The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) organized a “pathasanchalan” (route march) in Mangalore on Sunday.
Thousands of RSS members, known as svayamsevaks, wore their “Ganavesha” or uniform comprising khaki knickers, white shirts with half-folded sleeves, black canvas shoes with khaki army stockings, a wide tan belt with a square bronze buckle, and a black cap. Holding their “dandas” (long poles) on their shoulders, they marched on the streets of Mangalore to the tunes patriotic songs played on drums, flutes, and trumpets.
Prior to the march, the swaymsevaks gathered on Nehru Maidan, where speeches on the importance of patriotism were delivered. Later, the svayamsevaks displayed their skills in martial arts.
The swayamsevaks marched along the roads of Bunder, Azizuddin Road, Rao and Rao Circle, Bibi Alabi Road, Hampankatta, Town Hall, Bhavanti Street, and many more. People had gathered in large numbers to watch the “pathasanchalan.” Large portraits of RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar and the most illustrious Sarasanghachalak of RSS Golvalkar were mounted on a truck at the head of the march.
The swayamsevaks hailed from Puttur, Bantwal, Sullia, and Mangalore. The oldest of them was Mr. M. R. Nayak, who is more than 65 years of age. The youngest, Abhishek, is only 10. Mr. Ravindranath Kudva said that the Pathasanchalan is meant to serve the purpose of morale boosting.
In spite of the large crowds, there was no traffic block and no road user was inconvenienced, thanks to the elaborate arrangements made by the Mangalore police.