RSS Preserves and Promotes Indian culture and Heritage

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Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)
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RSS Preserves and Promotes Indian culture and Heritage

How RSS shapes India’s Social Fabric

–         Prof. Jasim Mohammad

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has been a prominent force in shaping the socio- cultural landscape of Bharat for nearly a century. Founded by Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar in 1925, the RSS has evolved into one of the largest volunteer organizations in the world, with a presence in almost every district of India. In recent years, under the leadership of Dr. Mohan Bhagwat, the RSS has garnered increased attention and scrutiny, prompting a deeper exploration of its ideology, activities, and impact on society.

Dr. Mohan Bhagwat, the current Sarsanghchalak (chief) of the RSS, has articulated the organization’s vision and principles on numerous occasions. In one of his speeches, he speaks about the RSS’s commitment to nation-building and social cohesion, stating, “Our goal is to create a strong, united, and prosperous India where every citizen can thrive and contribute to the nation’s growth.”

Dr. Manmohan Vaidya Ji’s assertion that “RSS is the organization of the entire society,” is true because the RSS has been actively working towards societal development and national integration across India. With its presence in 99 percent of districts and a structure that reaches from the national level down to villages, the RSS has a wide and inclusive reach. The organization conducts thousands of daily shakhas (branches) that engage a diverse group of individuals, including students and working professionals. Indeed, the RSS’s extensive network of shakhas (branches) and outreach programs serves all segments of society, irrespective of caste, creed, or religion.

Moreover, the RSS’s emphasis on women’s empowerment through initiatives such as Mahila Samanvaya programs is commendable. By providing a platform for women to participate in discussions on Bharatiya (Indian) thought and social transformation, the RSS is demonstrating its dedication to fostering a more inclusive society where every member has the opportunity to contribute to the nation’s progress. This approach aligns with the RSS’s broader goals of unity and national strength through collective effort and empowerment.  The RSS’s efforts to commemorate historical figures like Ahilyabai Holkar , so by raising awareness about Ahilyabai’s contributions to religious tolerance and economic development, the RSS is actually inspiring future generations to uphold her values of compassion and service.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has been instrumental in promoting Indian culture through various initiatives that emphasize the country’s rich heritage and values. The organization’s efforts to celebrate historical figures like Ahilyabai Holkar and events such as the Ram Lalla Pran Pratishtha are reflective of its commitment to cultural preservation. By highlighting the contributions of significant personalities in India’s history, the RSS  instills a sense of pride and respect for the nation’s past among its citizens. Furthermore, the RSS’s educational programs, particularly the Sangh Shiksha Varg, are designed to inculcate traditional values and practices among the youth. The inclusion of practical training in the curriculum  ensures that the cultural teachings are not just theoretical but also applicable in everyday life. This approach helps maintain the continuity of Indian cultural practices and ensures they remain relevant in the modern context.

The surge in ‘Join RSS’ requests on the official website is indicative of the organization’s growing appeal and relevance in contemporary India. As more individuals express their desire to become part of the RSS’s mission of nation-building and social upliftment, it is evident that the organization’s message resonates with a wide cross-section of society. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is not only active in India but also has a presence in other parts of the world. Although its roots are in India, the RSS has expanded its reach to connect with people of Indian origin living abroad. This global outreach promotes Indian culture, values, and traditions beyond national borders.

In countries with significant Indian diaspora communities, the RSS organizes events, discussions, and cultural programs to foster a sense of belonging and connection to their Indian heritage. These initiatives strengthen ties between individuals of Indian origin and promote a deeper understanding of Indian culture and ethos. Through its overseas branches and affiliates, the RSS provides opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds to engage with its ideology and principles. These interactions often focus on promoting traditional Indian values such as family, community, and service to society, resonating with individuals seeking a connection to their cultural roots. The RSS’s global presence also facilitates collaboration and exchange between Indian communities worldwide, fostering solidarity and mutual support. Whether through social, cultural, or philanthropic activities, the RSS seeks to unite people across borders in a shared commitment to promoting Indian ideals and contributing to the betterment of society.

As per official reports of RSS , the organizational structure of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), known as Sangh Rachana, encompasses 45 Prants nationwide, further divided into Vibhag, Districts, and Khands. The RSS operates 73,117 daily shakhas across 922 districts, 6,597 khands, and 27,720 mandals, with each mandal covering 12 to 15 villages. The number of Shakhas has grown by 4,466 year-on-year. These Shakhas comprise 60 percent students and 40 percent working karyakartas, with 11 percent of the shakhas catering to Swayamsevaks aged forty and above. Additionally, there are 27,717 saptahik Milan, marking an increase of 840 from the previous year, and the current count of Sangh Mandali stands at 10,567. In urban areas, 10,000 Bastis host 43,000 shakhas.

This data signifies the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) extensive organizational reach and its robust growth trajectory in India. The figures reflect a strong grassroots presence, with a vast network of daily shakhas that cater to a diverse group of individuals, including students and working professionals. The increase in the number of shakhas and programs like the saptahik Milan and Sangh Mandali indicate a growing interest and participation in the RSS’s activities.

RSS has historically been perceived as promoting Hindu-centric ideologies. However, it has shown signs of adopting a more inclusive stance towards the Muslim community in India. It has indeed showcased a noteworthy shift in its stance towards the Muslim community in India, epitomized by the inclusive statement made by its Chief, Mohan Bhagwat. Bhagwat’s assertion that “anyone who says Muslims should not live in India is not Hindu” signals a departure from past rhetoric. By unequivocally denouncing any form of discrimination against Muslims, Bhagwat and the RSS leadership are setting a new tone, one that prioritizes unity and harmony among India’s diverse religious communities.

The Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) evolving stance towards the Muslim community in India is a positive development which is even a broader acceptance and respect for the country’s religious diversity. This shift is indicative of a more inclusive approach that aligns with the principles of unity and harmony which are essential in a pluralistic society like India. Such a stance has the potential to strengthen communal bonds and promote a collective national identity.

Overall, these developments suggest that the RSS is actively working towards fostering a sense of community, national pride, and civic responsibility, while also striving for organizational growth and societal impact.

Prof. 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]

About Post Author

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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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