For the RSS, it is all about the responsibility and not the position. The volunteers consider the suffering of the nation as theirs' own. Whether it was the Emergency period or now during the Corona pandemic, Swayamsevaks of the RSS have only one goal in mind, which is to sacrifice themselves for the cause of Bharat Mata.
- Prabhat Jha
Recently, Dr. Mohan Bhagwat ji, the chief (Sarsanghchalak) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh(RSS), while presenting his views on the topic 'Current Scenario and our Role', said that ‘The whole world is struggling with the pandemic Corona, yet life is going on. Volunteers (Swayamsevaks) may think that the daily gatherings of swayamsevaks (Shakhas) are closed and also the regular programs are not being carried out. It's not like this. The shakhas are also being organised and the works of the RSS are too going on. Just the appearances have changed’. Analysts and some of my political friends from the opposition parties are stunned by the views of Dr. Mohan Bhagwat ji, as what is so in the RSS that this organization remains unharmed under any circumstances? Even in this Corona period, the RSS is dynamic through new dimensions of activism.
The RSS is the only organization in the world which has been growing day by day since its inception. But, it is unfortunate that some people continue to tarnish its image. In this article I have presented the truth, what the RSS is all about. Although I am neither a spokesperson of the RSS nor an official, but I have been associated with the organisation ever since my childhood. So, as an ordinary volunteer, I am sharing my experience on this feature.
As a society based cultural organisation the RSS is known worldwide due to its unique methodology of organisational set up and functioning. It is such an organization of the world, constantly developing. It was banned thrice by the three Prime Ministers namely Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Narasimha Rao, but never stopped, tilted or tired, instead inverted with the support of the society.
People wonder how the RSS is constantly engaged in its work. Perhaps they do not know that all the volunteers of the organisation work as a volunteer of the nation. They all have the same sentiment of 'selfless spirit'. Hence, clash does not take birth. The volunteers of the RSS grow with the spirit of ‘Tera Tujhko Arpan Kya Lage Mera' (what is yours’ I offer to you, nothing is mine). In the present materialistic era, instead of thinking about profit and loss, the volunteers of RSS continue to work selflessly. There is clarity that ‘the country gives us everything, even we should learn to give something'.
When the first Shakha was started in Nagpur on the day of Vijayadashami in 1925, the volunteers present pleaded the founder and the first chief of the RSS, Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar ji to become the Guru. Dr. Hedgewar ji disapproving the idea stated that the Guru would be the holy saffron. The message went from there that the RSS would become a strong cultural organization in the service of the motherland working not based on the ideology and not an individual mind, with mission of hoisting the flag of Hindu culture in the world.
Seeing the growing spiritual and moral influence of the RSS across the country and also the birth of the Jana Sangh in Indian politics, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru tried to discredit and end the organisation. Before that, the way the volunteers were tortured by making false accusations in the Gandhi assassination case, even today makes the story stand up. The then RSS chief Dr. Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar "Guruji", the worlds one of the best spiritual men was sent to the prison and the organisation was banned during the period of torture. However, the truth prevailed. The court gave verdict stating that the RSS and the volunteers of the organisation had nothing to do with the Gandhi assassination. The then people in power and the Congress had to face it with the head down. I remember, in an interview, senior Congress leader Vasant Sathe told me 'I don't understand why people oppose the RSS. I told Indira ji during the emergency, but she did not listen to anyone'.
Despite all the odds, work of the RSS goes on continuously. The organisation has a clear belief that it will set up a Shakha everywhere and its volunteers will work in every direction and every place of the society. The best thing is that the RSS does not consider anyone its rival. Even Dr. Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar ‘Guruji’ used to say that the RSS considers that our today's opponent will be the supporter of tomorrow. We have to work in this wisdom. The RSS works putting in the centre culture and spirit of the national flag.
Educating the countrymen about patriotism and making them cultured is the dictum of the RSS. Millions of children across the country study through the Saraswati Shishu Mandir under the guidance of Vidya Bharati, inspired by the RSS. Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad for young students, Vishwa Hindu Parishad for the protection and preservation of the country's Hindu Sanatana Dharma , establishment of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh to work among labourers, employees, among teachers. All these organizations are in activism working with the inspiration of the RSS, yet they work with their mission, vision and plan. The Bharatiya Kisan Sangh works among farmers, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram works among tribal, Sanskar Bharti, Seva Bharti, Laghu Udyog Bharti, Krida Bharti, Arogya Bharti, Sanskrit Bharti, Pragya Bharti, Vigyan Bharti, Bharat Vikas Parishad. Apart from these, several institutions such as National Editor's Council, Swadeshi Jagran Manch, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Akhil Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal are working in different sections of the society today.
Bharat Prakashan, Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Deendayal Shodh Sansthan, Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Samiti, Bharatiya Vichaar Kendra, Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, Vivekananda Kendra, Akhil Bharatiya Rashtriya Shaikshnik Parishad, Sahkar Bharati, Grahak Panchayat, Samajik Samrasta Manch , Hindu Jagran Manch, Akhil Bharatiya Sahitya Parishad, Paryvaran Samiti, Dadhichi Dehdaan Samiti are running in their respective fields of work with the inspiration of the RSS.
No one can understand the RSS sitting from a distance. Just as people do politics by ear and get cheated, in the same way, the RSS can be understood only by looking from the near. One can only be surprised knowing the organisation closely. Father of the Nation Bapu, Binova Bhave, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan, and if we talk about now, Bharat Ratna Dr. Pranab Mukherjee also changed his mind when he saw the RSS closely.
For the RSS, it is all about the responsibility and not the position. Every worker is unavoidable. Not only this, the opinion can be many but the decision is one. Detailed discussion before the final decision, however, once decision is taken only the execution. Today is the crisis of pandemic Corona. During the Emergency, thousands of the RSS volunteers were jailed. Inhumane tortures and atrocities were carried out on the volunteers and their families. Late Dinanath Mishra reflects the RSS's role in the second battle of India's democracy during the Emergency called 'Gupt Kranti'. It is clear from the book that not only the volunteers but their entire family are engaged and devoted to the service of the RSS.
The most endearing as regards the foundation of the RSS working is mutual credibility, intimacy and humanity. The volunteers consider the suffering of the nation as theirs' own. Equally, the sufferings of the volunteers are considered as the sufferings of their own family and do everything to overcome the. The RSS teaches to its people to learn giving.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the first volunteer who became the Prime Minister of the country and LK Advani the Deputy Prime Minister. The RSS volunteers in the country today are the President of India and the Vice President of India. They were pracharaks of the organisation. The former pracharak Narendra Modi is today the Prime Minister himself. All together, a former pracharak Om Birla is the Lok Sabha Speaker. Besides, several ministers in the Union Cabinet , chief ministers of several states and also governors of many states were pracharaks or volunteers of the RSS formerly. The organisation must surely like it all, but it still considers itself a society based organization.
The RSS is not a root conscious organization. All the subsidiary organizations are the number one organization in the country in the present day. The work of the RSS is as well on a global scale. Shakha is organised in several nations of the world. Even the Rashtriya Sevika Samiti is the largest women's organization representing half the population of the country.
Volunteers are the backbone of the RSS, and runs with the support of the 'Gurudakshina' by them. The organisation has a wonderful pracharak system. Thousands of RSS pracharaks work all over the country have dedicated their own life in the service of the nation. The strongest moral foundation of the work is the pracharak system. Being simple and common, and with morality, authenticity and sensitivity, pracharaks instinctively perform the act of bonding with the spirit of humanity. They are the people at mission tasked to expanding the wings of the RSS. Without caring about themselves, they are in mission mood day and night making the motherland prosper and proud.
Even today during the current corona pandemic led crisis, the work of RSS is going on in full swing. Volunteers are praying for Rashtra Vandana organising sakhas in their respective offices or in the family. The service that the RSS volunteers have done in every state and district of the country during the lock-down without publicity is commendable. The governments in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka shocked the way RSS volunteers served food, food grains to the needy. Human service is the mainstay of the RSS work. In the lockdown period the entire country has seen this with their open eyes.
Providing food and lodging to the needy, collecting food items from the society and making them available to them. These forms of public service are being done by all the subsidiary organizations of the RSS. However, the organisation keeps itself away from publicity. The volunteers of the organisation consider these services as their national duty. Seminars in several places, debate of the RSS thinkers, discussions through audio-video conferencing are going on all over India. All ancillary organizations have started work in their respective fields. The unique thing about the RSS is that it invites novelty and honours antiquity.
The shakha is the basis of activities of the RSS. Shakhas are also located in remote places of the country. Creating true people in the service of nation and humanity is accomplished through shakhas in millions of places. This is the reason that wherever disasters occur in the country, the volunteers of the RSS arrive first and engage in relief work.
The RSS never says that it will alone make India glorious, but will play a major role in making so. If one wishes to understand the organisation, one has to see it with his/her own eyes. The organisation is the true bearer of the great cultural legacy of the country. Everyone has to come in the lap of this making, if not today.
The RSS has been working for a long time on public issues such as Article 370, Shri Ram Janmabhoomi movement, Common Civil Code. Happily, today there is a government of national ideology in the country. These resolutions of the RSS are coming true without any uproar.
The RSS is the cultural and eternal soul of India. The organisation is all about Vande Mataram. the RSS is a spiritual and cultural ritual. In this sacrificial work, one who gives sacrifice is blessed. The RSS is neither an option nor is there any alternative to the organisation. It is an unwavering resolve of millions of volunteers to make the motherland prosper with pride.
(The author is BJP National Vice President and Ex MP)