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RSS – A Nationalist Organisation

by Puja Singh
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World’s largest organisation founded on 27th Sept 1925 by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, a doctor by profession under British rule. RSS being the world’s largest is not a registered organisation. Its main motto is “selfless service to the motherland” and its headquarter is in Nagpur, Maharashtra. Mohan Bhagwat is the chief of RSS.

About Founder

Keshav Baliram Hedgewar was a doctor by profession. He went to Kolkata to pursue his medical career. He joined the Anushilan Samiti, an anti-British revolutionary group. The ideology of this Samiti encouraged him to find RSS. After returning to Nagpur, he led an anti-British activities group, the Kranti Dal and was also a part of B.G. Tilak’s Home Rule League in 1918. He also met V.D.Savarkar in Ratnagiri jail and read his book on Hindutva. He was extremely influenced by him and then the thought of RSS came in with an objective of strengthening the Hindus.

About Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

It was believed by Hedgewar that these few Britishers rule over vast India just because the Hindus of the country are not united. Like other organisation, Sangh follows some rules and regulation. The members have to wear a forage cap in black colour with a white shirt and khaki shorts which is now changed to khaki full-length pants. The members are called Sanghis or Sangh Parivar. RSS teaches various self-defence and military techniques to its members such as lathi as a weapon, sword, javelin etc. An officer training camp was also organised to train the sanghis. After this many branches of RSS were opened which is called Shakhas. The Sangh is mainly associated with the Hindus. RSS itself says that is works for the upliftment of Hindus and strengthening their power. During British rule, RSS promoted all the Hindu festivals and urged people on large scale to celebrate these festivals with full enthusiasm. It also promoted all the Hindu rituals and traditions and thought it’s members about the greatness of Hindu rulers like Shivaji, Maharana Pratap and others. Its emblem is a saffron flag which was used in Shivaji’s era.

RSS and Muslim

Non-cooperation movement was launched to support Khilafat movement. But later when it was withdrawn it created riot and a sudden outbreak of violence between Hindus and Muslims. Muslims were not in favor of withdrawing the movement. This led Hedgwer take a step and he ordered sanghis to avoid passing from Muslim areas with noise.

Once Hindus in Nagpur tried to enter a Mosque, the Muslims stopped them. Later the Muslim attacked the Hindus at their residence in the same area where the mosque was. The RSS is said to have prepared for the revolt and gave them a befitting reply. This created a huge violence in Nagpur which lasted for 3 days. This led the Muslims of Nagpur vacate the place and leave Nagpur forever. Since then RSS was labelled as anti-Muslim.

RSS and Social work

We have seen RSS’s involvement in many social works. During any natural calamity or emergency, we see RSS taking actively part in rescue operation. They provide food and shelter not only to humans but every living being including animals. Recently, when Chennai witnessed the year’s worst flood, we saw Sangh Parivar rescuing people and taking them to the relief houses. Whether it’s Odisha’s 1971 cyclone, Indian Ocean earthquake, Gujarat earthquake, the Bhopal Gas Tragedy or any emergency RSS involves itself with all means to help people irrespective of their religion, caste or creed. So calling RSS a communist organisation is a myth but not many might agree.

Criticism and RSS

As RSS is said to be a Right Wing party associate, it is often criticised by the Left wing. Criticism says that RSS spread hatred and provokes aggression in Hindus against other religion.

Jayaprakash Narayan

RSS is a revolutionary organisation. No other organisation in this country comes anywhere near it. It alone has the capacity to transform society, end casteism and wipe tear of the poor.”

The above lines by Sarvodaya movement leader J.P.Narayan tells his views on RSS. No doubt that RSS true to inject nationalism among the criticism and provokes them to serve the society and nation first. It encourage the upliftment of lower caste and poor and restore mankind. It also maintains discipline and unity among people.

RSS is for the nation and people should judge them by their work and not what political parties says.

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