Ujjain (MP), May 13: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Friday, May 13 had lunch with sanitary workers, many of them Dalits, engaged to keep clean the site of the ongoing 'Simhastha Kumbh', a massive congregation of Hindus, at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh.
Bhagwat squatted and ate meal with the sanitary workers (safai karamcharis) at Shri Guru Karshanaik ashram here.
"The ashram management has invited 1,200 sanitary workers. Men were given shirts and trousers while the women workers were gifted Rs 100 and sarees," ashram's pontiff Swami Omkaranandji said.
Yesterday, Bhagwat had taken a holy dip with members of tribal communities in the Kshipra river here. He had also addressed a 'Janjati Sammelan', a gathering of members of tribal communities from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and other places, organised by the VKP in Ujjain. Bhagwat had then said that the Hindu culture has its genesis in the tribal society.
"The sense of belongingness and sharing are the tenets of Hindu religion. Time has come that the tribal representatives stood up for them and demand their rights," he had said. "God helps those who help themselves," Bhagwat said yesterday.
Bhagwat's move is being seen as a step aimed at striking a chord with the tribals. Notably, BJP president Amit Shah on Wednesday had participated in 'samrasata snaan' (bath for social harmony) and 'samrasta bhoj' (social harmony feast) with Dalit saints at the Kumbh Mela.
Shah had joined the Dalit sadhus and other saints in the holy bath billed by the BJP as the 'Samrasta Snan' with an eye on the Assembly elections in the politically sensitive Uttar Pradesh next year. Sangh Parivar head Mohan Bhagwat had stirred a controversy by calling for a review of reservation policy during the run-up to the Bihar Assembly polls last year.
RSS is running a nation-wide campaign this year to promote "social harmony" among Hindus to woo tribals and Dalits which are key to BJP's hopes of wresting power in Uttar Pradesh, going to polls next year. The RSS has already held discussions on 'samajik samrasta' (social harmony) in its shakhas (morning get together classes) from January 3-10 in Madhya Pradesh.