Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), one of the world’s largest voluntary non-governmental organizations was founded on Vijayadasami on 27 September 1925 by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, a Nagpur based doctor. It was formed as a social organisation. A lot of people are blindly ranting against Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh, without getting proper information. You can’t change people’s mind but at least you can put some facts on the table.
Inspired by Veer Savarkar
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was formed in September 1925 by Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, who was a physician and was commonly known as ‘Doctorji.’
Hedgewar was inspired by Veer Savarkar’s ideology of consolidation of Hindutva, and the sporadic Hindus-Muslim violence in the backdrop triggered the formation of RSS. Thus, the organization of Hindus became RSS’s top priority.
It literally means a branch in Sanskrit and is the site where the basic work of the RSS takes place. At a specified time for the duration of an hour swayamsewaks of a particular area meet there to conduct physical exercises and talk about issues related to the RSS’ “man building mission.” A shakha begins by unfurling the Bhagwadhwaj or saffron flag.
RSS has no branch, and is run by its own members
The Bhagwa Dhwaj (saffron flag) is the only Head of the organization and followers worship the same. It is a single unit and is the world’s biggest association to provide voluntary services with over 60 lakh dynamic members, in addition to millions of followers.
RSS was banned 3 times after Independence
RSS has been banned 4 times by now. As many had speculated, RSS was banned under the British rule as they did not want any nationalistic voice to grow in India.
But, RSS faced total ban thrice after Independence. First time after Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi. Nathuram Godse was a former RSS member and the government found that this was enough to ban RSS, when RSS had no role to play here. This ban was imposed in February 1948 and was unconditionally withdrawn in July 1948.
RSS was banned again during emergency rule by Indira Gandhi. This ban was illegal and was part of crushing individual and organizational rights. The ban was immediately lifted when a new party was elected after emergency.
Finally RSS was banned after the Babri demolition of 1992. The ban in 1992 was lifted in the absence of material evidence for supporting a ban.
RSS has two setups
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha is a part of the male organization and Rashtra Sevika Samity for the females. Both have the same values and intentions.
Even Famous People Have Acknowledged RSS’ Helps
Notably, acclaimed journalist and RSS critic, Khushwant Singh had acknowledged the help extended by the RSS to the Sikhs during the 1984 riots.
Further, during partition, RSS members were instrumental in organizing relief camps for refugees from Pakistan.
In the 1962 India-China war, RSS helped Indian soldiers and citizens
During the Indo-China war, when the traffic police were on the border and the country ran out of the police, only RSS volunteers came forward to help the country by acting as traffic controllers on every traffic post.
Cut to 2018: Changes under current head, Mohan Bhagwat
Mohan Bhagwat, who became the RSS Sarsanghchalak (chief) in 2009 has brought some obvious changes in the Sangh.
He has welcomed grassroots leaders from Opposition parties in RSS.
He also replaced shorts with trousers and encouraged social media use.
Bhagwat has tried to enhance flexibility in the RSS and capped the age of 75 for holding any office across the Sangh parivar. Also Read: Also Read: From Hinduism to ‘Controlling’ BJP: Mohan Bhagwat Ends Silence on 7 Big Controversies
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