Shyamsunder Panchavati

Shyamsunder Panchavati
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Sunday, January 15, 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 or 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 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,


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