98th Foundation Day of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and a Global Journey review by Prof. Jasim Mohammad

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RSS’s Foundation Day: A Global Journey

By Prof. Jasim Mohammad

On the occasion of the 98th Foundation Day of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), we reflect on the remarkable journey of an organization that started its mission for “a self-reliant, resurgent, and mighty nation” under British rule in India. What began as a response to the challenging socio-political climate of its time has grown into a global force with a message of inclusivity and cultural preservation.

The RSS’s influence extends far beyond its 39,454 Shakhas within India’s borders. Its overseas affiliates, like the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), are ambassadors of the message of Indianness and cultural inclusivity across the world. Today, as we look at the significance of this organization, we see how it has evolved and adapted to become a symbol of cultural preservation, global outreach, and engagement with diverse communities.

In the United States, the HSS carries the mission of “World Peace through Dharma.” It coordinates the Hindu American community to practice, preserve, and advance the values of Hindu Dharma. Through educational programs, HSS instills discipline, self-confidence, teamwork, and the spirit of selfless service in children, youth, and adults across more than 220 branches. Service activities and community outreach projects promote civic duty, responsibility, and volunteerism. The HSS instills pride in Hindu heritage and enhances the appreciation of Hindu traditions and civilization not only among its members but also in the broader U.S. community.

The HSS’s influence also extends to Canada, where it emphasizes the idea that the world is one family. Over 25 weekly meeting centers (shakhas) are spread across provinces like Ontario, Quebec, Greater Vancouver Area (GVA), Alberta, and Saskatchewan, carrying forward the message of unity and cultural preservation.

In the United Kingdom, the HSS operates over 100 activity centers (shakhas), with weekly participation from more than 2000 individuals. These centers offer a wide range of activities, promoting fitness, education, and cultural engagement for people of all ages. Additionally, the Hindu Sevika Samiti, established in 1975, encourages girls and women to embrace and promote universal Hindu values, self-confidence, social consciousness, and all-round personal development.

Back in India, the RSS has been quietly but effectively reaching out to minority communities. Its goal is to embrace these communities with a message of religious stability and integrity. In recent times, RSS leaders have engaged with both the Muslim and Christian communities, indicating a broader approach to building bridges among diverse religious groups.

On the political front, the RSS plays a vital role in revitalizing the organizational structure of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Young RSS members are taking up key positions, infusing new energy into the party and preparing for future elections. For instance, the BJP’s West Bengal unit now has a young RSS functionary, Sukanta Majumdar, at the helm, marking a shift towards a more dynamic leadership.

Culturally and politically, the RSS’s journey has achieved an enviable milestone, transcending borders and appealing to a diverse set of people. Its efforts to reach out to minorities, including Muslims and Christians, show its broader approach to fostering unity among various religious groups.

While RSS approaches its centenary, its global influence is set to expand further, making it more acceptable in multiple countries and strengthening its bonds with minorities. The RSS’s mantra of success lies in its adaptability, inclusivity, and the values it seeks to instill, making it a noteworthy force in India and beyond. On its 98th Foundation Day, RSS stands as a symbol of cultural preservation and global outreach, promoting a message of unity, diversity, and inclusivity.

In his address on the occasion of Sri Vijayadashami Utsav 2023, RSS Chief Dr. Shri Mohanji Bhagwat emphasized the importance of unity, harmony, and the preservation of cultural and national identity in India. He highlighted the need for the society to overcome divisions and work towards a sense of belongingness and unity. Dr. Bhagwat discussed various aspects of India’s progress, including its hosting of the G-20 summit, its sporting achievements, and its space exploration endeavors. He stressed the significance of Bharat’s values and culture in providing solutions to global challenges and urged the country to lead by example.

While acknowledging that challenges and divisions exist, he called for a continuous effort to strengthen unity, deepen relationships with nature, promote self-reliance, and work towards a harmonious and cooperative society. Dr. Bhagwat encouraged citizens to participate actively in the electoral process and contribute to the welfare of the nation. He concluded by emphasizing the role of Bharat’s timeless culture in bringing peace and prosperity to the world.

(Writer is Professor in Comparative Literature & Former Media Advisor of Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.

Prof. Dr. Jasim Mohammad
Prof. Dr. Jasim Mohammad

Dr. Jasim Mohammad

Professor, Arunachal University of Studies (AUS), Namsai.
Chairman, Centre for Narendra Modi Studies (CNMS) Trust, New Delhi.     

Visit :  www.namostudies.com Email: [email protected]

Former Head & Group Editor,  Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (National Urdu Daily) & Aalami Sahara TV (Urdu News Channel) 

Former Media Advisor, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh

Email: profjasimmd@gmail.com, 099970 63595

About Post Author

Editor Desk

Antara Tripathy M.Sc., B.Ed. by qualification and bring 15 years of media reporting experience.. Coverred many illustarted events like, G20, ICC,MCCI,British High Commission, Bangladesh etc. She took over from the founder Editor of IBG NEWS Suman Munshi (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018 and October 2020 to 13 June 2023).
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