By Aniruddh Naik:
RSS is purportedly behind everything that is supposed to be communal and ethnic; as said by the secularists of India, western countries and the English media. These dignified rants cloaked by profound lack of knowledge about the institution, and also one dimensional approach are somewhat unacceptable to me. I am indeed a youth and a bit more curious, better to say too naÃ¯ve or skeptical to accept these accusations on Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Here is a terse enunciation on their origin, ideology and working.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was founded in 1925 by K. B. Hedgewar, a revolutionary and doctor from Nagpur, as a social and cultural organization in British India, to oppose both British colonialism in India and Muslim separatism. The foundation was lead after the famous Kakori conspiracy trial was over.
For beginners, it was a basically a group of freedom fighters who wanted to combat the effects of the seeds of communalism sown by British, to uphold the national spirit and to help the down trodden citizens of India, during pre-independence period. Subsequently, RSS got banned by the British rule.
Once India became independent, RSS played a pivotal role in protecting the Republic India. In 1948, after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse, the RSS was banned followed by arrests of many members. The reason for this action was that Nathuram Godse happened to be a former member of RSS and somehow a theory of conspiracy involving RSS in M.K.Gandhi’s murder was evolved.
A commission was then set up by Supreme Court of India which probed the alleged conspiracy behind Gandhiji’s assassination. The decision is said to be remarkable in the history of India as the court exonerated RSS saying any organization could not be held responsible for ‘diabolical’ crime committed. Thus, the GOI had to uplift the ban in March 1949.
What were/are the activities conducted by RSS?
The RSS played a very paramount role in liberation of the union territory Dadra and Nagar Haveli by launching peaceful agitations and protests. It gained huge popularity in 1962 Indo-Sino war, where it was very adept in establishing re-habitation facilities. RSS was then invited by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to take part in the Indian Republic day parade of 1963. Similarly during Indo-Pak war too, it voluntarily offered services to maintain law and order and also donated blood to the victims.
During Emergency of 1975, when basic rights were curtailed and freedom was banned, RSS was among the many citizens who opposed the act. They were again banned by Indira Gandhi and many members of RSS were imprisoned for more than a year.
The RSS has advocated the training of Dalits and other backward classes as temple high priests and argued that the social divisiveness of the Caste system is responsible for the lack of proper presentations of Hindu values and traditions. The RSS has also condemned ‘upper’ caste Hindus for preventing Dalits from worshipping at temples. RSS has served the victims during natural calamities through various relief camps. They also protected the Sikhs in 1984 Sikh riots.
The mission of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has been described as the revitalization of Indian value system based on universalism and peace and prosperity to all. Though it has met, in its journey, series of serious allegations especially from the western critics for employing self-proclaimed paramilitary rule in the name of discipline, what is quite evident is the fact that most of its critics belong to ‘Marxist’ ideologies and their fellow western scholars have in fact commended the job done by RSS.
The Liberhan Commission accused the RSS for having pre-planned the demolition of the Babri mosque, but it was refuted by the then RSS chief K S Sudarshan, who said that it were ‘government men’ who demolished the mosque and not the karsevaks. Soon days later, the GOI presented White Paper, which totally dismissed the demolition as pre-planned and it came as a relief to RSS.
Hope this little contribution of facts from the ocean of many, would grab an iota of attention to the work done by RSS.