‘Guruji’ For Swayamsevaks of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the larger Sangh Parivar, this word refers to just one person — M.S. Golwalkar.The second sarsanghchalak of the RSS Golwalkar remained the ideological guru of the Right-wing organisation for 33 years, from 1940 until his death in 1973. He took the RSS to great institutional strength after independence.H. H. Guruji’s life was thus unique and comparable to that of a sage. From the spiritual point of view he was a great Yogi, but as a devotee of God as manifest in the Society this great man lived in the midst of common people and cared for them like a mother. On the one hand, he loved solitude and had a detached mind, while on the other he was tremendously active in the life of the nation.

Guruji’s role in leading from the front during the dark days of partition has been well documented. In fact, such was his popularity that the BBC once said, “The only person who can beat Nehru in popularity is RSS chief Golwalkar.” He was in Sindh on 7 August, 1947 when most of the Congress leaders had fled to the safer environs of partitioned India, sometimes taking help of the RSS. He was equally clear that one must be strong and should retaliate only when attacked.

Golwalkar wrote about the glories of the motherland, or punyabhoomi, and its chief religion, Hinduism. The RSS chief wrote of Hindu society as the only one that could fulfil the grand mission of salvation of mankind. He also wrote about the caste system, defending it by saying that it kept Hindus organised and united through centuries. Guruji’s biggest achievement at the conference was to persuade the gathering to disown the varnashrama, or the caste system, and unanimously passed a resolution Hindavaha sadoraha, na Hindu patito bhavet (All Hindus are born out of the same womb (of Mother India). Therefore, they are brothers and no Hindu can be treated as untouchable. This was the biggest reformist push anybody could have imagined as the signatories included all the shankaracharyas who were firm believers in the caste system. Bunch of Thoughts, which has become Golwalkar’s most cited work, is a collection of talks and lectures by him around RSS shakhas in India.Guruji had a clear vision of the ideal conditions in every sphere of national life. Guided by the firm faith that it was impossible for Bharat to become strong and confident enough to fulfil its destiny unless every aspect of the nation’s life was informed with the pure and inspiring ideology of the Sangh, he pioneered the formation of many fields of such activity.

Guruji believed that Bharat or India’s way of life, its culture and dharma were that of a Hindu Rashtra. The Hindu Rashtra encompassed enlightened nationalism and acceptance and tolerance of diversity.” He said “Indianisation does not mean making all people Hindus … let us realise that we are all the children of this soil coming from same stock, that our great forefathers were one and our aspirations are also one. This is all, I believe, the meaning of Indianisation.”

We must admit that we have not been successful, to the extent expected of us, in integrating the society and rousing the feeling of intense patriotism in it. As such, we have to be more keenly conscious of our responsibility, think about all aspects of our work, and put ourselves to the wheel wholeheartedly and with a resolve to reach the goal at all costs in the near future.

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