- Birth and early life
- Preparations for Revolutionary Upsurge
- In the National Movement
- Important incidence after which Dr. Hedgewar created a History
- Founding of RSS
- Bharat Mata as common deity
- Doctorji’s idea behind starting the Shakha
- Deciding National Flag
- Dr Hedgewar’s Last message to Swayamsevaks
- Remarks on Legendary Dr. Hedgewar by a great historian Professor G.C.Asnani
- Name of Dr. Hedgewar deleted from the History Text-book
“Words fail to describe the depth of that pure and selfless love. The boundless affection of the mother’s heart, the sleepless care and diligence of the father and the inspiring guidance of the guru found their culmination in that single bosom. I for one feel it my proud privilege to worship him as my ideal. The worship of such a soul transcends the worship of an individual and becomes the worship of the ideal itself. He is verily my chosen deity”, says Sri Guruji Golwalkar, in a glowing tribute to Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar.
Dr Hedgewar, the founder of the RSS was born on Ugadi day [New Year’s Day] in 1889 at Nagpur. He was a born patriot. Even when he was studying in primary school, he refused to eat sweets distributed on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Victoria on June 22, 1897. Surprised at this stance, his elder brother asked him, “Keshav, didn’t you get the sweets?” Keshav answered, “of course, I got it. But, our Bhonsle dynasty was liquidated by these Britishers. How can we participate in these imperial celebrations?”when as a child he stepped into the primary school and listened to the story of Shivaji, that great Hindu redeemer became his chosen hero. When he was studying in Neel City High School, Nagpur, he was rusticated for singing “Vande Mataram” in violation of the circular issued by the then British government. As a result he had to pursue his high school studies at Yeotmal.
Once happened that Keshav had to accompany Abaji to the house of one Jakatdar in Bhandara. Among those present there was Amritrao bambawala, the Assistant Commissioner. After the introductions, jakatadar said, “Keshavrao is not at all interested in studies. He is spoiling his future by participating in student movements.” Amritrao felt pity for keshav. He affectionately called Keshav near him and advised: “Keshav, you are too young to understand things. These activities will land you in trouble in future. Listen to me, and stay away from politics. Such activities are not for students.” Keshav calmly replied, “Sir, I am ready to quit politics as advised by you. In that case, it is but proper that elders and learned persons like you should give up your jobs and jump into the political arena. Until that happens, students like me have no alternative except to take part in politics, even at the cost of our studies if need be.” Amritrao, of course, had no answer to this logical rejoinder.The renowned revolutionary, Nalini Kishore Guha, introduced Keshav and Narayanrao Savarkar, younger brother of Veer Savarkar, into the Anusheelan Samity, a secret revolutionary organization, and according to the practice of the organization, they were administered a pledge and given secret names. Keshav was given the name ‘Cocaine’ and he became well known among the revolutionary workers because of his fiery patriotism, courage, deep intellectual capacities and foresight. Doctor of the Nation After passing the L.M.&S. Examination in June 1914, Keshav completed one year apprenticeship and returned to Nagpur in 1915 as a doctor. But his mind did not turn to the direction of practice and earning livelihood. He wanted to diagnose the disease that had afflicted the nation and cure it, and with this determination in his mind he dedicated his life at the altar of the Motherland. Since his arrival in Nagpur, Dr. Hedgewar was busy organizing the revolutionary youth in Nagpur, with the help of Bhaoji Karve. Dr. Hedgewar kept close links with the revolutionary organizations in Punjab and Calcutta.
Dr. Hedgewar realized that the lack of discipline among the revolutionaries, want of proper organization to coordinate the different revolutionary groups spread all over the country and the absence of a political and national awakening among the common masses were the root causes for the failure of revolutionary upsurge. He also came to understand that mere acts of bravery and self-sacrifice on the part of a few daring and patriotic individuals will not bring independence to the country. With this clear realization, Dr. Hedgewar diverted his attention to the national movement launched by the Indian National Congress.
After making an in-depth study of our history, he came to the conclusion that lack of patriotism and disunity among the Hindus was the reason for our defeat at the hands of foreign invaders and enslavement under foreign rule. He, therefore, felt that unless a sense of patriotism, selflessness, sterling character, national consciousness and sense of unity, selfless service, self-realisation and discipline were inculcated in a substantial number of individuals, it would be impossible to uplift the nation and secure political freedom.He, therefore, decided to start a unique organisation to solve the problems. He took a vow to remain a bachelor and devote his entire life and energy to the aforesaid noble cause. For this purpose, he founded the “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh” on Vijayadashami day September 27, 1925. He evolved a unique technique which was unprecedented, simple and inexpensive. He selected a group of young boys who would assemble in an open field every day for one hour. During that time, in addition to playing national games, he began to inculcate in them a sense of patriotism, unity, discipline, love for the country and selflessness, by singing of patriotic songs and narration of stories of patriots. He appealed to the youth to spare one hour a day for the Nation by attending the Shakha (the meeting). He visualised that the one hour programme in the Shakha would ultimately transform the youth to devote greater time and energy in the service of the nation. He, therefore, undertook the Himalayan task of organising the Hindus, who despite having a common cultural bond and fundamental unity had come to be divided into various castes, religions, regions and language groups.
Dr Hedgewar never used to impose his ideologies on others. In fact, for naming of Sangh, Doctorji arranged a baithak in his house on April 7, 1926 where 26 persons participated. Three names were suggested after elaborate discussions. They were: 1. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS); 2. Jaripataka Mandal; 3. Bharatoddharak Mandal. The name RSS was finally decided upon.
Dr Hedgewar felt that it was necessary to have a common deity to be worshipped by all and a common ideal which all should strive to achieve and a common prayer (mantra) for all. He declared that irrespective of castes, religions and languages, etc, we are all children of Bharatmata who shall be the common deity to be worshipped by all of us and the common ideal of all shall be to strive for all-round progress and development of the nation and for taking the nation to the pinnacle of glory. These two ideals were incorporated in the common prayer to be sung by all the members at the Shakha every day. The first line of the prarthana says “Namaste Sada Vatsale Matrubhume”Oh my beloved motherland salutation to theeand the last line of the prayer says “Oh God, please give us strength and bless us to enable us to take our nation to the pinnacle of glory” (param vaibhavamnetu metat swarasthram) and concludes with the all unifying slogan “Bharat Mata ki jai” (Victory to Bharat Mata). Having decided about the common deity to be worshipped, common ideals to be achieved, a common prayer to be made and the common slogan, Dr. Hedgewar started contemplating on who should be placed in the position of Guru.
Doctorji also said that one hour Shakha was to initiate Swayamsevaks to inspire them to dedicate themselves to the noble and onerous task of nation building. But moulding of character of swayamsevaks was a whole time job after shakha hours to be performed by the Karyakartas of the RSS. He advised and encouraged swayamsevaks to undertake higher education and for that purpose to go to different places in the country. He said higher educational attainment by Karyakartas would confer better suitability and capacities to spread the work of the RSS and going to different places was necessary to spread the work of RSS throughout the country.
There was much ignorance and misunderstanding about our national flag ever since the beginning of the national movement in our country. From 1906 to 1921, different organizations had adopted different types of flags as our national flag. In the Karachi session of the Congress, a seven member committee consisting of Sardar Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru, Pattabhi Sitaramayya, Dr. Hardikar, Kaka Kalelkar, MasterTara Singh and Moulana Azad was formed to recommend a national flag.
His message to the dedicated Swayamsevaks of the Sangh echoes and re-echoes in millions of hearts: “The flower of youth should be offered at the feet of the Mother when it is in full bloom shedding its fragrance and beauty all round. After it has lost its beauty and fragrance, that dry and withered flower is unfit for worship”?
Persons like Hedgewar do not come every day. Once in a way, they appear on the horizon, take a position unconventional for their times, but bold and brave. The cowards, the cheats, and the envious ones cannot stand their presence, because their own position is in jeopardy; they find some excuse to eliminate them if possible. That was the position of Dr. Hedgewar and his organization known as RSS till today, which the Congress and the Secularists can not tolerate till today. Who stands condemned, RSS or Congress? In my view, Congress stands condemned. At one stage, Congress was the ideal organization for many of us including myself; now it has lost all its respectability and is in the dying stage. But that is the fate of many organizations that have come and gone on this Earth; Congress is no exception. This is the Rule of life…
June 13, 2009
Jyeshtha Krushna Panchami
Demonsrations by Bajrang Dal !
Source: Daily Sanatan Prabhat