|RSS is a "Revolutionary Organisation"
Shri Jayaprakash Narain
Address to RSS volunteers in Patna on November
Shri Krishna Ballabh Prasad Narayan Singh, Prant
Sanghachalak of Bihar, presided.
Most respected Camp Commandant, dearest and highly
respected Babuji, that is, Shri Krishna Ballabh Prasad Narayan Singhji,
organiser friends and trainee cadres:
NEED FOR CHANGE
I am very grateful to you for inviting me here
and honouring me in this way. I have nothing new to say on this occasion.
Perhaps this is the time to clarify what I have already said, because some
of the things have led to certain misunderstandings. As newspapers do not
carry things in detail, the general reader is likely to be misled for lack
of publication of the context which precedes or succeeds a particular observation.
I have said it before and I say it again today
that it appears to me that there is need for basic change in the role of
the Sangh and may be there is even a need for a modification in its aims
and objectives. Though it is not a reality, even then people identify it
with Hindu communal and caste interests. But I know that a lot of discussion
is going on between your Organiser and the cadres about associating the
followers of other religions, especially of those religions which were
not born in India, such as Islam and Christianity, but are Indians in the
same way as we Hindus are. There forefathers were also Hindus and conversion
led to increase in their numbers and also to a feeling of separatism which
was exploited by British imperialism. The imperialists were successful
in dividing India into two parts. Later on, with the creation of Bangladesh
of its own accord, they became three parts. But I believe that including
Bangladesh and Pakistan, we are one nation. Our states can be separate
but our nation has always been the same Bharatiya. Iqbal himself, who was
a great poet of Urdu and Persian, has said;
"Kuchh baat hai ki hasti mit-ti nahin hamari"
(There is something perennial about us that has
not allowed our existence to be wiped out.)
Task Before RSS
So friends, there is something special about us
and we have to hold on to it as something invaluable. In spite of being
divided into three states today, the biggest of these parts, Bharat, has
to conduct itself in such a way, and has to have such a vision, that we
should be able to win the hearts of the two parts separated from us in
the east and west. These states may remain separate-as has been the case
a the past also when Bharat was divided into so many states-but even then
our Bharatiyata or Indianness should be retained. People in the other two
parts should consider Bharat their own in the same way as we Hindus do.
We have to work towards that end.
Apart form this we Hindus have to look towards
and put an end to the rank injustice and weaknesses in Hindu society which
divide us, create feelings of high and low and of untouchability, and present
Hindu Dharma in a perverted form, we should create a feeling of oneness
among Harijans, Brahmins and others. We are Hindus, apart from being Bharatiya
this feeling has to be created among those also whom we have treated as
separate from us and lower than us. Muslims and Christians are also Bharatiya.
Thus there is a definite task before the RSS: to consolidate the nation,
so that the felling of one nationhood is infused in all of us and the nation
has the capacity to accommodate all the difference and diversities with
in itself. We Hindus have no holy center like Mecca and Medina or Rome
outside India. For us India is everything and all our devotion is centred
herein. But our brethren who embraced other religions - and thus were separated
from us as co-religionists are Bharatiya still. There were cases of forcible
conversion-also so that some embraced death while avoiding such conversions.
Those converted to other religions have places of worship outside India
and may be some have even founts of inspiration outside. For Muslim brethren
there is Arabia and cities like Mecca and Medina. Rome is such a holy city
for the Christians. Constantinople is another such city. For religious
inspiration they may look outside, but their national inspiration is Bharat.
The Germans, the French, the British, the Italians and the Spanish are
separate nation, although their religion Christianity is the same. Some
follow the Pope but others, the Protestants, have different religious centers.
In spite of religious difference s they have the feeling of being one nation.
They consider it their good fortune to get a chance to sacrifice their
all for the nation.
The days of religious crusades are over. So many
battles have been fought in the name of Islam and Christianity and other
religions in India and elsewhere. But now the sentiment of nationalism
dominates all over the world, so that there are different nations. But
now-a-days there is a move to bring them together even while retaining
their diversity. For some reason man's intellect tends towards unity. God
is one and all men are his creatures. All the philosophies point to unity
in diversity. All aim at finding out some binding link among the various
nations of the world. President Wilson of USA brought the League of Nations
into being and we now have the United Nations. This is a forum to bring
together all the nations of the world on one platform, though we cannot
say that One World Government is in the offing. But there is no doubt that
the ultimate aim is that of One World in spite of religious, racial, linguistic
and geographical differences. But that is a far of goal. In spite of so
many diversities among the people of India and existence of so many states
in the past the unity of India ahs been maintained. But in the times of
Mauryas and Guptas, this very city of Pataliputra, and Kusumpur have been
the capital of the whole of India of Emperor Ashoka and Chandra Gupta.
Thus there have been empires in this country. These empires disintegrated,
for it appears we have been weak in statecraft. But with due deference
to those among you who profess different religions, I may say perhaps no
other religion can match the catholicity, the nobility, the loftiness and
the depth of Hinduism as found in its scriptures and philosophical texts.
In other religions there is some one book or holy word, by repeating which
you would be initiated into the particular religion and become its devotees.
But among us those who put faith in the Vedas and even those who decry
them are Hindus. In fact the word Hindu is not an ancient on and is not
found in any of the ancient books. It was other people who spoke 's' as
'h' and 'Sind' as 'Hind' who called us Hindu. In fact, it had nothing to
do with any religion and had only a geographical connotation.
So friends, there are many tasks before the RSS
and some of them are very difficult. Take the caste system, for example.
I cannot say what the Sangh is trying to do for breaking this system. I
can understand someone being called high or low according to his action
but we in actual practice have made such a society in which we have dubbed
someone as untouchable and someone as 'Brahmin fit to be worshipped as
a god.' The 'Brahmin devta' may be a 'chandal' by action, still he is Brahmin.
In the villages, we see people greeting a Brahmin by expressing the desire
to touch his feet. "Panditji, paye lagi". They say. But such an honour
is never given to an untouchable, howsoever noble he may be.
Thus I have great expectation from this revolutionary
organization which has taken up the challenge of creating a new India.
I have welcomed your venture wholeheartedly, sometimes I have offered you
my advice and have even criticised you, but it was a friend. This is because
I understand my strength and your potentialities. There is no other organization
in the country which can match you. The task of building up the character
of the youth is a very urgent task in the country today. Today we had a
big youth movement recently and I had the good fortune of accepting their
leadership at their insistence. I agreed with great reluctance as I told
them that I was ill and that they should be satisfied with seeking my advice
whenever necessary. But when they insisted that I would have to take up
their leadership, I agreed. They have achieved something. But now the movement
has slackened. Its revolutionary content has been dissipated. It does not
have the capacity now to change the society, though there is need for change
in society in every sphere-economic, social, political. I have unshakable,
faith that we can be one nation even while fulfilling the demands of our
different religions and communities. Even while carrying out the necessary
rituals, we can be united in our hearts to form one nation. As you call
your-self 'Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh' and not Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh
and this name has been decided upon with due deliberation-therefore it
is my desire that you should be instrumental in bringing about a revolution
in India. The revolution ushered in by you will command greater respect
because people of your standing in the higher rungs of the caste hierarchy
like the Brahmin and Kshatriya classes, will enjoy greater acceptability.
Such an acceptability will not come in the case of Chhatra Sangharsh Samiti
and Lok Sangharsh Samiti-at least not in the Hindu Society.
God bless you
On this occasion ii want to point it out that
we are passing through revolutionary times today. The traditions handed
down to us by our ancestors are great. We should go ahead with the task
of changing ourselves first and by discarding all that is wrong, evil or
outdated even while retaining that is noble in our heritage. One who does
not change himself and his life, has no right-and no power to change others.
Those who cannot change their own lives have no
right to ask others to do so. You are committed and devoted people and
also disciplined and imbued with many qualities. It is my expectation from
you and, as an elder, it is my prayer, that God may bless you with strength
enough to give a new shape to India so that you are able to create a new
India in which human beings behave as brothers to each other and where
there is no distinction of high and low, rich and poor. This is possible
and this should be done.
Even though I know that is difficult to wipe out
poverty-and in any case it is not something that can be achieved in a few
days-it is a task worth accomplishing. There are so many households today
in which children do not get their fill; they go to sleep crying with hunger.
Whatever little food-grains they get are of the lowest quality. It is such
a painful situation. How shall we change it? The Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh should think over this: how to bring about economic transformation?
How to transform the village? All our leaders including Mahatma Gandhi,
have worked for it. You have included Mahatma Gandhi also in our morning
prayers and he is indeed worth remembering every morning. This is a very
good thing you have done. If he had lived a little longer he would have
guided us a little more to remove untouchability and other evils from the
Hindu society. But the way is clear now and I think that more than myself
you can undertake this mission because you are more competent to do it.
You think and deliberate upon the various aspects of our traditions, our
culture and Darma constantly.
Very good thing
Therefore I appeal to you to consider every moment
valuable for the purpose. We want to see out country in such a condition
wherein Brahmins and Harijans treat each other as brothers and embrace
each other without hesitation where the distinction between rich and poor
is wiped out, and where the people have direct control over the administration.
This is not an idle dream; it is really possible. This may not perhaps
be possible in other countries, but it is possible in this ancient land
where the institution of Gram Panchayats worked for thousand of years and
where they are still playing their role in some form or the other. Their
condition may not be excellent today, but they are a standing reminder
of what they were once. So this society, its glorious history and the heritage
of our forefathers, the sacrifices of the builders of this country and
their achievements and the freedom that we have won-you are the inheritors
of its all and it is for you to make the best use of it. I am saying this
not with a view to flattering you but to bring home the actual situation.
Your word has far reaching effect. There is the force of spiritualism (Brahmanatva)
and thousands of years of our back. You are also in the forefront of the
transformation that is taking place before our very eyes. The results of
this change are also at your disposal. Friends, I am overwhelmed when I
think about the matters concerning the country. I know that I don't have
long to live. I am living on borrowed time, and am at the brink of death,
Even then I am determined to serve my country, am society, my people and
the poor and the miserable of the land to the last ounce of my energy and
the last breath in my body. I commend to you the ideals of services, renunciation,
and sacrifice. I have not doubt that you are already imbued with these
ideals and are of self-sacrificing nature and noble conduct. Here is the
arena of a vast country open to you. You can accomplish a lot. May God
give you strength and may you live up to such expectation. Thanks a lot.
Rendered from Hindi