“I am not interested in having myself included in any list of outstanding personalities in the country for the simple reason that I do not belong to that category. Allow me, therefore, to request you to drop my name and reference to my ‘biography’. I hope you will do me this favour.” This is how Shri Guruji had declined the honour extended to him by the Times of India, which wanted to include his name and biography in its Yearbook. It was Shri Guruji’s desire not to give him any publicity.
Dr Krishan Kumar Baveja’s book Shri Guruji—Vyaktitva Evam Krititva (Shri Guruji—Personality and Work) is full of such rare and inspiring references. Published by Suruchi Prakashan, New Delhi, the book, which has been priced at Rs 30, mainly highlights the countrywide tours of Shri Guruji, his interactions with people and guidance to Sangh workers from August 13, 1939, when he took over as Sarkaryavah of RSS, to March 1973. During this period he not only developed devdur-labh karyakarta (rare workers) through his hard toil and personal interaction, but also kept them active to bring about the desired change in the society.
Senior Sangh Pracharak and Akhil Bharatiya Pracharak Pramukh, Shri H.V. Seshadri has written the introduction to the book. The uniqueness of this book is that the author has nowhere included his own comments. Right from page one to the last page, the 205-page book, which is in Hindi, has either quotations from documents or reminiscences of those Sangh adhikaris who worked with Shri Guruji.
The book begins with the meeting of Sardar Khushwant Singh, the then editor of the Illustrated Weekly, with Guruji in Mumbai in which Khushwant Singh candidly expressed his apprehensions and his biased thinking about Shri Guruji before meeting him on November 17, 1972. “Guru Golwalkar was on top of my list whom I used to hate even without knowing anything about him… When I bent to touch his feet, he did not let me do so but instead holding me by my hand, made me sit next to him… . Was I impressed with him after this meeting? Yes, I was impressed with him. He did not try to impose his thoughts on me. Rather, he developed a feeling in me to keep my heart open to understand and listen to others’ views,” Khushwant Singh has written.
Shri Guruji’s views attracted not only the Sangh workers but all those who came into contact with him. “…I feel proud in worshipping the great persons like Dr Hedgewar. Generally we perform pooja with sandalwood and flowers, but the right way to perform pooja is to truly follow the person or God whom we want to worship,” Shri Guruji had said, while taking over the charge of Sarsanghchalak on July 3, 1940.
During the period from 1940 to 1973, when the country was passing through a series of troubles, Shri Guruji toured the whole country and not only guided the Sangh Swayamsevaks but also expressed his views on various issues concerning the nation. His warnings to the government on issues like friendship with China, Tashkent agreement, etc., turned out to be true. The book will prove useful to research scholars and persons who want to learn about Shri Guruji.