Assessing the impact of great personalities on the society is never an easy task. Greater the person, the more difficult becomes the task of gauging his or her virtues and their impact. Nevertheless the attempt of assessment proves beneficial because the society gains a lot from it. It is the above average and great persons who enrich the quality of a society'slife. It is the values lived by them, which become the footsteps to be traded by the future generations.
Shri Guruji created many impacts on the life of our country. This writer rates two of them on the top. The first and the foremost flowed from his being an unadulterated patriot who had strong aversion to personal glorification and publicity. Scores of examples can be found in his life to this effect. But the most shining of them was his last letter written just before his death in which he wrote that ?glorification of a person has no place in Sangh work? and ?increasing the importance of a person and raising his memorials, except for the founder of Sangh (i.e. Dr Hedgewar), is not necessary?.
Had he not written that explicit note, this country perhaps would have witnessed raising of hundreds of his statues all over the country by now. Let us not forget that apart from being the Sarsanghachalak of RSS, Shri Guruji was a highly respected person because of his dedication, intellect and oratory. He remained Sarsanghachalak for a very long duration of 33 years during which the Sangh became a very powerful social organisation with its reach and stronghold in almost every nook and corner of the country.
Scores of examples can be found in his life to this effect. But the most shining of them was his last letter written just before his death in which he wrote that ?glorification of a person has no place in Sangh work? and ?increasing the importance of a person and raising his memorials except for the founder of Sangh (i.e. Dr Hedgewar), is not necessary?.
Though as Sangh leader Shri Guruji had many achievements to his credit, one achievement was made by him almost single handedly. That was done in the form of foundation of Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Shri Guruji succeeded in bringing variety of top leaders of Hindu sects together and launched VHP to create a forum for Hindus at the international level. This effort of Shri Guruji raised him in the esteem of many Hindus living all over the world. Last but not the least, in the last few years of his life, Shri Guruji became a renowned personality due to the political clout achieved by Sangh swayamsevaks in politics. Jan Sangh became an important national party after its successes in 1967.
All the above-mentioned developments made Shri Guruji as one of the most powerful leaders of the country. Yet the developments only increased Shri Guruji'shumility rather than going to his head.
The other noteworthy impact that Shri Guruji made on the society was in the form of his setting the example of becoming a non-saffron clad sanyasi. Though he had inherited this trait from Dr. Hedgewar, yet being a spiritualist of first order who had also formally taken to the path of sanyas he chose not to be saffron clad because for him country'sworldly needs were as important as his personal spiritual needs. So he came out with the rare mix of simultaneous lives of a sanyasi as well as a non-sanyasi.
(The writer is a former president, ABVP.)