Introduction : the birth of rashtriya swayamsevak sangh

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Civilization in the words of "Will Durant" is social order promoting cultural creations. Among its constituents political and cultural organizations are important factors. A study of cultural pattern of a civilized social order within a set geographical area and conditions would naturally involve a probe into historic traditions. Political machinery, socio-religious, and cultural organizations.

Any regimental or non-political institution does not evolve in a day. It is often the result of developmental process that occurs in several months or years .In India during nineteenth century many socio-religious, and political institutions came into existence. It was a time when India was passing through numerous phases of changes In her long and chqeuered history their have been periods of decay, dissolution It has always been the Indian tradition that when any big change occurred a new reform movement took place to support & sustain the Indian society. It is clearly evident in our long five thousand years old history. During the beginning of second urbanization in sixth century B.C. movements like Buddhism and Jainism took place to get people accomplished with the new changes, as they were liberal than the Vedic dharma. Similarly during medieval period when new races (Muslims) came to India (1000 A.D) in sultanate and Mughal period, the preaching of Shankaracharya, Bhakti and Sufi movements, with the urge of assimilation by Kabir and Tulsidas also helped to accommodate with new ideas

The advent of Europeans particularly Britishers established a landmark in Indian history. It was through their political and religious activities they came very close to the Indian way of life Thus it gave birth to Indian renaissance and various socio-religious movements. It was not the result of western influence only certainly it took some contents from the west but it is the unique spirit of India itself that could not extended its stagnation period (eighteenth century) for too long. Before moving towards the reform movements and national awakening we should analyze the impact of west on Indian culture, which helped in awakening of India.


From the days of Vasco-de-gama (1498) to the close of 18th Century. The European contact began to touch the Indian society at its outer fringes. The Portuguese, English, Danish, and French east India companies came to India and south East Asian countries for trade. Among all these English and French companies were most powerful in India. Slowly they became a dominant factor in Indian politics. After the battle of Palassy (1757 A.D.) and Karnataka wars (ended in 1763 A.D.) English defeated French and founded political empire in India with the motto the sun never sets in British Empire. The expansion policies adopted by Governor generals (like subsidiary alliance and doctrine of lapse) proved a milestone in annexations of Indian states. Therefore by the year 1855 A.D. British paramountcy was established in India. 1

The impact of Britishers became inevitable. During the nineteenth century the effects became manifest. This impact operated in many spheres. The British conquest in India established political unity in various diversities. After Chandragupta maurya and mughals who did so up to some extent. From Himalayas to kanyakumari and from Myanmar to khaibar pass in the west single political and administrative system was established.

Unlike thepre British governments which were largely only revenue collecting agencies. The British government made inroads in the inner life of the village broke its inner judicial and police system. Independence subjected it to the regime of a uniform system of law governing the entire land, posted its representatives in the village to enforce these laws. Civil /criminal penal code and uniformity of law for all caste and class helped in unification of India.

The Britishers also evolved a colossal administrative apparatus penetrated in the remotest village. To efficiently operate this apparatus and for the military, strategic reason development of transport and communication was needed. Rapid development of railways and postal and telegraph systems helped in connecting villages, towns, districts and provinces and also proved effective dissolvent of orthodox social habits regarding food, contacts between touchable and untouchables, railways and buses also made it possible to spread progressive social and scientific ideas among the people.

Introduction of modern education system helped in adopting new western ideas, which provided a new vision to Indian political thought. Though it had been introduced to suit the British colonialism but it also benefited Indian in liberating orthodox and progressing their ideas. The thoughts of Milton, Shelley, bantam, Mill, Spencer, Rousseau, and Voltaire, inspired Indian people for the feelings of liberty, nationality, and self rule.2

The trade and commerce, which British carried in different parts of India, proved, proved disastrous. The traditional economic structure in agriculture and industry fell into pieces. The religious activities of the Christian missionaries brought Christianity in a direct confrontation with Hinduism. For them many things in Hinduism appeared abominable. From polytheism and Idolatry to smaller rituals nothing missed their minute observations. Mainly two results emanated from their campaign. Directly they gained conversions to Christianity and created a small but new class inside the existing socio-religious frame of India. Indirectly the Christian impact against Hinduism inspired the Hindu mind, a sense of inwardness to discover in the inner cover of their own religious concept of monotheism and all other higher philosophies to feel proud of.

There was yet another platform on which the west east understanding took shape. In the beginning Englishmen either traders missionaries or rulers appeared to be enemies of Indian culture, religion and traditions. But such an antagonistic attitude began to subside because of unique role of some Englishmen who dedicated their lives to discover India. WILLIAM JONES founded the Asiatic society of Bengal (1784). 3 Charles Wilkins, H.Tcolebrooke, Monier Williams, Max Muller, Roth and sassan contributed a lot in historical research. The history, literature and many facets of Indian civilizations began to emerge steadily out of the limbo of oblivion. The efforts of archeologer Cunningham presented the glorious past of Indian civilization and culture. These efforts became the attraction for the Indian scholars towards research and learning. Discovery of the glorious past of India had become the main inspiration for the socio-religious reform movements of nineteenth century.

The impact of British could be observed into one more sphere. It brought Indians into contact with the two powerful forces that swayed European thought during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries --rationalism, and liberalism. Liberalism stands for individual liberty human equality, and religious tolerations and secularism enlightment was taken lo signify emancipation of the human mind from the bondage to prEjudice, supersition and tradition and reliance upon the capacity of human reason to unfold the mestrious of nature and comprehend the world without resources to any supernatural power, in the words of Immanuel Kant it signified the courage to use one's own understanding. If in Europe the philosophy of enlightment could lead to an attract on the principal of reveled religion and of establish government and produce a wane of skepticisms and agnosticism, it should not be the study of wounded that the study of western literature should have produced the similar results in our country also, although these these elements are dominated European thought and had great impact amongst Indian intellectuals.

However Indian socio-religion reforms did not adopt western culture and thought as such, it was more of a renaissance than blind fotded westernization, therefore while acceptiw, the reformist .c0 of the west such as rationalism the Indian -yvo—olcontinued, rooted in its post glory.

The most important aspect of British influence was the rise and growth of nationalism, the national sentiments become the dominant emotions of the people. contemporary movement in the sphere of politics and cultured inspired by conscious national motives and urges. As coupled said,"indian nationalism was the child of the British raj and the British authorities blessed its Cradle said 4 "Thus the eighteenth century in Indian marked the transition period from medieval to modern era, it was the first step of modern century".


The French word renaissance derived from the Latin word `renascor`, which means rebirth, it has different conations also, as Robert Ergang said5,"the word renaissance used as historical concept admits of no simple definition, in its widest sense it is often loosely applied to the entire process of transition in western European and mediaeval to modern world." Almost similar thoughts has been expressed by by H.A.Davis,6 "the word renaissance signifies the rebirth of freedom loving adventurous thought of man which during the middle age had been jittered and imprisoned religious authority." Indian renaissance also signified the freedom of thought and expression and progress towards new era.

In our study obliviously it would not be relevant to ask about each and every reform movement separately how ever it would be necessary to have an over mine of the reform movement of 19th century.

In the beginning of 18th century Hinduism was unable to with stand the terrific force of the Western onslaught many of its ideas institution and practice were unable to stand close examination and scrutiny. The direct impact of British rule were most in and therefore rejected by the intellectual man of Bengal and else where Indian. Who had received western education, they become English in taste, opinions, word and intellect, the dream McCauley was being relished to some extent. The educated youth began to ape European manners. As 7 Ronald shay says," westernization became the fashion of the day and Westernism demanded of its votaries that they should cry down the civilization of their own country. The more ardent their admiration for every thing European, the more vehement became their denunciation of everything eastern ". But fortunately this sprit did not spread widely and did not filtered down to the masses. India was saved by her innate spirituality which has always mentioned itself even in the periods of decline because of this spirit India did not slavishly except the new civilization and modernization. Her national mind turn a new eye upon her past culture and reawake to its sense with this awakened vision and impulse the Indian renaissance was born .as Sri Aurobindo said 8," she lives centrally in the spirit with less buoyancy and vivacity and there for with a less ready adaptive ness of creation but a greater in tenser more brooding depth. In this respect Indian differs from Japan who live centrally in her temperature and in aesthetic sense and has there fore been more more-more rapidly assimilative of western culture ".

Brahmo movement 9 and Raja Ram Mohan Rai was pioneer of reform movement, through Brahmo movement Ram Mohan raised his voice against the social abuses which rendered incalculable harm to society was suffered from evils such as caste system, polygamy, degradation of women and sati system, roy's endeavor to arouse opinion against those custom's marked the beginning of era of social change. If ultimately the sati system was abolished it was as much due to Ram Mohan Roy as to the governor gernal Bentick in whose time it was affected, since religion was the dominating force in Indian society reform of religion also meant reform of society.

He objected the outer forms of Hinduism notably polytheism, worship of images ritualistic ceremonies and superstitions rite sand favored "monotheism". His patriotism made him one of the earliest nationalis , they begin to look upon the past culture from new ideas and knowledge, he also pioneered political awakening in Indian and became the patron of free press and constructive journalism.10

Prarthana Samaj 11 founded by Mahadev Govind rande work's towards rationalization of Hindu socio-religious habit. It also proceeded to imiate western methods of education. Such person was highly appreciative of the new civilization and tried to imbibe whatever they found relevant. As the Hindu they started progressive reformers with in Hinduism. Ranade's role as the pioneer of Indian political consciousness was remarkable.

The Arya Samaj12 movement was founded by swami Dayalid saraswati who was a great scholar and was a great scholar and was uninfluenced by the new knowledge. This movement did not look to other religic s for inspiration. It wanted to revive Hinduism from with in. It amide to recover the lost values of Aryanism, to reassert itself against internal and external dangers. Dayand raised the voice 'back to the Vedas'. As Vedas according to him were the fountain source of all truth and superence knowledge and Vedic era was free from cast system, untouchbality and the position of women were of honors privilege and freedom." 13 To impart Aryan type of education, the sawaj started establishing the `gurukuls' or educational institutions (Anglo Vedic age) on the Vedic pattern. Aryasamaj also created on awakening among the people, absolute power.

In Bengal there arose a great figure in the personality of Ramkrishna Paramhans, Samaj formed by him itself as the institution. It impact and influenced was field by the whole nation the re- establishment of Aryan pride and self respect inspired by Rashtriya Swayamm Sevak Sangh and some other nationalistic organization for Hindu pride. Who laid stress on the recovery of the old spiritual knowledge and experience in all its splendo UR depth and fullness as the first and most essential work of reforms, his great disciple-- Swami Vivekanand carried out the mission of the master and gave the mew form of Indian renaissance, he founded Ramakrishna mission14. Whose personality was very different from other social reformer of the era? His devot IoM and the mystic spirituality was the most silent feature of his personality. He was neither a rationalist nor the social reformer in the strict sense of world but his mystic spirituality attracted in numerable to his ashram and gave it an institutional form, this patriotic-monk draw the attention of his countrymen to the supreme necessity of uplifting the masses and introduced a new element in our political thinking-that of nationalism. He said "from the great dynamo of Europe the electric flow of that tremendous power ;tying the whole world. We want that tremendous power, love of independence, that spirit of self-reliance that immovable fortitude that dexterity in the action that bend of unity of purpose, that thirst for improvement.

One of the most remarkable endeavors of vivekanand was to bring spiritually from its philosophical and unintelligible spiritual seclusion to the mind and heart of common people toiling for their worldly existence. Hi interpreted the Hindu spiritual concept and Vedanta in the light of modern rationality and progressivism. He was the first man who represented Hindu, in the global scenario. The message of religion was for the regeneration of men. Spiritual vitality was necessary, even in the darkest area of human thought and action. As Vivekanand lived at the dawn of the nationalist era, the message of spiritual hope, which he gave India, proved a powerful force in the course of Indian awakening.

In the preaching's of vivekanand one finds a strange but unique combination of modern logic and ancient mysticism, of the doctrines of Vedas and Upanishads and the knowledge of science Of the highest spiritual value and hard worldly Realties of religions expositions and secular attainment, he respected the ancient wisdom the medieval devotion and modern intellect, He was a unique personality in Indian renaissance.

In the last decades of 19th century India saw yet another religious movement affecting the Hindus some what different from the rest, but like the rest it also led to a good deal mental ferment for spiritual attainments. It became famous as theosophical movement is. It aimed at the quest of Hindu spiritual wisdom through Weston enlightment; parenthetically the movement revived and strengthened faith in the ancient doctrines and philosophies of the Hindus. It affected the intelligentsia more than the messes its valuable contribution to the Hindu awaking came from its literary research activities when Hindu scriptures were published and translated.

After Vivekanand sri Aurobindo lift the mentale of nationalism As, he preached the higher and loftier type," Nationalism is not mere political program; nationalism is a religion that has come from god; nationalism is a creed, which you shall have to Iive...... If you are going to be nationalist; you must do it in the religious spirit you must remember that you are the instrument of god.... Nationalism is not going to be crushed, nationalism survived in the strength of god and it is not possible to cruse with whatever weapons are brought against it. Nationalism is immortal...... .

Aurobindo relates' nationalism with the spirituality. The feeling of nationalism got its expression in various political activities, which began to take shape during 20th century. But they took insprition from the past history and emphasize more on searching to it, "discovery of India", written by Jawahar lal Nehru reveals the fact.

Alongwith Hindu reform movements some Muslim, Sikh, Parsi, socio-religions reform movement also took place. Wahabi movement, Ahamediya movement,18 Aligrah movement,19 played a significant in the up-liftment of Muslim community. Similarly Nirankari movement20 Namdhari movement21 and Singh Sabha22 worked for the betterment of the Sikhs. These movements renovate their respective societies and then social, religious thoughts, however not so powerful as counterpart among the Hindu but proved very effective in their respective communities.

The socio-religions movement of nineteenth century has some common characteristic: -

(1) AII these movements were basically against popular rituals and superstitions of their religions.

(2) All movements (especially Hindu) were not revivalists in nature but there inspiration was revival of Ancient Indian history and more interest of the people for one's heritage preservation.

(3) They (Hindu movement) took basic inspirations from ancient Indian history and literature and had great interest in search national consciousness.

(4) They all work for education system.

(5) Social and religious reformers were based upon each other as an Indian every social ritual is connected with religion.

Indian social, religious movement slowly turn towards political-socio economic reorganization of the society and ever encouraging political consciousness emergence. Several political organization including Indian nation congress (1885) is the example of growing political consciousness, patriotism and nationalism.


The impact of renaissance reflected in growing political consciousness in the 20th century some incidents of early decades like Partition of Bengal, Swadeshi movement, help Indian National Congress to connect with the masses. Rise of extremism within the congress an emergence of revolutionary activities were the expression going patriotism and nationalism, birth of Muslim League also began the new aspect in the freedom struggle, the first world war also (1914-19) brought the new configuration in international politics which also effected.

India communist movement in rust►Ahad very wide impact economic resurgence and new thought process namely communism 41 socialism were also welcomed by Indian youth one could easily marked its impact upon Jawahar lal Nehru and the great revolutionary Bhagat Singh after Rollet at the Jaliya Vala Bagh massacre congress got the new leader mahatma Gandhi under his leadership congress got the new mantra of

ass movements . Which started with non-cooperation movement of 1922 there fore theirthico- currents namely the activitiesIndian national congress activities of revolutionary and immergence of socialism which made the backdrop of the birth of the RSS.

Therefore these cultural awaking religious and social reforms gave the background of national awakening which further leave political nationalism and struggle for independence. This way this Indian renaissance played a significant role in bringing independent. As Hegal had said, "no reformation is possible without a renaissance the nationalist tradition in the political thinking of modern India finds its high water mark in tilak, Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal.

Mahatma Gandhi was also one of the greatest figures of renascent India. He contributed immensely towards giving a new direction and form to the renaissance movement and brought forth in to

active life some of the old and characteristic for independence it to new channel and there by made a rich addition to political idea.


In the scenario of various cultur o political organization birth of Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh had also full fill the series.

Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh was founded on Vijay Dashmi day September 27th 1925 in small mud house in mai shukrawadi Nagpur by a score of enthusiastic young men led by Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar. They had come together to from an organization to give it practical shape to these ideas. As K.R. Malkani narrates,"one of them spoke of the need to infuse patriotism in the youth and instill discipline in them through physical training and patriotic exhortation. There were no press reporters or photographers around to record the event. The new organization had No constitution; it was not even given a name, no office bearers were proposed or elected. And yet a great event had taken placed, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh had been born." Founding new organizations was not unusual at that time as many new parties were working for achieving independence in their own peculiar way, socialist's parties revolutionary organizations were all working to get freedom in many ways other than congress party.


The founder of Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh, Dr. Keshav Rao Baliram Hedgewar. He was born in a family of priests in Nagpur on the Hindu New Year day in 1889. He lost his parents very early, subsequently his elder brother started looking after the family, Keshav was patriot from childhood. He boycotted the celebrations followed by the coronation of Edward VII as the emperor of British Empire in school. He was expelled from school for echoed vande-mataram in school. Receiving The patronage and assistance of some eminent nationalist he went to Calcutta to study medicine. Those days Calcutta was the beehive of revolutionaries. Keshav started learning its techniques and participating in it. After achieving his degree in medicine. He based himself at Nagpur and started several programmes all over vidarbha to generate national awareness among the people; he undertook several activities like publishing a newspaper, participating in national campaign festivals etc.


Dr. Hedgewar had been very active in freedom activities. He collected money for the Defence of Alipore bomb case culprits. He was also the full fledged member of the revolutionary Anushilan samiti handling many a risky job with the pseudonyms `kokan'.23 He also kept continuous contact with Lokmanya tilak, Dr. Moonje, M.S. Aney and other national stalwart. He also took achtye role in Nagpur session of congress; the 1921 congress movement 24 saw him taking a leading role. He breathed fire in his speeches. He was hauled up in the court for allegedly seditious speech. Later he made thundering statement in court,"25 take it as an insult to me and to my great country that a foreign power should presume to sit in judgement on the action of an Indian in India. I don't think there is any government established by the law and iam surprised to be told otherwise what we have here is a superimposed reign of terror with its foundation in brute forces, where law is only its handmaid and the courts but its instruments..........". The magistrate smelly pronounced his statement as more seditious than his speech and sentenced him to one year's imprisonment with hard labour. When he came out of the jail he became join secretary of Nagpur provincial congress committee. Through he was actively involved in freedom activities yet many incidents happened wich forced him to form a new organisation.


After his release from jail Dr. Hedgewar continued to immerse himself in several social, political, and religious movement. But all the while he was engrossed in the quest for answers to certain more basic questions could struggle for the political emancipation from the foreign rule alone prove a panacea for all the national's ill? Is it true that the British rule is source of all our downfall and national degradation? And again what is the true nature of our nation for whose freedom we are fighting? What are its traits?

Our past history in fact served as the unerring guide to provide him with answers of all such questions. It tells us that ours is not a nation born just yesterday. It has been here since ages in fact long before other nations of the world appeared on the stage. Neither was it primitive nor uncivilized, when most of the modern nations of the west were not yet out of the jungles, our country was universally revered for its achievements in every sphere of human activities —science, arts, commerce, philosophy and spirituality. They had also carried the torch to distant lands and established their cultural empire over vast areas of globe, and it had its impact on the political plane too. For over 400 years the benign rule of Hindu king had extended over the vast regions of south east Asian countries. And all this was made possible by the endless efforts and sacrifices of the Hindu people.

Regarding the history Hedgewar thought," aggressors like the Greek —The first to step on our soil followed by Huns, Kushans and Shakas were not only humbled on the battlefield but also those who stayed over in our land were totally assimilated by the Hindus in to their body politic. And later against the Islamic invaders too, the Hindus waged a relentless struggle. And then there was also the other tragic face that it was the Hindus who because of their disunity and dissension became responsible for the national's downfall also. All these facts have been acknowledged in unambiguous terms by all the great historians — foreign as well as Indian, old as well as modern, this is precisely the reason why this land has been called Hindustan the cradle —land of the Hindus —which only goes to show that this is really a Hindu nation; Hindu Ratra" 26

Hedgewar is off all view that,"all the great father figure of national renaissance, either during the period of struggle against the Muslim invasion or later when they fought —against British domination —had drunk deep at this fount of Hindu nation. Whether it was Rana pratap or Shivaji, vidyaranya or Guru Govind Singh, Vivekanand and, Aurobindo, Tilak Gandhi or Savarkar — the dream of their lives was the same all of them spoke in the same strain, invoked the same inmate Hindu spirit and roused the people to action by touching the same chord of the Hindu heart." one may agree or disagreed with the overall visionlHedgewar regarding Indian history but such thought were shared by innumerable pioneers of Indian renaissance.

He had firm conviction regarding the Hindu greatness. He thought that right from its antiquity Indian had all through been a Hindu nation and it strength lay in the strength of Hindu valour. Hedgewar thought that all assertions about the past weakness and defects by foreign conquer where simple and conconted fabricated by them to demoralized Hindu self-confidence.


The British set about to achieve it in a far more subtle manner, any open or crude assault they knew would at once put the Hindu was actively involved in freedom activities yet many incidents happened which forced him to form a new organization. mind on the alert and its old defiant spirit would try to reassert itself as it had happened many times in the past. The British there fore planned to subvert the Hindu mind itself The Hindu were taught that they were nothing great in the past that it was here after to be initiated in to the path of civilization in the foot step of the white man All such pretentious such as the white man's burden ' or the theories like 'Aryans came to India from out side or that we are a nation in making or that the Hindus had always been Slaves either to the one or the other or they are a 'dying race' were gulped down by the English -educated as pristine gospel truths

It was through this dark night of national self-oblivion that the Hindu society was passing during the first few decades of twentieth century. the nation's identity had been totally eclipsed The British also thought up another ruse to devitalized the Hindus_ they set a foot the theory that all those who resided within the geographical boundaries of Indian were expected to form a nation and Hindus were depicted as just one among the several communities living here and speaking of Hindus alone bubbed them as communal Any mention of Hindus became taboo On the other hand in living with their divide and rule policy the British abetted the Muslims to lay claims for special privilege a 'minority rights'.


At the kakinada session of congress in December 1923 maulana Mohammed all, walked away when Vishnu digamber sang "vande mataram"27 In his presidential speech he suggested that fifty percent of the harijans should be made available for conversion to Islam ' all these incidents were a shattering experience for all patriotic Indian. In Nagpur itself Keshav found that Muslim had suddenly started asserting their right to kill cows —and objecting to music before mosques. The two issues had cropped up only after the Khilafat movement —but the whole thing had set Hedgewar at thinking; what must and was to be done?"28

It appeared to him And the congress — the dominant political forum in our country at that time — was told by the British that they would consider handing over power if congress and the Muslim came up with commonly agreed proposal, the congress fell into the trap; it began conceding the Muslim league's demand one after another in a bid to achive that chimera. But these concession Not only enhanced the political power and prestige of Muslim it also diluted destroyed and angered sprit of nationalism among the Hindus, "The congress had no doubt become a mass movement under GandhiJi, but it was still moderate not even asking for complete independence — until it was 1929. It was wobbly on the Muslim issues. What was to be done?"


Dr. Hedgewar re,,k,,,ed the grave danger to national integrity in the policy of appeasement .He no doubt welcomed the participation of Muslim in the freedom struggle. He had worked with patriotic Muslim friends in close co-operation. But he insisted that they look upon themselves as equals with Hindus and not as 'minority' thinking in term of majority and minority would he said spell doom to the nation's integrity. He therefore concluded that if the two-pronged challenge of British domination and Muslim separatism had to be met the only effect course was to awaken and organize the Hindu people and imbibe in them an intense spirit of nationalism. The above mention consideration along with certain other factor compelled Hedgewar to rethink about the utility of Indian congress and sub-sequently to setup another independent organization.

"For many years Dr. Hedgewar discussed these issues with other public spirited men, to find satisfactory answers to various question and they came to the conclusion that Hindus must be united to able to stands up to Muslim — and they must be radicalized to hasten the day of British withdrawal from India. It was to attain these twin objectives that the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh was founded in 1925".30

Once while at wardha mahatma Gandhi asked Dr. Hedgewar not why he did not think of organizing such a volunteer organization while he was in the congress and why did he found a separate organization?31 Dr. Hedgewar replied; "my idea of a Swayamsevak is different; I want to prepare selfless people who will volunteer on their own to serve the country. This can never be achieved being a part of a political party." He also added " I belived that it is on the strength of such dedicated workers alone that all the fields of our national life can be uplifted." when Swayamsavek too asked similar questions Dr. Hedgewar explained giving a smile " we are now engaged in producing electricity, in the future this will help to provide energy in the various national welfare activities".32


Rashtriya swam Sevak Sangh believes that o nation 's basic A malady did not lie in foreign slavery, it lay in its own disunity even foreign domination was the direct result of the basic national failing. Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh born for national self-reliance & self-reform33 Our society had immense manpower money weaponry and all such adjuncts. However the one factor it lacked was national consciousness that goads the individual to sacrifices himself in the causes of the nation's good. And it was this serious drawback that had undone all other points in its favors. The mission of the Sangh was therefore to be one of re- charging our people with the true sprit of national character and cohesion. All such habits, superstitions, and tendencies. which had disrupted and devitalized our national ethos during the last several centuries had to be eradicated and the sub line, life —sustaining values of our national culture had to cultivated. . Obviously this was pre —eminently a work of character moulding — a work of national resurrection. It is much higher than being political The unifying feeling of nationalism among the Hindu has progressively weekend there by eroding the devotional attitude of the individual towards the nation's also it could not be tagged on to any one particular class and caste, sect or creed province or party. The task was one of reanimating the entire national society and nothing short of it. Such a patriotic and disciplined society alone could be expected not only to throw off its foreign shackles but also after an unfailing guarantee for the protection of nation 's freedom in future also and from, the inevitable base for all future national construction as well, " It was this far sighted blend of keeping the flame of freedom struggle burning even while strengthening the national backbone that marked the unique features of the evolution of the Sangh — right from the time of its inception up to the quitting of the British".34


When Dr. Hedgewar the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh idea of Hindu sanghatan and ideology Hindu rashtra for which the sangh stood appear shocking to many. It was derided and denounced as communal antinational. And those who had a soft corner for the Hindu cause consider the idea as totally in practical and impossible to achieve reorganizing and energizing society torn a part with a thousand and odd internal schisms and squabbles was some thing well beyond well imagination


It was obvious the Sangh had captured the heart and mind of all patriotic people. Cutting across caste, creed. and political and regional barriers. Vithal bahi patel the then speaker of the central assembly had visited the shakha at the Mohitwada grounds at nagpur he exclaimed "everywhere I have been seeing lifeless instrument. but here for the first time I find living men fired with patriotic zeal and of heroic mettle." 35

Dr. Babasahab Ambedaker in his address to the Sangh camp at pune in 1939 particular noted the spirit of social equality and harmony in Sangh," This is the first time when I am visiting a camp of Sangh volunteers. I am happy to find here absolutes equality between the savaraniyas and Harijans without anyone being even aware of such a different existing.36

The historic events of Gandhiji's visit to Rashtriya Swayamsevak. Sangh camp at wardha took place in 1934. After seeing the simple and austere arrangements of the camp, Gandhiji's felt immensely delight and remarked, "I am tremendously pleased no where in the country have I ever seem such a spectacle." 37 He was especially impressed by the total absence of casteism and untouchable. He had personally enquired and found that the Swayamsevak staying and eating together in the camp belong to all castes without even being aware of such distinctions. Though Gandhiji also pointed some shortcomings that this organization does not admit people of other religions 38 but while getting the answer that we have no hatred for other religions. Gandhiji replied that, it is not against national interest to organize Hindus without hating others.


Dr. Hedgewar continued to help maintain revolutionaries in hiding or in distress. He even arranged shelter for Rajguru right-handed man of Bhagat Singh, on RSS leader Bhaiyajidani's farm at urmrer. And Rajguru was caught only because he left for Poona when Hedgewar met Damodar Balwant Bhide 'Guruji' a veteran revolutionary in Satara he greeted him with a Shashtang pranam. (Complete prostrations). 39

But he said no intention of letting his revolutionary associations compromise the RSS. He knew where the revolutionary arms were lying, the collector of Nagpur even protested to Appaji Joshi "you have all the arms" but later Hedgewar would not let arms and Swayamsevak mix.

When congress declared on 26th January 1929 complete independence as its goal. Hedgewar directed all shakhas to observe the day with parades pledges lectures and patriotic songs and spear of expression of congratulation to the congress for its courageous and patriotic lead. The circular inter-alia stated, "We of the Sangh are naturally immensely happy that the All India Congress has indorsed are goal of complete independence. It is our duty to co-operate with any organization. It was now feared that the British would ban the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Government seems to have seriously considered the matter. But Dr Hedgewar was sure they would do no such thing "if they ban RSS these 16 shakhas would grow it to 200" he said.

When the call for Salt Satyagraha came in 1930 Dr Hedgewar decided to participate in it but he knew that Satyagraha wouldn't usher in freedom. It was only one more step in that direction. The Sangh work he said must go on with redoubled zeal but individual Swayamsavek could court arrest. Hundreds of them did, he was foremost amongst them. Since the central provinces had no seacoast where one may violate the salt laws and offer Salts Satyagraha he decided to offer to jungle Satyagraha violation of the anti vanvasi forest laws. For this he went to Yeotmal on way to lahara jungle. On the eve of Satyagraha in Yeotmal 21 July 1930. Dr. Hedgewar, Appaji Joshi, Dadarao, Parmarth and some others offered satyagarah with ten thousand other are following them in cutting the grass illegality. They were sentenced to nine months with hard labour. On the way from Yeotmal to Akola Dr. Hedgewar would get down an address and crowded at all way side stations. The accompanying police officer did not like all this he ordered his men to hand-cuff of the satyagrahis. But Hedgewar told him that they would throughout all the policemen if they try to hand-cuff them, he assured them that they were satyagrahis who had courted arrest and that they would never run away. They calmed the police officer when Dr. Hedgewar was released in Feb. 1931 he was given a tumultuous reception in Nagpur.


The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh began evoking the admiration of public leaders. The government also was now fully alert. In 1929 the talk of British banning the Sangh was thick in the air and soon the government make a move. On December 15 1932 the governor in council of the central provinces issued orders prohibiting the government servants from attending Rashtriya swayamsevak sangh Shakhes. Some time later this order was made applicable to municipal and district local board employees also a number of DLB 's (district local boards) and municipal committees protested. 40 And on 7" march 1934 sri kolte M.L.A. moved a one rupee cut motion against demand no. 8 in the assembly on this issue. Speaker after speaker denounced these orders. A part of home minister E. Raghavendra Rao and his three English colleagues N. J. Roughton, E. A. Macnee & E. Gordon; every signal speaker supported the cut motion in reply to government's.

Allegation of communalism, fascism against Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh, S.M. Rahman of Berar joined by other Muslim members nailed the lie by pointing cut that no Muslim organization had raised any objection to Sangh during its seven years of existence when the motion was to vote it was carried. The government was defected and some time later the ministry itself had to quit office.41


The Karachi session of congress appointed a flag committee to finalize a national flag since a variety of tricolor had been used over the decades. The committee consists of Sardar Patel (president) Maulana azad, Pandit Nehru; master Tara Singh, kaka kalelkar, Dr. Hardikar and Pattabhi sitaramayya (governor). Its unanimous reports was that," the national flag should be kesari or saffron Colour having on it at the left top quarter the charkas in blue," since the Colour is,"non communal". And "Is associated with this ancient country by long tradition."42

Dr. Hedgewar met congress leader in Delhi and Mumbai to urge acceptance of this report, but under communal pressures congress continued the old flag only replacing the red strip by an orange one and moving it from bottom to top. Dr. Hedgewar regretted that congress did not understand the roots of Indian Nationalism.

Dr. Hedgewar the founder of Rashtriya Swayamsavek Sangh breathed his last in 21 Jun 1940 till then his tirelessly efforts had made Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh a huge organization. People like subash chandra bosh were also among the admires of Sangh. During the lifetime Dr. Hedgewar spread the organization as much as he could but he stress upon quality. As the nature of the organization was basically of character moldings and preparing people for working selflessly for nation as well as for Hindu upliftment. Though its role in national movement was limited but in directly it laid the foundation of national consciousness and motivates people for courage and discipline, which was the basic requirement for the independent struggle that time. We have discussed Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh and its objective just to know the organization with which Deendayal Upadhyaya was related. We will further discuss how Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh played a significant role in the personality of DeenDayal Upadhyaya.


1 Bipin Chandra, the rise and growth of economic nationalism in India 'new-Delhi p 56

2. Tara Chandra, History of freedom movement in India, Vol 1, Delhi 1961.

3. B. C. GROVER, History of modern India, chapter 8. p 119.

4. Jyoti Prasad Suda — The background of modern Indian thought, p. 4.

5. Robert Ergang — Europe from the renaissance to waterloo, p.40.

6. H A Davis. An outline history of the world P. 384.

7. Serial no 8, P. 15.

8. Shri Aurobindo, The renaissance in India, P. 37, 38.

9. Raja Ram Mohan Rai establish Brahmo Samaj in 1828, which later on divided in to Adi Brahmo Samaj (parent organization) and Brahmo Samaj of India (1866).

10. Beside his many books he edited two weekly Sambad Kaumadi (Bengali) Mirat-ul Akbar Partition.

11. It founded in Maharashtra in 1867 with inspiration from Keshab Chandra Sen. This mission achieved success in Bombay and Maharashtra area.

12. Dayanand founded Arya Samaj in 1875 at Bombay and in 1877 in Lahore; movement had profound effect on the people of Weston and Northern India. They also establish series of Gurukuls.

13. Chopra Purl and Das—"social cultural and economic history of India", chapter 4, society and religion.

14. Swami Vivekanand founded the Ramakrishna Mission in 1897, Belur math near Calcutta became the central for mission activities. In 1893 he visited America and participating in Parliament of Religions" where he propounded the true meaning of Hinduism.

15. Theosophical Society was founded in 1886 by madam H. P. Blavatsky and Colnel Alcot, its branches were establish at the no. of places such as (Adyar) Madras, Banglore, Bombay, Kumbhkumban, Ludhiyana And Surat.

16. Aurobindo Gosh (1872-1950) staunch nationalist and thinker.

17, Wahabi movement was established by Sir Syed Ahmad. Its center was Patna. To many ardent Muslim. it was Jihad or Holy war, its objective being to convert the Dar-UI-Harb in to Dar-Ul-Islam.

18. Ahamdiya movement began in 1889 by Mirja Gulam Ahmad. The aim was to liberalize the tenets of religion in the context of modern enlightenment.

19. Syed Ahmad Khan established Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligrah, in 1875. which became a university 1890.

20. Nirankari movement became conspicuous in Punjab and north-west frontier province by Dyal Das.

21. Namdhari movement was propounded by Ram Singh.

22. Singh sabha establish Khalsa College at Amritsar in 1892.

23. K. R. Malkani 'the RSS.story' chapter 1 Keshav Navchetan press ltd.

24. Do. P. 9

25. Do. P. 9

26. RSS. Spearheading national renaissance Do.P..9. Rashtrotthan Prakashan Sahitya, Banglore..

27. Serial no. 37 page 13

28. Do

29. Do.

30. Do

31. Serial no 37 chapter 2, RSS is born page 26.

32. The story of Sangh by 'swayamsevak' page 3, Suruchi Prakashan, New Delhi.

33. Serial no 40, page 10

34. H. V. Seshardri, RSS 'A Vision In Action chapter 1- Keeping vibrant the spirit of freedom'.


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