THE Bhopal division of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh celebrated its annual day on February 28, 2010, by organising “Hindu Samagam” where more than 3,000 swayamsevaks and 30,000 spectators gathered to salute the saffron flag, and to listen to the Sarsanghachalak, Shri Mohan Bhagwat. The function, which was organised at the Lal Parade ground in Bhopal, where even the top crowd-pullers of political parties are reluctant to hold meetings due to the massive size of the venue, saw a full capacity presence of swayamsevaks and an overwhelming participation of spectators.
It was just a day before Holi that the great city of Raja Bhoj was decorated beautifully with welcome gates and saffron flags at every square in an effort to welcome the new Sarsanghachalak. The entire city seemed to be celebrating the day. The meeting started with the welcome address for Shri Mohan Bhagwat, who was then invited for his address. Shri Bhagwat began his address with so touching emotion that everyone present on the venue felt it deep in his heart due to the demise of Nanaji Deshmukh and Shripatiji Shastri. Shri Bhagwat gave details of their lives, their difficulties, and yet their humility in accepting any credit for their achievements. He revered them as leaders who, despite being underprivileged for a large part of their lives, did not set foot on the roads of luxury in better times. He shared many unknown facts about the two legends, including the fact that Nanaji was a great painter, and said that had he not become a pracharak, Nanaji would have been one of the most well-known painters in the country.
Further, Shri Bhagwat highlighted the role of RSS in shaping the great leaders like them and invited the audience to come and participate in the nationalist activities of the organisation in order to build a stronger nation. He strongly criticised the western theory of “Unity only through uniformity” and said that true unity can exist in diversity and India is a living example of the same. Quoting poetic lines of Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, he highlighted the fact that Hinduism is not a religion but a lifestyle with principles of peaceful coexistence, emphasising that every Indian is essentially a Hindu. He further added that any kind of fundamentalism is dangerous for the world and that merely respecting Indian ideals is insufficient. It is more important to accept these ideals in order to create a strong and peaceful country as culture is the soul of India.
Coming down heavily on the pro-American policies of market colonialism, Shri Bhagwat condemned the economic policies of the west that promoted the benefits of less than 4 per cent of the world’s population over the remaining 96 per cent. He warned the world of economic slavery due to excessive consumption and western lifestyle. He insisted that the Indian thought of necessity-based living is much better than the western thought of luxury-based living and it is this Indian lifestyle and culture that could save the world from a certain destruction.
Shri Bhagwat expressed serious concern over the ill-intentions of Pakistan, and called it a constant headache despite Partition. He also expressed concern over the growing clout of China in Nepal and its support to Maoists. He emphasised the need for protecting the culture of non-violence, and said that use of force to protect non-violence can never be termed violence. He questioned the central government for the human rights of Hindus in the country and said that it is time to take back the Pak-occupied Kashmir as a permanent solution to the Kashmir crisis.
The celebrations were marked by a demonstration of dand chalan by the swayamsevaks, a band drill, march past and salute to the Sarsanghachalak and the saffron flag. The entire environment was charged with emotion when more than three thousand swayamsevaks sang Matru Bhoomi Vande… together.
The former Sarsanghachalak Shri KS Sudarshan, Kshetra Sanghachalak Shri Krishna Maheswari, Prant Sanghachalak Shri Shahi Bhai Seth, chairman of the organising committee Shri RD Shukla, Shri Shankar Dayal Patidar and saints like Poojya Dandi Swami and Sadhvi Pragya Bharti were also present on the occasion.
At the function at Bhagyanagar, Hyderabad, Shri Bhagwat said: “After taking charge as Sarsanghachalak, I have been touring all the state headquarters to meet swayamsevaks and am in Bhagyanagar as part of the same. I have noticed that wherever I have gone, people know the name of Sangh. If not the full name, at least know it by its acronym, ‘RSS’. However, most of them do not know the work of Sangh. Even swayamsevaks need to put effort to understand Sangh.
“The reason for this is that for centuries, this sort of work has not been done in the entire world. Whenever, we learn something, we learn it in comparison with something else and since there has not been an equivalent to Sangh work, it is difficult to understand it by comparison. Just as there is no equivalent to the sky, to the sea, to Rama-Ravana yudham (war), the same is the case with Sangh. There is no parallel to it.”
He further said: “Some advocates in Europe asked me, ‘Is Sangh a paramilitary organisation?’ When I replied in the negative, they asked, ‘Then what about the uniform and the military-like drill etc.’ I asked them, ‘Do you not have similar work in your schools, say the boy scouts? Do you call it a para-military organisation?’ We exercise this in Sangh, but it is not a gymnasium; we sing songs, but it is not a music college. We discuss here, but it is not a discussion forum. We cannot understand Sangh by reading about it. To understand Sangh, you must come into Sangh. Join the RSS for one-two years and learn about it by experience. If you do not like it, you can leave at your will. If you like it, you can continue to work. Therefore, it is my belief that no matter what I say, you cannot understand Sangh, except by experiencing it first-hand. There is no fee to join. Why depend on second-hand information when you can experience it first-hand? Then you can write about it.”