RSS refutes Goolihatti Shekar’s accusations, says none denied entry


Team Udayavani, Dec 6, 2023, 6:31 PM IST

Goolihatti Shekhar

Bengaluru: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Karnataka refuted the allegations made by former minister and former MLA Goolihatti Shekar that he was denied entry to Dr. Hegdevar Memorial Building in Nagpur due to his caste.

The RSS in a release on Wednesday stated, “There’s no provision to register names for entry to our Nagpur office or such memorial buildings. This is a baseless and false accusation.”

“Be it in any office of RSS, or memorial buildings, everyone has free access. Thousands of people of all castes are visiting these places. There is no question of denying entry to anyone. Goolihatti Shekar said that this incident took place four months before the state assembly elections. He met many leaders of the Sangh after that, but he never told them about being humiliated.

“It is surprising that such a statement has been made after ten months. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh always welcomes everyone with an open mind,” said RSS Dakshin Kshetra Sahkaryavah N Thippeswamy in the press release.

BJP leader CT Ravi and many others have shared posts of the press release from RSS.

Goolihatti D Shekar, a former Karnataka MLA from Hosadurga constituency, had alleged that because he was a Dalit he was denied entry into the RSS Founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar Museum in Nagpur. In an audio message addressed to BJP national general secretary B L Santhosh, Shekar claimed that he had visited the RSS headquarters in Nagpur three to four months ago with two others. On a visit to the Hedgewar museum there, someone at the entrance gate asked him to write his name and address on the visitors’ register.

”I wrote my name and was about to step in when the man standing there asked, ‘Sir, if you don’t mind, are you from the reserved category’, which means whether I am from the scheduled caste. When I said, ‘yes’ they said they don’t allow SC (people),” Shekar had alleged.

The issue has sparked intense debate and criticism.

Shekar, a former Minister, had quit BJP and contested the May 2023 assembly election from Hosadurga constituency in Chitradurga district as an independent after the party denied him a ticket. B G Govindappa from Congress won the election while Shekar came fourth.

Meanwhile, reacting to the incident, Goolihatti Shekar maintained that he had shared the pain he suffered. “I have great respect for the RSS,” he stated. “I experienced this when I went to the Hedgewar Museum in Nagpur. But, RSS has stated that there is no untouchability, and I am happy. I respect RSS,” he reiterated.

“Before the elections, Assembly committee members had gone for the trip. I went to Hedgewar’s Museum thinking that it is our RSS office. While entering the museum, before entering, one of the persons spoke to the person who accompanied me. I stayed out after that. That pain is still fresh in my mind, and that’s why I have released the audio,” he explained.

“People asked me if I released the audio because BJP refused to provide a ticket to contest. I am still pained by the incident. I had won on a BJP ticket earlier. Politics in these matters is not tenable. I have explained my pain. I am not in the BJP party now, and I can’t question them. That pain haunts me always,” he maintained.

(With PTI and IANS inputs)

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