When you lose the sense of importance between your means and ends, then in a self-inflicted web of egos you lose the sight of responsibility and role you have assumed. If your insistence for the momentary issues becomes more important than your life convictions, then you digress from your larger goal
The RSS is in the news once again due to the recent happenings in Goa. The RSS relieved its Goa Vibhag Sanghachalak. Declaration to this effect was made by Konkan Prant Sanghachalak. Sangh had to take such a decision about a Sanghachalak is unexpected not only for swayamsevaks but also for outside observers of RSS. Generally, RSS makes every effort to deal with such differences through dialogue and understanding. But when all roads are blocked and the very frame of discipline is threatened, such unfortunate decisions are taken.
|Dr Hedgewar, founder of RSS, laid down a guideline for Swayamsevaks through his action in such an eventuality. When he thought that the temporal cause of participation in the Jungle Satyagraha in 1930s, he delegated his responsibility of Sarsanghchalak to Dr Paranjape and then joined the Satyagraha.|
When the RSS declared its decision to relieve Goa Vibhag Sanghachalak, the media went full steam to highlight the differences. Some swayamsevaks of Goa also declared to severe links with Konkan Prant by announcing a ‘separate Prant’ of Goa RSS. The media went ahead with publishing the news of 400 swayamsevaks resigning in support of the sacked Sanghachalak.
What exactly happened in Goa? What were the differences with Sanghachalak? Why this issue was stretched so far? RSS has been working to take this country to the highest pinnacle of glory and the swayamsevaks assume complimentary roles in their respective fields that would help accelerate this process of achieving the ultimate goal. Sangh is the life conviction and mission.
As in a family, members working in different fields continue to cherish a strong bond of mutual love and respect for each other while performing their respective roles in the family. There may be differences, but a good family doesn’t allow any difference to break that bond. It is not expected in an ideal family, so is in the RSS. The RSS swayamsevaks working in various fields of social life may have some
differences owing to local conditions, issues, and contradictions, but these differences are often sorted out through dialogue and mutual understanding. The Goa issue was of similar kind.
In Goa, the differences have resulted because of the issue of grant to English medium schools. The earlier governments have sanctioned more grants to the English medium schools, but no grants were given to the Marathi and Konkani medium schools. The RSS has been the most vocal supporter of giving primary education in the mother tongue. The Goa Sanghachalak Subhash Velingkar is associated with the education field. He was opposed to the grants to English medium schools. He set up ‘Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch’ to launch agitation against this injustice to the language schools. BJP was also associated with the movement before elections but could not fulfil the promise after coming to power.
The RSS activists were justified in their support and agitation for promoting Marathi and Konkani medium schools’ cause. But they failed to reason out the compulsions the like-minded BJP might have faced in implementing this move. On the other hand, the people who are active in political field also should not forget their ideological roots after coming to power. Especially assurances made during the campaign should be adhered to. The failure to do so by persistent efforts would obviously lead to frustration and unrest. When we have to face the angst of our own people the situation then becomes more difficult for the ruling people.
When you lose the sense of importance between your means and ends, then in a self-inflicted web of egos you lose the sight of responsibility and role you have assumed. If your insistence for the momentary issues becomes more important than your life convictions, then you digress from your larger goal. Means cannot be and should not be extreme. The issues like promoting Indian languages, swadeshi, cow protection, etc are such in which you have to evolve a social psyche in favour of them to take them to logical conclusion. Though they are linked to day-to-day life, they also pertain to the character of thought process. If someone wants to push for these issues at the cost of disturbing the life convictions and organisational discipline, character and minimum standards of behaviour, then it is not convenient.
The demands of BBSM are most logical and cannot be considered unreasonable. But while presenting them before people from our own school of thought, one has to realise one’s limitations and show confidence that there can be some genuine reasons. Instead, the BBSM threw a political challenge to the BJP in the state that is going to polls in 2017, that also in presence of Shri Velingkar. Your patience is tested in difficult times.
There is no problem in jumping into political arena or leading the agitation, but by staying away from the responsibility of Sanghachalak. Sanghachalak is a unique concept in the RSS that has evolved over the years. As eloquently expressed by a swayamsevak from rural Maharashtra, “The role of Sanghachalak in RSS family is like that of a mother, caring equally for all swayamsevaks”. Against this background, the behaviour of Goa Sanghachalak declaring support to a new political party in the state was against his expected role of taking care of everyone. This forced the Prant Sanghachalak to relieve him of his responsibility. But while doing so, he explicitly stated that RSS would continue to support the cause of promotion of Indian languages.
Dr Hedgewar, founder of RSS, laid down a guideline for swayamsevaks through his action in such an eventuality. When he thought that the temporal cause of participation in the Jungle Satyagraha in 1930s, he delegated his responsibility of Sarsanghachalak to Dr Paranjape and then joined the Satyagraha. He neither put the Sangh objective at stake nor imposed his priority on other swayamsevaks. Velingkar had the similar option available. If he thought the agitation for Indian language is more important than the core Sangh work, then he could have relinquished his Sangh responsibility.
On February 1, 1936 Dr Hedgewar has shown an emulating path through a letter while expressing his views on such incidences. This letter is circulated on Whatsapp by a ‘swayamsevak’. It reads like this:
“I am slightly worried over the situation there. The present agitation should not disturb the Sangh work. This does not mean that the RSS is not in favour of such an agitation. But Sangh work is a national mission and carrying it forward is the duty of every swayamsevak. I had already informed you that those willing to take part in the agitation can do so with the prior permission of the Sanghachalak. But those who have the responsibility of Sangh on their shoulders, they should fulfil their responsibility. As this movement would create awareness at the national level, the RSS will certainly support and not oppose this movement. Still, it would not be appropriate to get involved in the movement at the cost of Sangh. It is absurd to blame RSS as a coward. Every swayamsevak is our proud asset and he would not tolerate such an insult. Therefore, it is not advisable to completely merge with the movement. There is no point in debating with anyone. We must carry forward our work efficiently and after that can help the movement as far as possible. Wherever there is a gap, we should fulfil it. The awareness created by this movement should be used to strengthen the organisation.”
If this letter of RSS founder is studied and imbibed then unfortunate situation like Goa would never arise. If Velingkar thought this issue of Konkani-Marathi schools as of urgent and utmost importance, he could have do so by voluntarily stepping down from his RSS responsibility and leading the agitation. Instead of that a formation of political party was announced in his presence. Even after RSS relieving him from his responsibility, he declared Goa as separate Prant of RSS and news of 400 swayamsevaks resigning in his support were spread in the media. Someone has given a wonderful comment on this through a social media post by requesting at least one of them to show the certificate or receipt of official membership of RSS. Being RSS swayamsevak is not a matter of registration or formal record. It is a matter of acceptance by heart and conviction. As nobody can give you a role of swayamsevak, no one can take it away. Therefore, the news of 400 swayamsevaks resigning is a matter of stunt rather than substance. In this sense, Velingkar is relieved of his responsibility as Vibhag Sanghachalak, but continues to be a swayamsevak. As Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh of RSS Dr Manmohan Vaidya clarified, no unit of RSS has the right to secede from Prant. Goa continues to be Vibhag of Konkan Prant as per the decision of the Kendriya Karyakari Mandal. This decision is in tune with the feelings of every swayamsevak of RSS.
No one who has accepted Sangh as life conviction would accept any departure from the system and customs evolved in the RSS as per the whims and fancies of an individual. This is not the sole example of its kind. Earlier also the RSS had experienced such painful moments arising out of personal ambitions, egos, differences and wrong priorities. Such issues could not be resolved through planting news in media. This is not the system of RSS either. The RSS believes in resolving all contentious issues through dialogue and consensus. This is true not only for the issues within the RSS, but also amidst the larger social milieu. If you have patience till the storm is settled down, the pious intention of all swayamsevaks or sensitive individuals are realised. Differences get resolved. Till then you need to keep your patience, that is all.
(The writer is a senior journalist.
The original Marathi write up was translated by Virag Pachpore)