Like the legendary Bhagirath who made India proud, prosperous and sublime by bringing from heaven the holy Ganga to flow into India, Param Pujniya Shri Guruji M. S. Golwalkar made the spirit of nationalism stream in the length, breadth and depth of the country before and after Independence through his words, actions and the example of his own personal conduct. This fact makes the title of Naresh Bharatiya'slatest book Yug Bhagirath Shri Guruji (in Hindi), published by Prabhat Prakashan, Delhi (pages 206, Price Rs. 200) the most pertinent and appropriate.
The writer has been successful in identifying the Bhagirath in Shri Guruji when he made the watercourse of Indian nationalism surge forward perennially throughout the country. Taking over as the guiding star and spirit on being nominated to takeover as the second Sarsanghachalak by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh founder, Dr. Bali Ram Hedgewar in 1940 when the organisation was just in its teens, 15 years old, and he himself only 34 years young then, Shri Guruji took the organisation to the pinnacle of glory by making it the world'sgreatest socio-cultural organisation whose source of strength lay only in the binding force of the everlasting, unfaltering commitment to nationalism, unsuspecting sense of discipline, spirit of service to humanity and caring the least for reward or recognition.
The book succinctly presents the sequence of events from the day Shri Guruji took over the reigns of the Sangh, the vicissitudes in its life and the fortitude with which he functioned as the real guru. During the formative years and the times of trials and tribulations he guided the destiny of the Sangh with determination, fortitude, farsightedness, patience and faith in righteousness and ultimate victory of truth.
Guruji'sstewardship and his organisational skills and qualities of head and heart were put to a great stress and test when in the aftermath of the unfortunate assassination of Mahatma Gandhi within six months of India winning freedom, a case of assassination was slapped on him and he was arrested. RSS was banned. His first reaction on being informed of the assassination was: ?It is the country'smisfortune.? He declared a 13-day mourning and suspended the shakha activity. He sent condolence messages to Pt. Nehru, Sardar Patel and Gandhiji'seldest son, Devdas Gandhi. Thousands of swayamsevaks offered satyagraha and courted arrest in the most peaceful and ahimsak (non-violent) manner that would have pleased the soul of the apostle of peace only.
The writer mentions that on October 17 and 23, 1948 Guruji had meetings with Sardar Patel when instead of discussing the matter regarding lifting of ban on the RSS, the latter pressed for merger of the RSS with the Congress.
Guruji was not a political individual but had a deep understanding of politics. He said, he'snot concerned who rules the country as long as the administration is directed towards solving people'sproblems and making the nation strong. But he certainly is pained if something goes amiss and the nation suffers. He did express his opinion on certain political issues and developments. He felt that difference of opinion, in democracy, should not be taken to mean an anti-national act. This is something the present rulers need to take a lesson.
Guruji was a visionary who advocated that India should acquire power and strength. He chided the efforts of the then government to get Goa liberated ?through Panchsheel?. And ultimately it had to be through a military action.
He had been warning the Nehru government about the intentions of the Chinese government. But it paid no heed and then repented.
He had predicted that 1971 war was not the last armed conflict with Pakistan, as some thought at that time. The cross-border terrorism is a proxy war that Pakistan is fighting with India even today.
I have full faith and confidence in the Armed Forces, he told Press. I have no doubt that they will win. But I have no faith in the great political leadership. The Armed Forces will march forward and political leadership will take steps backward.
We cannot purchase, he said, the sympathy of a section of society for the nation with the grant of special privileges to it. His words remain prophetic and relevant even today.
Nationalist in action
As India fought back to repel the Pakistani aggression in 1965, as a true nationalist Shri Guruji issued a call to the country, particularly the RSS swayamsevaks, to help the government in facing all the problems that may develop as a result of the conflict. He turned the Swayamsevaks the second line of defence behind the first line (of armed forces) that was fighting the enemy.
Guruji favoured non-alignment but with ?self-strength?. ?Only that (nation) can keep neutral (non-aligned) which is strong enough to protect itself from both (groups) and tell them clearly and forcefully that it will not allow its land to be the theatre of their struggle and strife?. To attack your enemy is your self-protection, he said.
?Sarvatra vijay-hi-vijay hai? (It is victory and victory all the way) were the last words on his lips and the last message to swayamsevaks in the RSS national executive at Nagpur on March 25, 1973.
This, in brief, are the highlights of what is stated in the book. Naresh Bharatiya has done an excellent job in collating Guruji'sspeeches, writings, press statements, press conferences, and correspondence with various leaders to give a glimpse of his personality, his views and how he reacted to situations that developed. In a way, it is that part of the RSS history he played and created. Bharatiya has also indexed his book which is not very common in Hindi books. In the annexures he has given details of the organisations that the RSS created and the constructive work these did. In lucid style the book is an example of excellence in Hindi language and prose. The writer has made each chapter to start with a quotation from Guruji'swords and end with a summing up the main points.
In his preface, late Bhanu Pratap Shukla (who died recently) acknowledges that his life altogether changed because of his contact with Guruji. The book seems to be a treatise in deference to the writer'sgratefulness to Guruji. It is really yet another book which readers must go through to understand what the RSS and Shri Guruji stand for. The quality of printing and get up is very good.
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