One can un­der­stand the Sangh only from the Bharatiya per­spec­tive

An assess­ment of the or­gan­i­sa­tion is not pos­si­ble through a west­ern per­spec­tive that thinks in bi­na­ries

Hindustan Times (Patiala) - - Comment - MAN­MO­HAN VAIDYA Man­mo­han Vaidya is sah sarkaryava­h (joint gen­eral sec­re­tary), Rashtriya Swayam­se­vak Sangh The views ex­pressed are per­sonal

The Rashtriya Swayam­se­vak Sangh (RSS) has al­ways thought of it­self as an or­gan­i­sa­tion which touches all of so­ci­ety. This has not changed even af­ter In­de­pen­dence. Hence in the con­sti­tu­tion of the RSS, writ­ten soon af­ter In­de­pen­dence, in 1949, it is clearly ar­tic­u­lated that should a swayam­se­vak choose to en­ter pol­i­tics, he is free to join any party.

This con­sti­tu­tion was writ­ten be­fore the es­tab­lish­ment of the Jan Sangh. Even af­ter the Jan Sangh came into ex­is­tence and de­spite the fact that many

swayam­se­vaks and pracharaks were work­ing for it, there has been no change in this pro­vi­sion. As we ac­cepted democ­racy af­ter In­de­pen­dence, there are bound to be sev­eral po­lit­i­cal par­ties in the coun­try. Since the Sangh touches all of so­ci­ety, it is nat­u­rally ex­pected that a swayam­se­vak, with his na­tional per­spec­tive, would ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in ev­ery as­pect of so­cial life, in­clud­ing in the po­lit­i­cal arena. Hence, just be­cause some swayam­se­vaks are ac­tive in pol­i­tics, it is in­cor­rect to say that the RSS is a po­lit­i­cal en­tity.

A po­lit­i­cal party stands for a par­tic­u­lar ide­ol­ogy to which there will be a counteride­ology. The Sangh makes no such differenti­ations. Con­cep­tu­ally, the RSS and Hindu so­ci­ety are coterminou­s and psy­cho­log­i­cally they are one. Then how can the whole be a party to a part? It is im­por­tant to un­der­stand this dis­tinc­tion.

In 1930, the Sangh’s founder, KB Hedge­war, along with some swayam­se­vaks and oth­ers, participat­ed in the satya­graha move­ment in re­sponse to the call for civil dis­obe­di­ence by Ma­hatma Gandhi. Prior to his de­par­ture, Hedge­war handed over the reins of the RSS to Lax­man Va­sudev Paran­jpe and made it clear that he and other swayam­se­vaks were do­ing this in their per­sonal ca­pac­ity. As a con­se­quence, he was sen­tenced to a year’s rig­or­ous im­pris­on­ment.

Post-In­de­pen­dence, the then home min­is­ter, Sar­dar Val­lab­h­hai Pa­tel, sug­gested the merger of the RSS with the Congress Party. How­ever Gu­ruji re­spect­fully turned down the in­vi­ta­tion, stat­ing that the Sangh wants to work as an or­gan­i­sa­tion for all of so­ci­ety and not as a po­lit­i­cal


A few years later, Syama Prasad Mukher­jee ap­proached Gu­ruji and sug­gested to him that in view of the need for a po­lit­i­cal party with a right na­tional per­spec­tive, the Sangh should ful­fil this void. Gu­ruji asked him to take the lead in this di­rec­tion and of­fered the Sangh’s help.

In 1977, dur­ing the Emer­gency, the Janata Party won the elec­tions in which swayam­se­vaks whole­heart­edly participat­ed. Many erst­while par­ties had merged to form the Janata Party. Balasa­heb De­o­ras, who was the Sarsanghch­a­lak at the time, de­clined the of­fer of a merger say­ing that in a spe­cial, crit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in na­tional life, the Sangh took part in the elec­tion. But now it would con­cen­trate on its des­tined mis­sion of or­gan­is­ing so­ci­ety.

In 2018, the Akhil Bharatiya Pra­tinidhi Sabha (ABPS) was held in Nag­pur. On the in­vi­ta­tion of the Sarkaryava­h, veteran

swayam­se­vak, MG Vaidya, at­tended it for a day. As he was 95 that day, he was fe­lic­i­tated by the Sarsanghch­a­lak, Mo­han Bhag­wat. In re­sponse to this, when he spoke, he said, “To un­der­stand the Sangh is not an easy task and it is cer­tainly not pos­si­ble to do so through the west­ern per­spec­tive that thinks in bi­na­ries. One can un­der­stand the Sangh only with the Bharatiya per­spec­tive that is in­te­gral (ekatma).”

The fifth mantra of the Ishavasya Upan­ishad, while de­scrib­ing the Atma Tatva, the spirit that per­vades ev­ery­thing an­i­mate and inan­i­mate, says: Tade­jati tan­nai­jati tad­dure tad­van­tike/ Tadan­tarasya sar­vasya tadu sar­vasyasya bahy­atah (The Atma Tatva moves and it moves not. It is far and it is very near. It is in­side ev­ery­thing and it also is out­side ev­ery­thing.)

Atomic sci­en­tists had once claimed that the atom is in­di­vis­i­ble. Later, they stated that the atom is di­vis­i­ble and con­tains three par­ti­cles: neu­trons, pro­tons and elec­trons. Fur­ther, they re­alised that it is not just three but that it con­tained mul­ti­ple sub­atomic par­ti­cles. Then they said that they are not just par­ti­cles, they ex­hibit wave-like prop­er­ties also. Then a the­ory came that it can nei­ther be a par­ti­cle nor a wave, it is both. It ex­hibits a dual char­ac­ter and was called duar­ti­cle. Even­tu­ally Heisen­berg’s un­cer­tainty prin­ci­ple came along which said that the po­si­tion and ve­loc­ity of an ob­ject can­not be mea­sured ex­actly at the same time, even in the­ory and it arises in quan­tum me­chan­ics sim­ply due to the mat­ter wave na­ture of all quan­tum ob­jects. “The same thing is de­scribed in the Ishavasya Upan­ishad.

If one un­der­stands this and the Bharatiya in­te­gral view (not the bi­nary view) then only can one un­der­stand the re­al­ity of

Sangh,” MG Vaidya said.

Since we are now in the midst of the greatest fes­ti­val of democ­racy, the In­dian gen­eral elec­tions, the swayam­se­vaks will par­tic­i­pate in pub­lic aware­ness cam­paigns to en­cour­age peo­ple to ex­er­cise their fran­chise with an em­pha­sis on is­sues of na­tional sig­nif­i­cance.


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