By Pramod Kumar
Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has challenged the opponents of RSS to create a single organisation, which is as strong as the RSS, if they have the stamina, or else they should stop criticising it. He was releasing four Hindi books—Sangh: Beej se Vriksha, Sangh: Media aur Rajniti; Ayodhya ka Sach and Jati Vihin Samaj ka Sapana, written by noted historian Devendra Swaroop, in New Delhi on December 21. The books have been published by Prabhat Prakashan, Delhi. RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri K.S. Sudarshan and Shri L.K. Advani were also present on the occasion.
Shri Vajpayee said the opponents of the Sangh could be challenged by enhancing the strength of the organisation and also by presenting the views with more sharpness. He said the books by Devendra Swaroop were helpful to some extent, but were not enough to counter the misconceptions created about the RSS by its opponents. “Something more needs to be done. There is a need for such writers and intellectuals who can present the Sangh ideology in a proper and effective manner in today’s perspective and can also reach those sections of the society that have various misconceptions about the Sangh,” he said.
Shri Vajpayee said he was proud of being associated with the RSS. “The 79-year old Sangh and its Swayamsevaks have covered all walks of life and are very influential. It is enough to lead to jealousy among Sangh’s opponents. The seed of the Sangh has today become a large tree. Thousands and lakhs of devoted and committed lives have been dedicated in this process of the Sangh becoming a tree from the seed. Not one but many generations have been pushed into it. Despite that, it has been facing criticism. We must think about this criticism. If there is any shortcoming in us, it should be removed. I would like to request the opponents of the Sangh to abstain from tampering with the national issues just for personal or political gains. They should evaluate the Sangh on social and cultural basis, instead of resorting to political evaluation. They have full right to oppose and criticise the RSS, but that should be honest. If it is possible for them, they should show us by creating a single strong and influential organisation as the RSS is,” he pointed out.
The RSS has changed and influenced the lives of lakhs of people. It is the biggest movement of this century. The history of 20th and 21st centuries will be incomplete without the history of RSS. —L.K. Advani
He said an ideological vacuum had developed with the growing importance of information technology. “The competition among different ideologies has also increased to fill this vacuum. The competition should be healthy and democratic. Sometimes fights break out when followers of a particular ideology, claming their ideology to be the best, try to impose it on others. I feel all the ideologies have been created for public welfare. If the objective of a particular ideology is confined to a particular section, it becomes a panth. If the objective remains extensive, it becomes a movement. The RSS is an ideological movement but its ideology is different from the followers of one book and one God,” he added.
Former Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Opposition, L.K. Advani, described the RSS as the biggest movement of the century. “Communism began in 1924 while the RSS began in 1925. Communism has almost vanished from the world, but the RSS has changed and influenced the lives of lakhs of people. This proves that the RSS founder, Dr Hedgewar was truly a revolutionary,” he said, adding that the history of 20th and 21st centuries would be incomplete without the history of RSS. He said Shri Devendra Swaroop by compiling useful information about the RSS had done a great service to the society.
Prof. Devendra Swaroop said that Atal Behari Vajpayee had introduced him to journalism and added that whatever he has written in his books has been written with the view of a Sangh Swayamsevak.