Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

Q: Is RSS a political organisation?

A:
It is not political in the sense that it does not participate in day-to-day elections, the race for power and all that. It is a cultural organisation, which emphasises the oneness of the country and the people. If there are any things, which appear to be detrimental to the oneness of the country, we try to express our views and educate the people about them.

Q: How can you hope to carry out your policies and programmes without political power?

A:
There are two ways of carrying out a national programme. One, through the state power; the other, by changing the people's attitudes. We have chosen the latter path.

Q: How is it you often express yourself on political questions?

A:
There are many matters which are not merely political. It may well be that a matter has cultural as well as political import.

Q: Do you accept or reject the use of violence in any form for the furtherance of political aims?

A:
There should be absolutely no violence between one citizen and another.

Q: Do you think violence can be justifiable to effect a change in Government?

A:
When, say, an extreme situation obtains in which the limits of oppression have been reached, the people are undergoing acute suffering, the rulers have become autocrats, veritable monsters, and all peaceful avenues of changing them have been clogged - violence in such circumstances would be justified.

Q: Our state is secular. The Government may, therefore, well fear that the Hindu cultural organisation of the Sangh may uproot secularism.

A:
The question is hypothetical. Who says the secular state does not permit cultural activities? It is perfectly legitimate for the Sangh to integrate the various castes and sects within the Hindu fold on the basis of our common culture.

Q: Is it true that Sangh teaches hatred for non-Hindus?

A:
This is one of the most irresponsible and despicable charges against Sangh. The whole world is aware of the utter catholicity and tolerance of the Hindu culture. The Hindu, even in his dreams, cannot hate a person merely because he happens to belong to another faith. How can Sangh, which is dedicated to rejuvenation of such a sublime culture, be ever conceived of as teaching hatred?

Q: Some people charge you with violence.

A:
They are led by Communists who believe in violence and practise it and want to destroy the Constitution. It is our detractors who are violent. Look at their violent language and their violent threats.

Q: Some persons charge that the RSS has a hand in communal riots.

A:
Their imagination seems to run riot! The charge is ridiculous in the extreme. The riots are not of recent origin. Such disturbances have taken place in our country even before the RSS was born. There were the gruesome Mopla killings and Baluchistan riots. At Nagpur too there were riots during 1923-27. In fact, there have been no riots since 1927 in Nagpur, after the RSS grew strong there. If the RSS were to have engineered riots, then no non-Hindu would have been living there, its headquarters, by now. The disturbance that took place about two years ago in Nagpur was in that part of the city where we have no branch. Even the government admitted that we hastened to calm the situation. A strong RSS alone, instead of being the cause for riots, can permanently put a stop to them.

Q: RSS is a good organisation. But there is some sort of suspicion in the minds of the public. Why is it so?

A:
We should thank the leaders and their slander campaign for that.

Q: Some are very loud in their opposition to the theory of Hindu Rashtra.

A:
The very same people accept it in private!

Q: There is an impression that RSS is confined only to the educated classes and has little to do with the downtrodden and the backward sections of society.

A:
All work begins with the educated class. Then only it reaches the substratum of the society. We are now fairly on the way to embracing every section, howsoever unfortunate or weak it may be.

Q: Some feel that ideas like Hindu Sanghatan are useless in the present context; it is only total revolution doing away with all that is old, which can deliver the goods.

A:
There have been no doubt revolutions in the world. But mostly they have been in the nature of 'continuance' or 'revolutionary evolutionism'. Where the traditional link has been snapped there the whole social life has become extinct.

Q: How about China?

A:
They have not broken with their past. Wait for some more time. All their traditional ways will become patent again. Their present designs to spread their tentacles of power and influence are in keeping with the tradition of their old emperors.

Q: But Buddhism must have made a change in that?

A:
Buddhism never entered deep into the soil of China. It was worn only as an outer garment and not accepted as a way of life. A scholar has written that even now China is essentially the land of Confucius. But even that is only partially true. A little of Confucius and a lot of their old emperors form the mainstream of their life. Communism is also a temporary phase. Their life had become so very corrupt that there was no escape from a terrible armed revolution.

Q: Hitler also started in a manner similar to yours, collecting youths and instilling in them disciplines and unity. But later, he suppressed all the other political parties. What is the difference between that Nazi organisation and yours?

A:
Hitler's movement centred round politics. We try to build life without being wedded to politics. It is many times found that many are gathered for political purpose. But when that purpose fails, unity is lost. We do not want any temporary achievement but an abiding oneness. And so we have kept ourselves aloof from politics.

Q: How is it achieved?

A:
We achieve it by ourselves leading a life of sacrifice for the society. When a sufficient number of persons are induced to think and act in this manner, the rest of the society will follow.

Q: The mission of Sangh is described as sarva-vyapi - all pervasive. But what does this word exactly connote?

A:
To give a comparison : Light is sarva-vyapi, but it does not carry out all the works. It only dispels the darkness and shows the way for all. That is the nature of the Sangh-work also. If the Sangh were to take to preparing and executing plans of action in every field of life, then there will be confusion all round. It would have to prepare thesis on any and every problem. And that would result in the stoppage of the basic work of social rejuvenation and there would be only theses and theses galore!

Q: Within how many years are you going to achieve your goal?

A:
About that I shall narrate a small story. Dr. Johnson, the great lexicographer, and some other top ranking persons of those times used to meet almost every night in a small club. The famous writer Goldsmith was also one of the members. One night when they were sitting down for supper the moon shone in the sky. Goldsmith was enraptured. A queer idea came to his mind. He asked, "Well, Dr. Johnson, how many fish will be required to reach from here to the moon?" Nobody had any reply. Irritated at the queer question, Dr. Johnson said, "Well, we do not know. You tell." Then Goldsmith said, "Even one, if it be long enough!" So that is always my reply to those who ask how long we will take. It may be done even tomorrow, if we all join together!

(A press correspondent:)

Q: Who after Golwalkar?

A:
Well, you! Why not you?

Q: Thank you. To occupy Gurupeetha, it is not so easy!

A:
Well, you have to fortify yourself if it is not easy! Now this question does not arise with us at all. It comes only when a man is taken to be an indispensable entity in the organisation. The Sangh has not been built up in that fashion. Someone will come forward and shoulder the responsibility. On my part, I have already told my friends that I am fairly on the way out like a batsman going back to the pavilion.