Invoking Shri Guruji'sname and inviting men who matter to accept membership of the Tamil Nadu Shri Guruji Centenary Celebrations Committee, swayam-sevaks of Uttar Tamil Nadu went round approaching the Who Is Who of all walks of life. They had a pleasant surprise. They did not have to encounter ?no? even in single instance. All readily accepted to associate with the RSS celebrations throughout the year. Some examples:
Internationally known Vedanta Acharya Swami Dayananda Saraswati became the president of the state committee. Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal and Acharyas of all denominations were on the patrons list and blessed the efforts. Music director Ilaya Raja, ?Isai Gnani? to millions of his cine music fans, became a member of the state committee.
Dr S.S. Badrinath, founder of Sankara Netralaya, is an eye surgeon of world renown. He was a member of the all India committee as well as the state committee. Shri V. Sundaram, IAS (retired), wrote a series of six articles on Shri Guruji at the start of the centenary year in News Today, an English evening newspaper of Chennai. Not only that he gave a stout rebuttal to an article by Shri Ramachandra Guha in The Hindu through a hard-hitting article in News Today. Of course, he was a state committee member. A couple of former DGPs were also on the state committee.
Swami Dayananda Saraswati addressed swayamsevaks at the two-day Mukhya Shikshak Shivir (being the Uttar Tamil Nadu valedictory event) in Chennai on February 3, 2007. The Swamiji spoke of the strength underlying unity. He cited the example of the Coastal Redwood tree of California that grows up to 300 feet and lives for thousands of years, deriving its strength from the other trees close by and all trees putting up a united might against storms. Sah-sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi guided the swayamsevaks by appealing to them to focus attention on shakha work. He also called upon them to consolidate the gains of the year-long centenary celebrations, in order to see that Sangh could forge ahead.
?Other religionists particularly Christians are blaming us because they don'tknow the greatness of our religion. Those converts even came to me and told me that ?you are all worshipping the ghosts. You are worshipping the stone?. To reply them properly, to make them understand easily, we have to propagate our religious tenets in simple words. Go to every village and start Hindu samskar kendras for children.? That was the timely direction that Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma) gave to the Hindus. The occasion was the release function, of a VCD at Chennai Tapasvi, an audio-visual presentation of the life of Shri Guruji with voice over in Tamil. The first copy of the CD was received by Shri R.V.S. Marimuthu, Tamil Nadu Prant Sanghachalak from the benign hands of Pujya Amma. The VCD was the creation of Tamil Nadu Shri Guruji Centenary Celebration Committee.
College students meet
Eminent educationists spoke at the college students meets. The Kanchipuram District Shri Guruji Centenary Celebration Committee and Shri Chandrasekarendra Vishwa Mahavidyalaya (Deemed University) of Kanchipuram jointly organised a Hindutva symposium at the university campus on December 14, 2006. Dr P. Viswanathan, Vice-Chancellor of the deemed university presided. Shri V. Ravikumar, international joint organiser of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, presented a paper on topic ?Resurgent Bharat?Role of Teaching Community?. Dr M.L. Raja of Erode presented a paper on topic ?Ancient Scientific Achievements of Bharat?. Hundreds of P.G. students and professors participated in the symposium.
Swayamsevaks moblise Hindus
What was witnessed at the Hindu Resurgence Conference (as part of Shri Guruji Centenary Celebrations) in village Berigai, Dharmapuri district (Salem Vibhag) was eloquently in tune with Shri Guruji'sunifying thought. Hindu leaders spoke in three languages emphasising the one theme, namely Hindu unity. 1,450 persons paid Rs five each and took part in the conference. (This is one of the 99 conferences organised by swayamsevaks in the Prant during the centenary year. A total of 67,250 people from 4,450 villages came forward to identify themselves as Hindus and participated in these conferences. Among them 25,206 were women). The Thirukkanur (Pondy Vibhag) conference provided yet another reflection of Shri Guruji'sintegrating influence. The Hindu conference dais put up by RSS presented a picture of conflicting interests converging on a noble theme, the Hindu consolidation. A Congress leader and his adversary, who is a leader of a breakaway group of the party were seen exhorting Hindus to unite.
Teams of the district-level swayamsevaks adopted several new methods to mobilise the public for sammelans. At each of the Kanchi Vibhag sammelans ?one hundred child Vivekanandas? were seen on the dais. They received prizes for their participation in such sadhuvesh events. Their parents and all participants in the sammelans received food at the end of the conferences. Weeks prior to the sammelans families in the area received a questionnaire containing questions on our culture. That became the talk of the town for the time being. At the conference venue, completed answer sheets were collected. Winners received awards. In Erode Vibhag, 33 Vanvasi kabaddi teams arrived at the sammelan venue following the contact by swayamsevaks in 158 hilly hamlets of Kollimalai. Essay competitions for High School students and prize distribution to the winners at the sammelan was another method of mobilisation. Mass deep puja and mass bhajans at the sammelan venue were some more methods adopted in Velore Vibhag.
A positive fallout of such sammelans was that in some of the village panchayats, a resolution was passed to the effect that conversion activities must be stopped.
A prominent Congressman presided over the Thiruvottiyur (Chennai Vibhag) sammelan. Later, Congress workers shouted slogans in front of his house and ransacked his shop. In spite of this, the Congressman stood firm and promised the swayamsevaks that he will continue to lend support for Hindu unity work. The leader belonged to the traders association of the town and therefore a local bandh was observed the next day by all to condemn attacks on him.
Caste leaders assert as Hindus
At the Villupuram (Pondy Vibhag) Sadbhavana Milan, a leader of the fishermen community, Shri Samikkannu Nattar, expressed his desire that RSS workers must teach our culture to the students of his polytechnic and school. He was so impressed by the cordiality at the meet.
Several Harijan leaders were overwhelmed with emotion while hoisting the Bhagwa Dhwaj at sammelans. Shri Varadarajan, a state level leader of the Arundati community (Valmiki community) and Shri Velu Mayil, another Harijan leader experienced such a feeling in Arakkonam and Thiruvallur sammelans. That was clearly the surge of latent Hinduness in them.
Swayamsevaks have asked leaders of several communities to condemn, at their caste association meetings, the conversion of their castemen to other religions. Those leaders were asked to invite other caste leaders for dinner at such conclaves.