Hindu Vivek Kendra
A RESOURCE CENTER FOR THE PROMOTION OF HINDUTVA
   
 
RSS is a "Revolutionary Organisation"
Shri Jayaprakash Narain
Address to RSS volunteers in Patna on November 3, 1977
 
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. 

Hinduism 

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. 

Great Expectation

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


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