By P. Parmeshwaran
Individual ego is bad; organisational ego is equally bad if not worse, because ego leads to clashes and conflicts. But self-respect and self-confidence are not only desirable, they are also essential, as much for the individual as for organisations.
Without self-respect and self-confidence, one'sability to manifest one'spotentialities get diluted, if not destroyed. Ego is vainglorious, whereas self-confidence is born out of a realistic assessment of one'sstrengths and weaknesses, capabilities and incompetence.
The RSS has achieved what was never achieved before. Its life mission was the creation of a cohesive Hindu society on the strength of its common basis without disturbing or destroying the natural diversities of language, lifestyle or forms of worship.
RSS is recognised as the largest non-governmental organisation in the world, cutting across nations and continents with its foundation firmly planted in Bharat. Twenty-two years of its existence were spent in India under colonial rule and the rest in independent India. Its unique role in creating unity among the Hindus is well known. The RSS has achieved what was never achieved before. Its life mission was the creation of a cohesive Hindu society on the strength of its common basis without disturbing or destroying the natural diversities of language, lifestyle or forms of worship. No individual or organisation has ever been as successful as the RSS in this apparently impossible endeavour. No wonder, those who had evil designs of exploiting Hindu disunity for their sinister designs are up against the Sangh, while lovers and well-wishers of this country and its culture are happy at the success of the RSS. Both friends and foes realise that, had it not been for the mighty organisational structure created by the RSS by dint of hard work during the last 80 years, the history of India would have been different and its future dismally bleak.
The greatest contribution of the RSS to the Hindu society is that it has instilled a tremendous sense of self-confidence in it, and since this is a Hindu nation, the Sangh has made Bharat a proud and self-respecting nation in the eyes of the world. True, RSS could not prevent the tragedy of India'spartition. But it has been able to create a national will to prevent erosion and encroachment of the country'ssovereignty by hostile neighbours. It has been possible for the RSS to strengthen the Hindu psyche so as to resist and foil the attempts of anti-Hindu forces from within and without to grab away chunks of Hindu population into their fold. History bears witness to the fact that the two proselytising aggressive world religions have been swallowing milder, tolerant and disorganised religious communities all over the world. Even India has lost nearly one-third of the territory and population to the ravages of the Semitic hordes. Pakistan and Bangladesh and Afghanistan prior to that are cases in point. But for the RSS movement, the predicament of Hindus would have been precarious. Though challenges from these two missionary religions are still formidable, the Hindu society is aware and alert and well poised to take them on. Not only that, the counter-attack has also been initiated by the emerging Hindu forces, not only within the country but even outside. In almost all the countries where Hindus live, in whatever capacity, there is an awareness of their being an organic part of the wider worldwide Hindu society. All of them look towards India for cultural nourishment and values of life. RSS workers, who have fanned out into the nooks and corners of the world where their Hindu brethren live, extend whole-hearted cultural support and organisational backing to sustain their Hindu ethos and dharmic values. This is a phenomenon which we notice happening after a thousand years of the breakdown of the world Hindu movement. This is RSS making history. This is not to deny or even underestimate the excellent work done by religio-spiritual organisations like Arya Samaj, the Sree Rama Krishna Mission etc. But their scope and spread are of a different nature. The RSS network stands incomparable.
They all know that when the chips are down or when the nation faces a crisis, the only dependable force is the RSS. In spite of all the challenges of globalisation, westernisation, evangelisations and the sweeping wave of consumerism, if India is able to hold its own, it is due to the sustained tapasya done by generations of RSS workers.
RSS'saspirations are not confined to creating a worldwide network of the Hindus. Hinduism or Hindutva as it is called is much more than a religion. It is a unique way of life. Spirituality is its soul. Every aspect of life, individual and collective, is influenced by the light of spirituality. Economics and politics, education and culture, art and architecture?everything is spiritually illumined. There is no bifurcation between the sacred and the secular. Collective life is as much guided and moulded by spiritual values as the individual life. Unfortunately, during the last thousand years there was a fall from this national ideal. Though there were a number of spiritual luminaries in the country, our national life became stagnant and irresponsive to the spiritual call. It was expected that after Independence, this trend would be reversed. But that did not happen. So, in this area of restructuring the life of the collective mind of this country, RSS stepped into. Swayamsevaks of RSS entered into various fields of national life and tried to kindle the flame of national spirit based on the Hindu spiritual world-view. It was the cultural nationalism in dynamic action. It created a nucleus of inspired individuals who successfully organised people belonging to every sphere and strata, right from sannyasis to statesmen, labourers to elite, city-dwellers to people in forest and thus brought about a commonness of purpose and a harmony of lifestyle, which transcended all differences and diversities without disturbing or destroying them. Unity in diversity, which is the fundamental principle of the Hindu way of life, is being translated into practice and a united and resurgent Hindu India is rememerging after a lapse of centuries.
RSS has come to fulfill and not to destroy. It has attempted to unite all the scattered forces into national union of strength, as Swami Vivekananda has put it. It has brought together, at least partially, most of the Hindu spiritual orders and organisations on a common platform. Even if all of them do not openly identify themselves with the RSS organisation, they all cherish a profound sense of respect and regard for this movement. They all know that when the chips are down or when the nation faces a crisis, the only dependable force is the RSS. In spite of all the challenges of globalisation, westernisation, evange-lisations and the sweeping wave of consumerism, if India is able to hold its own, it is due to the sustained thapasya done by generations of RSS workers whose only concern was a resurgent India. There is a widespread belief and expectation that this century belongs to Asia?and to India. The West is already on the decline. As Toynbee put it?the East is on the rise. Much of the hope is due to the will and vision generated by the RSS.
(The author is director, Bharatiya Vichar Kendram, Tiruvananthapuram and chairman of the Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari.)