the decision will be implemented starting from next year.
According to some reports, a senior pracharak who attended the Ooty meeting summarized the changes by stating that the duration of the camps will be reduced, with a shift towards increasing the intellectual training component while decreasing the emphasis on physical exercise.
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