The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was founded almost 100 hundred years ago. And the organization remains among the most important cultural and political entities in the country. Yet, the organization had gotten somewhat deviated from its main purpose in recent years. But it is now reclaiming its “Hindu resistance” legacy with the ‘Akhand Bharat’ declaration.
RSS makes a bold ‘Akhand Bharat’ declaration
On Wednesday, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat echoed a seer’s statement that “Akhand Bharat is going to be a reality soon”.
Bhagwat was speaking in the context of Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad president Swami Ravindra Puri (of Mahanirvani Akhara) who said, “Astrological predictions suggest that we will realise the dream of ‘Akhand Bharat’ in the next 20-25 years.”
Bhagwat invokes Bhagwan Krishna
In his remarks about Akhand Bharat, Bhagwat said that “India will rise as it is the wish of Vasudeva (Lord Krishna).”
The RSS chief also said, “The speed at which we are moving towards our goal may take 25-30 years to achieve. But if we work together and accelerate the present speed, the time may be halved.”
And then he invoked the Bhagwad Gita. Bhagwat said, “We should remember Shri Krishna’s words in the Gita in which he talks about protection of the good. We should also not forget that the wicked have to be destroyed. India has welcomed in its fold all sorts of people from across the world. The good are to be assimilated, the less good are to be corrected, but the wicked must be rejected.”
Bhagwat also followed his remarks with a stern warning and said that “no one can stop India from achieving its goal”. He added, “Isko rokane wale hat jayenge ya mit jayenge (Those trying to impede the country’s march forward will either move away or not remain).”
RSS reclaiming its “Hindu resistance” legacy
Make no mistake, the birth of the RSS was related to Hindutva. The organization that was founded by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar unapologetically vowed to revive Hindutva at a political, cultural and social level.
The same philosophy was carried forward by Madhava Sadashiv Golwalkar, who is more popularly known as Guruji. The RSS indeed played a pivotal role in many critical junctures of India’s history. During the Partition, the RSS came to the rescue of Hindus and Sikhs of undivided Punjab. The English Tribune even wrote, “Punjab is the sword arm of Hindustan and RSS is the sword arm of Punjab.”
However, the organization lost touch with its original identity in recent years. Make no mistake, the RSS remains a huge entity and is expanding continuously. It already has 55,000 shakhas functioning across the country. The RSS plans on expanding its presence and doubling the number of shakhas to one lakh.
The RSS is also reaching out to people whom it hadn’t contacted till now. However, the issue isn’t that of presence. Rather, it is a question of identity. Of late, the RSS wasn’t looking like a cultural organization rather it was looking like a social welfare body. Mostly, what we got to read was that the RSS was reaching out and helping people in times of disasters and other crises.
Yes, the social initiatives taken by the RSS are praiseworthy. However, it should remain first and foremost a cultural and ideological organization. At a political level too, the RSS didn’t seem all that active. Apart from the Sangh Shiksha Varg, an important annual event held in Nagpur, the RSS didn’t seem to engage in politics very often.
However, with Bhagwat’s latest declaration of ‘Akhand Bharat’, the RSS seems to be reclaiming its legacy and finding a renewed purpose to pursue its original goals.