My relationship, with Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh, popularly known by people as RSS, goes back to, my childhood days when I was only ten years old. I used to live in my city Hisar. I met a member of RSS, during my school days. He was not a pracharak but was a very active member of the Sangh. He asked me to attend shakha and when first time, I went to shakha, I was not alone but my cousins also joined me. It was a unique experience to go to shakha at five o’clock in the morning. The climate of Hisar was pretty cold and it was really very painful to get up at five o’clock and go to shakha. I used to think, what was the need to go shakha, so early before the school? But due to my inquisitive nature, I started attending baithaks (meetings) of shakha. Today, at this stage, I realise that the decision of going to shakha was absolutely right.
In several instances, I have heard leaders and people discussing about RSS. I used to think, whether they have ever attended any shakha, or they were passing comments on Sangh on the basis of what others say. As I have been a swayamsevak since childhood, one thing I am sure about is that the ideology of RSS is of nationalism and of taking the nation to the pinnacle of glory. Other Sangh inspired organisations are also working towards the same goal.
Our pracharak used to narrate mythological stories which instilled patriotism in us. Such stories used to take us to an attractive and adventurous world. It was a different life together when I used to regularly attend Shakha from 6th to 10th
standard. But the world in which I am
living now or what I am thinking is definitely shaped by my that world of childhood. The natural feeling for nation, pride, and continuous desire to take it forward are the values I have imbibed in those days of childhood.
I would like to share an interesting episode. Once, I disobeyed the orders of my family to attend a training camp of RSS. I still remember that a fifteen day’s training camp of RSS was to be held at nearby place from Hisar. My grandfather was travelling somewhere and my father was also outof station. In the absence of both, I asked my mother for the permission to attend the camp. After a long interrogation, I got permission to participate in the camp. Since my father was an active in RSS, my mother did not have any objection. But the problem started when I needed money to travel and to meet other expenses. Around thirty to fifty rupees was the requirement. I asked for some money to the brother of my grandfather, Indra Prasad ji. The grandfather was our family head and had a complete hold over the business. As he was traveling, his brother was handling the business. He rebuked me and said that these are all useless things and I was wasting my time in such activities. As I was convinced about attending the camp, somehow I arranged the required amount with the help of my friends and completed the camp. But after that camp my relation with the brother of my dadaji got sorsened. That was a big incident of my life because in those days disobedience of any elder was treated as an unpardonable sin. I committed that big sin.
All my resources and co-operation were always ready in the building of the nation. Taking inspiration from this, I started working in the field of education in the rural areas of the country. ‘Ekal’ school is such system in which, we can educate the people living in forest areas where they do not have access to any educational facility. In the last few years, 53000 ‘Ekal’ schools are functioning. This are single teacher schools. We just chose teachers for a village or particular locality and provide them with necessary resources. With the help of locals they impart education to the locals. I play my role in this endeavour thanks to the values I have inculcated in my childhood.
Dr.Subhash Chandra; based on the talk with Deepak Upadhya