Chapter 4- the thicker and deeper the mud, more beautiful the lotus blooms!
It was the time of 2014 general elections. During a campaign rally Congress Party leader Rahul Gandhi made a claim that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh(RSS) never took part in freedom struggle. And in weeks that continued, many Congress leaders made similar comments insulting the organization RSS and it’s Swayamsevaks.
Let us straightway look into the facts and expose some lies peddle by the haters:
- In 1930, when the Sangh was five years old, the Congress, having passed the resolution for complete independence a year earlier in December 1929, had announced that it would celebrate 26 January, 1930, as Independence Day. Following this, Dr Hedgewar wrote to all the Sangh officials:
“The Congress has declared ‘independence’ to be its goal and the Congress Working Committee has announced that 26 January 1930 be celebrated as ‘independence day’ throughout the country. It is but natural that all of us should feel heartened that this all-India national body has come close to its goal of independence. It is, therefore, our duty to cooperate with any organisation that works keeping this purpose foremost. Therefore all shakas of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh should organise the gathering of all the Swayam Sevaks at six ‘o clock in the evening and salute the national flag which is the saffron flag. The true meaning of independence and how to present its goal must form the essence of the talk. Since we have accepted this goal of the Congress, the party must be congratulated for it. The report of this programme must be sent to us.
(Dr Hedgewar’s letter dated 21-January-1930, Rakesh Sinha, Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, Publications Division, 2015, p.95)
- For those who would like to criticise Dr Hedgewar for calling the saffron flag as the national flag, let us remember that a year later in April 1931, the Congress Working Committee would appoint a flag committee which would also include Moulana Abul Kalam Azad and it would recommend the saffron flag as the national flag in its final report with the following words:
“We felt that the flag must be distinctive, artistic, rectangular and non-communal. Opinion has been unanimous that our national flag should be of a single colour except for the colour of the device. If there is one colour that is more acceptable to the Indians as a whole, even as it is more distinctive than another, one that is associated with this ancient country by long tradition, it is the Kesari or saffron colour.”
- Trailokyanath Chakravarty (1889–1970) was a Bengali revolutionary and freedom fighter. He met Dr Hedgewar who promised him that Sangh would provide him with cadre for the future revolution he was planning. (Satyavrata Ghosh, Remembering our revolutionaries, Marxist Study Forum, 1994 p.57) Sangh also helped Rajguru when the revolutionary lived as a fugitive.
- ‘Modern Review’ (March 1941) records that ‘Dr Hedgewar died in Nagpur of high blood pressure at the age of 51 only. Just one day before his death Subhas Chandra Bose went to see him.’
- After the demise of Dr Hedgewar in June 1940, RSS continued to contribute to the freedom struggle under the leadership of Shri M.S. Golwalkar, popularly known as Shri Guruji. As the Quit India Movement was announced in 1942, the fiercest agitations took pace in Vidarbha region where RSS network was strongest. The agitation was led by RSS leaders Dada Naik, Baburao Begade and Annaji along with Congress leader Uddhavrao Korekar where a young swayamsevak named Balaji Raipurkar was killed.
- This was followed by the famous Chimur encounter called as “Chimur Ashti episode” where 125 Satyagrahis and thousands of swayamsevaks were imprisoned, swayamsevak Hemu Kalani and RSS leader Dada Naik were sentenced to death in 1943.
- In 1942, during Quit India movement, six agitators trying to hoist the national flag on a government secretariat were killed in police firing, two of them were young swayamsevaks named Devipad Chaudhary and Jagatpati Kumar.
- Apart from endless acts of bravery of the swayamsevaks directly involved in the freedom struggle the RSS played a crucial role in providing shelters to senior Congress leaders such as Aruna Asaf Ali, Socialist leaders like Achyutrao Patwardhan as well as revolutionaries like Nana Patil.
- Home Department and British intelligence regarding the day to day activities of the Sangh describes them as “Anti British volunteers who were ready to sacrifice their lives for the cause of the country”. One of the reports of British Intelligence in 1943 clearly stated that. “The ulterior objective of the RSS is to drive the British away from India and free the country”.
- Shri Vithalbhai Patel presided over the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh function at Nagpur in 1928. Shri Madan Mohan Malaviya visited the RSS shakha at Nagpur in 1929. Mahatma Gandhi himself visited a Sangh camp on December 25, 1934, at Wardha. He joined Shri Appaji Joshi, a renowned Congress leader of CP, in offering Pranam to the RSS flag. He held a lengthy conversation with Dr Hedgewar the next day and was impressed by the vision of the RSS.
- As per the admittance of another Congress leader named Radhakrishnan Seth in conversation with Nehru is that “RSS is not a group of mindless youth but an organisation of ready to save the nation patriotic youth”.
Bharat Ratna Dr Bhawan Das who wrote about the role of RSS swayamsevaks in thwarting the plan of the Muslim League. The League planned to annihilate all the prominent Congress leaders in one go.
Dr Bhagwan Das wrote on October 1, 1948: “I know for sure that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh volunteers have informed Jawahar Lal Nehru and Sardar Patel well in advance about the plan of Muslim League under which the League had planned for armed rebellion and annihilating the Ministers of the Government of India and the senior officers, unfurl the Pakistani flag atop Lal Quilla, and establish their government in India.
“Had these patriotic and sincere youths not informed Nehru and Patel in time, the entire country today would have become Pakistan; lakhs of Hindus would have been butchered and more than that would have been converted to Islam forcibly and India would have become slave once again. What does it indicate? Clearly, it suggests that our government must utilize the nationalist power of lakhs of RSS swayamsevaks instead of subordinating it”.
It was again irony of fate that Dr Bhagwandas wrote these words at a time when thousands of RSS workers were languishing in jails of independent India for the crime they never dreamt of committing in their wildest ever dreams—the assassination of the Mahatma. The charge was never proved any court of law, and by any of the enquiry commission set up by the government. But it is still used widely by these seculars, leftists and their likes to malign the RSS.
Dr Sindhu Prashanth