Milind Soman, in his memoir, talked about being part of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a young boy.
Milind in his book Made in India: A Memoir had revealed that he had enrolled into the RSS Shakas at a young age, as revealed in an excerpt shared by a portal. He had added that it was a ‘Shivaji Park thing’ and how his father wanted him to learn ‘disciplined living, physical fitness and right thinking’.
He also stated that he was baffled by the ‘subversive, communal propaganda’ being attributed to the RSS by the media today. He also recalled marching in shots, performing yoga, going on overnight trip to the hills, chanting Sanskrit verses during his journey.
Comparing it to the ‘Desi Scouts’, he had also added that the leaders of the organisation wanted to groom ‘civilian soldiers’, who’d behave respectfully towards everyone and paid attention to physical fitness.
The star wrote that how baffled he was when gets to read ‘all the subversive, communal propaganda’ the media attributes to RSS shakhas. Adding that his memories of the Shakhas are completely different.
In the memoir, Soman recalls that his father was a RSS himself and a proud Hindu. He didn’t see what there was to be proud about, however, he also felt that there was much to complain about either.
“Once again, it was all about location, location, location. The local shakha, or training centre, was at Shivaji Park itself, and Baba was a great believer in the benefits that would accrue to a young boy, in terms of disciplined living, physical fitness and right thinking, from being part of the junior cadres of the RSS. Also, it was just something many young boys in the neighbourhood did—a very Shivaji Park thing.
For a long time after I’d been enrolled, I hid out on the sidelines, concealed by a convenient hedge. I was annoyed that my parents had pushed a happy loner like me into forced activities with other children, without so much as a by-your-leave, and I wanted no part of it,” he said.