DR.HEDGEWAR, RSS AND FREEDOM STRUGGLE - 9

ESTABLISHMENT OF SANGH FOR AN ULTIMATE PROSPEROUS NATION 

After playing an active role in the activities of Indian National Congress accompanied with Anusheelan Samithi , many revolutionary groups ,different institutions, about 30 big to small councils /associations, newspapers, movements, sathiagrahas and gymnasiums and undergoing rigorous imprisonment for a period of 1 year, Dr.Hegdewar decided to transform the promise of a powerful, self-reliant Hindu organization into a reality. An organization for the natives to avenge the foreigners. In the year 1982 of Vikrami Samrati calendar (27 December 1925), on Vijayadhasami day, the doctor invited his trusted friends to his home. In this meeting itself after some discussions, the announcement was made-“we are initiating the Sangh right from today” . Hence it wouldn’t be an overemphasis to say that the meeting was the very first ‘Shaka’ of the massive organization, Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh. 

After considering the opinion of everyone, the doctor made a very precise and brief speech and reinstated that , ‘the reason for starting the Sangh is to gain knowledge in three fields of education : physical ,military and governance and to start imparting the same to others. This brief statement made by the doctor holds an ocean of wisdom in it. That one should learn and practice before teaching or making others do something. 

Dr. Hegdewar didn’t imitate any other organization or group in naming the organization, it’s constitution, it’s flag, office, matters of fund, registers, principal secretary and receipt book etc., before or after the announcement of the formation of the organization. He formed the organization in the room and started the work in the field. By starting this work for a better nation on a National day – a Vijayadhasami or ‘Seemolongan ‘day, he gave a heroic challenge to the British Colonies. Breaking away from the limitations set by our differences, interests, weakness, lethargies, frustrations and all such blind beliefs, the Hindu society will now attain potential for victory and will destroy all foreigners/heretics, evil rulers and spies of our home. This is the reason to lay the foundation for Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh on the heroic day of Vijayadhasami of ‘Seemolongan’. 

In the beginning the volunteers were asked to do exercise in any gymnasium. After which, every Sunday, all the volunteers were assembled in a field and were given military training by retired military officer, Marthanda rav Jog. Later classes were organized 2 days in a week. In these, Doctor Ji and other dignitaries’ speech was also there. These classes and lectures have become embodied as ‘shiksha’ classes and ‘Bodhik ‘classes. 

On 17th april 1926, a meeting was conducted in Doctor Ji’s house itself, in which there were 26 people. In this meeting only, the organization was named as ‘Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh’. In this meeting Doctor Ji expressed his opinion, ”The path towards all-round freedom and the advancement of the nation is the powerful organized Hindu society. A bundled, imprisoned nation cannot be formed out of people with mutually conflicting traditions culture and spirit. In terms of religion, culture, country, language and history, ‘we are all one’- this knowledge along the feeling of ‘we will be united ’gives an unprecedented closeness and affection in our hearts and this is the boon of our country.” Doctor used to say this frequently in his speeches, “if the number of major questions in our society are to be forever erased, along with the efforts, education in patriotism should be taught for many generations and citizens who are active and on continuous alert throughout their life must be positioned throughout the country in a large proportion. A system to make this tradition a permanent one should also be in place.” To inculcate a permanent sense of togetherness or National devotion in the volunteers of the organization, a well-balanced arrangement of physical /intellectual programs were started. In March 1928 , on a hill station near Nagpur the volunteers were gathered and a program to take pledge to the saffron flag was organized. In this program the brief speech given by the Doctor on the obvious goals of the organization should be enough to silence the people who raise the question ,”where were Dr.Hegdewar and the sangh during the freedom struggle”. Doctor Ji said in his speech “our aim is the total freedom of the Hindu nation and the Sangh has been constituted with this noble intention”. During pledge, volunteers stand in front of the saffron flag , in perfect lines, in prayer pose and took this pledge, “I swear to pledge my body ,mind and soul-filled lifelong and honest efforts to obtain independence for my country”. The working of the Sangh, should also take place in other provinces of our broad nation- with this noble intention, Doctor Ji asked the young volunteers to go to other regions / universities to study. Many young workers started going as student teachers to important provinces like Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Delhi, Punjab etc. these student workers , facing many types of tough situations readily, gave up their life for strengthening the foundation of the Rashtriya Swayam Seva Sangh. No knowledge of the local language , No money in pockets, No place to rest , No regular arrangement for breakfast or food and no familiarity with the local people. We don’t know with how many such problems did these workers successfully finish and show us the starting of the working of the Sangh. 

It’s also worthy to note that by playing an active role in armed revolution , Indian National Congress , Arya samaj, Hindu Mahasabha and other 50 such social/ religious institutions , Dr. Hegdewar had made a wide variety of friends, assistants and knowledgeable people. He started an ingenious method of sending these youth workers under the label of these close friends, to different parts of the country. These young ‘pracharaks’(propagandists) are no lesser than saffron-clad monks. The saints like Swami Vivekanand, Swami Dayanand, Swami Raamtheerth and Maharishi Aravind and freedom fighters like Veer Sawarkar had imagined the youth freedom fighters such as the ones with Dr. Hegdewar, who turned their dreams into reality. To provide the inspiration, to increase the strength of mind of young pracharaks, who remain unmarried throughout their life and who dedicate themselves totally to the country, Doctor Ji used to write letters to them now and then. These letters were like the preaching of lord Krishna to Arjuna through the verses of Gita, to the workers who were involved in the expansion of the organization’s work in the various provinces. Just like how lord Shri Krishna readied a disheartened Arjun to destroy wrongdoings and inspired him to fight, Dr.Hegdewar inspired these youth Pracharaks to protect India, Indian Nationalism and Hinduism by getting into their place of work. In these letters, ‘have faith’, ‘think of the difficulties as boons’, ‘Hindu association is the first necessity of India’, ‘who will do it if we don’t’, ’our work is godly work’, ‘don’t become disappointed’, ‘keep control over your behaviour, maintain a friendly rapport with everyone’- like this, the letters carried such a hope, a belief and intuitive guidance that the youth campaigners could easily overcome and become victorious in difficult situations. These student campaigners could not only uphold the Sangh’s work in their places amidst different types of difficulties, but also consecrated patriotism in many youths in their regions and districts and thaluks. That is, there was no magic wand behind these quickly expanding work but it was the aesthetic life led by Doctor Ji which became the base for this. 

After doing all this also Dr.Hegdewar didn’t leave out of participating in the agitations organized by the congress but he ordered all the volunteers to participate in them. According to Dr.Hegdewar each battle for our freedom is a fight for our existence and dignity. It is the duty of every individual of our country to take part in it. His clear thought was that all the active organizations, groups and institutions in our country should forget their temporary differences and take part in the freedom struggle. In fact, RSS was founded as an organization of freedom fighters. But over and above political independence Dr.Hegdewar wanted to establish India as a strong and glorious country. This work was impossible without getting freedom. 

During a training camp of the Sangh held at Wardah in 1929, Dr.Hegdewar told all the volunteers and citizens, in unequivocal terms, “the government of Britain had promised to free India many a times but it has turned out to be a lie and by now it has become clear that India will achieve independence using its own strength. In this Sangh was the strong announcement made that the volunteers are prepared to give their all to achieve the ultimate aim of the Sangh. 

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