Tag Archives: Hindutva

Sangh work advancing rapidly among youth – Sri Dattatreya Hosabale

The work of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is progressing relentlessly. Last year, the places where the Shakhas is held grew by nearly 550. Now, shakhas are held daily in more than 34,000 places and weekly milans are being organised in more than 15,000 places. That is, the work of the Sangh in society is being carried on in nearly 49,493 places through shakhas and milans. Along with this, there has been an increase in the numbers of 1600 shakhas and 1700 weekly milans. Sah Sarkaryavaha Shri Dattatreya Hosbaleji conveyed this information to journalists after the formal inauguration of the Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal of Sangh in Sharda Vihar in Bhopal.

The session of the Karyakari Mandal was inaugurated by the Sarsanghachalak Dr. Mohan Bhagavat ji and Sarkaryavaha Shri Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi in the Guru Govind Sinha conference hall, by worshipping the image of Bharat Mata with flowers. About 350 workers of the Sangh drawn from all parts of the country were present. For the coming three days, the All India officebearers, Sanghachalaks of areas and states, karyavahas and pracharaks will deliberate on the working plan for three years, expansion of activities and their consolidation.

SahaSarkaryavaha Shri Dattatreya Hosbale said that the Sangh work within the society has increased. The youth has a big role in the expansion of Sangh’s activities. Through the feature of ‘Join RSS’ in the website, techno-savvy youth are joining the Sangh in large numbers. The number of youth joining the Sangh through this web feature grew by 48% in 2016 and 52% in 2017 over 2015. All these figures are from January to June. The largest number come from the age group 20-35. The Sangh is organising activities like village development, family education and social harmony. The efforts of the workers of the Sangh have brought about commendable change in about 450 villages.

Shri Hosbale pointed out that the Sangh believes that when families prosper and become stronger, the nation will also be empowered meaningfully.  With this idea, workers of the Sangh began the experiment of “Kutumb Prabodhan” (family education)in Karnataka 15 years back. Today this experiment is being conducted all over the country and is yielding positive results. In order to understand the importance of “ Kutumb Prabodhan “, everyone should read a book by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam which is based upon on his conversation on family education with  Jain Saint, Acharya Mahaprajna. This book is a good guide to family values and nation building.

Shri Hosbale said that this session of the All India Karyakari Mandal will prepare a working plan for the coming three years.  A Karyakari Mandal is operational for three years and this term will be completed in March 2018. He observed that an assessment of the expansion of the work of the Sangh, its current activities, the benefits flowing from them will be presented at this session. The work of the last six months will be reviewed. The session will also discuss matters related to Sangh training camps (Karyakarta Prashikshan Varga).

Sah Sarkaryavaha Shri Dattatreya Hosbale said that the work of the Sangh in Madhya Pradesh is good from the beginning. The Sangh from Madhya Pradesh has produced many proven workers. It was after a long time that the All India Karyakari Mandal was meeting in Bhopal. He said that the speech of the Sarsanghachalak on Vijayadasami threw light on the policy of the Sangh. The intelligentsia has also expressed its agreement with and support to the opinions of the Sarsanghachalak on different matters. Shri Hosbale said that every section should be firm over his opinion, but a healthy dialogue should be conducted between communities. He said that the number of murderous attacks on Sangh workers have increased in Kerala, West Bengal, Punjab, Karnataka and a few other places. The attacks on Sangh workers demonstrate the ideological defeat of the assailants. In order to protect the existence of a particular ideology, its workers are attacking the swayamsevaks of the Sangh.

Inauguration of ‘Dharahor’ Exhibition – The Sah Sarkaryavaha Shri Sureshji Soni inaugurated the exhibition ‘Dharohar’ centred on the Life and Philosophy of Great Men at 8.15 in the morning. The exhibition illustrates the life and philosophy of Kushok Bakul Rinpoche. This is his centenary year. He did yeoman work for spreading education and social reform in Jammu & Kashmir.  Along with this the exhibition also highlights the life and philosophy of Guru Govind Singh whose 350 centenary and Sister Nivedita whose 150th centenary are being observed this year. Some of the pictures that were exhibited also relate to the founder of the Sangh, Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar.

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Sangh will speed up work on Village Development and Family Education : Suresh Bhayyaji Joshi.

” Two thirds of the shakhas of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh are in villages and one third are in the towns. This is because about 60% of the population of India lives in the villages. In today’s world, there are many challenges in the preservation of villages. The Akhil Bharatiya Karyakarini Mandal resolved that much more work needs to be done in the villages through the RSS Shakhas. The question of social integration is a major and immediate challenge. Inspite of the vast expansion of information media there is still a large gap in communication of appropriate and accurate information to the villages. Much work needs to be done to carry correct information and perspectives to villages. At the end of a three day meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Karyakarini Mandal , Sarkaryavah,  Shri Suresh Bhayyaji Joshi addressed a press conference. Dr. Manmohan Vaidya, the Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh also was present at the conference.

Shri Bhayyaji Joshi said, that the Akhil Bharatiya Karyakarini Mandal has considered the issues of village development and family education and upon these deliberations a program for addressing these issues has been developed. For a long time now farmers and villagers have been grappling with very pressing problems. The Sangh believes that farmers have to be made self reliant. The government must closely consider and intimately understand the issues that face the  farming community and frame policies that closely match the priorities of the farming community. He said that farmers must be made prosperous and economically autonomous. So the government policy must ensure that farmers will receive a fair, appropriate and full price for their produce. He also said that to work for village development the Sangh will actively involve volunteers in the 30 – 35 years age group.

The Sangh has resolved to strengthen the family through an active policy of family education. The family is very important in the forming of individual character. Character development in children is most effective when the proper samskaras are received from the family. Swayamsevaks work to ensure that families become the source of social enlightenment. Through social work, the Sangh has reached about 20 lakh families. Through this work about 1.25 crores of people have come into contact of Sangh. To bring good samskaras into the country, family education is the most important work. These issues have been considered in the Akhil Bharatiya Karyakarini Mandal and a final program will be formed in the Pratinidhi Sabha to be held in March.

Sarkaryavah Shri Bhayyaji Joshi, responding to a question, said that the question of the Rohingyas is a most important one. We have to understand why they are being expelled from Myanmar. There are other countries too that border Myanmar. Why did not those countries allow the entry of Myanmar Muslim refugees. We also have to identify the areas where these Rohingya Muslims have already settled in India. They have chosen Jammu and Kashmir and the city of Hyderabad to stay. From their behaviour it is clear that they have not come here to seek refuge. The government must have a clear and coherent policy on how to deal with refugees. The policy must have clarity about the conditions of the refuge, their location and the period of such refuge. We must have a policy for the return of these refugees to their home countries at an appropriate time. Bharat has always welcomed and treated refugees very generously. But before we welcome these refugees, we must check their antecedents. There are limits to the argument for human compassion. He emphasised that, the advocates of the rights of Rohingya Muslim refugees must closely consider the antecedents of these groups.

In response to a question on the Ram Mandir, Shri Bhayyaji Joshi said, that the Sangh desires that all the obstacles with regard to the mandir must first end. The Mandir can then be built. The government must work towards clearing all such obstacles. At the moment a lot of work towards the construction of the Ram Mandir is going on at Karseva Puram. As soon as the obstacles end, the construction of the Ram Mandir will start. Talking about the question of reservations, he said that, reservations must continue until the objectives for the program as set down by Babasaheb Amdedkar are fulfilled. It is for the the beneficiaries of the reservation system (the disadvantaged sections of the society) to decide for how long they need reservations to continue.

Note : Above is a Translation of Hindi Press Release of RSS ABKM2017 Press meet proceedings.

A Little Poland in India – Story of of the “Good Maharaja Square” at Warsaw

” Do not consider yourself orphans.

You are now Nawnagaris and I am Bapu, father of all the people of Nawanagar, so also yours. ” 

 “A LITTLE POLAND IN INDIA” is the true and captivating story of the then Jam Saheb (Ruler) Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja of Nawanagar, nephew of famous Indian cricketer Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of the Jadeja clan, a princely state in the Kathiawar Peninsula, off the land of Gujarat, in India – where human compassion is customary since generations. It is the heart-warming story of an enriched historical bond between India and Poland. A story that represents people-to people contact in its most humane form, beyond borders and across continents; a story of compassion, love and brotherhood etched in the cultural and historical connect for India and Poland. This film is a result of the mutual history of both countries which shows the true compassion and magnanimity of India and her citizens to Polish children, a perfect example of humanism that should never be forgotten.

 

During World War II, about 1000 Polish children from war-torn, occupied Poland and Soviet prison camps in Stalin’s Siberia, travelled all the way to India, where Jam Sahib took personal risks to make arrangements at a time when the world was at war and India was struggling for its Independence. He built a camp for them in a place called Balachadi beside his summer palace, 25 km from his capital city Jamnagar, and made them feel at home. The most detailed account of the story can be found in the book ‘Poles in India – 1942-1948’ (1st edition in Polish published in 2000, London; 2nd edition published in English in the UK by the Association of Poles in India in 2012). This book not only contains in-depth and extensive research on the subject but is also based on archival material and personal reminisces of the Polish refugees. This book is a collective work (644 pages) which deals with almost every aspect of the story in great detail.

 

 

There are also plenty of narratives in English by those who remembered their names as refugees in India; Maria van der Linden, for instance, recounts her arrival as a child in her book ‘An Unforgettable Journey’ (Dunmore Press Palmerston North, New Zealand: 1994). Another noteworthy book on the subject was written by Anna J. Bonshek about her father’s trails in India as a young boy in ‘Heniek: A Polish Boy’s Coming of Age in India during World War II’, (2009).

Thus, there is plenty of material available both in print and electronic form on the subject, much of which is easily accessible to members of the public. Apart from literature, the events of both Indian and Polish shared history have been commemorated in many ways, including the inauguration of the Good Maharaja Square in Warsaw (2013). It complements the very popular Warsaw Bednarska High School whose Honorary Patron is the Maharaja. Often referred to as the “Polish Maharaja”, Jam Saheb was posthumously awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit by the current President of Poland,Bronislaw Komorowski, following a campaign led by the Centre for Poland-Asia Studies (CSPA).

Noteworthy is also the joint international effort that made the transportation of these refugee children to India possible at all. It was made possible by the successful cooperation between the Indian local authorities, a few Indian maharajas, the Red Cross, the Polish II Corps Command, the Consulate General of Poland in Bombay and the British Army (for whom Poles were a very close ally at the time of the war). All of them, however not to the same extent, contributed to creating “A Little Poland in India”. Further Polish transports came to India by sea, from the port of Ahvaz to Bombay. Other than this special camp of Balachadi near Jamnagar of the then Nawanagar state ruled by Jam Saheb, several other camps were opened in and around Bombay, with the biggest family camp located at Valivad near Kohlapur in Maharashtra.

All the Polish Balachadi survivor children of this film are now in their old age and this film will be no less than a gift for them bringing them close to some of their childhood memories.

The most compassionate statement made by Jam Saheb, while welcoming these young Polish children to Nawanagar was, “Do not consider yourself orphans. You are now Nawnagaris and I am Bapu, father of all the people of Nawanagar, so also yours.”

 

THE SURVIVORS OF BALCHADI

The film is a rare glimpse into the lives of five of the “Survivors of Balachadi” as they proudly call themselves. Settled now in Warsaw (Poland), these aged survivors relate unique heart- warming stories of their “home” in Jamnagar and Balachadi under the umbrella of Bapu’s (father- as they fondly called Jam Saheb) love and compassionate protection where they spent four precious years (1942-46) of their childhoods and changed their lives forever – memories of which still bring smiles on their wrinkled faces and shine to their tired eyes.

I loved the doves and parrots. So many of them. I would feed them and sometimes we would have lip-to-lip feeding of “Jugara”. I would also feed small squirrels with milk by a dropper. In fact, I wish someone would bring me back my Indian bird cage…… Mr Zbigniew Bartosz (Polish Survivor).

 

 

 

“Initially I couldn’t swim… One day I jumped into the water in the sea in Balachadi and started splashing around. Spluttering a bit, I swam to the next bank. This was my first victory. Since then I had a feeling that I could swim. Since we used to go to the sea shore quite often, I had a lot of occasions to learn.” Mr Roman Gutowski ( Polish Survivor).

 

“When we arrived at the camp, the Maharaja gave a party but he did not know what we children liked to eat. Oh! The spicy Indian food, which despite being hungry, we didn’t like to eat at all. Bapu saw this & said don’t worry, I will fix this and he brought seven young cooks from Goa…. When we won(the football match), the Maharaja rose up from his arm chair, stood smiling & clapping, almost as if it mattered to him that the match had ended in a victory for these newcomers from a distant country, than from his own countrymen- Mr Wieslaw Stypula (Polish Survivor).

 

 

There were so many activities we were involved in Balachadi – but for me, scouting was like a dream come true. It was my dream to be a boy scout in Poland before the War, but I couldn’t because I was very weak and in a very poor health condition. But strangely I regained health in Kazakhstan and in Balachadi. So in Balachadi, I was healthy enough to involve myself in scouting.” Mr Jerzy Tomaszek (Polish Survivor).

 

“We never liked the spinach that was cooked in the camp, and so we decided to have a spinach strike. When Bapu heard of this, he immediately ordered cooks not to make spinach anymore.” Mrs Jadwiga Tomaszek (Polish Survivor).

“ I met Jadwiga in Balachadi camp. I loved her since the age of 15, but married her at the age of 78 years. We perhaps need to thank Maharaja Jam Saheb for our meeting.” Mr Jerzy Tomaszek married Mrs Jadwiga Tomaszek in 2008, at 78 years of age

“If not for the Maharaja, we would have been in trouble….. I still do not understand that inspite of being a true patriotic Polish, one part of soul still misses India and thus does not make me fully comfortable in Poland as I feel that India is still my home too,” Mr Jan Bielecki (Survivor, who passed away just few days before the shooting of this film).

 

JAM SAHEB`S CHILDREN ALSO REMEMBER

“Bapu told the Britishers – this is not state money but my money. I have adopted these children and I am paying from my personal account”- Princess Hershad Kumari, daughter of Jam Saheb

“Humanity is just one and people who divide humanity in caste, in religions and nationalities are really ruining the great gift which God has given us. And that is the man’s ability to lead a happy life” – H.E. Shatrushalya Sinhji, son of Jam Saheb.

THE LOCALS REMEMBER

Local resident Mr. Poona Bhai Madhvi with Mr. Stypula.

In a life spanning 80 years, many incidences happened but the only deep memory remains with us, and probably it is your memory of Balachadi – Dr Kirit Ashani, son of Dr Amrutlal Ashani (the doctor appointed by Jam Saheb for Polish children) speaks to Mr. Wieslaw Stypula. This place was called Roopanagri by us as all of you were very beautiful and “Roopa” means “beautiful.” – Poona Bhai Madhvi (his father had a shop in Balachadi)

THE CREATIVES

The film begins with the journey of the lead protagonist Mr Wieslaw Stypula, a Balachadi survivor, now 80 years old, who travels all the way from Warsaw to Jamnagar and Balachadi in Gujarat (India). He comes back to the land and the soil which is (as he states) “where I belong.” Back in Warsaw, other survivors relate the heart-warming stories of their childhoods spent in Balachadi.

Mr Zbigniew Bartosz, now 77 years of age, is a grandfather and lives with his wife and shares all memoirs and memorabilia on his love for Balachadi and the birds.

Mr Roman Gutowski, “young” at 77 years, lives in the beautiful countryside on the outskirts of Warsaw, cycles and plays tennis as “love for sports was initiated in Balachadi.”

Mr Jerzy and Mrs Yadwiga Tomaszek married at the “early age of 78 years” as love silently crept in their hearts in Balachadi way back in the 1940’s.

Mr Jan Bielecki, whose positivity amongst all the hardships is reflected in one statement “ I was a lucky person…” and one who loved all the local Gujarati snacks the producer of the film took to Warsaw…and the one who sang “Jai Hind” for the film research recordings…

This is a story of Love…that conquers all wars…. The story also shares memories of generations of Jamnagar and Balachadi locals, whose fathers and grandfathers are remembered very fondly by the “Survivors of Balachadi”… Dr. Anant “Johsie, the pharmacist’s” son, Nitin R. Joshi.

The most humbling memoirs are shared by Local resident Mr. Poona Bhai Madhvi with Mr. Stypula, the son of Jam Saheb, with the backdrop of the gradeur of Jam Saheb’s Palace.

 

A Little Poland in India – The film in English

“A Little Poland”  – Film in Hindi

‘A Little Poland in India’ is a first film that has been co-produced between the governments of India and Poland under the Audio-Visual agreement between both the countries. The film directed by Anu Radha and Sumit Osmand Shaw is the heart-warming story of an enriched historical bond between India and Poland.

The movie was created thanks to the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and co-produced by Doordarshan (National Broadcasting Network), Government of Gujarat and Polish National Audiovisual Institute (NIA) and Telewizja Polska TVP from Poland. The Expert Historian for the film are Dr. Andrzej Krzysztof Kunert, Secretary General of the Council for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom Sites and Research Coordinators are Kresy-Siberia Foundation and Mr. Wieslaw.

 

About the film: ‘A Little Poland In India’

Duration of the film: 52 minutes

Courtesy : Embassy of Poland

Social Equality is a Matter of Conviction for Us – Dr. Mohanji Bhagwat

RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat with his call for ‘One Temple, One Cremation Ground and One Water-body’ for all in a non-discriminatory way has provided a new action programme for social equality and harmony. Many outside the RSS circles are also appreciating the initiative. The third Sarsanghachalak of RSS, Shri Balasaheb Deoras provided momentum to the social thrust to this reformist thinking, which now Shri Mohan Bhagwat is carrying forward. On the sidelines of the RSS Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha held at Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, Organiser Editor Prafulla Ketkar and Panchjanya Editor Hitesh Shankar spoke to him on Balasaheb Deoras, his contribution to Samrasata and the way ahead. Excerpts:

 Since 1925 itself, Samrasata has been in the basic nature of RSS. Later, Balasaheb Deoras was a great inspiration in this endeavour. How do you look at his contribution?

The organisation of Hindu society is impossible without Samrasata (social harmony). Therefore, non-discriminatory approach is mandatory for unifying the Hindu society and this has been there in the RSS since its inception. However, the strength of RSS has increased over a period of time. In the RSS, Samrasata has been in practice since its formation. But when Balasaheb took over as the Sarsanghachalak, the atmosphere in the society started becoming conducive for listening to what RSS says, to think over it and to experiment over it, at least to some extent.  Today, the influence of RSS is much higher, then it was not that great, but it was just a beginning. This egalitarian approach of RSS was necessary for the society as well. Therefore, after assuming the responsibility of Sarsanghachalak, Balasaheb unequivocally declared about the ‘social thrust’ as the main objective of the organisation. To make the meaning of this clear to the Swayamsevaks and also to the society at large, Balasaheb deliberately prepared for months together and delivered his famous address in the Vasant Vyakhyanmala (a lecture series organised at Pune  on May 8,1974). The practice was prevalent within the Sangh but the thought process behind this was made clear to the Swayamsevaks through that address and a message was delivered to the larger society as well.

What was the impact of this insistence on Samrasata by Sangh on the society?

Sangh’s belief in Hindutva is a well-known fact. What would be the Sangh’s approach towards the caste system that is predictably associated with the term ‘Hindu’? There were well-intended people in the society who believed that this organisation must be in support of the caste system or caste-based discrimination. Then, this issue was publicly discussed about the Sangh. This perception was there and there were many people who used this to unfairly target the RSS. But when Balasaheb categorically said that the ‘untouchability should be thrown lock, stock and barrel’, these discussions immediately came to an end. With this, Swayamesevaks also garnered courage to present their position in the society. The Samrasata was there in practice but common Swayamsevaks were not aware about the ideological edifice of those actions. Balasaheb’s speech unfolded all this, the thinking and the corresponding steps, clear for the Swayamsevaks. They also became more confident about their position in the society. The suspicion of the genuine people in the society was removed with this clear position. This facilitated many things. There are many instances where RSS Swayamsevaks stood by the victims of discrimination when many in the society were not ready to take a clear position.

After the historical speech of Balasaheb Deoras at Vasant Vyakhyanmala which new dimensions were added to the Sangh work?

Naturally, many new dimensions were added with the beginning of work with the society. The churning started about what are the problems of these groups who are victims of social discrimination, what do they think and what are the remedies to bridge the huge gap that has emerged in the society. In the same process initiative of Samajik Samrasata Manch was started. Special efforts were made to establish contact with different social groups and bring them to RSS Shakha activity; especially the social groups that were psychologically uncomfortable in calling themselves as Hindus due to discriminatory practices were focussed on. Resultantly, the strength of Hindu organisation was added to the larger struggle for self-respect by various groups.

What measures would you suggest to eradicate the social discrimination?

The first and foremost remedy is a continuous process in which we should learn to completely reject all kinds of discriminations in our personal, family, professional and social behaviour. We will have to change our habits for that. For instance, there are many proverbs that are still in usage. Many a times we use it not to demean certain communities but it hurts the people who are the victims of discrimination. We will have to consciously get rid of such usages and habits. Sometimes, though we are mentally and morally convinced about principle of equality, some of our habits do not allow us to act accordingly. We will have to change such habits. Whether we have really discarded the discriminatory practices and inculcated the egalitarian values will be tested again and again, particularly, by our own people with whom we want to connect with for building a non-discriminatory and harmonious society. Even in our normal behaviour such values will have to be nurtured. For instance, I went to somebody’s place. I am not thirsty, still water was offered and I did not have water, this action of mine can also  create doubt about my intent of not having water, even though I did not mean anything. Shri Guruji once set an excellent example through his action. A Swayamsevak invited Shri Guruji for a cup of tea. He used to stay in a small hut, in a condition of absolute poverty. When Guruji went there, couple of karyakartas accompanied him. The place was so small that one could see his mother preparing tea while sitting on a chair near door. The utensils were not clean; there was no tea strainer; the tea was strained with a cloth that was also not very clean. When the tea was offered, someone said I don’t have tea, the other said I had a lot of tea since morning. Guruji happily had tea. While returning, the accompanying karyakartas asked, how could you have that tea? Shri Guruji replied, you were observing the tea, I was drinking his love and affection. Such conscious but obvious efforts are needed. The society needs love and respect. So our behaviour should be to protect the self-respect of all. We have to get habitual to this.

Secondly, many issues arise in public life, like inter-caste marriages. Those issues also face opposition. We insist that Swayamsevaks should stand in favour of such reformative measures. Generally, it happens and it should happen. If you take a survey, you will find more Swayamsevaks with inter-caste marriages than anybody else. We observe that in our personal interactions. Two messages were sent to the couple involved in the first public inter-caste marriage in Maharashtra, one was that of Dr Ambedkar and the other was by Shri Guruji. In his congratulatory message, Shri Guruji wrote that not because of physical attraction but to register a protest against the caste system, you are tying this knot through an inter-caste marriage, I support this marriage and convey my best wishes. This message was conveyed to the Swayamsevaks also.

Sangh Swayamsevaks should take such public position, without getting carried away by momentary public sentiments or self-arrogance. It is necessary that Swayamsevaks take a lead role while keeping the social unity, integrity and harmony in mind to sincerely and fearlessly carry out that role.

What are the major obstacles in the path of Samrasata?

As I said earlier, the biggest hurdle is our habits and mindset. We have been practising certain things for more than two thousand years, in which Adharma is followed in the name of Dharma. If we can’t desist our fascination for old things then by breaking it, we have to stand by truth and justice, as Balasaheb clearly said – ‘it should be thrown lock, stock and barrel’.

The issue of discrimination crops up in the form of injustice incurred by ancient Brahminical system. When our ancestors are discussed as selfish and arrogant, the first obvious reaction is to defend our forefathers. The person is actually referring to the inhuman treatment of discrimination, which he has been facing for thousands of years. Take it as his genuine anger and support his stand on equality. If your ancestors and ancient traditions are great, then they are not going to belittle by anyone’s accusations. If there is an injustice, we have to oppose it. Once a Sangh Karyakarta was asked in a programme that you revere Prabhu Shri Ram as an icon of Hindus, do you also support his slaying of Shambuka? This is a tricky question for a Hindu. It creates the dilemma of denouncing Prabhu Ram or supporting the killing of Shambuka. The RSS Karyakarta replied in a very brave and intelligent manner. He said, first of all I should congratulate you as somebody who has sent you to ask this question and you have come well prepared. Through this question you have accepted that someone with name of Ram existed in our history. This is a great thing. Now whether Ram really killed Shambuka, this is a debatable issue as many believe that this whole chapter is added in Uttar-Ramayana (later part). The Ram we worship only killed the unjust and devil king. Slaying of Shambuka is not a matter of respect for us with reference to Prabhu Ram and if it is ever proved that Ram was responsible for the killing of Shambuka, we will denounce that. This kind of clear position we should be able to take. This does not amount to the insult of our forefathers. Savarkarji used to say, do not blame the ancestors for wrong things but denounce the wrong doings of forefathers respectfully. This is very easy to say but very difficult to practise as it gives a feeling of diffidence. In such practical issues, even if our self-interest is hampered we should stand for the just and righteous cause. In this process, we many a times have to face the social reaction. We have to learn how to manage that and how to respect that. We should strive to garner enough courage to deal with such situations.

Another aspect is, we have to accept that due to the discrimination of thousands of years, there would be anger, sometimes even hatred and still we should continue to strive for building bridges. We should remain confident that after exhaling the anger, the hatred will subside. Simultaneously, there are forces who are interested in vitiating the atmosphere. This conspiracy is going on. We have to deal with them as well. Therefore, with love and care, we have to raise people in each and every community who stand for unity, integrity and harmony. This is the need of the hour and also a continuous process.

As you said, nurturing Samrasata is a continuous process. What would be the role of different sections of the society in this process?

An interesting corollary was given by Pt Deendayalji. He said, if you have to pull out someone from a pit, then it is not sufficient that he is ready to come out of it by raising his hands and lifting his foot, the person who is outside the pit also has to bend down. This process has started. The hesitance of bending down from above should go away.  We should strive hard to extend our hand to the best possible extent for helping others. Secondly, we need to be calm in thinking, communication and action. Balasaheb in his speech said that untouchability and injustice is clearly visible. Ultimately, we are one society, so it is our responsibility to maintain harmony in it. We cannot persist with the conflict of perpetrators of untouchability and victims of untouchability. If we do not want to widen the rift, if we want peace and harmony, then both the sides should get rid of abusive language. One section has to realise that the anger of thousands of years is being expressed and therefore not to react with similar anger is needed. The other side should learn to tone down the language while expressing their anger for reducing the social strife and gap. We can articulate injustice in a respectful way. The leaders also use discretion for ending all kinds of injustice.  A system should be developed in such a way that no one with intent of injustice can rise again. This all should be done with the objective of unifying the society. The system should have inbuilt provisions to maintain the egalitarian system, new suggestions should be accepted. By assimilating everyone in this process, if we start exhibiting this in our action, without waiting for others, then this objective would be attained earlier and faster.

What are the future plans of RSS in this process of social transformation?

The fundamental plan of Sangh is to assimilate all through sincere actions. Whatever may be the external situation, people of all sections of the society should be friendly to each other. As people from same social groups become friends,  their families  get connected, natural interactions begin and family level affection develops,  this has to happen across the sections. Wherever such actions are taken, genuine efforts for equality should be  made, we should support and strengthen  them, and try making them  successful and victorious. This is our work. The victims of injustice should get  justice at the earliest. The practice of equality is imitated all over and there should be cordial dialogue in this direction. Therefore, undertaking surveys, talking to people on these issues, and convincing people on the same, are the new initiatives taken. Many new measures can come up in this process.

Recently you gave  a call for One Temple, One Crematorium and One Water-body. What kind of response you are getting from the leaders of various sects and religions?

Almost, all responses  are positive. The principle behind this call got cent per cent  acceptance. But those who do not understand Sangh or oppose it for the sake of it would  comment  why now or would say it is  too late. So the call for One Temple, One Crematorium and One Water-body was not opposed per se but a question mark was certainly put on the intention behind this. Or else they said it is merely a sloganeering. The issue was not directly opposed by anyone. On the other hand, a large section of society rejoiced at the call . The victims of discrimination certainly saw a ray of hope.

There is an incident behind this call. Before my Vijayadashmi speech in which I gave this all, I went to Palamuru in Telangana, where many Swayamsevaks are there from the so-called backward sections of the society. I was the Sarkaryavah then. A so-called Dalit leader with Left leanings was sharing the  stage  with me. I spoke first and then he addressed the gathering. I was supposed to speak on Samajik Samarasta (Social Harmony), which I did. After that he publicly accepted that I thought RSS to be a caste-ridden organisation but what I am seeing here is Sangh is full of our own people and some of them are full-timers. I just listened to the RSS General Secretary, and could not believe that the Sangh could publicly take such a stand. He asked whether this is a genuine position of RSS. After his speech, in an informal discussion, I assured him that this is what Sangh believes in. It is a matter of conviction for us. He was surprised with that. After that we remained in touch. He interacted regularly with the local level office bearers, sometimes even communicated with them. In one of such discussion, I said the issue of temple, crematorium and waterbody should go first in the society as these are the issues of day-to-day experience. He said, you will not say this publicly. I said, I am going to say this, you attend the Vijayadashmi function to listen to this. He actually visited Nagpur to see whether I actually took  this position or not. Now he himself speaks among his community leaders about this position of Sangh. He advises them not to keep RSS people away. Such kind of leadership, not embroiled in political interests and still really represent the so-called Dalits, would certainly be happy about such initiatives. They would be positive about  Sangh. The message will be conveyed to the whole nation.

How far politically favourable atmosphere helps in furthering this cause of Samrasta?

Politically favourable atmosphere can be helpful only in one sense, if people in politics decide to do so. Wherever people in favour of social equality are in power, there they ensure the strict implementation of the Constitutional and other legal provisions pertaining to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Even if the government ensures the timely allocation of funds and appointing the right person for the right job, that itself would be a big job.   Fifty percent of systemic issues would be resolved by this. These provisions are already there, we just have to implement them in right spirit. We believe that wherever Swayamesevaks are in government positions, they should focus on this aspect. We can only insist on this and we are doing this sincerely.

What can be the role models for creating Samaras (harmonious) and integral society? What can be the inspiration for the same?

The real inspiration is in our culture itself – truth, compassion, purity and austerity are four pillars of Dharma. What is the Truth? The truth is our biggest conviction that the same eternal principle exists in everyone and everyone is the manifestation of that. Nobody is big or small, ours or aliens. All are ours. The obvious corollary of this is to be compassionate to all. Dharma, means the principles that hold the society, it starts with the two principles, all are mine and I am there in others. Therefore there should not be any degeneration in the system. This compassion comes from the feeling of affinity. If such person is pure, without any self-interest, then he would surely dedicate his life to the public good. Such a life would take him to the path of Dharma.

Therefore, Dharma, the four principles that hold our society is the crux of our culture. All our religious texts, whether, Bhagwadgeeta, Shri Bhagwat Puran, Shiv Puran or the message of Tathagat Bhagwan Buddha, convey us the same thing. All our Bharatiya traditions, may be having different paths, may be having differences on primacy of matter or spirit but their instructions for our actual behaviour are the same. It is not there only in a written form. Thousands of Saintly people actually led that life. This is not only true with the ancient Saints but with modern monks. Swamy Vivekananda celebrated the festival of feeding labourers working in the Varahanagar Muth. Service to man is service to God was the message he conveyed to all. To experience the pain of being an untouchable, Gadage Baba, a modern Saint in Maharashtra used to go to roadside water well and ask for drinking water. He used to fetch water himself on the instruction of the farmer. When suddenly he use to ask about his caste and he would not tell his caste and experience the literal lashes. Dr Ambedkar himself did that many a times. So we have such lives to follow even in modern times that made great sacrifices for the cause of social harmony. This is a great inspiration in itself. This is my society and my nation is the biggest inspiration one can have. If my own people are living in a despicable condition then what is the use of my name and fame. If I travel around the world, then the issue of caste-based discrimination would be a matter of shame and not pride. Devotion towards society, nation and culture is a significant force which we should create amongst all.

Inherent Unity in diversity is the biggest strength of the Hindu society. Why there is a competition to create divisions in it?

The main reason of such divisions is forgetting the nature of one’s true self. Once I consider a section of my society as enemy, then to protect my own interest I would oppose you at any cost. There are examples of inviting even enemies of the nation for protecting selfish interests. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar during the deliberations in the Constituent Assembly, warned against the same. He categorically said that no foreigner could win over Bharat on his own strength. We lost because of our divisions and some people betrayed our own nation. This has been part of our history, which should not be repeated.

Therefore, we have to revive the basic principles of unity. There are many forces which are working to widen this gulf of divisions for self-interests. Instead of fighting against such forces time and again, it is better we strengthen our unifying tendencies and act accordingly.

You travel throughout the nation; you have been reiterating this subject of Samrasata time and again. How do you see the end-result of this?

See, insisting on Samrasta and inspiring the actions based on this in all aspects is necessary and we are trying to do the same. I am sure, one day this would bear the fruits and whole society will accept this. The divisive tendencies are counting their days. There are few people who are making necessary corrections and trying to follow the path of Samrasta. The larger section of society generally follow the trend. We have to strengthen the voice of righteousness, the society will follow it. Babasaheb used to say that numerous efforts are being made to create a discrimination-free, egalitarian and exploitation-free society. Many people have sacrificed their lives. I sincerely feel that we will get the cumulative result of all those efforts and soon we will have a  discrimination-free society.

Courtesy: Organiser