- Questions constantly arise on the contribution of the Sangh in the freedom struggle in India.
- Sangh’s founder Dr. Balram Hedgewar has gone to jail for the freedom of the country
- Mahatma Gandhi praised the role of the Sangh in the Satyagraha of 1942
- A group of Congress including Sardar Patel supported RSS
The country celebrated the 75th anniversary of independence this year on 15th August. Beautiful pictures were seen from many corners of India on this nectar festival of independence. The Tiranga Yatra, which started two days before 15th August, had painted everyone in the colors of patriotism. Before the Independence Day, the enthusiasm of the people was created on seeing it. Every year, as soon as the date of India’s independence comes closer, we definitely refer to those pages of history in which the story of our brave sons and freedom fighters and their struggle is narrated. From Mangal Pandey, Rani Lakshmibai to Bhagat Singh, Udham Singh, Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, innumerable people sacrificed their lives for Mother India. But with this there is an organization in India whose patriotism has always been questioned. He was always asked a question that what was your contribution to the freedom of the country? By now you must have understood whom we are talking about. Yes, we are talking about the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The same RSS which is always asked why you didn’t hoist the tricolor at Nagpur headquarters for 52 years. Did the Sangh really not take part in the independence of the country? These are some of the questions that we will answer for you in this special article. What are the arguments given by RSS on the question of Congress and opposition parties. This has been explained in detail in the chapter ‘Namaste Sada Vatsale Mathrubhumi’ of the book ‘Sangham Sharanam Gachhami’ by famous journalist and writer Vijay Trivedi. Let’s know- I have explained it in detail. Let’s know –
The contribution of Dr. Hedgewar, the founder of the Sangh, to freedom
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was established in the year 1925. Its founder was Dr. Keshav Balram Hedgewar. When Hedgewar established this institution, India was fighting its battle for independence. Sangh experts tell that Dr. Hedgewar has gone to jail not once but twice in the freedom struggle. The idea of complete independence for India was first talked about by the founder of the Sangh in the Congress session. Not only this, he had also left his post of Sarsanghchalak to participate in the independence of the country. The direct meaning of leaving the post was that volunteers should participate in this freedom movement not as an organization but as an inspiration. In this way thousands of volunteers took part in it and many even had to make sacrifices. Opponents agreed with this argument that the founder and first Sarsanghchalak would have participated in independence from the Sangh, but the second Sarsanghchalak Madhavrao Sadashivrao Golwalkar definitely did not allow this to the people. But there are many occasions when Golwalkar said that volunteers can take part in the freedom struggle.
Senior journalist Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, who wrote the book ‘The RSS’, told that Dr. Hedgewar participated in the freedom struggle and also went to jail. However, the Sangh as an organization did not participate in the freedom struggle. On this Nilanjan said that at that time there were many such organizations which did not directly participate in independence. It does not mean that one who did not participate was against the freedom struggle. In the year 1930, at the Lahore session, the Congress party had accepted Poorna Swaraj. As soon as this news came to the head of the Sangh, Dr. Hedgewar, he sent a message to all the branches that 1930 should be celebrated as Independence Day in all the branches of the Sangh and the meaning of freedom should be clarified.
‘It is wrong to say that the Sangh supported the British or remained with them’
There has also been an allegation on the Sangh that by not taking part in India’s independence, it supported or stayed with the British or rather the British Government. On these allegations, Devendra Kashyap, who was the pracharak of the Sangh from 1947-60, said that the RSS as an organization may not have participated in the freedom struggle, but it is absolutely wrong to say that the Sangh supported the British or stayed with the British. The reason for this is that Dr. Hedgewar, the founder of RSS, was against the British from the beginning. Sehgal, who wrote the book Bharatvarsh Ki Sarvaang Swatantrata, states that the volunteers of the Sangh had actively participated in the agitations and satyagraha organized by different organizations and parties. In such a situation, to say that the Sangh had not done anything is a folly.
Sehgal also believes that some politicians outrightly rejected the participation of the Sangh Swayamsevaks in the freedom struggle to serve their political interests. Writer Sehgal also believes that the most injustice happened to Hedgewar. No autobiography was written about the person who fought for the freedom struggle till his last breath, nor was there an attempt to publish it in the newspapers.
The enthusiasm celebrated on Queen Victoria’s birthday left the Sangh founder angry.
Throwing more light on the Sangh, writer Narendra Sehgal said that before the year 1930, the Congress had not even taken the name of complete independence. First of all, the aim of complete independence was kept by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Sehgal told that in the non-cooperation movement led by the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Balram Hedgewar did Satyagraha with more than 6,000 volunteers. Due to this, he was sentenced to 9 months rigorous imprisonment. Earlier, on June 22, 1897, Queen Victoria’s birthday was celebrated with pomp, Sweets were distributed in schools. During that time Keshav Balram Hedgewar threw the sweets in the dustbin saying that why should we celebrate the birthday of Victoria, the king who won the kingdom of his nests i.e. Hindus? Hedgewar said that along with the sweets, I also threw the English state in the dustbin. Its garden was the coronation festival of King Edward VII of England in the year 1909.
The British and their supporters used to light up their homes, shops and business buildings and light fireworks on this day. Seeing this, Keshav Hedgewar said to his friends that it is a matter of shame for us to celebrate the coronation of a foreign king. It is a shame to celebrate the foreign state we should overthrow. I will neither go nor let you go.
Ongoing attempt to tell half the history – Manmohan Vaidya
Dr. Manmohan Vaidya, Co-Executive of the Sangh, says that an attempt is being made to tell half the history in a planned manner. There is an attempt to tell the people of India that freedom was achieved only because of Congress and Satyagraha of 1942 and nobody did anything. While this is not strictly true. When the Provincial Congress met in 1921, a proposal was made to condemn the revolutionaries. Then Dr. Hedgewar strongly opposed it, as a result the proposal had to be withdrawn. The meeting was presided over by Lokmanya Aney. There is a reason why Hedgwar condemned. He considered revolutionaries as patriots. He believed that one could disagree with his methods but to point fingers at his patriotism was a crime.
Contribution of volunteers in Salt Satyagraha In the
year 1930, on the call of Mahatma Gandhi, the civil disobedience movement started in the name of Salt Satyagraha in Dandi, Gujarat on 6th April. In a meeting on November 1929, in a 3-day meeting of the Sanghchalaks, it was decided to unconditionally support this movement. According to Vaidya, the Sarsanghchalak of the Sangh, Dr. Hedgewar personally decided to participate in this Satyagraha along with other volunteers. Initially 3-4 thousand people were with him in this Satyagraha on 21st July, but in no time 10 thousand people gathered. To continue the work of the Sangh, he handed over the responsibility of the post of Sarsanghchalak to his old friend Dr. Paranjpe and Babasaheb Apte and Bapu Rao Bhedi were given the responsibility of migration of branches.
A group of Congress had the support of Sangh, Sardar Patel was also included in them.
It is said that there was a group in the Congress, including Sardar Patel, who sympathized with the Sangh. In his speech from Lucknow on January 6, 1948, he said, ‘The Congress leaders who are ruling at this time think that they will crush the Sangh on the strength of their power. You cannot suppress any organization with the help of a stick. Sangh people are patriots and they love their country. However, after the assassination of Gandhiji, the opponents got a chance and on this pretext, the workers of the Sangh were arrested. But later it was understood that banning RSS is not right. Sardar Patel himself had said on the ongoing investigation on Gandhi’s assassination that looking at all the things it becomes clear that the Swayamsevak Sangh had no hand in it.
‘I keep you informed everyday about the progress of the investigation in Bapu’s murder case. All the main accused have given very detailed statements regarding their activities. It becomes clear from those statements that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh had no hand in that murder.
Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel
Satyagraha of 1942 and role of Sangh and praise of Mahatma Gandhi
On the role of the Sangh in the 1942 movement, Guru Golwalkar had said that it is natural for the volunteers to have a strong desire to participate for the freedom of the country. The Congress which decided to start the movement did not think that there are other organizations in the country which want to free the country from the clutches of the British. Nevertheless, the volunteers of the Sangh are taking part in the ISL movement in their personal capacity as before and will continue to take it under the leadership of the Congress. In September 1947, a month after independence, when Mahatma Gandhi expressed his desire to meet Guru Golwalkar, Golwalkar immediately came to Delhi and met Gandhi at Birla Bhavan. Wanted to address the volunteers by going to any program of the Sangh with Gandhi. On September 16, 1947, addressed more than 500 volunteers of the Sangh at a ground in Bhangi Colony near Birla Bhawan and praised the work of the Sangh.
Sangh experts say that those who deny the active movement of the Sangh in the freedom struggle forget that RSS had done a lot of work indirectly as an organization. They believe that the ideological opponents of the Sangh made their way into every possible academies etc. and wrote against the Sangh and tied the head of the freedom struggle to the only Congress, which is an incomplete story.
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