Why RSS did not participate in freedom movement?

savarkar golwalker hedgewar

It is generally observed that the RSS did not participate in the freedom movement. RSS does not answer the question or is not known to the people.

There is answer to it if one fathoms deeper.

The founder of the RSS, Hedgewar did participate in the freedom movement but that was the small stint. His association with Tilak and Savarkar had impact on his thinking.

It is also said that Golwalkar was his chief advisor though younger than him. Golwalkar, In his book, ‘Why Hindu rashtra’ 1962, pub. Prakashan Vibhaga, Rashtreeya SwayamsevakaSangha, Shankarpuram, Bengalore. Golwalkar said independence was not our aim. He asked, ‘Is Nationalism’ Anti Britishism? And given the answer that it is not political power. (p. 1)

Quoting Hedgewar, Golwalkar writes, “He saw that in the revolutionary movement as well as in the other movements the predominant idea was of ousting the British. That idea was equated with nationalism. It may be said that for most of the people, ‘hostility towards the British’ and ‘nationalism’ were in a way, inter changeable terms.

Now the spirit of a nation does not depend upon antagonism to one or other. It is a positive concept. Since that positive concept did not appear to play any important role in the various movements that were going on our founder felt dissatisfied. He pondered with himself as to what should be done. And out of that concentrated thinking came into being this organisation.

It appeared to him that if the idea of nation was not of mere of antagonism to anybody but a positive concept, then it was necessary to understand what exactly we meant in our country by “Our Nation”. He thought that once we came to a correct understanding of that term we should try to find out what we had been wanting all down the centuries, and to work for the fulfilment of that particular want. ” (p. 1-2)

It is clear from this thinking that RSS was not merely for transfer of political power. Change in political power is continuation of the set up without socio- cultural changes. RSS vision was pre-British, pure-Muslim rules. RSS thinkers outlined it through the past. They wanted ‘that past’ to become a reality post British rule.

RSS pinpointed the enemies of the system. They were even pre-Muslim, pre-British rules.

In this book Golwalkar emphasised upon the enemy of Hindu nation and those named are from Ravana to Buddhism to Muslims to English. (36).

It is obvious thus, that tranzition of political power was not the goal of the RSS. This has been the thinking of Savarkar also. They were for Hindu nation and freedom from British rule was not fulfilment of the Hindu nation. Freedom from British rule was not what RSS wanted and for what RSS was formed. That is the reason why RSS did not participate in the freedom movement.

Nagesh Chaudhari is a social activist



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