We have been blessed with a perennial tradition of dedicated national leaders who sacrificed every thing for the nation and society. Dr Keshav Rao Beliram Hedgewar(Doctorji) was such a magnificent leader. Hedgewar was a pure nationalist, his unselfish life had only one aim - the liberation of Bharath from the invaders.
He realised that the only way to liberate Bharath from the British rule was to reorganise the Hindu samaj and this was the aim behind the formation of Rashtriya Swayam Sevaksangh(RSS). The organisation (RSS) started with only five members at Nagpur in the Vijay Dashmi day of 1925, has now spread its tentacles into every aspect of India's civil society. The four other persons present at the occasion were Dr B S Moonje, Dr L V Paranjape, Dr B B Thalkar and Babarao Savarkar.
Keshav was born to Baliram Pandh and Revathi Bhai on Apr 1, 1889, in Nagpur. During his schooldays he was rusticated from the school for leading the 'Vande Mataram' movement. After completing the school education, Keshav was inspired by Moonje, his political guru, to join the National Medical College Calcutta. He reportedly got associated with Anushilan Samiti, the revolutionary organisation in Bengal, and participated in their activities.
After completing his education Doctorji returned to Nagpur and started to practice, but soon abandoned it for full time political activities.
He entered in the Congress politics as a hard follower of Bal Gangadar Tilak and joined in the central provinces. Doctorji participated in the 'non-cooperation movement' and was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for one year. The consequences of the movement profoundly disillusioned him. Hedgewar regretted that Indian Muslims had proved themselves Muslims first and Indians only secondarily. When the Khilafat demand was given up in Turkey, they withdraw from the national movement.
Doctorji believed that Bharat was a mighty and prosperous nation long before recorded history. Due to the lack of national consciousness and bad habits like hatred, jealousy, and selfishness, the Hindus succumbed to the invaders. So Doctorji thought that an anti-British struggle would not be enough for Bharath's problems. The sovereign panacea was the arousal of national consciousness and building up of national solidarity.
The dawn of RSS (Sep 27, 1925) in Indian history is to achieve this aim, to unify and revitalize Hindu Samaj and to establish a strong Hindu Rashtra. The supreme goal of RSS is to achieve the all round glory and greatness of Bharathmaata.
The achievement of 'Param Vaibhav', the pinnacle of national glory- is the ultimate aim of the Sangh. Therefore The RSS is engaged in awakening and organising the people of Bharat by instilling in them intense national consciousness and character as a spirit of discipline and dedication to high national values. Sangh's concept of nation is cultural but culture is all comprehensive, all embracing and all absorbing. Culture encompasses every aspect of national life.
Doctorji's organisational skill, missionary zeal and perseverance helped the RSS to grow considerably in a short period. By 1940, when Doctorji died, the RSS had a nationwide presence except in Assam, Orrissa, and Kashmir. "I see before my eyes today a miniature of Hindu Rashtra," Doctorji said in his last speech to the trainees of 1940 Nagpur Officers Training Camp(OTC).
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