RSS is well-known for bringing people together. Since its very inception, the world’s largest voluntary organisation has been organising camps, route-march, conventions etc. on various occasions. But what happened on January 3, was historic in terms of both content and message. The day marked yet another momentous chapter in the 90 years vibrant history of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh when 1,58,772 Sangh swayamsevaks in Ganavesh assembled at Shivshakti Sangam held at Marunji Village near Hinjewadi (Pune’s IT Hub). Addressing the massive congregation, RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat said, “Leadership, Constitution and Government are not enough to make the nation great and developed. An awakened society with unimpeachable national character and positive strength can take the country on to the path of development and glory.”
In addition to the swayamsevaks, a huge public gathering, estimated over 60,000, from different walks of life, was also present to witness the spectacular event which organised after a gap of 33 years. It was in 1983, at Taljai near Pune, a similar event was organised where 35,000 swayamsevaks had gathered from entire Maharashtra state excluding Vidarbha region. That programme was addressed by the then Sarsanghachalak the late Balasaheb Deoras. It was a pleasant coincidence that the present Sangam was held in the birth centenary year of the late Balasaheb Deoras.
The impressive 80-feet three-storied stage, with Chhatrapati Shivaji’s famous forts—Torna and Raigarh as background, was built from where Shri Bhagwat addressed the swayamsevaks, citizens and VIPs. RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi, Kshetra Sanghachalak Dr Jayantibhai Bhadesia, Western Maharashtra Prant Sanghachalak Shri Nanasaheb Jadhav and Prant Karyavah Shri Vinayakrao Thorat were also present on the dais.
Paying rich tribute to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar in his 125th birth anniversary, Savitribai Phule, the pioneer of women’s education in Bharat and RSS founder Dr Hedgewar, the Sarsangha-chalak appealed to the swayamsevaks and people to strive hard to eradicate differences based on castes, language, religion etc. to create a society based on equality and homogeneity.
Shri Mohan Bhagwat invoked the example of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s style of governance and said that the mission of RSS is based on principles and not following any particular person. We look at Shivaji Maharaj as personification of these principles and therefore included the festival of his coronation in the six main celebrations of the Sangh. We believe that ‘Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram’ is our cultural identity. The world has already understood the existence of Shiva. But the world believes in power and strength i.e. Shakti. Therefore the confluence of Shiva and Shakti is must. This Shivshakti Sangam only denotes this exigency. The presence of lakhs of swayamsevaks is not just the expression of strength of the Sangh, he said adding that it is the receipt of RSS reach in all the sections of the Hindu society. If we want to take the country to the height of glory then there is no alternative to RSS, he added. Prant Karyavah Shri Vinayakrao Thorat took stock of the work of RSS. He made an appeal for help to RSS and Jan Kalyan Samiti for the drought-affected people. He appealed to give a missed call to 022-33814111 for direct participation in the drought relief activities.
Earlier, Prant Karyavah Shri Vinayakrao Thorat made introductory remarks giving information about the work of RSS, service activities in Western Maharashtra and their results. The event was enriched by a stunning display of 2,000 swayamsevaks playing Ghosh adorned with special Shivashakti tune. The mammoth programme was organised by the RSS Western Maharashtra Prant. The swayamsevaks had kicked up the campaign for the registration of the Shivshakti Mahasangam since March 2015.
The response has been staggering ever since the registration started. As a part of the campaign, swayamsevaks reached out to 997 rural Mandals, 1,613 urban colonies and 5,877 villages. The programme was held at 450 acres of land in which the Sanghsthan alone constituted 100 acres of the total area. The magnificent ‘Bhagwa Dhwaj’ of 70-feet height had drawn special attention of everybody.
(With inputs from Virag Pachpore
and Prasad Joshi)