Anyone who has visited the Delhi RSS office – Keshav Kunj, from the late 80s to 2014 must have faced Bholanath ji. While he was kind-hearted and caring person for the Swayamsevaks, he was very stern and strict for any unknown person who entered the RSS office. He always kept a close eye on the things happening in and around the Karyalaya. Like a coconut, the tough-sounding Bholanath Ji had a soft core—he has been very caring and soft to the visitors.
Born in 1922 in Layyah of Western Punjab (now in Pakistan), Bholanath ji joined RSS in 1939. Bholanath ji is one of the pioneers who laid the foundation for RSS work in the national capital. After retiring from the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) in 1982, Bholanath ji became a Vanprasthi Karyakarta of RSS and started living in Keshavkunj as a full-timer. He then pledged not to return home and decided to serve society till his last breath. He served as the Vibhag-Karyavah (General Secretary) in the late 1980s.
While commenting about Bholanath ji, his close associates said he has always been a fitness freak and never used a lift. He always used to massage his body with oil before bathing to keep himself healthy. His love for fruits is known to all. “He used to remember food habits and restrictions and medicinal schedules of all the swayamsevaks and senior Karyakartas residing in the Sangh karyalaya. Such has been his loving and caring nature,” a swayamsevak said.
The morning of December 20, 2022, was a special occasion for many swayamsevaks and family members of Bholanath ji as the father figure of the entire Karyalaya turned 100. To make the day memorable, swayamsevaks at Udasin Ashram (present RSS office, Delhi), in the presence of senior dignitaries, celebrated his birth centenary with great joy. A small havan was organised for his healthy life on the occasion.
Bholanath ji kept mum throughout the yajna and didn’t speak a word even when karyakartas and dignitaries residing at the karyalaya came forward and wished him by touching his feet. But when everyone started reciting Hanuman Chalisa, Bholanath ji not just joined the chorus but led the entire recitation, as he has been doing for the last few decades. Such has been his devotedness towards Hanuman and Hanuman Chalisa.
Describing Bholanath ji’s journey, RSS Sah-Sarkaryavah Shri Krishna Gopal said, “He is a guardian for us and it is a moment of great pride that we are celebrating his 100th birth anniversary. He has been selflessly serving the organisation and society for decades. He has taught many things to us. ”
Speaking to Organiser Sah-Sarkaryavah, Shri Arun Kumar said that selflessness, commitment and discipline are the intrinsic values that every RSS Swayamsevak carries in his life. Bholanath ji is an embodiment of the same. He always considered the organisation’s work as divine.
Shri Baldev Raj, son of Bholenath ji, told Organiser, “After retirement, my father told me that he wants to dedicate the rest of his life to Sangh and whatever will be the circumstances, do not force me to return. As a dedicated person, he has always worked for the country and society. He taught us the right way of living life. He nurtured leadership qualities in many Swayamsevaks.” “He is a devotee of Bhagwan Hanuman and routinely recites Hanuman Chalisa,” Balraj added.
His family handed over a cheque of Rs 51000 to Dr Krishna Gopal ji as a contribution to Keshav Smarak Samiti, RSS Delhi Karyalaya.
His daughter-in-law Mohinder Kaur, an ex-banker, said, “He has never treated me differently from his son. He used to help me with the household work. He is the most important and beloved persons in our life. Whatever we are is because of him only; he is the reason behind our success”.
Last year also, Swayamsevaks celebrated his 99th birthday in the presence of RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat.