“Do remember that doing the Sangh’s work as a matter of mere routine or simply by being present at its location is not true Sangh work. We have to organise this great Hindu Nation that spans the Himalayas to the ocean. Our real arena of work lies in the Hindu world that lies outside the Sangh. The Sangh exists not only for its swayamsevaks but also for those outside its purview. To show them the path of the Nation’s rise is our duty towards them, and this path can only be that of organisation”. – Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, Founder Sarsanghchalak of RSS, in his last speech at the Third Year Training Camp at Nagpur on June 9, 1940, as quoted in (Makers of Modern India: Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar by Dr Rakesh Sinha, Publications Division, Govt. of Bharat, p. 216)
For the RSS, Vijayadashami is the foundation day. Even though the significance and influence of the organisational efforts are realised today, since its inception, the idea was clear that RSS is nothing but ‘an evolution of life mission of the Hindu Nation’. As that vision is getting greater recognition and acceptability, the annual speech delivered by Sarsanghachalak has attained greater significance. This year’s festival of victory of Dharma (righteousness and truth) over Adharma (evil and untruth) turned out to be special, as, besides Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat, there were two more speeches delivered on occasion, though from different positions – one by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a Ram Leela function in New Delhi and another by famous singer and composer Shankar Mahadevan as the chief guest of the annual RSS function in Nagpur. Though the speeches delivered by three dignitaries were from different positions, their words echoed similar sentiments.
This year, the reference to the homecoming of Ram Lala at his abode in Ayodhya on January 22, 2024, was also obvious. He called people to locally organise the events and prepare the Ayodhya of our mind. The Sarsanghachalak spoke about the rising stature of Bharat in the context of the G-20 Summit, the success of the Chandrayaan Mission and the achievements of Bharat in the fields of technology, economy and sports. At the same time, he warned about the divisive and destructive forces globally and domestically who cannot digest Bharat’s rise for their selfish interests. Our duty, irrespective of ideologies and political positions, is to maintain national unity and harmony. As per the Sangh conviction, common motherland, ancestors and Samskriti are the foundations of our nationhood, so the realisation of the same for every Bharatiya is the solution for all problems was his prescription. Besides that, the Sarsanghachalak reiterated the need to develop our own development model to ensure prosperity and environmental protection simultaneously. His call for a fivefold participatory activity to be undertaken at the societal level with the initiative of Swayamsevaks was the most crucial part. Strengthening the familial bonds, promoting a nature-friendly lifestyle, practising Swadeshi for indigenous wealth and employability creation, emphasising citizenship duties, and contributing to fostering social cooperation and harmony are the five activities he has expected as a national resolve.
On the same day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended a Ram Leela programme in New Delhi and delivered a short but impactful speech. He also referred to the achievements of Bharat and highlighted the recognition not just as the Mother of democracy but also as a trustworthy democracy. His reference to the forthcoming event in Ayodhya received a response with uproar. While elaborating on the beauty of Bharatiya darshan, the Prime Minister insisted that our worship of Shakti (power) and Vijaya (victory) is for the entire universe. He also warned about the demonic forces and the need to defeat them collectively. His ten resolutions for the developed Bharat were also for the participatory movement during the Amrit Kal, again based on environment-friendly, clean, vocal for local, quality work, healthy and inclusive collective lifestyle.
The icing on the cake was the musical speech by Padma Shri Shankar Mahadevan, the chief guest for the RSS Vijayadashami programme. While expressing his gratitude and happiness for being part of the programme, he called it the life-changing occasion of his life. He called Swayamsevaks the Sargam (basic notes) of the song called Bharat while saluting the RSS work. Being proud Bharatiya, we can contribute to the Nation in our own way. The maestro said I do it through music by spreading the message of cultural heritage.
If we listen to these speeches carefully and analyse them, they have a profound message of cautious optimism and collective resolution for the victorious march. We have certain responsibilities towards the Nation and through our competence we should strive contribute to the national objectives while achieving our personal goals was the common central message of these speeches. If we want to carry forward the true meaning of Vijayadashami, as the conquest of good over evil, we must look beyond selfish interests. Founding the Sangh was the first step in the future victorious march of the ancient Nation – from the individual to collective life, from subservience to invincibility. Now, that message is finding resonance everywhere.