The partition, which displaced between 10 and 20 million people, is described as one of the largest refugee crises in history. After the Cabinet Mission broke down, Jinnah proclaimed 16 August 1946 Direct Action Day. Direct Action Day with the outbreak of the cycle of violence that would later be called the “Great Calcutta Killing of August 1946” which claimed tens of thousands of Hindu lives. During partition, next year, the Muslim league continued to unleash large-scale violence, with estimates of the loss of life between several hundred thousand and two million.
The sudden and unexpected decision on 3rd June 1947 of the Congress leaders to accept Partition came as a stunning blow to the Hindu people, and more so to the Sangh Swayamsevaks. The British, more than anyone else, knew what the Sangh was all about. Their intelligence records had referred to Shri Guruji as an astute leader. Their report with the National Archives in New Delhi, referring to one of his speeches at the RSS training camp, says: “Golwalkar denounced those persons who render every possible assistance to the present government for their own selfish ends… He declared that the Sangh had resolved to do its duty even though the whole world goes against it and impressed on the volunteers that they must be ready to sacrifice their lives for the cause of Bharat Mata.”
The service of the Sangh and its swayamsevaks in the face of tragic partition was unparalleled. The country was gripped in terrible convulsion. The swayamsevaks who had day in and day out cherished the picture of a free and united Bharat were plunged in deep anguish. However, they responded to the call of duty to protect the integrity of whatever portion of the land had been liberated and to save the life and honour of the Hindu brethren left in the lost portions.
Delhi was then in the throes of violence and intrigues by the Muslim Leaguers. When later on Dr Bhagwan Das, the great savant and a recipient of the Bharat Ratna Award, came to know the details of the role of Sangh in those crucial days, he wrote feelingly on the 16th October 1948:
“I have been reliably informed that a number of youths of RSS were able to inform Sardar Patel and Nehruji in the very nick of time of the Leaguers’ intended coup on September 10, 1947, whereby they had planned to assassinate all members of Government and all Hindu officials and thousands of Hindu citizens on that day and plant the flag of Pakistan on the Red Fort and then seize all Hindusthan.”
He added: “Why have I said all this? Because if those high-spirited boys had not given very timely information to Nehruji and Patelji, there would have been no Government of India today, the whole country would have changed its name into Pakistan, tens of millions of Hindus would have been slaughtered and all the rest converted to Islam or reduced to stark slavery. Well, what is the net result of all this long story? Simply this- that our Government should utilise, and not sterilise, the patriotic energies of the lakhs of RSS youths.”
Reference: RSS: A Vision in Action by H V Seshadri