Thursday, 13 November 2014

RSS's participation in India's freedom struggle




 In the last Lok Sabha elections (2014) Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi made allegations on RSS. There is often a false criticism that the Sangh did not take part in the freedom struggle. They must not be knowing the reality, hence this article. Many RSS workers gave their lives for the country on many occassions, such as during establishment of a Parallel Government during the British Rule in Vidarbha's Chimur area, or during the successful attack on Dadra and Nagar Haveli in 1954, during a protest in Goa against the Portuguese Rule in 1955, or during the China war in 1962. Other great revolutionaries like Swatantryaveer Savarkar, Babarao Savarkar had also suffered horrible tortures and made many sacrifices for the country, but were always insulted and demonized, demeaned by the Congress/ Leftists in the country, just because they were not followers of the Nehru-Gandhis and were of the Hindu ideology.Thus, by denying that RSS workers took part in the freedom struggle, Congress, AAP & Leftists have done a great insult to the great sacrifices made by freedom fighters (including sacrifice of their lives), just because they were from RSS!

   After the establishment of the RSS,  RSS founder and its first chief Dr Hedgewar had told the Sangh swayamsewaks that after giving 1 hour to the Sangh shakha, there is no harm in doing work of any party according to their wish. Continuing the same principle,  2nd RSS chief M S Golwalkar told to take part in the freedom struggle which was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi.But not by taking the banner of the RSS in hand, but by wearing Khadi-topi and Kurta-Pyjama. In fact RSS founder Dr Hedgewar did not want to create another political centre by using the banner and platform of the RSS. They were already divisions in the Congress. Besides the Communists, Hindu Mahasabha, Muslim League etc. had differences with the Congress not only on ideological plank but also in tactics, strategy and programmes too. It was an ominous sign for the freedom struggle. The need of the day was to accept the strategy and programmes of the Indian National Congress instead of beating drums separately under different banners- which is what Dr Hedgewar actually did.

  Note here that the RSS was founded in 1925. It was barely in its infancy and very small in those days. The focus needed to be on strengthening and growing the RSS as it could have been easily crushed by the many Opponents- British, Congress and Muslim League in those days. And yet, the RSS participated in the freedom struggle. Compare this with the Congress founded in 1885. The Congress first demanded full Independence (Poorna Swarajya) for India in December 1929, a full 44 years after its foundation. Its demand in the 1920s, till the 1929 Lahore Session was only dominion status for India. And in its initial years, in the 1880s and 1890s, the Congress leaders openly stated the British Rule in India as the Providential Gift. It took the Congress many years (at least 20 years) to raise a strong foundation, though it was formed with merger of many regional conferences, unlike RSS which was founded from zero. And yet, the Congress (which ceased to be same since 1969 when it became Congress (I) with a split in the party) has lied about true patriots i.e. RSS and hid its own record of its first 44 years, particularly, the first 22 years. As late as 1911, the then Congress President Bishan Narayan Dar said that the British rule was 'still the greatest gift of Providence to my race'. ("Pt Bishan Narayan Dar's speeches and writings", edited by H.L.Chaterjee, Lucknow 1921, Presidential address 307 of 1911)  Naturally, that is why this Party (Congress) is very eager to discredit people like Swatantyraveer Savarkar, who fought for 'Complete Political Independence for India' and announced this as their goal as early as 1900 (when he was only 17 years old), since its own record of those years is like this.

   On the contrary, the RSS pledge (Pratigya) used to contain the words "Desh ko Swatantra Kar" ("Freeing the country") until Independence. The RSS pledged to free the country right from the first day of its foundation, while it took the Congress as many as 44 years after its foundation to even demand Poorna Swarajya! Note here that the Congress was founded by a British Allan Hume and the British wanted a safety valve to let out Indian feelings in 1885, and hence they supported the Congress initially in the 1880s and 1890s. But the RSS was opposed by the British right from the first day.

   In those days, the RSS was very small and was hardly a force. RSS work did not even begin in large provinces of Bengal and Assam till 1940. It barely began in Tamil Nadu in 1940. There were only 4 shakhas in Odisha in 1950, while the number in 2003 increased to 2500. Before Independence, the RSS had any significant presence only in some parts of Vidarbha, and to a lesser degree in the rest of Maharashtra. As of now [2019], the RSS has around 60-70 lakh members, but in those days the RSS was in its infancy, and had to face the combined Opposition of the British and the Muslim League, not to mention many in the Congress.

   More than half the Sangh swayamsewaks had taken part in the freedom struggle. Very few people know this truth. Because publicity is not in the Sangh’s nature at all. Khadi-clad swayamsewaks suffered the British Police’s bullets as well as lathis.

   If RSS did not participate in the freedom struggle (which is wrong, since it did even though it was very small), what were the Communists and others doing?  The RSS and Communist party of India came in existence almost at the same time (in 1925). While the RSS busied itself in organizing the Hindu society to achieve freedom, the Communists continued to support the British and defame leaders like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. It is on record that during the World War II so long as the Russians were not cooperating with the Allied forces, the Communists in India were against them. For them, the British and Americans were ‘imperialist forces’. But the moment Stalin joined hands with the Allies; the same Communists shamelessly started singing praises for the British. 

  When Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose went out of India and launched anti-British movement of Azad Hind Fauz, these communists made a volte face and abused Netaji as “agent of Hitler” and “Lapdog of Tojo”. They even opposed the 1942 movement and spied on the freedom fighters by providing information to the British rulers. And now they question the role of RSS in the freedom struggle? The Communists had also supported the Muslim League's demand for Pakistan.

                                                             Dr Hedgewar a born patriot

   The founder of RSS Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar was a born patriot. When he was a primary student in the Neil City School, he refused to accept the sweets distributed in the schools on the 60th coronation day of Queen Victoria and when his elder brother asked he replied: “Our Bhonsla dynasty was liquidated by these Britishers. How can we participate in these imperial celebrations?” This instinctive patriotism was in his personality blossomed further with full radiance and formed the bedrock of the RSS. In High school, Dr Hedgewar was expelled from the school for making all students say 'Vande Mataram' in school during an Inspection visit by a British authority. He refused to apologize, and instead preferred rustication from High School. At the age of 19, in August 1908, he made and threw a bomb on a local police station in Rampayali also, which exploded in a pond. This was when he was living with his uncle Abaji Hedgewar in Rampayali.

   Dr Hedgewar was very closely associated with the revolutionaries when he was at Kolkata for his degree in medical education. His deep contacts with the members of the Anusheelan Samiti were well described by one of his colleagues Ramlal Vajpayee in his autobiography: “With the financial help from Sri Dajisaheb Buty, Keshavrao Hedgewar, founder of RSS, was sent to Calcutta more with the object of receiving training for revolutionary work under the supervision of Sri Pulin Bihari Das, rather than prosecuting higher studies”.

   Young Keshavrao was introduced to Anusheelan Samiti and soon he became one of its inner circle members. When he came back to Nagpur after obtaining a degree in medicine in 1917, he plunged himself into organizing the revolutionary activities in the Central Indian region with his close associates like Bhauji Kawre and Appaji Joshi of Wardha.

   Pandurao's Khankhaje, leader of Swadesh Bandhav, a revolutionary organisation, wrote in Kesari (newspaper started by Lokmanya B.G. Tilak), "Hedgewar and the other young men were in the forefront of Swadeshi propaganda and delivering speeches". After joining National Medical College in Kolkata in 1910 with the sole aim to participate in revolutionary activities, Dr. Hedgewar became an  active member of the "Anushilan Samiti" with his code name "Koken". He was closely associated with revolutionaries like Nalini Kishor Guha (who provides an authentic account of Hedgewar's revolutionary activities in Kolkata during his stay from 1910 - 1916). After his return from Kolkata to Nagpur, he used his contacts to organize revolutionaries with a plan of "armed revolt" which, according to P.L. Joshi (in his article "Mobilisation in Vidarbha by Tilak in political thought and leadership of Tilak" edited by N.R. Inamdar p 370) was dropped on the advice of Tilak. Hedgewar's revolutionary group was the biggest one and consisted of 150 hard core revolutionaries. G.M. Huddar says Hedgewar's revolutionary group resembled a secret "conspiratorial group" of young men. (G.M. Huddar in "RSS and Netaji" in the Illustrated Weekly of India, Oct. 7, 1979). His plan of armed revolt was not an isolated case of adventurism but it was coincided by his manifesto for Indians Independence which was to be declared from many countries. He postponed his plan on the advise of Dr B. S. Moonje.

   However, with the eventual collapse of the revolutionary movement Dr Hedgewar was forced to take recourse to other means of achieving freedom and since the Indian National Congress was the most powerful public movement, he joined it. Within the Congress he along with his friends formed Nagpur National Union. During the 1920 AICC session at Nagpur he was in charge of the volunteer force. The Nagpur National Union submitted a resolution to the subjects committee which besides demanding the Congress to declare “complete independence as it sole objective” said: “It is the aim of the Congress to strive to establish democracy in India and to liberate all nations from the grip of capitalist countries”. Almost 10 years before the Congress first demanded Full Independence in December 1929, RSS founder Dr Hedgewar had urged the party to do so in 1920 itself.

   The steering committee that deliberated on the resolution did not find it worthy of presenting to the AICC and eventually rejected the same. But the Modern Review of Calcutta in its March 21 issue commented on this resolution: “This resolution merited greater attention in the steering committee”. Dr Hedgewar actively participated in the non-cooperation movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1921 along with his friends and suffered incarceration for the same. His defense in the court of Judge Smelly was described as ‘more seditious than his earlier speeches’. He was given 1 year Rigorous Imprisonment by Judge Smelly on 21 August 1921. Such a strong freedom-fighter he was, that his defense in court was described as 'More seditious than his earlier speeches' by Judge Smelly for which he was undergoing trial. He was released from jail on 12 July 1922.
    
   After the murder of Saunders in December 1928, Rajguru went underground and Dr Hedgewar made proper arrangements for his underground stay. H M Ghodke corroborates this information: "Rajguru is the best example of impact of revolutionaries on Sangh. It was but natural that Doctor (Hedgewar) would help Rajguru in every possible way." [H.M.Ghodke "Revolutionary Nationalism in Western India" pages 173-74.]

 Another important incident is revealed by Sri Aurobindo's biography (Published by Publication Division in the series of Builders of Modern India, by M.P. Pandit 1983 P.270) that Dr Hedgewar the then secretary of C P Provincial Congress went to Pondicherry to draw back Shri Aurobindo, who had been living sequesteral life since 1910 and was considered by Hedgewar as only alternative to fill the lull created by Lokmanya Tilak's death before the Nagpur Congress, in to politics. RSS founder Hedgewar requested him to accept the Presidentship of the Congress in that hour of great crisis of leadership. Being a pioneer of cultural renaissance and a man of non compromising character, Aurobindo was fittest person to lead the Congress and freedom struggle. However Aurobindo moderately declined. (Source: Explanatory letter of Shri. Aurobindo dated August 30, 1920, Sri Aurobindo himself Vol.26, P.432-34, Sri Aurobindo birth centenary library).

Jungle Satyagraha

   Dr Hedgewar founded the RSS on Vijayadashami Day in 1925 with an objective of injecting the spirit of nationalism, patriotism and creating a strong, vibrant organized India that would lead the world community once again. Freeing the motherland from the foreign yoke was reflected in the oath of RSS members. But he did not dissociate himself from the freedom movement. When Gandhiji launched ‘Salt Satyagraha’ or Dandi March on April 6, 1930, the RSS also did not stay aloof from it. By then Dr Hedgewar was unanimously named as ‘Sarsanghchalak' of RSS. He volunteered to participate in this movement and before taking a plunge into it he delegated his authority to Dr L V Paranjape. This, when the Sangh was in its infancy. The Sangh started from hardly 15-20 members in 1925 and was hardly a force in 1930 having very few shakhas and members, and yet Dr Hedgewar preferred to be jailed in the Jungle Satyagraha for 9 months leaving the task of expanding the Sangh. Not only Dr Hedgewar, the then second-highest official of the RSS, Appaji Joshi also preferred to be jailed in this 1930 Satyagraha along with Dr Hedgewar, leaving the task of handling the RSS which was in its infancy.

  Even die-hard anti-RSS Communist leader Namboodiripad accepted Dr Hedgewar's role in the freedom struggle and in this 1930 Satyagrah. The veteran Communist leader E.M.S. Namboodiripad, in his one of the most critical booklet `BJP-RSS: in the service of the Right Reaction', wrote:

  "One of those who were highly impressed and inspired by the Savarkar thesis was Dr.Hedgewar, the founder of the RSS. A nationalist who participated in the Gandhi led movement, he continued to be a Congressman for a decade more and participated in the 1930 Salt Satyagrah". (p.8)

   In the Central Provinces it was decided to break the forest laws to voice opposition to the British rule. A batch of RSS activists and Congress workers under the leadership of Dr Hedgewar proceeded towards the jungles of Yavatmal, some 150 km from Nagpur. On way at Pusad he gave a speech stating his philosophy of freedom. He said: “From polishing the boots of the Englishmen to hitting them hard on their heads with the same boots till they leave this country, all ways are equally logical in my view...”.

    On 14 July 1930 Dr Hedgewar left for Pusad from Nagpur. Speaking to hundreds of people who had gathered to see him off, he said: "Please don't be under the impression that this current agitation is the last battle for independence. Real battle will start after this. And be ready to jump into this coming battle fully prepared to sacrifice your all. We are taking part in this satyagraha because we believe that this will take us one more step towards independence." He was received in every town on way by hundreds of people. Those who went to jail along with him included Harekrishna (Appaji) Joshi, Balasaheb Dhawle, Dadarao Paramarth, Vitthalrao Deo, Bhaiyaji Kumbalwar, Narayanrao Deshpande, Tryambakeshwar Deshpande, Gharote, Wankhede, Palewar, etc. [N H Palkar written biography of Dr Hedgewar, page 206]. Dr Hedgewar offered satyagrah in Yavatmal on 21st July 1930. He was handed a 9-month imprisonment with hard labour. Hundreds of RSS swayamsewaks were with Dr Hedgewar in the Akola jail.  These satyagrahas by RSS swayamsewaks were also reported in Kesari newspaper dated 20 and 22 July 1930 and 2 August 1930.

   By 1928 the RSS had 18 shakhas mostly confined to Nagpur and Wardha. The Central Provinces Congress (Marathi) was headed by Harekrishna (Appaji) Joshi who was the General Secretary of the provincial committee and was also the Sanghchalak of the Wardha unit of the RSS. 

   On December 31, 1929 on the banks of Ravi River the Congress at its historical Lahore session adopted a resolution demanding “Total Independence” and decided to observe January 26, 1930 as Independence Day. Dr Hedgewar had expected the same a decade ago from the Congress. He was naturally very happy and directed all the RSS shakhas to celebrate this day by hoisting the national flag and spreading the message of freedom.

    The RSS extended uninhibited support to the 1929 Congress resolution. It issued a circular to all the 37 shakhas, which stated: "This year the Congress has passed a resolution declaring complete Independence as its goal. The CWC has called upon the entire nation to celebrate Sunday the 26th of January 1930 as Independence Day. We of the Sangh are naturally immensely happy that the All India Congress has endorsed our goal of complete Independence. It is our duty to cooperate with any organisation working for this objective. It is therefore suggested that all Swayamsevaks of each shakha meet at 6 p.m. on Sunday the January 26, 1930 at respective Sanghasthans. After offering salutation to the Bhagwa Dhwaj, the concept of Independence and the reason why this ideal alone should be kept before every one should be explained. The function should conclude with an expression of congratulations to the Congress for having accepted the ideal of complete Independence." [
This fact is accepted by even the worst RSS critics e.g. Sumit Sarkar in his tract "Khaki shirt and Saffron Flag".]

   This circular was written on 21 January 1930 by Dr Hedgewar himself, which is on record. 

   The Government in Central Provinces issued a circular prohibiting the government and local self government bodies servants to take part in RSS activities. The circular was based on the report of the intelligence department. Dr Hedgewar with his communicating and influencing skills created a mass opinion against the government move. Editorials were published in ‘Kesri’ of Pune, ‘Maharashtra’ and ‘The Hitavada’ of Nagpur criticizing the government. In the Assembly, this issue was discussed during the budget session and the government was defeated on the floor. Members of all political parties, including a Muslim Member M S Rehman, defended the RSS.

    The anti-imperialist character of the RSS and its unconditional support to the Congress movement appalled the British administration which made the first serious attempt to suppress it soon after the civil disobedience movement died out.

    At the end of 1932 the Chief Minister of Central Province government, E. Gordan issued a circular prohibiting government employees and their wards from participating in or associating with the RSS on the plea that it was 'political and communal organisation'. In December 1933 its scope was extended to the employees and teachers of local bodies. The Government wanted to give it a communal colour since the Local Self-Government Minister was a Muslim. However, the Sangh did not make it a communal issue and targeted the colonial rule. During the budget session in March 1934, a member of the Council, V. D. Kolte, put up a cut motion against the government's circular. This led to a four-hour discussion during which all the speakers appreciated the work and ideology of the RSS.

    Shri Vithalbhai Patel presided over the RSS function at Nagpur in 1928. Shri Madan Mohan Malaviya visited the RSS shakha at Nagpur in 1929. Mahatma Gandhi himself visited a Sangh camp on December 25, 1934, at Wardha. He joined Shri Appaji Joshi, a renowned Congress leader of CP, in offering Pranam to the RSS flag. He held a lengthy conversation with Dr Hedgewar the next day and was impressed by the vision of the RSS. Subhash Chandra Bose and Syama Prasad Mookerjee visited Dr Hedgewar in 1940 and discussed plans for Independence.

   
Mahatma Gandhi visited a 1500-strong RSS camp at Wardha at the gardens of Shri Jamnalal Bajaj in 1934 and he was amazed to see the equality, discipline amongst the swayamsevaks and the programmes conducted in the camp. He was pleasantly surprised to find that the Swayamsevaks were not even aware of the castes of one another, not to speak of any ideas of untouchability. The visit had left such a deep impression on Gandhiji’s mind that he referred to it full thirteen years later. In his address to the workers of Sangh in Bhangi Colony at Delhi on 16th September 1947, he said, “I visited the RSS camp years ago when the founder Shri Hedgewar was alive. I was very much impressed by your discipline, the complete absence of untouchability and the rigorous simplicity. Since then the Sangh has grown. I am convinced that any organization which is inspired by the high ideal of service and self-sacrifice is bound to grow in strength.” (The Hindu: 17th September 1947, also recorded in Gandhiji's Collected Works)

   A British home department report in 1940 said: 'The organisation is intensely anti-British and its tone is increasingly becoming militant.' The CID report revealed that RSS volunteers were 'introduced into various departments of government such as the army, navy, postal, telegraph, railway and administrative services in order that there may be no difficulty in capturing administrative departments when the time comes.'

   On August 5, 1940 under the Defence of India Rules, the central government promulgated an ordinance prohibiting drills, use of uniforms and exercises. Any idea that this would stymie the Sangh’s mobilisation proved futile. Hundreds of RSS volunteers courted arrest in violation of the order.

   The RSS Sarsanghchalak, Shri M. S. Golwalkar, who succeeded Shri Hedgewar after his death in 1940, suggested indoctrination of government employees and his speech in the Poona Officers Training Camp (OTC) of the RSS on May 3, 1942, was reported by the CID saying: 'The Sangh resolved to stand on its own legs, not minding any opposition. It was not possible to get swaraj by begging it from foreigners and this could only be achieved by strength.'

     Marxists and Congress supporters have tried to defame and malign all Hindu-minded freedom fighters, like Swatantryaveer V. D. Savarkar who was imprisoned for 27 years from 1910-1937, with 10 harsh years in the Andamans, doing the rigorous work of taking out oil. Veer Savarkar's elder brother Ganesh alias Babarao Savarkar was also a great freedom fighter, who also spent many years in the Andamans. Babarao Savarkar merged his Tarun Hindu Sabha in the RSS later. As a result, it can be said that Babarao Savarkar was another RSS leader who took part in the freedom movement.

   At no stage of the freedom struggle either the RSS as an organisation or any individual member of it cooperated or integrated with the colonial regime and administration. Even Bipin Chandra, a diehard anti-RSS Marxist historian conceded, however in a distorted manner, this truth when he said that Dr Hedgewar never integrated with the colonial regime. (His book 'Communalism in Modern India' P. 332).

     Jawaharlal Nehru's wife, Kamala, went to Europe for treatment. On September 4, 1935, Nehru was suddenly discharged from Almora, five and half months before his term was to expire ...on the same afternoon he set out by Air for Europe. On the evening of September 9th he reached Badenweiler.' [Frank Moraes- Jawaharlal Nehru, p- 246]
 
    One only wishes that people should know that Savarkar brothers met their family members only once in the Andamans. And in this meeting Savarkar's elder brother came to know that his wife had died earlier. Here are real contrasting approaches. So harsh were the British to Savarkar brothers, that they made them do the work of a bull of taking out oil from jail in Andamans, but kept Nehru in a palatial guest house. They allowed Nehru to fly by plane (in those days of 1935) to visit ill wife in Europe, but did not even inform either of the Savarkar brothers that their elder brother's wife had died, not to talk of allowing them to visit her when ill, or even allowing a visit on parole after her death! 
 
RSS & 1942 Movement

   Unfortunately Dr Hedgewar passed away in June 1940 handing over the baton of leadership to a relatively young M S Golwalkar, popularly known as Shri Guruji. It was during his tenure that the RSS was face to face with the famous 1942 “Quit India” movement and the later day events that led to the partition of the country and finally independence. Allegations are even now hurled at RSS for “assuming a passive role” or not participating in the 1942 movement. But the reality is altogether different and the detractors of RSS either do not know it or they don’t want to understand it.

    The 4th RSS chief Professor Rajendra Singh, better known as 'Rajju Bhaiya' had taken part in the Quit India movement in 1942, accepted by even known anti-RSS newspapers, like The Tribune. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20030715/main3.htm 

   The Congress under the Mahatma’s leadership announced the launch of 1942 Quit India movement on August 9 without making enough preparations for the same. The British knew of it and arrested all the top Congress leaders in one place before the agitation could be launched. Naturally, the absence of any leadership took the wind out of the sails of this movement. Still, following the footsteps of RSS founder in regards to such mass movements, many RSS swayamsevaks plunged into the agitation. To cite an example, some of the swayamsevaks succeeded in establishing a parallel government at Chimur-Ashti in Vidarbha region. Some of them later faced the gallows for this rebellion. Some RSS workers damaged the Delhi-Muzafarnagar railway line while some faced bullets trying to unfurl the tricolor atop the tehsil office in Mewan in Meerut district in UP. 

   Many of the prominent underground leaders of the 1942 movement were provided safe shelters by the RSS activists. Aruna Asaf Ali, Jay Prakash Narayan were housed in Delhi Sanghchalak Lala Hansraj Gupta's residence; Achyut Patwardhan and Sane Guruji were closeted at the residence of Pune Sanghchalak Bhausaheb Deshmukh. Krantiveer Nana Patil was sheltered at Aundh Sanghchalak Pt. S D Satvalekar’s house. [Little more details are given later on this.]

   The British Intelligence reported that on 27 April 1942, at the training camp of the RSS at Pune ‘(The then RSS chief) Golwalkar condemned those who were selfishly helping the British Government.’ On 28 April 1942, he declared that the Sangh has resolved to do its duty even if the whole world goes against it and impressed on the volunteers that they must be ready to sacrifice their lives for the cause of the country. (No.D. Home Pol. (Intelligence) Section F. No. 28 Pol).

   Another report of the Home Department, Pol. F. No. 28/3/43-Pol (I) shows the anti-British nature prevailing at the RSS camp at Jubbalpore where a speaker proclaimed that the aim of the Sangh was to drive the British out of India and the sentiment was repeated by other speakers. 

  The British government initiated a recruitment drive for the army, ARP and Civic Guards when World War II broke out. The Hindu Mahasabha and many other Hindu organisations – which included Nathuram Godse’s Hindu Rashtra Sena – viewed this as an opportunity to militarily train their cadres for waging war against the British at an opportune time. They fully cooperated in organising camps and acted as recruiting agents.

  Both Dr Ambedkar and Savarkar understood the urgent need to completely Indianise the British-Indian army, failing which it would become disastrous for the nation in the event of Partition. Savarkar also envisioned an army with Indian domination rebelling against the British.

 This vision of Savarkar was endorsed and appreciated by both Subhas Chandra Bose and Rash Behari Bose – the revolutionaries behind the Indian National Army (INA). In his message broadcast from Singapore on 25 June 1944, Subhash Chandra Bose praised Savarkar by saying:

   "When due to misguided political whims and lack of vision almost all the leaders of Congress Party are decrying all the soldiers of Indian Army as mercenaries, it is heartening to know that Veer Savarkar is fearlessly exhorting the youth to enlist in the armed forces. Those enlisted youths themselves provide us with trained men from which we draw the soldiers of our Indian National Army."

   In his radio broadcast Rash Behari Bose directly addressed Savarkar:
  
  "In saluting you I have the joy of doing my duty towards one of my elderly comrades in arms. In saluting you I am saluting the symbol of sacrifice itself."

   It was the INA that played a decisive role in forcing the British to quit India. And Savarkar, despite the looming threats of his incarceration in Andaman again, made a decisive contribution to ensure coordination between the INA founder, the elder Bose and its last leader, the younger Bose.


   RSS, however, rejected this outlook outright, a fact that wasn’t ignored by the regime. In June 1939, the Home Department suggested the Central Provinces government use Section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act (XIV of 1908) to ban RSS, by then the strongest outfit in the province. The province’s chief secretary GM Trivedi wrote to the central government on May 22, 1940, that it was not feasible as it would lead to huge protests in the province.

   The 1943 report of the intelligence department on RSS said in most clear terms: “The ulterior objective of the RSS is to drive away the British from India and free the country”.

   The noting of Home Department official GA Ahmed, on December 13, 1943, unravels the government’s real intention: “the holding of all camps by any organisation whatever should be prohibited by an order under the Defence of India Rules. This will hit the RSS most, as its main activity is the organisation of camps.” Subsequently, the Sangh’s training camps were raided and literature and arms were seized, besides the arrest of organisers.

Dr Bhagwan Das’ Observation

   It is surprising that a foreign power was able to assess and understand the objective of RSS and the role it played towards its fulfillment clearly. But our secular leaders and their leftist co-passengers failed to do so, actually they knew the truth, but they lied!  Bharat Ratna Dr Bhawan Das wrote about the role of RSS swayamsevaks in thwarting the plan of the Muslim League. The League planned to annihilate all the prominent Congress leaders in one go. Dr Bhagwan Das wrote on October 16, 1948:

   “I know for sure that RSS volunteers have informed Jawahar Lal Nehru and Sardar Patel well in advance about the plan of Muslim League under which the League had planned for armed rebellion and annihilating the Ministers of the Government of India and the senior officers, unfurl the Pakistani flag atop Lal Quilla on 10 September 1947, and establish their government in India.

   Why have I said all this? Had these patriotic and sincere youths not informed Nehru and Patel in time, the entire country today would have become Pakistan; lakhs of Hindus would have been butchered and more than that would have been converted to Islam forcibly and India would have become slave once again. What does it indicate? Clearly, it suggests that our government must utilize the nationalist power of lakhs of RSS swayamsevaks instead of subordinating it”.

   It was again irony of fate that Dr Bhagwandas wrote these words at a time when thousands of RSS workers were languishing in jails of independent India for the crime they never dreamt of committing in their wildest ever dreams—the assassination of the Mahatma. The charge was never proved any court of law, and by any of the enquiry commission set up by the government. But it is still used widely by these 'seculars', leftists and their likes to malign the RSS.

The incident of Chimur

   When an agitation was on in the 1942 movement in Chimur, a place in Vidarbha in Maharashtra, during the hoisting of the flag, the tricolour stopped mid-way. A youth with khadi came forward (named Balaji Raipurkar). He raised the flag to the top. At that moment the police resorted to ruthless firing on him. His body was pierced. He collapsed life-less on the ground. He was a Sangh swayamsewak. This is well-known, since Chimur was one place where RSS Swayamsewaks actually established a parallel government. RSS leaders Dada Naik, Baburao Begade and Annaji were leaders of the movement in Chimur. In this agitation, 125 satyagrahis were put on trial and impriosned, and hundreds of RSS swayamsewaks were imprisoned.

   On 16 August 1942, at Chimur, many RSS workers participated directly in a Quit India agitation which resulted in a brutal suppression by the British. Dada Naik, who was also the head of the Chimur RSS branch, was sentenced to death by the British. The Hindu Mahasabha leader Dr N B Khare took up his case with the authorities and got it commuted to imprisonment. Ramdas Rampure, another RSS cadre, was shot dead by the British. Confidential reports blamed two persons for these uprisings. One was Dada Naik who, the report said, was 'was largely behind the recent disturbances' and the other was Sant Tukdoji Maharaj, who was closely associated with the RSS, and was suspected to have been involved in disturbances at Chimur. Later Sant Tukdoji Maharaj became one of the co-founders of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP). The Nagpur University is named after Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj.

     The agitation of Mahatma Gandhi had started with a lot of energy. But by 8th August 1942 Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and all other top leaders were arrested and imprisoned in jail, and as a result the movement became directionless. What should workers remaining outside (the jail) do? Where should they go underground? The then RSS chief Golwalkar had made this facility as well, with foresight. 

    Aruna Asaf Ali, who was honoured with the title “Bayalis ki Bijli” (Literally, ‘Lightning of 1942’) in an interview to Delhi’s Hindi daily ‘Hindusthan’ in August 1967 said: “After the 1942 movement became directionless after the arrest of the top leaders, I was underground at the house of RSS’s Delhi Prant Sanghachalak Lala Hansraj Gupta. He gave me shelter for 10-15 days and made excellent arrangement for my security. Lalaji did not let the servants and guards of his house get any idea about this. An underground worker should not stay at one place for long, so I took the ghagra and chunari given by Lalaji’s wife on my head, covering my face so that no one would recognize me, went away from there to another place doing Bhangra in a procession (Baraat).” Aruna Asaf Ali further said: “All top leaders were in jail. There was no arrangement of giving direction to those who were outside jail. Hence everyone took his independent decision. Hence it will be wrong to say that Hindusthan got freedom due to the 1942 movement.”

   Delhi’s Suruchi Prakashan has mentioned in the book “RSS and Freedom Movement” written by Chittaranjan that when Vedamurti Pandit Shripad Damodar Satwalekar was the Sanghachalak of Aundh, he had given shelter at his house for many days to the Father of the ‘Parallel Government’, Krantiveer Nana Patil. Nana Patil’s associate Kisanveer stayed at the house of the Sanghachalak of Wai, Dattopant Gokhale. Socialist leader Achyutrao Patwardhan had lived alternately at the houses of many swayamsewaks. A strong critic of RSS, Gandhian Sane Guruji had stayed secretly at the house of the Pune Sanghachalak of RSS, Bhausaheb Deshmukh. All the above are irrefutable facts, accepted by these freedom-fighters themselves.

   Many workers of the Congress Committee of Solapur were given shelter by the Sanghachalak and other swayamsewaks. From calling doctor and taking utmost care when someone fell ill, to lawyer swayamsewaks fighting cases of underground activists fearlessly and free of charge in court, all things were done. Congress committee member of Solapur, Ganesh Bapuji Shinkar issued a statement 6 years after this which was published on 12 December 1948. He said: "I had participated in Bharat Chhodo (Quit India) movement in 1942. Capitalist and agrarian community were scared of the government at that time. Therefore we were not offered safe havens in their homes. We had to stay in Sangh workers' homes to work underground. People from the Sangh used to help us happily with our underground work. They also took care of all our requirements. Not only this, if someone from amongst us fell sick, Sangh swayamsewak doctors used to treat us. Sangh swayamsewaks, who were advocates, used to fight our cases fearlessly. Their patriotism and value-based living were indisputable."

    What Shri Guruji had told Sangh swayamsewaks and Sanghchalaks only proved that the Sangh considers opponents as also ‘Our people’. Foresightedness was also proven.

    Many anti-RSS people, Marxists and politicians often ask: "Which RSS leaders went to jail for taking part in the freedom movement?". Former journalist & ex-AAP leader Ashutosh tweeted an outrageous lie that not a single RSS leader went to jail for taking part in the freedom movement. Obviously, they parrot the lies spread by Marxists, and it is very dangerous from their point of view to do so. If RSS men are to be mentioned:

1- RSS founder Dr Hedgewar 
2- No. 2 of RSS Appaji Joshi
3- Dr Annasaheb Deshpande (Aarvi in Vidarbha)
4- Ramakant Keshav alias Babasaheb Deshpande (Jashpur in Chhattisgarh) who later founded the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram
6- Vasantrao Oak (the then prant pracharak of Delhi)
7-Narayan Singh known as Babuaji (in Bihar) who later became Bihar Sanghchalak
8- Chandrakant Bharadwaj who received a bullet in his foot which couldn't be removed. He became a famous poet and wrote many songs sung in RSS.
9- Madhavrao in East Uttar Pradesh who later became prant pracharak
10- Bhauji Kawre
11- Balkrishna Mukund alias B M Deo who was arrested aged 16 in Bhandara in 1942 
12- Rajju Bhaiya i.e. Rajendra Singh (4th RSS chief) who later became the 4th RSS sarsanghachalak
13- Dada Naik, Chimur RSS chief
14- Dattatreya Gangadhar alias Bhaiyaji Kasture who later became a pracharak
 and many others 
  
  On 11 August 1942 Patna saw a successful attempt by young boys to hoist the Tricolour Flag on the government secretariat. 6 agitators were felled by police firing. Of these six, two namely Devipad Chaudhary and Jagapati Kumar were swayamsewaks. Senior journalist Krishnakant Ojha confirmed their RSS connection. A felicitation programme to honour them was organized during the 50th anniversary celebrations of Independence in 1997 under the Chairmanship of revolutionary Vachnesh Tripathi in the presence of the then regional pracharak and now Sarsanghachalak, Dr Mohan Bhagwat. There are many swayamsewaks in Bihar who were awarded 'Tamra Patras' as freedom fighters of 1942. 

   There is a heroic story of Hemu Kalani of Sakkhar town in Sindh (Pakistan). He was removing fish plates from railway tracks with his colleagues. Their objective was to frustrate the plans to move forces to suppress the struggle in various areas. Unfortunately Hemu was arrested while his friends managed to escape the police net. Hemu was given death sentence by the Army court in 1943. He has a memorial in his name constructed by local Sindhi swayamsewaks and maintained by 'Hemu Kalani Yadgaar Mandal'. This story is also recounted by the late Gobind Motwani in his book '9 year of RSS in Sindh- 1939-1947'. Hemu Kalani remains an unsung hero of the freedom struggle because Pakistanis don't recognize him as he was a Hindu, and Indian historians don't recognize his contribution because he was a RSS swayamsewak!

   In 1947, the RSS had played a major role in Kashmir's merger with India. The then RSS pracharak in Kashmir, Balraj Madhok had listened to Sheikh Abdullah's speech in Srinagar in October 1947 and had met Sardar Patel, Maharaja Hari Singh, Jawahrlal Nehru and many others and given them vital information. Balraj Madhok met the then Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir (appointed by Maharaja Hari Singh), Ramchandra Kak in 1947 some days before Independence. Sheikh Abdullah wanted a separate independent Sheikhdom in Kashmir Valley with the support of Pakistan. This situation put Hari Singh in a dilemma. As a patriot and a nationalist, he was opposed to accede to Pakistan. His own Kashmiri prime minister, Ramchandra Kak was all out for independence. Kak had a British wife and he was in close touch with pro-independence states like Bhopal. Kak knew Balraj Madhok's influence over the Hindu population of the State. So, he invited Madhok for a talk on the subject. He tried to convince Madhok for an independent Kashmir, but had no answer to Madhok's pointed questions whether the state could stand independent on its own and whether it would not encourage other States like Hyderabad and Bhopal to stay independent?

    Madhok gave a report of this meeting to the Maharajah, ie. Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir some days before Partition. It had its effect, the Maharajah dismissed Kak on 10th August and requested Sardar Patel to spare Justice Mehar Chand Mahajan to take over as the Prime Minister of J & K. Mahajan at the time was a judge of the Lahore High Court. He had pleaded the case of Hindus before the Radcliffe Boundary Commission between India and Pakistan. According to Madhok, this made it clear that Hari Singh was not pro-independence as generally propagated and that he was all for accession to India, but this was made somewhat difficult by two decisions of Prime Minister Nehru. Madhok met Sardar Patel on 8 March 1948, and Nehru on 10 March 1948 and talked to him on the Kashmir issue.

    http://janasangh.com/jsart.aspx?stid=241

   The moment Kashmir was merged with India, the Indian Army landed in Srinagar to liberate Kashmir from the Pakistani invaders. Till the Army arrived, a contingent of RSS volunteers defended the Srinagar airport, which included Balraj Madhok, who later rose to become the Jana Sangh chief in the 1960s.

    Before 15 August 1947, the Sangh leaders in the State (Jammu & Kashmir) began exerting every possible influence to persuade the Maharaja to declare his accession to India before the deadline of 15th August 1947. The State Sanghachalak ie RSS chief Pandit Prem Nath Dogra, submitted several memoranda and followed them up with personal interviews with the Maharaja. Several social and political organisations in the province were also persuaded to pass resolutions urging the Maharaja to join India without delay. Thousands of telegrams were sent to him from all parts of Kashmir and other neighbouring states. Badridasji, Sanghachalak ie RSS chief of Punjab whom the Maharaja Hari Singh of Jammu & Kashmir held in high esteem, hastened to Srinagar to meet and advise him.  

   When 14th August 1947 came, the postal authorities in Srinagar hoisted the Pakistani flag on their office because the post offices within the State came under Sialkot circle which now formed part of Pakistan. Promptly, the Sangh Swayamsevaks and sympathisers saw to it that the postal authorities pulled down the Pakistani flag. On the next day, i.e., the 15th of August, the Indian Tricolour flew over most of the houses and shops in Srinagar. The flags had been prepared in hundreds in the Sangh Karyalaya and distributed to the people.

   H V Seshadri writes in his book "RSS- Vision in Action" that: 
  
   "A Sangh Swayamsevak in the guise of a Muslim had wormed himself into the camp of the Muslim personnel of the State's Armed Forces at Srinagar and secured detailed plans of the projected Pakistan invasion. A prominent Sangh worker of Kashmir (Balraj Madhok?) personally informed the Commander of the State Forces about the plan and the impending tragedy. Later developments tallied word to word with the details of that plan.

   The sudden and massive invasion of Kashmir on 23rd October by Pakistani tribesmen, the SOS to Delhi by the Maharaja for help, agreeing to the accession of the State to India and the flying of Indian troops to save Kashmir—all these followed in lightning succession.[Kashmir was merged with India on 26 October 1947]

   The first attack by Pakistani raiders was made on 11th October 1947. Many on the Indian side were butchered and large numbers of women abducted. Then began regular raids on a long stretch of the border. By October 22-23, the entire Jammu Sialkot border was aflame reducing scores of border villages to ashes. Within the city of Jammu itself, the local Muslims numbering about 20,000 were in a rebellious mood. The first shot was fired in Talab Katikan area which was followed by a series of riots. The fate of Jammu city and the entire countryside, with no troops on hand, hung in a precarious balance. A terrible tragedy stared everybody in the face. But the young men of Sangh rose to the occasion. They faced the pro-Pakistani Muslim elements inside, repulsed their repeated attacks and shattered their designs.

   Thus was saved Jammu. But for the Swayamsevaks' valiant efforts, Jammu could never have been saved; and without Jammu, there was not the ghost of a chance to save Srinagar even by Indian forces....

   Once the backbone of internal saboteurs was broken, Swayamsevaks took up the urgent task of broadening the Jammu aerodrome. Five hundred Swayamsevaks toiled round the clock for seven days and made the aerodrome ready for the Indian dakotas to land. Roads for the movement of Indian Army were also repaired and constructed by them in record time. In the meanwhile, in several villages on the border, the local Muslims had joined hands with the invaders and butchered many Hindus and many Hindu women. In that critical hour, once again the indomitable spirit of heroism and sacrifice of the Sangh Swayamsevaks came to the fore. Many Swayamsevaks from Jammu laid down their lives in saving the lives and honour of tens of thousands of Hindus remaining in Mirpur, after it fell into Pakistani hands.

   The helpless refugees struggling towards Jammu had no other protection against the Pathan snipers except a hundred and more Sangh men moving by their side, in a day-and-night vigil...

   Swayamsevaks felt no sacrifice too great when the call came to assist our Army. The garrison inside Kotley had run out of ammunition. 20 chests of ammunitions dropped by our Air Force had fallen off a steep slope, well within the range of Pakistani artillery. The Commander of the garrison thought it unwise to risk the life of the few available soldiers to salvage the material as the task seemed to entail sure death. However, a local Sangh worker, Krishnalal, along with 20 other Swayamsevaks, accepted the challenge and brought back 17 chests. But they had to pay the price of six precious lives, including their leader. In lieu of the six, however, they had saved the life and honour of six thousand Hindus in the town. And right at the fag-end of the battle, Prakash, the Nagar Karyavaha, also fell a martyr while defending the town.

   In Kashmir Valley, too, the situation was similar. Though Sheikh Abdullah, assured by Delhi of his supreme position in Kashmir, stood firm against the Pak invasion, his followers joined the raiders being carried away by the Islamic frenzy let loose by Pak propaganda. The Swayamsevaks joined the militia in large numbers and stood by the Indian Army in throwing out the raiders. The defence of Srinagar claimed the life of Pandit Manmath, a Sangh worker in the militia. Sheikh Abdullah's government allowed the Sangh Swayamsevaks to work in the militia till the Kashmir Valley was cleared of the raiders and his own regime was well settled. And once that purpose was served, the Sangh Swayamsevaks were eased out of the militia and even out of Kashmir in a planned manner."
   
   At the diplomatic level at the Centre, too, RSS had made certain moves in the crucial mid-October days. Sardar Patel, knowing the mind of the Maharaja, had pitched upon the then RSS chief M S Golwalkar 'Guruji' to talk to him. M S Golwalkar, Sardar Patel knew, commanded the implicit confidence of the Maharaja. Golwalkar flew to Srinagar on 17th October 1947. He brought home to the Maharaja Hari Singh the futility of harbouring any idea of retaining Kashmir as an independent kingdom and advised him to join India straightway. Finally, the Maharaja expressed his readiness to sign the Instrument of Accession to India. RSS chief Guruji returned to New Delhi on 19th October, and reported to Sardar Patel about the Maharaja's readiness to accede to India.The then RSS chief M S Golwalkar thus had played a major role in convincing Maharaja Harisingh to merge with India. Kedarnath Sahni also played a major role. 

   The volunteers of RSS also played a part, they defended the Srinagar airport until the Army arrived to begin recapturing Kashmir from Pakistani infiltrators.They helped build Jammu airport and widened the Srinagar airport. They crossed the Ravi river at Madhopur, carrying ammunition on their backs to keep it dry. In some places they also helped the soldiers clear the mines laid by the Pakistanis. Balraj Madhok who was the then RSS pracharak in Kashmir has described all these details, which are also on record.

   After his death on 2 May 2016 aged 96, newspaper Business Standard quoting news service IANS described Balraj Madhok's role of 1947 in an article titled "Madhok built helipad overnight for Indian troops in 1947" thus:
   
   "Former Bharatiya Jana Sangh president Balraj Madhok, who died here on Monday, was a hardcore nationalist who prepared a helipad overnight when Indian troops landed in Kashmir in 1947...Vagish Issar, who looks after the media affairs of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), said very few people know about Madhok's work in Jammu and Kashmir after partition. Issar quoted Madhok as saying that when Pakistani tribals raided Kashmir in 1947, there was no helipad in his area. To help the Indian forces land there, he along with Kedarnath Sahni - who too later became a prominent Jana Sangh and BJP leader - and Jagdish Abrol prepared the helipad overnight...."

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/madhok-built-helipad-overnight-for-indian-troops-in-1947-obituary-116050201121_1.html
   
   Kedarnath Sahni also remained RSS Prachark in Mirpur upto 1947 and during Pak invaders attack he was in Mirpur. He did a remarkable job during the turmoil of Kashmir in organising the Party and Sangh activists for providing relief to the displaced Hindus from Valley at Jammu and Union Capital and personally monitored the entire process. This was accepted by the English daily from J&K, the Daily Excelsior on 5 October 2012, after he died.
 http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/kedar-nath-sahni-given-tearful-adieu/

   That 'Guruji' Golwalkar did not blame the British overtly for India’s downfall is another canard spread by the old media. In fact, throughout his term as the head of the RSS, he took extraordinary care not to blame external agencies for any of the problems of Hindu society and also the Sangh. For example, in the case of religious conversions, he forbade his followers to put the blame on Christians and Muslims. In this context he stated:

Many workers appear to take delight in blaming others for all ills. Some may put the blame on the political perversities, others on the aggressive activities of the Christians or Muslims and such other faiths. Let our workers keep their minds free from such tendencies and work for our people and our Dharma in the right spirit, lend a helping hand to all our brethren who need help and strive to relieve distress wherever we see it.
[Bunch of Thoughts, p.277]


   In 1954, young men of the Azad Gomatak Dal attacked and directly captured Dadra and Nagar Haveli. RSS men were a large part of this Azad Gomantak Dal. Many RSS workers sacrificed their lives in this successful attack in 1954.  (Source: This is very basic general knowledge and is also mentioned in the book "Dadra and Nagar Haveli: past and present" written by P S Lele, published in 1987). In 1987, 100 such RSS workers who had taken part in the 1954 attack were honoured by the Maharashtra Government (of the Congress), felicitated and officially recognized as freedom fighters.

    RSS members Raja Wakankar and Nana Kajrekar played a major role. In 1955, RSS leaders demanded the end of Portuguese rule in Goa and its integration into India. When Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru refused to obtain it by armed intervention, RSS leader Jagannath Rao Joshi (1920-1991) led the satyagraha agitation straight into Goa itself along with thousands of RSS and Jana Sangh men on 23 June 1955, which happened to be his birthday also. He was imprisoned with his followers by the Portuguese police. Jagannatha Rao Joshi was arrested by the Portugese Army and was taken to Fort Aguada prison because he had entered Goa without a permit - as then required. It was almost akin to Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee entering Kashmir without a permit and imprisoned in Srinagar Central Prison. Joshi was asked by the judge why he had come to Goa without a permit. Jagannatha Rao Joshi roared like a lion and said, "I have come to Goa to ask why you (Portugese) have come to Goa. Goa is a part of my motherland and I have right to go any part of my motherland." This statement was similar to what Dr Mukherjee told Sheikh Abdullah - that Kashmir was an integral part of Mother Bharat and he had right to go any part of Bharat.

   This statement of Joshi made a splash in the media and rightly got the epithet Karnataka Kesari (Karnataka’s Lion). Though he was imprisoned along with hundreds of RSS and BJS activists, Joshi, however, was condemned to solitary confinement, as the British did to Savarkar. Did the Portugese see in Jagannath Rao Joshi shades of Savarkar?


  (Not that any major reference is needed for this well-documented fact, but still a source is worth mentioning here. Even the Western and known anti-RSS writer  Christophe Jaffrelot mentioned this role of Jagannathrao Joshi in his book "The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics: 1925 to 1990s" published in 1999 by Penguin books, known for their anti-RSS publications).

 The peaceful protests continued but met with severe repressions. On 15 August 1955, the Portuguese police opened fire on the satyagrahis, killing thirty or so people, many of whom were from RSS.

  In 1962, China attacked India. The RSS played a major role in helping the government voluntarily for the sake of the nation. Some RSS members went to the border areas to fight with the Indian Army and gave their lives. The exact number of such men martyred is not known to this author, but an unverified report saying it was 43 was found by him.

  The magnanimity and ability to rise above the partisan interests of the 2nd RSS chief M S Golwalkar reached a new height when during the Chinese aggression in 1962, he declared that in that hour of crisis instead of criticising we should stand with the government. ‘We are a hundred and five more’, he quoted Mahabharata. The stopping of a series of articles which bitterly attacked Nehru’s blunders on the Chinese aggression, in the RSS magazine ‘Organiser’, made Sitaram Goel (1921-2003), a great intellectual and a fearless historian, a lifelong bitter critic of the Sangh.

   However, the services which the RSS rendered to the Indian army, made Nehru revise his own views of the RSS. The Prime Minister Nehru who had declared that he would not give even a single inch of land for their flag in the country now invited RSS to participate in the Republic day parade. The role of the RSS in this war and the sacrifice made by the martyrs melted the heart of even the most die-hard RSS critic, Jawaharlal Nehru. This is why Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had also invited Sangh swayamsewaks to take part in the Republic Day Parade of 1963 in full uniform and the swayamsewaks had done a very disciplined route-march. Have the critics of the Sangh forgotten this? At least Congress people should read history and then use their brain. 

   Another propaganda against RSS is that the RSS did not salute the National Flag, did not hoist it till 2001 in its office in Nagpur. It is absolutely wrong, since for many years before that, all office-bearers of the RSS hoisted and saluted the National Flag in different programs on 15 August at different places in the country. The RSS observed 14 August as Akhand Bharat Day (United India Day), and on this day its workers saluted the National Flag every year for many years before 2001. This writer himself saw many such 14 August programs since 1994. Just as every party or organization has its flag, e.g. the BJP has its flag, the Samajwadi Party its flag, the TDP its, etc the RSS too has its Flag. But that does not mean it does not salute the National Flag. 

   Another example of the loyalty of swayamsewaks to the tricolour can be seen during the flag-raising ceremony at the Congress' Faizpur session of December 1937. The Congress tricolour was stuck midway on an 80-feet high mast when Nehruji was unfurling it. Many tried unsuccessfully to untangle the flag after which a delegate Kishan Singh Pardesi courageously climbed up the mast-pole and freed the flag. People carried him on their soldiers and many people literally showered him with currency notes. The Congress session accepted a proposal to felicitate Pardesi. But no sooner did he reveal that he was a swayamsewak of RSS from Shirpur, Congressmen developed cold feet. When Dr Hedgewar heard about this contribution of a swayamsewak, he was very happy. He invited Pardesi to Dhule and publicly felicitated him, presenting a small silver bowl as a token of appreciation and patted him on his back. Dr Hedgewar said: "When any act for the nation hits a hurdle, and we have the ability to take it forward, then we should rush forward without thinking about the party, etc". [N H Palkar written biography of Dr Hedgewar, page 300].

  The history of the RSS, spanning 22 years before India's freedom is one of active participation in the anti-colonial struggle and unconditional co-operation not only with the Congress but also any other group committed to the liberation of the motherland. There are numerous other incidents of RSS' participation in the freedom struggle, both documented as well as undocumented. During the days of Dr Hedgewar and Golwalkar Guruji, RSS was told by them to be aloof from publicity. As a result, swayamsewaks did a lot of things, but did not publicize or document them. Unfortunately for the RSS opponents, there are many incidents documented comprehensively too. Owing to constraint of space we have not given all of them. There are full books on the role of the RSS in the freedom struggle such as one by Chittaranjan and one by Ratan Sharda.