Tag Archives: Hindutva

RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr.Mohanji Bhagwat Interview with Team Organiser

Excerpts of Interview of RSS Sarsanghchalak  Dr.Mohanji Bhagwat with Team Organiser

Today the Sangh work has a growing acceptability. How do you view this?
The Sangh swayamsevaks reach out to all corners of the society. They work in various other fields too. Right away from Shakha to the society, different organisations and their own families, all of this is enveloped by their right conduct. They are characterised by their approach, inclusivity, transparency, simplicity and selfless attitude, and this leaves an extraordinary impact on the society. This increases the societal confidence in the Sangh. People may recognise some well-known faces associated with the Sangh from distance, but actually it is the swayamsevak living in their vicinity is the basis of this confidence. By observing the words and actions of the senior Sangh functionaries, by and large, people experience that they do what they say. They do not function discretely. This is critical for  confidence building. The common people have started realising that Sangh swayamsevaks are trustworthy and they would work for the society, for the welfare of all and being with them they can also do well. Therefore, the society trusts. We need not do anything else, but to continue being better swayamsevaks to be true to that trust. The social expectations will gradually be fulfilled by taking the society along.

What would be the direction of the society and politics in the next one and a half years? Are we going through a major transformation?
Change is a continuous process. Yes, the atmosphere is changing all over, including Bharat. The country is more respected and venerated than ever before. Therefore, it is logical that ways of dealing with the state of affairs, both inside and outside the country, tend to change. Greater admiration would lead to greater influence. Societal conduct is also changing gradually. Especially, in the young generation we can see the same spirit and enthusiasm as it used to be during the freedom struggle. The spirit of do or die for the Motherland, that minimises the parochial interests, is being replicated by the youth today. They want to achieve whatever they wish with fair and transparent means, while detesting any kind of hypocrisy. They would join wherever they get transparency, simplicity and right direction. Moreover, decades after the Independence, we are maturing as a society with our collective experience. Naturally, all this leads us towards crucial changes, but one could be sure that this all would add up to positivity and optimism. Of course, we are undergoing a churning in the society and in the process as there will be nectar, even some poison also would be the outcome of it. Someone would absorb those toxics for the betterment of society. When Lord Shiva Himself is there to digest that poison, we need not worry. It seems the Sangh swayamsevaks will play a similar kind of role.
There were lot of speculations about major changes in the Pratinidhi Sabha. Not only those discussions were falsified, but some surprising announcements were also made. Why does Sangh leave people surprised when it is so simple?
It is not sufficient for object to be simple, even the subject who is observing that object also should be simple. For many reasons, that subjectivity turns even simple things into difficult ones. A simple problem in mathematics, which we can solve now in seconds, were very difficult for us in certain age, as our undestanding and focus was not the same. This is a first reason. Secondly, there are some people who tend to find tricks even in simple actions. Thirdly, some people develop this suspicion due to their previous experiences. Once they approached something in a straightforward manner get the contrary experience, then they tend to scrutinise every simple thing. There are some sincere people who have this inquisitive approach. They come up to us, verify whatever they have heard  about us and then accept the reality.
Sangh is quite straightforward. But in outside world the Sangh type of functioning is not there. So, they tend to speculate. There will be some changes. There is nothing like big or small here. Yes, we do switch responsibilities and that is not really significant. The series of responsibilities is only a system to facilitate the smooth functioning. Everyone is a swayamsevak. When one has to work in the society, a certain formal structure is necessary and therefore, a system has to be put in place. Different kinds of responsibilities are to be shared. But an ordinary swayamsevak is as important as Sarsanghachalak or Sarkaryavah. Sangh means all the swayamsevaks together and all the swayamsevaks form the Sangh. As there used to be discussion “Who after Nehru?” someone asked Sri Guruji, “Who after you?” Guruji promptly replied, “Why not you?” He meant that the organisation (Sangh) was not going on because of him alone. Anyone can be there. Balasaheb Deoras, when entrusted with the responsibility of Sarsanghachalak said, “I do not have a natural talent like Dr Hedgewar, nor do have a towering personality like Sri Guruji. Whatever heights the Sangh work has reached, it is because of these two great personalities. I can do justice to this responsibility only on the basis of rare set of karyakartas with Sangh.” So, collectively many people carry on the Sangh work and change of responsibilities goes on as a routine. There is no differentiation in this at any level. This is a very normal practice in Sangh. Outside people consider it as a place of power or executive authority. There is nothing like that. All this happens with the consensus among swayamsevaks.  They propose names, on the basis of which elections are held.
What is the basis of it and what is the process?
The process is based on the RSS Constitution that active swayamsevaks in the Shakhas elect their representatives, who further elect their provincial representatives. In proportion to those Prant level representatives, national representatives are elected. These elected members are called Pratinidhis. Along with them, Prant Sanghachalaks, Prant Pracharaks and all the above office bearers constitute the Electoral College. The election takes place as per the prescribed process. A name is proposed after
considering everyone’s will and then it is seconded by others. When I was entrusted with the responsibility of Sarkaryavah, it was very sudden. There were many karyakartas senior to me. There were no serious
reasons for a change of responsibility. But Shri Seshadri ji, who was Sarkaryavah then, said that he had held the post for four terms, so there must be a change. New people should come as it also brings fresh ideas, was his consideration. With the changing times, responsibilities do change. It is as simple as this. There is no personality cult in Sangh, but people do not understand this. Every individual is important, we take care of them, we consider it as the organisational responsibility, but the organisation is not personality based.

The canvass of the Sangh inspired work in different fields is very wide. Is it going to expand further?
May be. Sangh inspires the swayamsevaks. It must be noted that Sangh doesn’t make any action plan, swayamsevaks initiate a work. If it turns out to be good, we encourage them. If needed, some support is provided. There was no plan by Sangh to form the Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Some young minds planned it as per the prevailing conditions. Two organisations cropped up simultaneously. National Students Union was started in the Northern regions like Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab, while in the name of Vidyarthi Parishad similar work was initiated in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Later, both the organisations thought that as both of them were started by swayamsevaks, working for the same objective, then why to work with two different names. So, they came together, and in 1949 the ABVP was formed. However, Sangh extended the first Pracharak to it only in 1960. Sangh would only organise Shakhas, swayamsevaks will take care of the rest. If they find something important and worthwhile, they will certainly undertake it and the work will expand.
How does Sangh manage and coordinate with so many organisations?
This is not to be done, it just happens. The samskars, actions and goals of swayamsevaks are the only common things. If these three things are there, then coordination and complimentarity naturally take place. We just ensure that originality of the swayamsevaks remains intact. Rest of the things take care of themselves. Sangh coordinates even with those people who are not directly Sangh swayamsevaks, but share the same qualities.

A resolution regarding Bharatiya languages has been passed in this Pratinidhi Sabha. Earlier, a resolution on mother-tongue was also passed. What is the fundamental difference and similarity between the two?
Both the resolutions are regarding languages, especially focusing on the Bharatiya languages. The earlier resolution was about imparting education in mother-tongue and therefore, it is more related to the Government policies. This year’s resolution is related to Bharatiya languages, dialects and even policies. It is more related to the social behaviour. There are some policy concerns that are reflected in the resolution. But we should respect all the languages and consider them at par with our mother-tongue. We should interact in our languages. There are suggestions pertaining to reading of traditional knowledge resources existing in Bharatiya languages. This is not only addressed to the Government. We have also appealed to the media that language should be used in its pristine form.

Today’s Sangh is not limited to Shakhas and grounds, but is also present in the virtual world. You have experienced this changing time. How do you perceive this?
This is only logical. Even though we remain few steps behind the soceity regarding use of resources and facilities, still we walk with the society. Deliberately we remain two steps back. Various
services and facilities are useful, but they also have their nuisance value. Therefore, they must be used in a restrained way. We follow the same dictum. Whatever is necessary for the organisational work, we have been using that. First, we used to travel on foot, and then vehicles were provided with. We have seen the time when in the whole of Nagpur, Sangh had just one vehicle, which was kept for Sri Guruji’s use. Those were the days when the use of vehicles was very limited in the society, so may be 3-4 Sangh swayamsevaks used to have cars (Ambassador or Fiat) or motorcycle. For others, bicycle was the most affordable vehicle. With the changing social conditions, many swayamsevaks have vehicles now. This is a normal process. We make sure that we do not become slaves of these comforts and the side-effects of them are not entered the organisation.

How do you see the usage of apps and other social media platforms?
They are useful instruments and should be used as per their utility. While doing so we should also
understand their limitations and side-effects as well. They can make you egoist and self-centric. Social media means me, my, mine and I have to express my opinion on each and everything. Even after knowing that my opinion is part of a collective whole, still
without waiting for the collective opinion, I post my opinion. Many a times it leads to misunderstandings, sometimes with our own people, and then you have to delete the same. This happens with many people including swayamsevaks. Facebook by name itself represents your face as an individual and therefore, tends to make you more self-centric. Self-projection has its limited importance at individual level but not at the organisational level. Therefore, the Sangh has its Facebook page and Twitter account, but not mine. And I will never have. People working in the political field have a greater value of these platforms, but they also have to use it with caution. We should not be slaves of technology. We should use it in limits.

Earlier Shakhas, organisation and related issues used to be the focus of Sangh, now even in Shakhas social issues are getting more prominence. Is the Sangh changing?
This is not a change, this is a natural expression. Thengadi ji used to call it “progressive unfoldment”. In ‘Sangh Prarthana’ when we say, ‘Samartha Bhavatva…”, it means increasing the evolutionary strength. Sangh is instrumental in that process. The swayamsevaks are one as a collective whole and at individual level they work as an element of the Sangh and work for the cause with sincerity, dedication and purity. Earlier also it was the same. Then we were few in numbers so our work was not noticed. Since
inception of the Sangh, swayamsevaks have been working during the national calamities. Just within a year of formation the Sangh, in 1926, swayamsevaks had worked hard to avoid any chaos during the famous religious fair that takes place at Ramtek near Nagpur. Since then this has been going on, but was not noticed. Now we have grown in strength and spread, therefore what swayamsevaks are doing and the way Sangh is functioning is everybody’s concern. We tell swayamsevaks in Shakha, our strength is increasing, now people of the village or locality in which a Shakha is working regularly should have affinity with the Shakha, they consider the Shakha work pious and therefore they have some expectations, we should strive to fulfil those expectations. As our strength has increased now, we are in a position to deliver the same. The original conceptualisation of the Sangh was for the same purpose.
Dr Hedgewar used to explain that generally a person who goes to office on time and comes back home after doing his work sincerely, without bothering about what is happening around, is considered as a gentle or straightforward by the society.Actually, a gentleman is the one who thinks for the society and is conscious of what is happening around. Dr Hedgewar himself was a living example of this. It was not
possible to effectively contribute in social transformation then. Now it is possible, therefore we are doing.

There is a big change in this year’s Pratinidhi Sabha. Instead of four, there are six Sahsarkaryavahs now. Any specific reason?
This is a direct effect of the spreading Sangh work. Shakha and associated organisations have increased manifold. The Sangh work is dependent on human interaction. Earlier, there used to be an ample time to meet and interact with people. With the growth of Sangh, the functions were divided as Sharirik and Bouddhik. Later, more functional incharges were appointed. We have to allocate and share responsibility so that we can interact with certain number of people. We need to have more people at the top to take care of the organisation. That strength of sixty lakh swayamsevaks has reached up to the block level and now we are talking about reaching to the Mandal level. Other associated organisations manage their organisational functions, but we also have to maintain contact with them, meet them at certain intervals. Therefore, the number of Sahsarkaryavahs has been increased. There is a limitation to increase the number of Sarsanghachalak and Sarkaryavah, but number of Sahsarkaryavahs can increase. In future, if needed, different arrangements can be thought of. In the present situation, the number of Sahsarkaryavahs has increased among whom there will be a distribution of work with different focus areas.

Tripura is another noteworthy development. Is there any special or political reason to make Tripura as a separate Prant for the Sangh 
functioning?
Nothing special. As the Government looks at the regions from administrative point of view, we look at them from actual Sangh work point of view, terrain,  connectivity and the flow of interaction among the people. This is the basis of our Prant structure. For instance, Arunachal; most of the public interaction is limited to the same region, so with the increasing work we considered it a separate Prant. The same is true with Tripura. The election has taken place just now but our consideration for this new Prant started two years ago. Goa is a different state politically, but for Sangh work it is part of the Konkan Prant. Vidarbha is not a separate state, but for Sangh functioning we treat it as separate one. For us, in Tripura, the Sangh work has increased, we have developed a team there to take care of the work and therefore, now it is considered as a separate Prant.

Bharat is the country of youth and largest number of young minds is getting attracted towards the Sangh. How do you see this flow of young and energetic human resource towards the Sangh?
Yes, youth are getting attracted and we would take them along and train them. As per their taste and ability, they will be encouraged to work in the national interest. Sangh also needs such people to spread its work in different walks of life. They would join, understand and experience. Once they are convinced with the thinking and working of the Sangh, they automatically will be active. This is an inevitable process.

In the present political scenario, there is an attempt to portray two kinds of Hindutva narratives. One what is called as original Hndutva and the other is aggressive Hindutva. How do you see this kind of differentiation?
We consider Hindutva as only one and what it does it mean, I had recently explained at the Rashtrodaya Samagam in Meerut. Hindutva is the set of values which we believe in. Satya (Truthfulness), Ahimsa (Non-violence), Asteya (not stealing), Aparigrah (non-possessiveness), Brahmacharya (consciousness of a higher ideal), Tap (Austerity), Shouch (Purity), Sontosh (contentment) and Ishwara-Pranidhana (Surrender to Almighty) if you believe; if you don’t then Surrender to Truth. Gandhi Ji also talked about ‘consistent search for Truth’, that Truth is Hindutva. It is the same Hindutva, not necessarily Hindu society, about which Vivekananda, Subhas Chandra Bose, Gurudev Rabindranath Thakur, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, etc have spoken about. The expression of those values depends on the person and the situation. There was no word called ‘Hindu’ at the time of Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram, but He is still an icon of Hindutva. The principles that He practised were considered to be ideal and they are later called as Hindutva. On the other hand, Sri Krishna, who in a way broke all the norms of propriety of conduct but still He was following Hindutva. The same is true about Parashuram, who used violence and Karunavatar Buddha who practised and preached non-violence. All of them gave expression to Hindutva as per need of the then society. Shivaji Maharaj extended respect to Mirza Raja. He was also following the Hindutva.
Therefore, Hindutva is one. It cannot be different even if one looks at it with different prisms. I believe in Truth and non-violence, but somebody is attacking me, indirectly to kill the Truth and non-violence I believe in, then to protect those values I will have to fight. Whether to fight or not is not Hindutva, to live or to die for Truth and non-violence is Hindutva. To fight for and practice of Truth and non-violence is Hindutva. When to suffer and when one should not, can be an individual decision. That decision can be right or wrong. If one takes a wrong decision and fights, that fight is not Hindutva. In a wrong decision someone decides to keep quiet, then keeping quiet is not Hindutva. The fundamental values for which that decision is being taken is Hindutva. The talk of Swami Vivekananda’s Hindutva and the Hindutva of Sangh, assertive Hindutva and the moderate one, all this is irrelevant. The nature is of an individual being and not that of Hindutva. Human nature can be assertive or moderate, not Hindutva.
As there is a growing attraction towards Hindutva these confusions and distortions are deliberately created. This gravity towards Hindu thought is happening not only in Bharat, but all over the world. The proponents of Hindutva are getting natural benefit of it. To deny that advantage, divisions are being created. As a Hindu, we do not consider anyone as our enemy, nor do we consider anyone as alien. But for the sake of same Hinduness we have to protect Hindu Dharma, Hindu Sanskriti and Hindu Society. In the process, we may have to explain, we may have to fight, if necessary. That explaining or fighting is not Hindutva, but the fundamental values that we are carrying forward, on the basis of which we take a call for action, that is Hindutva. In every sense it is one. That is why in Meerut I said, “If Hindus become more kattar (fundamentalists), it actually means they will be more liberal”. In this sense, Mahatma Gandhi was a ‘Kattar’ Hindu. In one of his writings in ‘Harijan’ he declared that he was a ‘Kattar Sanatani Hindu’ in the same sense. Now how to practice and perfect that Hindutva is an individual decision. There is no differentiation in Hindutva. You can say someone’s understanding of Hindutva is wrong. You can say my interpretation and practise is right and others’ is wrong. There is no meaning in saying our Hindutva or their Hindutva. The society collectively will take a call about this and it is taking now. The larger collective consciousness of society is clear about what is Hindutva.

Whenever there is a favourable atmosphere, it brings lot of challenges as well. Amidst the growing strength of Sangh, how do you see these challenges? What would be your message for the swayamsevaks?
In a positive atmosphere, there are chances of being careless. Human mind obviously gets affected by the surroundings. Avoiding this natural sloppy route and being careful in the favourable atmosphere is the biggest challenge. We should stick to our fundamentals. There was a story in the 8th standard textbook of English. There was a Diwan called Ayyaz who was King’s close confidant, because of his skills, character and commitment. Even then, there were people in the court, who were jealous of him and experts in conspiracies. Someone traduced the King about him by telling that his Diwan goes to the Jungle at the outskirts of the city after midnight. We do not know what he does there, but he goes on a daily basis. Initially, the King did not believe, but when he heard the same story from many quarters, he decided to verify himself. The King in an ordinary dress secretly waited near Diwan’s residence. Diwan came out at midnight and the King followed him. He went to the jungle through a secret route and entered a lonely and almost ruined house. The walls were broken, there was no roof. He entered a room and in two minutes came out. Immediately, the King caught hold of him and asked what he did there. The King also said, “I trusted you, did not believe in what others were saying, but now I have seen with my own eyes. What do you do here?” He requested the King to accompany him and see himself. Diwan took him to the room with firelight in his hand. There was a small trunk there. Diwan opened it and asked the King to see himself. There was a torn coat in it. He told the King that on daily basis he went there, saw the coat and returned to his place. The King asked the reason behind it. Diwan replied candidly that when he came to the city, this coat was the only thing he had as a property. He could be a Diwan because of the King’s grace and his own skills. “I do not even look at such clothes now, wear very expensive ornaments, people respect me. In such a situation I do not want to forget where I come from,” he explained. He further added that he could travel this much because of his qualities and those qualities should not be rotten, that is why he daily looked at the torn coat.
In a favourable atmosphere this is the most important caution. It gives rise to expectations. Accordingly, one has to raise the standards, ability, understanding and everything. We have to be more open and inclusive. We not only will have to maintain our standards, but also will have to raisie them further in a flattering atmosphere. We should never forget our basic qualities because of which we have reached here. Keep all those fundamentals in mind, while moving forward is my only message.

Source : Organiser

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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.

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