RSSFACTS: The lesser known and unknown facts about Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the largest voluntary organisation in the world.     

Address by Sarsanghchalak Dr. Mohan Bhagwat on the occasion of Sri Vijayadashami Utsav 2022 (Wednesday, October 5, 2022)

Updated: March 21, 2023 9:40
RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat delivering annual address on Vijayadashami at Nagpur in October 2022. Image

(English translation of the original Hindi Speech)

After worshipping the Shakti (Mother-Goddess) for nine nights (Navratri), on the tenth day – Ashwin Shukla Dashmi – that dawns with victory, we have assembled here to celebrate the Vijaydashami. The manifestation of all material and ethereal power is the Mother Goddess, she enables all resolves and grants us success. The Mother Goddess manifesting herself as Shakti is the basis of success of all noble and pure resolves and is imperative in establishment of purity and peace everywhere. Coincidently the delightful and honorable presence of today’s chief guest, Shrimati Santosh Yadav represents that Shakti and sentience. Twice, she has climbed the great heights of Gauri Shankar. In Sangh programmes, there is an old tradition of welcoming intellectual and accomplished women guests. The Shakha methodology of ‘Vyakti Nirman’ (Humandevelopment) is being operated separately by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh & Rashtriya Sevika Samiti. All other activities are carried out jointly by men and women.

Bharatiya tradition has always thought with this vision of complementarily. However, this great tradition was forgotten and numerous limitations were placed on ‘Matri Shakti,’ our women’s power. Repeated aggressions on our country created legitimacy for these false practices and over time they became habitual. At the very outset of our national regeneration, our great leaders rejected all manner of false practices that had become the lot of women. Both extremes – placing women’s power on a divine altar and freezing it there at the one end and the other extremity of treating women as second-class citizens and restricting them to kitchen – were avoided. Rather the focus was on the means and methods required for progress, empowerment of women in all domains of society, alongwith their participation and equity in the decision-making process. After stumbling through long years of various experiments the current individualistic and feminist view also is turning towards this very direction. In 2017, women activists working in different organizations had undertaken a broad-based and wideranging survey on the status of Indian women. The findings of the survey were submitted to the government authorities as well. The survey conclusions underscored the need for progress, empowerment and equal participation.

Dissemination and acceptance of these conclusive findings require work, starting first at the level of families and then continuing through all layers of organizational life; only then the society along with its Matri Shakti can deliver its role successfully as an organized force in national resurgence. Ordinary people are also now experiencing the process of national resurgence. We all feel a sense of exhilaration as we see our dear country, Bharat, make remarkable strides in Page 2 of 8 strength, character and international acclaim. The government is pursuing policies which lead towards self-reliance. Bharat’s importance and stature has increased in the community of nations. In the sphere of security, we are becoming more and more become self-sufficient. After negotiating through the calamity of corona our economy is inching towards the pre pandemic levels. The Prime Minister in his address to the nation on the occasion of the inauguration of ‘Kartavya Path’ gave a description of Modern India’s future based on economic, technological and cultural foundations, you all have heard it. The government is to be commended for its clear enunciations. However, it is required that we all perform our responsibilities in word and deed in this direction. To advance on the ‘Atmanirbhar’ path, it is important to understand the fundamental tenets and ideas that define us as a nation. It is a necessary pre-condition that all these tenets are clearly absorbed and equally understood by the government, administration and our society.

Flexibilities are required ordained by time and conditions, in such situations coordination and mutual faith ensure onward progress. Clarity of thought, unity of purpose, determination and an ability to adapt stimulate corrective steps and also safeguards against any possible mistakes. When the government, the administration, leaders of various political formations and sections of society rise above their differences and act in unison in a duty-bound manner, then a nation makes swift strides in development. While the government, administrative elements and political leaders perform their duties, our society also has to consciously carry out its responsibilities. The process of national regeneration calls for overcoming obstacles. The first obstacle is Conservatism! The knowledge base of humankind increases with time. With time some things change while some are obviated. New facts and situations emerge. Therefore, any new dispensation must create a harmonious balance between tradition and contemporary realities. Outdated mores of the past have to be castaway. New traditions that are in sync with the present times and our nation have to be formulated, at the same time we have to be mindful about certain eternal values that imbue our identity, culture and life principles. We have to be cautious that they are not eroded and faith in them and their practice remains intact as before. The second type of obstacles are created by forces who are inimical to Bharat’s unity and progress.

Broadcasting wrong and fake narratives for spreading misperceptions, engaging and encouraging criminal acts, fomenting terror, conflict and social unrest are their tactics. We are experiencing these. These forces pit different sections of society against each other on the basis of sectional self-interest and hatred, and increase chasms and enmities, this has been their conduct in independent Bharat. Without getting trapped in their machinations, irrespective of their language, religion, region, policy, they have to be dealt with fearlessly, relentlessly and be either protested or repelled. We should assist the government’s and administration’s efforts to control and bring such forces to its heels. Only our society’s strong and pro-active cooperation can ensure our comprehensive security and unity. Without the strong involvement of society, no noble work or transformation can be stable and successful; this has been a universal experience. A good system also cannot be implemented if people are not prepared for it or if they do not accept it. World over, all big and long-lasting transformations have been preceded by social awakening, thereafter systemic and administrative changes have followed. Education that encourages teaching in one’s mother-tongue as a policy is a highly reasonable opinion; the government/administration is paying attention to this by way of New Education Policy (NEP). But do parents want their children to be taught in their mother-tongue? Or chasing socalled financial gain or career (for which more than education, enterprise, courage and Page 3 of 8 intuitive knowledge are required) chimeras, do they want their wards to become a part of a blind rat race? When expecting the government to institute the promotion of mother-tongue, we should also consider whether we sign our names in our mother-tongue or not? Whether the nameplates affixed on our residences are rendered in mother-tongue or not? Whether household invitations bear the texts in mother-tongue or not? The New Education Policy should lead to students becoming highly cultured, good human beings who are also inspired by patriotism – this is everyone’s desire. But are the well-educated, and intellectual parents aware of this overall objective of education when they send their children to schools and universities.

Education is not imparted only in classrooms. The home environment of ‘Samskars’ (ethical conduct) and the duties of the parents thereof, mediums that influence social behaviours and discipline, public figures and leaders, festivals, carnivals, social gatherings etc also play a major role. How much attention do we pay to that? Without these exposures, only school-going education cannot be effective. The Sangh wants the government to develop a healthcare system that pools varied medical treatment methods from diverse sources for etching out affordable health services that are widely available and shorn off commercial motivations. With government’s inspiration and support, yoga and exercises should continue in the interest of personal hygiene and social wellness. There are many people who are keenly interested in this and they regularly extoll the benefits from such practices. But if people ignore all this and continue with their old habits and attitudes then which system can ensure health for all? Our constitution engineered political and economic equality but without social equity, real and stable transformation is not possible, such a cautionary advice was given to us by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. Later, ostensibly, some rules were made to achieve this objective. But the root cause of inequality is in our minds, social conditioning and habitual conduct. Personal and inter-family/community friendships, easy and informal exchanges, co-mingling takes place and at the social level unless temples, water sources and cremation grounds are open to all Hindus – till such time talk of equality will be a mere pipe dream. Transformations that are expected to be brought in through administrative mechanisms are strengthened, accelerated and stabilized if they are also reflected in our social purpose and behavior. If this does not happen the transformation process is obstructed and does not acquire fruition. Thus, educating mindsets is a necessary pre-condition. To achieve development which is devoid of consumerism and exploitation and is based on our thought tradition we will have to eradicate consumerist attitude and tendency to exploit from our own life and our society.

For a country as populous as Bharat, it is a natural expectation that economic and development policy making should be employment-oriented. But employment does not mean simply jobs, this prudence has to expand in our society. No work is insignificant or nonprestigious; manual, financial and intellectual labour are all respectable – we have to recognize this and conduct ourselves accordingly. Enterprise-oriented actions have to be encouraged. Setting up of decentralized employment training programmes in every district, employment opportunities in home districts, development programmes in villages as also education, health, ease of travel – these are common expectations from government. However, during the pandemic, activists who toiled felt that the organized power of society is also capable of high delivery of services. Organizations working in the financial sector, small scale enterprises, some wealthy individuals, experts in craft skills, trainers and local Page 4 of 8 Swayamsevaks alongwith Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) began this project in 275 districts. It’s still early days but they have been able to trigger employment generation significantly – such is the circle. This emphasis on society’s participation in every sphere of our national life, is not to relieve government of its responsibilities of governance rather it is to emphasize societal partnership for national upliftment and pivot policy making in that direction.

Our country has a huge population – this is a reality. Nowadays there are two kinds of evaluation done on population. Populations require resources, if it keeps growing it becomes a big burden, perhaps an unbearable burden. Therefore, with the perspective of population control, plans are made. There is another dimension, in which population is considered an asset. Focus is on appropriate training and maximum usage. When we look at the world population one fact emerges. Only when we look at our country, thoughts may change. China has reversed its population control policy to population growth. Our national interest influences our thoughts on population matters. Today we are the youngest country. 50 years hence, today’s youth will be the future years’ senior citizens, to look after them what size should be our young population, this math we also have to do. With efforts, the people make a country grand, they also carry on their family line and that of society. To beget, preserve and protect a populace apart from being relevant for national identity and security, is a subject that touches some other facets also. The number of children is linked with maternal health, education, financial status and individual wish. It is also dependent what each family needs. Population impacts the environment also. In summation, the population policy has to be formulated considering all these factors mindfully. It should be applicable for all; public awareness campaigns will be required for creating a mindset of total observance of this policy.

Only then rules pertaining to population control will yield results. In 2000, the Government of India after multi-stakeholder consultations had framed a population policy. One key goal was to obtain a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 2.1. Recently, in 2022, the NFHS report which comes out every five years, has been published. Due to social awareness and constructive co-operative efforts by the central and state governments the TFR has come down below the targeted 2.1 to 2.0. While we are continuously progressing on the front of public awareness and the goals of population control, two more questions are emerging for consideration. Social scientists and mental health experts opine that ultra-nuclear families are posing challenges for the all-around development of young girls and boys, families are feeling a sense of insecurity, social tensions, loneliness etc are presenting testing times and a question mark hangs over the central edifice of our society –the ‘family system.’ Another question of great importance that of population imbalance has arisen. 75 years ago, we experienced this in our country. In the 21st century, the three new countries that have come into existence, East Timor, South Sudan and Kosovo – they have been the results of population imbalance in certain territories of Indonesia, Sudan and Serbia. Population imbalances lead to changes in geographical boundaries. Alongside the differences in birth rate, conversions by force, lure or greed and infiltration are also big reasons. All these factors have to be mulled over. Population control and religion-based population balance is an important subject that can no longer be ignored. Page 5 of 8 In a democracy, the value of willing co-operation from people is well-known. The notification of rules, its acceptance and the achievement of desired results happens due to this only. Rules which yield quick benefits or result in gains over time or serve self-interest need not be explained. But when in national interest or in the interests of vulnerable sections, one has to leave selfish concerns, then to prepare people to make such sacrifices, a society has to keep awake their sense of and their pride in who they are.

This selfhood links us all. Because this is a direct result of the experience of truth that our ancient forefathers obtained. “Everything that happened in creation and will happen is out of this only” (सर्वयद्भूतं यच्च भव्य)ं , is an expression of that eternal and everlasting root of existence, while determinedly upholding one’s uniqueness yet respecting diversity and its specialities – this is a lesson which only Bharat teaches everyone. All are one so everyone should work unitedly, our different belief systems do not divide us. Truth, compassion, internal and external purity of heart and penance are the four principles that make all faiths fellow travellers. It protects all diversity and while maintaining their growth, keeps them together. This is what we call Dharma. Our culture based on these principles joins us all and inspires us to see the world as a family gifting it with a culture of harmony, dialogue, goodwill and peaceful co-existence. The sentiments of ‘र्सधुैर् कुटुंबकम’ (the world is ् one family) and “वर्श्वंभर्त्येकंनीडम”् (may the world become one home) are lofty goals that inspire us to strive. This eternal flow of our national life has continued since ancient times with only this objective and only in this manner. With time and circumstances, form, path and style have changed but the fundamentals, destinations and objectives have remained the same. Continued progress in this journey was made possible by the tremendous courage and selfsacrifice of our countless braves, the gigantic labour of innumerable Karmayogis and severe penance undertaken by knowledgeable people.

We all consider them to be worthy of emulation in our lives. They are our pride. Those our common ancestors of ours are one more foundation of our unified existence. They all sang paeans to our dear Motherland. Since ancient times, they inculcated in us the temperament to respectfully accept diversity and walk along with each other, they did not limit themselves to the frivolities of material pleasures but delved into the innermost recesses of human mind to seek out the enlightening truth of self-knowledge; considered the whole world as one’s own family, and propagated knowledge, science, culture and gentleness, all this due to our Motherland, Bharat alone. Since ancient times, laden with bountiful streams, verdant greens and splendid gentle breeze, Bharat Mata through her natural climes and frontiers has nurtured and protected us and made us what we are. An unparalleled devotion to our undivided Motherland is a main postulate of our nationality. Since ancient times, irrespective of differences in geography, language, religion, lifestyle, diversities in social and political systems, as a society, culture and nation our way of living has continued in an unbroken manner. In this, there is acceptance, respect, security and progress for all diversities. Other than narrow-mindedness, fundamentalism, aggression and ego, no one needs to forego anything. Nothing is compulsory other than Truth, compassion, physical and inner purity and the dedicated practice of these three. Devotion to Bharat, the shining ideals of our ancestors and the great Sanskriti of our country, these are the three Page 6 of 8 pillars which light up and pave our path on which we have to travel together with love and affection. This is our selfhood and Rashtra Dharma. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) mobilises and calls on society with this intention. Today Sangh experiences that people are ready to listen to and understand this clarion call. The propaganda which circulated against the Sangh due to ignorance, falsehoods, malice, fear and selfishness, has now lost its impact. This is because the geographical and social reach of Sangh has considerably increased i.e. It has increased in strength. It is a strange reality that to be heard in this world, Truth also needs strength. There are evil forces also in this world and to save oneself and others from them, the virtuous forces need to have organised strength of their own. Spreading the abovementioned national thought, Sangh works to develop the entire society as an organised force. This work is Hindu Sangathan work because the abovementioned thought is called as thought of Hindu nation and it is so.

Therefore, without opposing anybody, Sangh organises all who subscribe to this thought i.e. organises the Hindu society for protecting the Hindu Dharma, Sanskriti, Samaj, and an allround development of the Hindu Rashtra. Now when Sangh is receiving the affection and confidence of people and also has become strong, the concept of Hindu Rashtra is being taken seriously. Many people agree with the concept but are opposed to the word ‘Hindu’ and they prefer to use other words. We don’t have any issue with that. For the clarity of concept – we will keep emphasizing the word Hindu for ourselves. Scare-mongering is done among so-called minorities that there is a danger to them because of us or organised Hindus. This has not happened in the past, nor will it happen in future. This is neither the nature of Sangh nor of the Hindus, history bears this out. Self defence and defence of our own becomes a duty for everyone against those who spread hatred, commit injustice, atrocity, engage in acts of hooliganism and enmity towards society. “Neither threatens nor gets threatened,” this kind of a Hindu society is a need of the present times. This is not anti-anybody. Sangh has a steely resolve to stand on the side of brotherhood, amity and peace. With some such worries, from amongst the so-called minorities, some gentlemen have been meeting us. They have had meetings and discussions with Sangh office-bearers and this will continue. Bharatvarsh is an ancient nation, one nation. Preserving this identity and founts of tradition, while at the same time maintaining each one’s uniqueness, we should live with one another with love, respect and peace and engross ourselves in the selfless service of our nation. We must be companions in bliss and sorrow, we must understand and respect Bharat, we must be of Bharat, this is the Sangh vision of National integrity and Harmony. There is no other motivation or vested interest of Sangh in this. Recently in Udaipur and some other places, extremely horrific and grisly incidents occurred. Our society was stunned.

Most were sad and angry. It has to be ensured that there is no recurrence of such incidents. Particular community as a whole cannot be taken as a root cause for these incidents. After the Udaipur incident, from within the Muslim society, few prominent persons voiced their protest against the incident. This manner of protest should not be an isolated phenomenon within the Muslim society rather it should become the nature of Page 7 of 8 their large sections. Hindu society in general assertively expressed their protests and strong reactions after such incidents even if the accused be Hindu persons. Whatever be the extent of provocation, protests always have to be within the boundaries of our laws and constitution. Our society should come together, not fall apart or quarrel. With a sense of mutual reciprocity in word, deed and actions, all should speak mindfully and sensibly. We look different and distinctive, so we are different, we want separation, we cannot be with this country, its way of life and ideas or its identity; due to this falsehood ‘brothers were separated, territory was lost, places of worship were destroyed’, – no one was happy with the poisonous experience of partition. We are of Bharat, came from Bhartiya ancestors and its eternal culture, we are one as a society and in our nationality, this is the only protective shield, the mantra for us all. We are completing 75 years of our independence. At the beginning of our national resurgence, Swami Vivekananda had exhorted us to devote ourselves to Bharat Mata and her service. On the occasion of our first Independence Day, 15th August 1947, Rishi Aurobindo gave a message to Bharitiyas.

It was also his birthday. The message described his five dreams. First, Bharat’s independence and solidarity. The integration of princely states through a constitutional process was a matter of joy for him. However, he was worried that due to partition, instead of Hindu-Muslim unity an everlasting political divide had been created which could obstruct and get in the way of Bharat attaining unity, progress and peace. By which ever means possible he wanted Bharat’s partition to be nullified and fervently wished for Akhand Bharat. He knew Bharat had a central role in fulfilling his other dreams – liberation of Asian countries, unity in the world, the gift of Bharat’s spiritual wisdom to the world, the evolution of man to a higher consciousness. Therefore, he gave a concise manifesto of service: “There are times in a nation’s history when Providence places before it one work, one aim, to which everything else, however high and noble in itself, has to be sacrificed. Such a time has now arrived for our motherland when nothing is dearer than her service, when everything else is to be directed to that end. If you will study, study for her sake; train yourselves body and mind and soul for her service. You will earn your living that you may live for her sake. You will go abroad to foreign lands that you may bring back knowledge with which you may do service to her. Work that she may prosper. Suffer that she may rejoice. All is contained in that one single advice.” This message is as relevant today as it was on that day. …
Bharat Mata ki Jai (All glory to the MotherIndia )

Also Read

Why the world of economics  should replace  ‘economic man’   with ‘whole man’   

How RSS played an important role in India’s freedom struggle

How RSS is strengthening Indian families  through ‘Kutumb Prabodhan’

India is doing well on economic front due to policy of Self-reliance, says RSS inspired SJM