Monday, January 16, 2017

The RSS, I knew in the sixties 01-16

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Low Representation Of Women In RSS, Says Senior BJP Leader LK Advani ..  

I agree with Advani ji. More women should come forward and join the RSS. We have Swayam Sevikas, but the number is less. There are wonderful people welfare and education projects in RSS, where women can contribute in equal measure.

The main reason why the women do not join the RSS is that, the RSS image and its culture is not being properly projected by the people and political parties. RSS has a tradition of working silently and sincerely.

This ignites in me the nostalgic childhood memories. Although I was never actively involved with RSS nor was a regular at the Shakha, I was always a keen student and supporter of its ideology. I also had the good fortune to have darshan of Guruji Golwalkar. Based on that, I am presenting a few facts. Hope people will like this.

Dr. Hedgewar and Guruji Golwalkar promoted a culture that encouraged all Hindus, irrespective of their political affinity to join the organisation and promote the good things in Hindu culture. Guruji was very specific that no political thought process was promoted and supported officially by Swayam Sevaks. Individually they were free to support any political party. Congress also did mind its workers joining the RSS.

 The then Jan Sangh which wanted RSS to support it exclusively did not succeed, in spite of the fact that Jan Sangh contributed maximum Swayam Sevaks to the organisation. Congress leaders right from Indira Gandhi to the local leaders called on the Guruji and paid their respects.

The Congress from the time of Pandit Nehru sought the help of RSS during the China war and other National disasters like Koyna Dam and others. Indira Gandhi specially had good respect for the Guruji and always made it a point to call on him and pay respects.

This essentially kept the RSS politically neutral and prevented the Jan Sangh from winning the parliament seat from Nagpur even once till 1977. Most of the assembly elections were also won by the congress during this time. In spite of the religiously extreme position of Guruji and the absurd version of secularism of the congress, both used each other for mutual survival. Most important achievement of Guruji was his ability to distance the organisation from the powerful Hindu Mahasabha and give an independent identity to the RSS inclined more towards serving the people through welfare schemes.

Guruji and the Muslims: Though Guruji believed in Akhand Bharat, and wanted the Muslims in India to either convert to Hinduism or leave India, officially he maintained the RSS was not against any religion, However, he maintained that people of other religion would find it inconvenient to adopt the Hindu culture of RSS.

Guruji was highly educated with a post-graduation in Life Sciences. He left his Ph. D. in the middle to concentrate on RSS work. He also thought Zoology at BHU.

In 1973, after Guruji’s death, Bala Saheb Deoras took over the leadership of RSS, and slowly the RSS lost its apolitical stature and slowly started moving towards the Jan Sangh and helped it openly in 1977 elections.

While the RSS may today  justifiably feel proud, that one of its important Swayam Sewak has become the prime minister of the country, its total alignment with the BJP philosophy is totally alienating a large section of Hindus, who do not subscribe to BJP ideology. It should get back to its apolitical disposition of Guru ji era. It will enable a large number of Hindus to join RSS and help strengthen Hindu community and culture.

I was motivated to write whatever I knew about RSS and Guruji because, I grew up in Nagpur and keenly followed the activities of the organisation and Guruji. At an age, when I was too young to understand politics, I was old enough to understand the RSS culture and its objective, and ever since, I have been an admirer of the organisation. 

People can correct me, if I am wrong. They can also add and modify the facts written here. Insights welcome..

Best Wishes,


Added by Shyam on 12th February 2018

Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat made a statement on Sunday .

He said his organisation had the capability to raise a force, when the country needed it, in “three days”, compared to the Army which would take “six to seven months” to do the same.

There is nothing alarming in this. He said, he would do this to help the government in case of emergency and do it as per the constitution.

Naturally it sent me down the memory lane, and reminded me about the article, i had written titled
"The RSS I knew in sixties...."

I wrote this article almost a year.

I have been, right from my childhood, a staunch supporter of RSS. The probable reason could be, that I grew up in a place, which is the headquarters of RSS. RSS had extraordinary visibility in Nagpur those days (probably even now).

Those days, being a RSS member did not necessitate you being a Jan Sangh supporter. Many members of Indian National Congress were also part of the RSS. Indira Gandhi herself had great respect and close relationship with Guruji (Golwalker).

During natural disasters, Indira ji always sought Guruji’s help and he always obliged. Discussing politics was not banned in Shakas, but generally avoided because there were people supporting all the different political thought processes. Only Hindu religion was discussed, upliftment of Hindus overall was always paramount.
There was no embarrassment for people supporting any thought process.

Guruji had great vision and foresight. He knew very well that, the moment politics entered RSS, the Hindu community would be divided into pro RSS and anti RSS, and RSS will not be able to get the support of all Hindus.

This has come true today. RSS workers are being killed by fellow Hindus belonging to other thought process in Kerala. A Hindu dominant BJP govt at centre is not able to protect the Hindus in Kerala. They are not able to put pressure on the Kerala Government to stop the killings. We now have pro and anti RSS Hindus. This is totally against the original philosophy of RSS. We need a society where every Hindu is only pro RSS joins it, and takes its philosophy forward.

For this to happen, it is essential for the RSS to grow out of the fixed political ideology mindset of supporting BJP. it has to evolve and get back to its politically neutral ideology. This will facilitate Hindus supporting other political thought processes to also join the organization, and help in promoting the principles of Hinduism, which propagates the peaceful coexistence of people of all faiths and religions.

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