Employees of the Haryana government, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh government and will now be able to attend ‘shakhas’ of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) with the ruling BJP lifting the ban on their participation in ‘non-political activities’ of the Sangh Parivar. The state government has revoked the ban, which was imposed during undivided Madhya Pradesh, barring government employees from participating in RSS’s activities.
Madhya Pradesh, also ruled by BJP, the ban was lifted a few years back, but was still in place in Haryana, and has been removed now. The ban on participating in political activities is still in force.
Though such a move may insipid the difference between government and a political party. RSS is known as a social-service organization but they are also running the BJP from the backdoor. Hence, the association of government employees with such organizations can harm the democratic process. Even though without abolishing such rules, most of the government employees have already taken sides and they are functioning for their favorites, now it would be little in open.
Now the Haryana government has scrapped a 54-year-old rule that restricted state government employees from joining or being associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Jamaat-e-Islami. The government employees were first barred under Service (Conduct) Rules from joining these organizations on November 30, 1966, when Indira Gandhi was the prime minister, with the government believing they were not merely cultural or social organizations. The ban was briefly lifted in 1975 but re-imposed in 1980.
An MHA order issued on November 30, 1966, read: “The attention of the Ministry of Finance, etc., is invited to the provisions of sub-rule (1) of Rule 5 of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964 under which no government servant shall be a member of, or be otherwise associated with, any political party or any organization which takes part in politics nor shall he take part in, subscribe in aid of, or assist in any other manner, any political movement or activity.
Ascertain doubts have been raised about the government’s policy with respect to the membership of any participation in the activities of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Jamaat-e-Islami by government servants, it is clarified that the government has always held the activities of these two organizations to be of such a nature that participation in them by Government servants would attract the provisions of sub-rule (1) of Rule 5 of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rule, 1964. Any government servant, who is a member of or is otherwise associated with the aforesaid organizations or with their activities, is liable to disciplinary action.
Then, on July 25, 1970, the MHA reiterated its 1996 order and once again reiterated the same on October 28, 1980. The 1980 order also added: “In the context of the current situation in the country the need to ensure a secular outlook on the part of government servants is all the more important. The need to eradicate communal feelings and communal bias cannot be over-emphasized. The government and its officers, local bodies, state-aided institutions of petitions or representations on a communal basis, and no patronage whatsoever should be extended to any communal organization should take no notice. The Ministry of Finance etc., are, therefore, requested to especially bring once again to the notice of all government employees, working in or under them, the above-quoted provisions in para 1 (regarding ban on joining RSS or Jamaat-e-Islami) on the subject. It is emphasized that any disregard of these instructions should be considered as a serious act of indiscipline and suitable action initiated against the erring employees”.
In April 1980, instructions issued by the then general administration department of the Haryana’s chief secretary’s office restrained the State government employees from any association with RSS activities.
Before that in January 1967, the political and services branch of the chief secretary’s office in Haryana had issued an instruction saying that participation in RSS activities by government employees would invite action under the service rules.