DR. K.N. KATJU, who had been Nehru's Home Minister and Defence Minister addressed an RSS Rally in Allahabad in 1963. Dr. Katju said that he had occasion to visit RSS camps and rallies in the past too. "Chinese aggression has made the nation conscious of its great unity, but this unity needs to be preserved forever -- whether there is war or peace. It is this unity that the RSS founder sought to build up." He added: "Who says this is not Hindu Rashtra? I am happy to see its miniature form in RSS. "
Vinoba Bhave: A Self-proclaimed Honorary Swayamsevak?
"Mein Sangha ka asabhya sabhya hoon" (I am an honorary member of Sangha).
-- Vinoba Bhave
SHRT G.M. LAUD, editor, 'The Financial Express', said that in his view the Sangha was a symbol of patriotism and sacrifice. In 1947, and again in 1965, the Sangha had proved that it was "pure gold".
DR. R.C. MAJUMDAR, doyen of Indian historians, told the winter camp of RSS in Calcutta in 1960: "All the programmes and activities of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha have been visualised with a great aim and plan by its creator. He started the work with a great view in mind, with the aim of inspiring the true spirit of nationalism, and making the nation strong and powerful. He rightly and boldly declared that Hindus are the true nationals of this great country. Many people feel ashamed to accept this fact, though they also feel that it is true. We must acknowledge boldly that it is Hindu History, Hindu Culture, Hindu Civilization that this country is proud of, when we people speak of the great past and great culture of the country. I do not know why they should feel ashamed of saying that the great past and the great culture was nothing but the Hindu past and the Hindu culture."
Field Marshal Cariappa in his speech to RSS volunteers said "RSS is my heart's work. My dear young men, don't be disturbed by uncharitable comments of interested persons. Look ahead! Go ahead! The country is standing in need of your services"
GEN. CARIAPPA, now Field-Marshal (*), told the Mangalore Shakha in 1959: "RSS work is my heart's work." He added: "If Muslims can sing the praises of Islam, what wrong is there if RSS sings the praises of Hinduism?" He concluded: "My dear young men, don't be disturbed by uncharitable comments of interested persons. Dr. Hedgewar, the re- vered founder of this great organisation, has set before you a bright example of selfless devotion to the service of the motherland. Look ahead! Go ahead! This country is standing in need of your services alone."
SHRI NILKANTHA SHASTRI, ex-Speaker, Orissa Assembly, said: "When muslims threatened Jagannath with desecration and destruction, it was the Bhonslas of Nagpur who came to the rescue. Today the call to succour has again come from Nagpur. And this time the R.S.S. call is going to save not only Utkal but all Bharat."
Dr. Zakir Hussain, told a Milad Mahfil in Monghyr on Nov. 20, 1949: "The allegations against RSS of violence and hatred against the Muslims are wholly false. Muslims should learn the lesson of mutual love, cooperation and organisation from RSS."
PANDIT ONKAR NATH, the great musician, appealed to all Gujarati young men as far back as 1949 to join RSS. When RSS workers needed some money to liberate Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Lata Mangeshkar gladly gave a charity performance for them in Pune.
BABASAHEB AMBEDKAR presided over the Makar Sankranti utsav of Pune Shakha in 1936. Here he asked Dr. Hedgewar who was present at the ceremony, if all RSS members were Brahmins. The Doctor's answer was that when Swayamsevaks were spreading their ideals and recruiting new members -- i.e. using their mind -- they were Brahmins; when they were performing their daily exercises they were Kshatriyas (warriors); whenever they handled money and other business matters for Sangha, they were Vaishyas; and when they did the sanitation work in the various camps and branches, they were Shudras. In other word by naming the four main traditional castes into which Hindu society is divided, Dr. Hedgewar made the point that the RSS was attempting to demonstrate that caste meant nothing. Dr. Ambedkar was very much impressed with RSS castelessness in the centre of orthodoxy in Maharashtra.
Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan on RSS
IT WAS 1938. Sir SlKANDAR HAYAT KHAN, Chief Minister of the Punjab, (actual term then used for Chief Ministers - Prime Minister) was staying with Rai Bahadur Sohan Singh in Rawalpindi, when some Swayamsevaks -- including Shri Krishan Kumar, now of Defence News Service, New Delhi -- were called to meet him. Sir Sikandar told them: "One day RSS would come to be recognised as a big force in India. And my blessings are with you young men."
==From the archives of DDU Research Institute, New Delhi.