The birth and phenomenal growth of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is a unique event in the modern world. There is no parallel in the entire world to compare with this particular event of the Indian history. The seed that was sown in 1925 on the auspicious ‘Vijayadashami Day’ (27th September 1925) has grown into a huge and massive banyan tree touching almost all the aspects of our national life assuring protection of Hindu society, Hindu culture and Hindu ethos for the welfare of the humanity, nay the entire universe!
The wide network of RSS Shakhas in Bharat and abroad; the aura of RSS-inspired organizations in the fields of Dharma and Culture, Labor and Trade Union, Education and History, Politics and Economics, and Development and Welfare of our brethren living in the remote and inaccessible areas, jungles and hills has encompassed the social, political, cultural and all other spheres of life like a radiant diamond. The social and political transformation that we see today in Bharat is due to this influence of the RSS and its multifaceted activities in reaching out to the ‘last man in the row’ to ensure sustainable development, progress and durable peace. This has also presented that model for the world community to emulate.
The RSS aims at consolidation of Hindu society. By ‘Hindu’ it does not mean a mere religious identity. There are many religions and sects within the ambit of ‘Hindu’. The Supreme Court of Bharat also has stated that ‘Hindu’ is not a religion but a ‘Way of Life’ of the people of Bharat. For the RSS Hindu is the national identity of all people living in Bharat irrespective of their religious affiliations and worship models.
Thus, when the RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr. Mohan Bhagwat proclaimed at a Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) book release function at Gaziyabad in Uttar Pradesh on July 4, 2021 that the DNA of all Bhartiyas is ONE, it was not a mere statement made with political motives or gaining cheap popularity. He meant it and wanted to drive home the message clear and sans any ambiguity. Way back in 1925 when Dr. K B Hedgewar founded the RSS, he too had said that same thing. Dr. Bhagwat only reiterated that stand of the RSS. Thus, those who see RSS and its growth as a reaction to something else, they are completely wrong.
“Had there been no Islam and Christianity and yet the Hindu society was unorganized as it was then and even today, the RSS would be there”, so clarified the second Sarsanghchalak of RSS late Sri M S Golwalkar alias Sri Guruji. But these clear views were mired into controversies by religious bigots and secular and multi-communal politicians who perceive RSS as a potential threat to their political designs aimed at power grabbing by hook or by crook.
They even tried to ‘finish’ the RSS by banning it under false and fabricated premise not once but thrice and yet failed miserably. The irony of fate is those who tried to ‘finish’ the RSS are reduced to non-entities and getting rejected by the people who could see through their dirty game of accusing the RSS for every single religious or political aberration. The masses very well know that the RSS represents a corpus of thought and action firmly rooted in genuine nationalism and in the age old tradition of this country.
As mentioned in the beginning there is no other movement, organization or institution like the RSS that has attracted millions of supporters, thousands of whom dedicating for this mission with sterling character and shining devotion to the cause of Mother Bharat. There is no parallel to the RSS in Bharat and even in the world. With the growth of Sangh Bharat has also began to assert its national identity which prompted Dr. Mohan Bhagwat to make an assertion that a new era of nationalism has begun in India after 2014.
We must remember that Dr. K. B. Hedgewar the founder of RSS had one single aim in his life. That was to consolidate the Hindu society and to liberate Mother Bharat as early as possible with whatever way he could. But it was not an easy task either. People then used to say that one can even weigh frogs in a balance but it was well nigh difficult to get four Hindus at one place. They could move in one direction only when they were carrying the fifth one on their shoulders. Such was the defeatist mentality of the Hindu society then. Besides, the psychological, cultural, political and economic onslaught by the alien rulers had further demoralized and mentally crippled the Hindu society.
It was therefore a Herculean Task to consolidate this fragmented Hindu society and instill in them the confidence to make our motherland free and take her to highest pinnacle of glory – the position she enjoyed not long ago – once again. परम वैभवं नेतुमेतत स्वराष्ट्रं was the proclaimed goal of the RSS.
Deeply involved in various ways and movements of liberating the motherland then Dr. Hedgewar finally reached the conclusion that there was no alternative but to organize and strengthen the Hindu society if Bharat were to be free and vibrant nation. He closely followed the great savants like Swami Dayanand, Rishi Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda, Lokmanya Tilak, Veer Sawarkar who sowed the seed of positive Hindu Nationalism among the people and inspired them for the national renaissance. The birth of RSS was the most unique gift of Dr. Hedgewar to Mother Bharat, and the world. For this he dedicated every moment of his life, toiled hard and in the short span of 15 years he could happily witness the participation of Swayamsevaks from all over the country in the summer training camp at Nagpur in June 1940. Soon after that he left the mortal world delegating the responsibility of the RSS to a relatively young but spiritually matured M. S. Golwalkar as ‘Sarsanghchalak’.
The bifocal vision of Dr. Hedgewar:
When the RSS was founded, Bharat reeled under the British rule. So, to liberate the motherland was the focus of all movements, activities and endeavors then. Likewise, the RSS too did have its first aim to liberate the country from the foreign yoke. The contemporary British records would substantiate this goal of RSS. Dr. Hedgewar was deeply associated with the revolutionary movement and the Congress activities and he was even the provincial level office-bearer of the party. But he was strongly convinced that even if the British grant freedom and leave Bharat, unless the society is organized and strong, some other will come and usurp our freedom and put us under slavery once again. Therefore, a strong, virulent, and vibrant Hindu society is a must for safeguarding the freedom.
rss_1 H x W: 0
Thus, he had injected two-pronged strategy – one with short term agitation programs and the long term character building, man-making endeavors. The latter was envisioned to strengthen the cultural roots of our nation along with building men with sterling national character to arrest the fast erosion of cultural ethos, values and national integrity. The false concept of ‘composite nation’, secularism, religious onslaught of Christian missionaries and violence by ‘bully’ Muslims began to demoralize the morale of the Hindu society as a whole and it was the RSS only that raised this morale in the initial days and even continues to do so at present also. The RSS alone has been consistently sounding alarm against all such wrong tendencies that had gripped the socio-political life of Bharat.
“Strong, vibrant Hindu society is the only guarantee of protection of freedom”, Dr. Hedgewar used to say and his words proved prophetic. When Mother Bharat was vivisected during freedom and lakhs of Hindus and Sikhs were butchered, the honor of thousands of women was disrespected and millions rendered homeless, it was the RSS that stood like a solid rock behind these hapless victims and safely brought them back to Bharat, made temporary arrangements for them and even risked their lives to protect them from that mindless violence of the Muslims hoards.
It is again the RSS and its dedicated swayamsevaks who would offer them as instruments to check the onslaught of Christian missionaries in the north-eastern states and put a break to their proselytizing activities in the name of ‘social service’ and also stall the evil designs of vested interests to make Assam a Muslim majority province so that it could be merged with the then East Pakistan. Such activities receive ready support and unlimited funds from foreign countries and agencies keenly interested in destabilizing Bharat for their own ends. The RSS alone raised its genuine concern and opposed these evil designs of anti-Bharat forces.
The secret of RSS’ growth:
What is the secret of this phenomenal growth of RSS and other organizations inspired by it? Even after three attempts at government level to ‘finish’ the RSS and ‘bury it under the ground’ the organization is still growing making new records every day. Even during the recent Corona Pandemic, it was the RSS and its dedicated Swayamsvaks who offered their services risking their own lives for the society. What is the source of this growth?
The only explanation one can offer to this phenomenon is the emotive response of millions of people to the RSS’ vision of Bharat’s glory based on the noblest values that constituted the cultural and spiritual legacy of the land collectively described as ‘Dharma’, comprising faith in the oneness of the human race, the underlying unity of all religious traditions, the basic divinity of the human being, complementary and inter-relatedness of all forms of creation both animate and inanimate, and the primacy of spiritual experience. That the mission of the Sangh is in tune with a millennia old heritage itself carries an irresistible appeal.
The RSS has taken up the task of national reconstruction based on the values of our national character, uncompromising devotion to the motherland, building disciplined self-restraint, sterling character, courage and heroism. In short, the mission of the RSS is “building men with Capital ‘M’” as Sri Guruji would put it on a number of occasions. This aspect of our national duty was completely neglected by the rulers, planners and policy-makers post independence. It is to this historic mission that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has addressed itself. This is the secret of the growth of RSS.
Sangh is a Power House:
Dr. Hedgewar used to say that the Sangh will do nothing, but the Swayamsevaks will do everything needed to achieve its goal. He used to compare RSS with a power house. The Power House generates electric energy but uses the channelized energy when it needs. Similarly, the men molded and developed in the RSS would fan out in every field of our social and national life and imprint their impressions spreading the message of patriotism, devotion to motherland and service to the society. The RSS is doing exactly the same through its millions of swayamsevaks coming out from the 60,000 plus daily shakhas and a number of RSS-inspired organizations. They are reaching out to our brethren residing in remote hills and inaccessible forests, plains and valleys, and even the slums in urban areas.
This is the vision of Dr. Hedgewar. He needs to be credited for creating a strong workforce of ‘Swayamsevaks’ and not mere ‘volunteers’ who would carry forward the vision of great savants of Hindu nationalism like Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayananda, Yogi Aurobindo, Lokmany Tilak and Veer Sawarkar. It is just for this commitment and devotion, the RSS is still relevant in the society even after completion of 96 years of its existence. The power house set up by Dr. K. B. Hedgewar is still producing energy in the form of dedicated and committed ‘Swayamsevaks’ who are only willing to serve the motherland with all love and devotion.