Friday, February 2, 2018


RSS was founded in 1925 by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, a doctor in the city of Nagpur, British India.[25]
Hedgewar was a political protege of B. S. Moonje, a Tilakite CongressmanHindu Mahasabha politician and social activist from Nagpur. Moonje had sent Hedgewar to Calcutta to pursue his medical studies and to learn terrorist techniques from the Bengali secret societies. Hedgewar became a member of the Anushilan Samiti, an anti-British revolutionary group, getting into its inner circle. The secretive methods of these societies were eventually used by him in organising the RSS.[26][27][28]

After returning to Nagpur, Hedgewar organized anti-British activities through the Kranti Dal (Party of Revolution) and participated in Tilak's Home Rule campaign in 1918. According to the official RSS history,[29] he came to realize that revolutionary acti
vities alone were not enough to overthrow the British. After reading V. D. Savarkar's Hindutva, published in Nagpur in 1923, and meeting Savarkar in the Ratnagiri prison in 1925, Hedgewar was extremely influenced by him, and he founded the RSS with the objective of strengthening the Hindu society.[26][27][28][30

A rare group photo of six initial swayamsevaks taken on the occasion of a RSS meeting held in 19Hedgewar believed that a handful of British were able to rule over the vast country of India because Hindus were disunited, lacked valour (pararkram) and lacked a civic character. He recruited energetic Hindu youth with revolutionary fervour, gave them a uniform of a black forage cap, khaki shirt (later white shirt) and khaki shorts—emulating the British police—and taught them paramilitary techniques with lathi (bamboo staff), sword, javelin and dagger. Hindu ceremonies and rituals played a large role in the organisation, not so much for religious observance, but to provide awareness of India's glorious past and to bind the members in a religious communion. Hedgewar also held weekly sessions of what he called baudhik (idealogical education), consisting of simple questions to the novices concerning the Hindu nation and its history and heroes, especially Shivaji. The saffron flag of Shivaji, the Bhagwa Dhwaj, was used as the emblem for the new organisation. Its public tasks involved protecting Hindu pilgrims at festivals and confronting Muslim resistance against Hindu processions near mosquTwo years into the life of the organisation, in 1927, Hedgewar organised an "Officers' Training Camp" with the objective of forming a corps of key workers, whom he called pracharaks. He asked the volunteers to become sadhus first, renouncing professional and family lives and dedicating themselves to the cause of the RSS. According to scholar Christophe Jaffrelot, Hedgewar embraced this doctrine after it had been reinterpreted by militant nationalists such as Aurobindo. The tradition of renunciation gave the RSS the character of a `Hindu sect'.[32] Development of the shakha network of the RSS was the main preoccupation for Hedgewar throughout his career as the RSS chief. The first pracharaks were responsible for establishing as many shakhas as possible, first in Nagpur, then across Maharashtra and eventually in the rest of India. P. B. Dani was sent to establish a shakha at the Benaras Hindu University and other Universities were similarly targeted to recruit new followers among the student population. Three pracharaks went to Punjab: Appaji Joshi to Sialkot, Moreshwar Munje to the DAV College in Rawalpindi and Raja Bhau Paturkar to the DAV College in Lahore. In 1940, Madhavrao Muley was appointed as the prant pracharak (regional missionary) in Lahore

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