ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh — I

In this, the first of a four-part historical narrative of the origins and growth of the RSS, the author deals with the disenchantment of many Congressmen with Gandhi's Non-Co-operation Movement and with efforts at Hindu-Muslim togetherness. One of these disaffected Congressmen, Hedgewar, whose early years are recounted in detail, goes on —inspired by Savarkar — to found the RSS in 1925-The emphasis in the early years of the RSS is on initiating unity, discipline and culture-consciousness among Hindus. By the late 1930s the RSS is an organised and trained group with its own para-military organisation. This attracts the attention of the Government of India which begins to keep a close watch on it. In order to prepare for the post-War period and the expected Hindu-Muslim troubles, the RSS decides at the beginning of the Second World War not to antagonise the Government in any way. Part of the strategy is to avoid scrupulously any political activity or any help to the Hindu Mahasabha. This decision proves to be controversial within the ranks of the RSS. The general approach of Golwalkar, Hedgewar's successor, is extreme caution in order to avoid the wrath of the British. The RSS does not take part in the 'Quit India' movement in 1942. The next part of this narrative deeds mainly with the relationship between the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha. The third section covers Gandhi's assassination and the subsequent banning of the RSS. The fourth and final part discusses the genesis of the Jan Sangh and the role played by the RSS in its formation. 


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