RSS and Politics
   06-May-2019
The RSS constitution does not restrict Swayamsevaks from supporting specific party candidates. However, 90 per cent of the Swayamsevaks do not canvass for any political party or any candidate, but speak and raise concerns over issues of national significance. Despite this involvement at various levels, Sangh can neither be a political party nor a part of any political party. It is an Organisation of the entire society
The RSS, since its inception, has thought of itself as an organisation of the entire society and not as an organisation in society. This stance of RSS has not changed even after our Independence from the shackles of British rule. Hence, in the constitution of RSS, written soon after the Independence in 1949, it is clearly articulated that should a swayamsevak choose to enter politics, he is free to join any party. This constitution was written before the establishment of the Jana Sangh. However, even after the Jana Sangh came into existence and despite the fact that many swayamsevaks and Pracharaks were actively working for it, there has been no change in this provision of the constitution. As we have accepted democracy after Independence, there are bound to be more than one political parties in the country. Since the Sangh is an organisation of the entire society, no facets of social life would remain untouched by Sangh. It is naturally expected that a swayamsevak with his national perspective would actively participate in every aspect of social life including political arena according to his interest. Hence, just because some swayamsevaks are active in politics, to say that the RSS is a political entity, is incorrect.
 
 
The then RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Balasaheb Deoras, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia and others at the foundation stone laying ceremony of buildings for Deendayal Dham sewa projects in Nagla Chandrahan, Mathura, on July 13, 1982 
 
A political party stands for a ‘part’ and there is bound to be a counter ‘part’. Sangh stands for the ‘entire’ society. Conceptually RSS and the Hindu society are co-terminus and psychologically they are one. Then how can the “Whole” be a party to a “part”? It is important to understand this distinction.
Post Independence, Sardar Patel had suggested merging RSS with Congress Party, But Shri Guruji turned down the suggestion, stating the Sangh wants to work as an organisation for the entire society and not as a political partyAfter the establishment of the Sangh in 1925, in the year 1930, its founder Dr Hedgewar along with some swayamsevaks and several others participated in Satyagraha in response to the call of Civil Disobedience Movement by Mahatma Gandhi. Prior to his departure, Dr Hedgewar handed over the reins of the RSS to Dr Paranjape and made it clear that he and other swayamsevaks are doing this in their personal capacity. As a consequence, he was sentenced for a year rigorous imprisonment.
 
 
Shri Guruji, Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee and Shri Prabhu Dutt Brahmachari ji at a meeting in Vrindavan 
 
Post Independence, the then Home Minister, Sardar Patel, suggested to merge RSS with the Congress Party. However, Shri Guruji respectfully turned down the invitation stating that the Sangh wants to work as an organisation of the entire society and not a political party.
Politics alone is not the aim of swayamsevaks. Hence, the swayamsevaks will participate in public awareness campaigns to encourage people to exercise their franchise with an emphasis on issues of national significance A few years later, Dr SP Mookerjee approached Shri Guruji and suggested to him that in view of the need of a political party with a right national perspective, Sangh should fulfil this void. To this suggestion, Guruji asked him to take the lead in this direction and Sangh would render all help. However, Sangh will continue its destined work to organise the entire society.
 
 
 Shri Guruji
 
In 1977, during Emergency, when the Janata Party won the elections in which swayamsevaks wholeheartedly participated. In the formation of the Janata Party, many erstwhile parties had merged. But, in spite of the lucrative offer to merge the Sangh in a political party in power, the then Sarsanghachalak Shri Balasaheb Deoras declined it, saying that in a special, critical situation in national life the Sangh did take part in the election. But now Sangh will concentrate on its destined mission of organising the entire society.
 
To comprehend this all, one needs to understand the idea behind RSS being an organisation ‘of’ the society and not ‘within’ the society.
 
 
Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee 
 
In 2018, Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) of RSS was held in Nagpur. On invitation of the Sarkaryavah, veteran Swayamsevak Shri MG Vaidya (a swayamsevak since 1931 at his 8 years age) attended it for a day. As he had completed 95 years of his life on that very day, he was felicitated and congratulated at the hands of Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat. In response to this when he spoke, he said, “To understand the Sangh is not an easy task and it is certainly not possible to do so through the Western perspective that thinks in binaries. One can understand the Sangh only with the Bharatiya perspective that is integral (ekatma).”
 
The fifth mantra of ‘Ishavasya Upanishad’ while describing the Atma Tatva, the Spirit that pervades everything animate and inanimate it describes-
 
Tadejati Tannaijati Taddure
Tadvantike
Tadantarasya Sarvasya Tadu
Sarvasyasya Bahyatah
 
This means It, the Atma Tatva, moves and it moves not. It is far and it is very near. It is inside everything and it also is outside everything. This may appear contradictory but it is the Truth. Similar logic applies to the Sangh too.
 
The composition of society is complex. There would be social, cultural, students, labours, educational, political, religious organisations within society. Sangh, being the organisation of the entire society, no such facets of society would remain untouched by Sangh. Swayamsevak will be active in all such organisations. But at the same time, Sangh cannot be just one organisation within the society. Besides being all these, Sangh is something more. It is the organisation of the ‘entire’ society.
 
A similar thing is described in ‘Purushsukta’.
 
स भूमिं विश्वतो वृत्वात्यतिष्ठद्दशान्गुलं
 
(sa bhumim vishwatovrutvaaty atishthaddashangulam) Even after encompassing the entire earth and the universe it remains little bit. 
 
Atomic scientists had once claimed that the atom is indivisible. Later they stated that the atom is divisible and contains three particles—the neutron, proton and electron. Further, they realised that it is not just three but it contains multiple subatomic particles. Then they said that they are not just particles, they exhibit wave-like properties also. Then a theory came that it can neither be particle or wave, it is both. It exhibits a dual character and was called duarticle. Eventually, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle came that says that the position and velocity of an object cannot be measured exactly at the same time, even in theory and it arises in quantum mechanics simply due to the matter wave nature of all quantum objects. “The same thing is described in the ‘Ishavasya Upanishad’. If one understands this and the Bharatiya integral view (not the binary view) then only one can understand the reality of Sangh.” This is what Shri M.G.Vaidya clarified.
 
As Sangh is the organisation of the entire society and politics is a part of society some swayamsevaks are bound to be active in this facet of social life.
 
But politics alone is not the aim of swayamsevaks. Since we are now in the midst of the greatest festival of democracy, the general elections, swayamsevaks will participate in public awareness campaigns to encourage people to exercise their franchise with an emphasis on issues of national significance and not local motivations. The Sangh’s constitution does not restrict swayamsevaks from supporting specific party candidates however one will note that 90 per cent of the swayamsevaks do not canvass for a political party or a candidate but speak and raise concerns on issues of national significance. Despite this involvement at various levels, Sangh can neither be a political party or a part of any political party. It is the organisation of the entire society.
This can be comprehended by understanding Bharatiya integral vision and the ‘Ishavasya Upanishad’.
(The writer is Sahsarkaryavah of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh)