RSS Full Form – Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

RSS Full Form

RSS Full Form – Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

Word “RSS” Stand for “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh”.

As of 2014, it has a membership of 5–6 million.

RSS was founded on 27 September 1925.

RSS was founded in 1925 by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, a doctor in the city of Nagpur, British India.

It drew initial inspiration from European right-wing groups during World War II.

The RSS is the progenitor and leader of a large body of organisations called the Sangh Parivar (the “family of the RSS”), which have presence in all facets of the Indian society.

“National Volunteer Organisation”, is an Indian right-wing,Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organisation.

The organisation promotes the ideals of upholding Indian culture and the values of a civil society and spreads the ideology of Hindutva, to “strengthen” the Hindu community.

The initial impetus was to provide character training through Hindu discipline and to unite the Hindu community to form a Hindu Rashtra or “Hindu nation”.

The RSS has historically played a major role in the Hindu nationalist movement. On several occasions it has been banned by the Indian government, for its alleged role in communal violence.

RSS Full Form – Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

then during The Emergency (1975–1977); and for a third time after the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992.

The RSS was banned once during British rule, and then thrice by the post-independence Indian government, first in 1948 when Nathuram Godse, who claimed to have left RSS in 1946 over ideological differences, assassinated Mahatma Gandhi;

“Hedgewar” was a political protege of B. S. Moonje, a Tilakite Congressman, Hindu Mahasabha politician and social activist from Nagpur.

The RSS grew into a prominent Hindu nationalist umbrella organisation, spawning several affiliated organisations that established numerous schools, charities, and clubs to spread its ideological beliefs.

Hedgewar became a member of the Anushilan Samiti, an anti-British revolutionary group, getting into its inner circle. The secretive methods of these societies were eventually used by him in organising the RSS.

Moonje had sent Hedgewar to Calcutta to pursue his medical studies and to learn combat techniques from the secret revolutionary societies of the Bengalis.

Hedgewar believed that a handful of British were able to rule over the vast country of India because Hindus were disunited, lacked valour (pararkram) and lacked a civic character.

According to the official RSS history, Hedgewar came to realise that revolutionary activities alone were not enough to overthrow the British. After reading V. D. Savarkar’s Hindutva, published in Nagpur in 1923, and meeting Savarkar in the Ratnagiri prison in 1925, Hedgewar was extremely influenced by him, and he founded the RSS with the objective of strengthening Hindu society.

After returning to Nagpur, Hedgewar organised anti-British activities through the “Kranti Dal” and participated in independence activist Tilak’s Home Rule campaign in 1918.

RSS Full Form – Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

Hindu ceremonies and rituals played a large role in the organisation, not so much for religious observance, but to provide awareness of India’s glorious past and to bind the members in a religious communion. Hedgewar also held weekly sessions of what he called baudhik (ideological education), consisting of simple questions to the novices concerning the Hindu nation and its history and heroes, especially warrior “king Shivaji”.

He recruited energetic Hindu youth with revolutionary fervour, gave them a uniform of a black forage cap, khaki shirt (later white shirt) and khaki shorts—emulating the British police—and taught them paramilitary techniques with lathi (bamboo staff), sword, javelin, and dagger.

The saffron flag of Shivaji, the Bhagwa Dhwaj, was used as the emblem for the new organisation. Its public tasks involved protecting Hindu pilgrims at festivals and confronting Muslim resistance against Hindu processions near mosques.

Hedgewar is believed to have embraced the doctrine of renunication after it had been reinterpreted by nationalists such as Aurobindo.

He asked the volunteers to first become “sadhus” (ascetics), renouncing professional and family lives and dedicating their lives to the cause of the RSS.

Two years into the life of the organisation, in 1927, Hedgewar organised an “Officers’ Training Camp” with the objective of forming a corps of key workers, whom he called pracharaks.

The Developing a network of shakhas was the main preoccupation for Hedgewar throughout his career as the RSS chief.

The tradition of renunciation gave the RSS the character of a ‘Hindu sect’.

The first pracharaks were responsible for establishing as many shakhas as possible, first in Nagpur, then across Maharashtra, and eventually in the rest of India. P. B. Dani was sent to establish a shakha at the Benaras Hindu University; other universities were similarly targeted to recruit new followers among the student population.

Indian Independence Movement
After the formation of the RSS, which portrays itself as a social movement, Hedgewar kept the organisation from having any direct affiliation with the political organisations then fighting British rule.

RSS Full Form – Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

Three pracharaks went to Punjab: Appaji Joshi to Sialkot, Moreshwar Munje to the DAV College in Rawalpindi and Raja Bhau Paturkar to the DAV College in Lahore. In 1940, Madhavrao Muley was appointed as the prant pracharak (regional head) for Punjab in Lahore.

The “Independence Day” announced by the Indian National Congress for 26 January 1930 was celebrated by the RSS that year but was subsequently avoided.

In accordance with Hedgewar’s tradition of keeping the RSS away from the Indian Independence movement, any political activity that could be construed as being anti-British was carefully avoided.

It is believed that Golwalkar did not want to give the British an excuse to ban the RSS.

RSS rejected Gandhi’s willingness to co-operate with the Muslims.

According to the RSS biographer C. P. Bhishikar, Hedgewar talked only about Hindu organisations and avoided any direct comment on the Government.

In 1934 Congress passed a resolution prohibiting its members from joining RSS, Hindu Mahasabha, or the Muslim League.

The Tricolor of the Indian national movement was shunned.

Hedgewar sent information everywhere that the RSS would not participate in the Satyagraha. However, those wishing to participate individually were not prohibited.

Hedgewar personally participated in the ‘Satyagraha’ launched by Gandhi in April 1930, but he did not get the RSS involved in the movement.

M. S. Golwalkar, who became the leader of the RSS in 1940, continued and further strengthened the isolation from the independence movement.

RSS Full Form – Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

Golwalkar lamented the anti-British nationalism, calling it a “reactionary view” that, he claimed, had disastrous effects upon the entire course of the freedom struggle.

In his view, the RSS had pledged to achieve freedom through “defending religion and culture”, not by fighting the British.

The British Government believed that the RSS was not supporting any civil disobedience against them, and their other political activities could thus be overlooked.

He complied with all the strictures imposed by the Government during the Second World War, even announcing the termination of the RSS military department.

The Home Department did not see the RSS as a problem for law and order in British India.

The British Home Department took note of the fact that the speakers at the RSS meetings urged the members to keep aloof from the anti-British movements of the Indian National Congress, which was duly followed.

It also reported that the RSS had not, in any way, infringed upon government orders and had always shown a willingness to comply with the law.

The Bombay government appreciated the RSS by noting that the Sangh had scrupulously kept itself within the law and refrained from taking part in the disturbances (Quit India Movement) that broke out in August 1942.

The RSS neither supported nor joined in the Royal Indian Navy Mutiny against the British in 1945.

Golwalkar later openly admitted the fact that the RSS did not participate in the Quit India Movement.

The Bombay Government report further noted that in December 1940, orders had been issued to the provincial RSS leaders to desist from any activities that the British Government considered objectionable, and the RSS, in turn, had assured the British authorities that

He agreed that such a stance led to a perception of the RSS as an inactive organisation, whose statements had no substance in reality.

“it had no intentions of offending against the orders of the Government”.

RSS Full Form – Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

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