Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has always been a soft target for opposition. When left doesn’t get any legit opportunity to criticize BJP government; it usually targets RSS. Baseless accusations and allegations are becoming daily news headlines. Fascist, terrorist, Muslim Brotherhood, are the most preferable tags to pounce on this organization.
But if we dig deeper, only then we would understand that these types of filthy remarks are just a part of political agenda that nowhere matches with RSS ideologies. Being an independent organization, RSS is an integrated part of Indian spirit and values which are based on the philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. It has always been focused on self-discipline, self-respect, self-protection, social reform, social awareness and selfless service which ultimately correlates with the supremacy of this Nation.
History is witnessing that RSS has engaged many iconic figures of Indian Politics from left and right both wings. Here are few examples of the most prominent leader of Congress Party such as Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, J.P. Narayan, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Sardar Patel, H. D. Deve Gowda (now in alliance with Congress) and most recently Pranab Mukherjee who has admired RSS from time to time.
Our first Prime Minister, Mr. Nehru invited RSS in 1963s’ Republic Day Parade to express his gratefulness towards this organization after Chinese attack on Indian territory. Again in 1965, India was going through a tumultuous time due to an all-out war with its closest neighbor Pakistan. Then Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri invited RSS chief M.S. Golwalkar, also known as Guruji to an All-Party Meet, where he requested RSS workers to help Delhi Police relieving from their routine duties to engage them with more strategic activities.
Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi has also acknowledged the positive values propagated by RSS. Mr. Gandhi during his visit in 1930s’ in a RSS camp, was very much surprised by seeing the discipline and absence of untouchability. He was quite amused by the environment of people eating and living together without any discrimination under one roof.
Next is Mr. J.P. Narayan, who was once invited to RSS camp in New Delhi. He also got inclined towards this organization by looking at their selfless service and dedication towards the society. Here are few words from his remark on RSS; “….RSS is a revolutionary organization. No other organization in the country comes anywhere near it. It alone has the capacity to transform society, end caste-ism and wipe the tears from the eyes of the poor. Its very name is ‘Rashtriya’, that is national. I am not saying this to flatter you. I believe you have a historic role to play….”.
On January 6,1948, in a speech in Lucknow, Iron Man, Sardar Patel invited RSS to amalgamate with the Congress. He carried on the same invitation to members of the RSS, criticizing Nehru obliquely: “In the Congress, those who are in power feel that by virtue of authority they will be able to crush the RSS. You cannot crush an organization by using the danda [stick]. The danda is meant for thieves and dacoits. They are patriots who love their country. Only their trend of thought is diverted. They are to be won over by Congressmen with love”. After Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, it was Mr. Patel who convinced Nehru regarding RSS. He told Prime Minister that RSS is nowhere responsible for Gandhi’s murder, it was some radical from different organization.
Sardar Patel always wanted the best of RSS. He did reveal his mixed feelings towards RSS once in an interview: “You will recall that there was a time when people called me a supporter of the RSS. To some extent that was true because these young men were brave, resourceful and courageous, but they were a little mad. I wanted to utilize their bravery, power and courage and cure them of their madness by making them realize their true responsibilities and their duty. It is that madness that I want to eradicate”. He also legalized RSS by removing ban on it and considered that RSS must join the Congress to act accordingly. On 10th October,1949 he had passed a resolution through the help of Congress Working Committee authorizing RSS to be a part of Congress Party.
Mr. H. D. Deve Gowda, whose party is now in alliance with Congress in Karnataka and whose arguments towards RSS may have been changed now, was also disposed towards RSS. Mr. Vajpayee claimed that Deve Gowda had attended an event of the RSS in Bengaluru which was organized to protest ‘Emergency’, called as ‘Second Freedom Struggle’. There he made a speech applauding RSS and named it spotless organization. Quoting Gowda from newspaper reports, Mr. Vajpayee said, “The RSS is a spotless organization. In my 40 years long political life, not even once I have criticized the RSS,” and added that Mr. Gowda made this statement with clear accountability.
Recently, Mr. Pranab Kumar Mukherjee who has been a senior leader in the Indian National Congress and has occupied several ministerial portfolios in the Government of India, had accepted invitation of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to attend an event at its headquarters in Nagpur. This acceptance have anguished millions in opposition party and those who believe in pluralism, diversity, tweeted Anand Sharma. Mr. Mukherjee has visited the birth place of the RSS founder, Late Mr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar before his speech at the Sangh headquarters. “Today I came here to pay my regard and reverence to a great son of Mother India,” writes former President Pranab Mukherjee in his message in the visitor’s book at RSS founder KB Hedgewar’s birthplace in Nagpur.
Now everyone must understand that it’s not just only right wing, Congress and other political parties’ leaders have also been inclined toward this organization since inception of RSS, 1925 directly or indirectly. In deep down everyone know that RSS is an organization which is fully committed towards ‘values and nation’. Notion of being a ‘Hindu only’ or ‘Hindutva based’ organization is also a white lie about RSS. In RSS, there is no discrimination based on caste, religion or gender. RSS is an inclusive organization for every religion i.e. Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and people from all communities, castes are an integral part of this consortium. RSS has its exclusive branches for its Muslim, Sikh and Christian brothers like Rashtriya Muslim Munch and Rashtriya Sikh Sangat etc. It is an organization which has always been ready to help any community or religion altruistically. Whether there is an earthquake in Nepal or flooding in Bihar and Kerala, RSS has always been there to serve everyone without any discrimination based on color, caste and religion.
In the end, RSS is an organization who has been helping this nation since its commencement. Unfortunately, few political opportunists have been on constant mission of maligning its image to gain political mileage but being a responsible citizen of this country, we need bring out the truth in front of whole nation and credit should be given where it is due.
We must recognize the importance of organization like RSS that may prove quite beneficial in nation building exercise. The era of social media has given us this opportunity where we can bring out the truth and fight against fake news media in the larger interest of our nation. Finally, I would conclude my thoughts on RSS with the words that RSS really stands for i.e.; “Ready for Selfless Service”