Guruji: A drashta—An epilogue
WHAT makes Guruji a drashta – a seer? He is a drashta because, transcending the context in which he was living, he spoke and appealed to the future conscience of India to see the truth. He is a drashta because he digested with pain the poisonous comments or even violence against him because he knew that responding in kind to abuse and violence would derail his future mission. He is a drashta because he knew he was standing by the truth and that the context in which he was living had clouded. And finally he is vindicated as a drashta by history.
Guruji’s appeal to nation’s future conscience
In his introduction to the Bunch of Thoughts he aptly described the Gandhian Congress leadership as ‘exotic’ – meaning glamorous – implying without saying, in contrast, how profound was Guruji’s who adumbrated the “other mind of the modern Indian leadership”. It is a fact that Guruji’s profoundness was undermined by the glamour of leaders who were revered by the people for having led them to freedom. Their exotic views that suited the context of their times were compelling and captivating. Guruji’s views, in contrast, transcended the context and were textually profound. The then leadership sought instant popularity but risked long term national interest. But Guruji volunteered unpopularity to de-risk the nation of long term problems arising out of seeking short term advantages. Yet, for merely saying what he believed to be right by the country and in its long-term interests, Guruji was unfairly charged as fascist and militant. The charges, which had no substance or proof then or later, were just abuses. If anything that this series establishes is that now nearly all that Guruji had said has been proved right.
Guruji never allowed himself or the RSS to be bothered by the calumny against either. He did not even take notice of it most of the times. He kept doing his duty to the nation. He was a Karmayogi, doing Nishkama Karma – performing his duty to without expecting name or fame and even risking unpopularity. Fame and infamy are contextual. When Guruji transcended both fame and infamy, he transcended the context and its compulsions. It is the craving for popularity or the fear of losing popularity that makes context deadly relevant. Guruji was intellectually battling those whose main agenda was name and fame and power built on all that. By transcending the context, Guruji was looking to the future. He was appealing to the conscience of Hindus and people of India and its future leadership – social, political, and spiritual – dissenting the words and action of mainline leaders. Like in judicial dissent, the philosophy behind Guruji’s dissent was an appeal to the brooding spirit of the nation, to the intelligence of a future day, when the latter roused national conscience may possibly correct the error into which Guruji believed the nation to have been betrayed. (1)
Use of state muscle against the RSS – Guruji’s response: Peaceful satyagraha
It was not that the mainline leaders only used their glamour against Guruji and RSS. More, political and state power was extensively used against both. Very carefully Guruji handled the government which used the muscle power against him and the RSS in the year 1948 in the most autocratic manner when the constitutional protection against the misuse of such authority had not come into being. Without an iota of evidence the Prime Minister of India openly charged the RSS with the dastardly crime of assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and banned the RSS.
There were physical assaults on the RSS workers all over the country. Guruji’s house in Nagpur was attacked by a violent crowd at the instigation of the then leaders and rulers. RSS was capable of counter violence, but that would have led to a huge conflagaration. Guruji’s one-line advice to Swayamsevaks was: “Be calm at all costs”.
(2) The RSS was banned on pure suspicion, without an iota of evidence of the RSS involvement in the dastardly act. Yet it was politics versus truth in which politics triumphed initially. Guruji called for a peaceful satyagraha against the ban; over 77,000 Swayamsevaks were arrested.
(3) The satyagrahis were brutally attacked. Yet there was no counter attack, direct or indirect. There was not single incident of violence anywhere.
(4) The satyagraha of the RSS was perhaps the only violence-free agitation in the whole history of Satyagraha. Gandhiji had to withdraw the non-cooperation movement after the Chauri-Chura violence. There were large scale violence following the Quit India Movement called by Gandhiji. But the tradition of persuasive and peaceful agitation began by Guruji continued after him. In the year 1975-77, the RSS had launched the biggest satyagraha against the abrogation of Fundamental Rights and democracy during the Internal Emergency declared by Indira Gandhi; over 80,000 Satyagrahis were arrested in a peaceful movement completely free of violence.
(5) Persuasion, not coercion, was at the heart of Guruji’s message. The RSS work itself thanks to Guruji, the work of RSS continues to be futuristic. The very fact, that the RSS has been in the field for the last 88 years and more, is proof enough that the RSS is in no hurry; and it relies on patience and perseverance as much as it relies on the conviction that its ideology generates among its cadre.
A seer who built huge human resources to realise his mission
Not just a great thinker and equally a great orator, Guruji was as much a doer who had a mission to re-build the ancient nation back to its glory. As Swami Vivekanananda said, nation-building work requires huge and quality human resources. For building this ancient nation to its position as the Vishwa Guru, Guruji was ceaselessly engaged in a vast and dedicated human resource training programme to carry on the mission – a hard task given to him by Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar who mentored him into the nation building work of RSS. And proving the choice of Dr Hedgewar’s choice of him right, in the next three decades, Guruji built and left behind the mightiest organisation of Hindus and invested it with the potential to network and dominate diverse fields of national life. For 33 years Guruji perfected an open air human resources training model for nation building which is functioning with high efficiency even four decades after he left this world. Thanks to the vast and self generating nationalist human resource left behind by Guruji which Balasaheb Deoras, who succeeded Guruji, described as “Deva dhurlabha” — meaning even Gods are bereft of such quality men – the RSS and its ideology have become the mainline thought of India
What Guruji said is being actualised without even even a reference to him
Hindu India has gradually begun to heed to what Guruji had spoken in his lifetime. Even the establishment in India has begun to echo Guruji’s view. The intellectual India too has become positive to the views Guruji had expressed during his lifetime. But it doesn’t matter that most of them speak or write, as we discussed earlier, what approximates to, or are actually, Guruji’s idioms, without knowing him or even referring to him. This is very significant. The truth of what Guruji had said has begun manifesting on its own without even a reference being made to him. So self-effacing he was that his thoughts influence India without it being known that they are indeed his thoughts. That is the effect of truth. It does not require any quotations in support. And Guruji never produced any copyrighted material. His thoughts were expressed in the open grounds, in public meetings. The thoughts of Guruji permeate public debates today with increasing acceptance of the RSS. The Fundamentalism Project scholar Ainslee Embree speaks of the “growing respectability and acceptance of the RSS”.
(6) That is precisely what Guruji wanted and worked for and not personal name or fame when he was alive or even posthumously. He expressly forbade the organisation to put up a statue or bust of himself after him. Only a light burns in the memory of Guruji at the feet of Dr. Hedgewar’s memorial at Nagpur with an inscription from one of Guruji’s letters, his message to Swayamsevaks, which concludes with a verse from Tukaram which reflecting Guruji’s sentiments runs thus: “Listen to my last prayer, pious friends:Forget me not, O Lord, It is needless to waste words, Thou knowest everything. Tukaram says, I prostrate at Thy Feet, May Thy Grace protect me.”
Guruji – A drashta
Guruji is indeed a drashta, a seer, in the Hindu tradition. Such seers appear on the scene and inform, alert and warn the people and disapear. It takes long time for their words to be understood and digested by the people. Though Guruji spoke with the future audience and knew that future would validate his ideas, he regarded himself as just a swayamsevak preparing his brother swayamsevaks. He was so humble in his approach to all swayamsevaks that in the last of the three letters which he had left in a sealed cover to be opened after his life time, he had said: “In my long tenure, it is not unlikely that I have caused mental agony to many workers, due to my idiosyncrasies or shortcomings and defects. With folded hands I seek forgiveness of one and all.”
(7) This does not just indicate humility, but, testifies to a higher and nobler attitude that goes with great people and spiritually evolved men. In the Hindu tradition, no drashta is projected as drashta in his lifetime. A person is proved and therefore perceived as drashta after his lifetime as his thoughts and views become valid by their intrinsic strength. It is the future which reveals them to the world as the drashta. Their mission to seed, fertilise and grow, actualises and takes shape over a time, beyond their time, but succeeds eventually. So a drashta who is a seer, is revealed by the validity and legitimacy his ideas gain after his lifetime. And so is Guruji who stands validated by time now.
 Chapter 22, p620 Accounting for Fundamentalisms Vol 4 The Fundamentalism Project
 Bunch of Thoughts 1980s Ed p635