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RSS Sarkaryavah Ji’s Interview – Panch Parivartan is the need of the society


Nagpur/New Delhi.

On the occasion of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha held in Nagpur from March 15 to 17, 2024, decisions have been made to work on dimensions that will mark the completion of a century of the Sangh’s existence. Regarding these aspects and the Sangh’s future plans, the newly re-elected Sarkaryavah of RSS Dattatreya Hosabale Ji had a candid conversation with Organiser, and Panchjanya.

This year, the number of representatives present in the Pratinidhi Sabha seems to have suddenly increased. How did this happen?

It is not true that the number has suddenly increased; it has happened gradually. With the expansion of our work, the number of Swayamsevaks was bound to jump, and as a result, the number of representatives also increased. When the Shakhas grow, the number of active Swayamsevaks automatically increases, and based on that, the number of representatives also increases. Additionally, a large number of invited brothers and sisters are also present in this Pratinidhi Sabha. Several inspired organisations were also invited to send representatives in Nagpur. Finally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the past three years, there were some restrictions on the number of representatives. We had to keep the number limited, so we didn’t invite some groups as expected. For example, in a certain year, the Vibhag Pracharaks were not expected, and in another year, workers from various fields were not expected. This is the reason why the number was low at that time, and now it seems to have suddenly increased.

What special goals and objectives have been set for the centenary year of the RSS?

In the context of the centenary year, we have identified two goals from an organisational perspective – increase the number of Shakhas and the qualitative improvement in the activities. All the members are expected to have this common goal in mind. By increasing the quality of work, its impact will increase too. The thrust is on qualitative growth along with the quantitative expansion. Secondly, from a social perspective, we have put forth the subject of Panch Parivartan (Fivefold Transformation). Our objectives include changing the intellectual narrative from a national perspective, and to mobilise the sajjan shakti (righteous power of the society) for social change. Therefore, in the centenary year of the RSS, we have made plans to take initiatives on all these subjects at both organisational and societal level.

How do you propose to explain this entire concept of Panch Parivartan to the common masses and what challenges do we see there?

When times are favourable and circumstances are conducive, extra caution, more effort, and deep contemplation become all the more necessary. Today, the time seems favourable for the dissemination of national thoughts. However, this favourability is not for sitting idly and enjoying the good time; it is a time to reach the very zenith of endeavours. The idea of Panch Parivartan is to deepen our approach to fundamental reforms by making the workers of the Sangh and various organisations its torchbearers. Anyway, today, Panch Parivartan is the need of the society in general. Panch Parivartan includes dimensions such as the insistence of practicing Samrasta in society (equality with fraternity), environment-friendly lifestyle, family awakening to promote familial values, inculcating sense of ‘Swa’ (selfhood) based on Bharatiya values in all aspects of life and social awakening for the adherence of civic duties; all these issues concern the society at large. Secondly, these topics need to be addressed to individuals, families, and the areas in the vicinity of Shakha. It needs to be taken to a wider society. We have kept these topics in front of the Swayamsevaks in general. Therefore, there should be an effort to bring about change through self-examples. This is not just a subject of contemplation and academic debate, but one of action and behavior. Also, we hold meetings of social leaders on social harmony and goodwill. We have contacts in wider society. So, we will take this subject among them and appeal from this perspective.

In this year’s Pratinidhi Sabha, there was a special mention of Devi AhilyaBai Holkar. Do we have special programmes planned for her tercentenary year?

The name of the Devi Ahilyabai Holkar, a symbol of valour and Shakti, appears in our Ekatmata Stotra with reverence. If we analyse her history properly, she has presented several excellent examples in various fields – from society, religion, governance, to administration. Today, on her tercentenary (300th birth anniversary), we have identified two to three objectives. Generally, in Hindu society, there is a flawed perception that the deprived sections of society did not get any opportunity to contribute towards nation building. Similarly, there is a distorted perception about women. However, if we delve deeper, Devi Ahilyabai Holkar’s life provides a precise answer to all such flawed perceptions. From a social perspective, the way she emerged from her community, and the way she set a shining example of administration, even after her husband’s untimely demise, present a powerful statement in Hindu society. Secondly, there is a lot of discussion about the empowerment and participation of women in present society. This year as well, our sisters in the Rashtra Sevika Samiti and Mahila Samanvay of other organisations have organised more than 400 conferences across the country, ensuring the participation of more than five lakh women. From this perspective, Devi Ahilyabai’s tercentenary is a good opportunity to further that good work too. Instead of organising programmes specifically by the Sangh, a Celebration Committee will be formed under a comprehensive plan, which will organise celebrations along with other women organisations and other members of society. We have plans for lectures and discussions on various dimensions of the great lady, including publishing literature.

The work of the Sangh is progressing steadily, but along with that, the strategies of the anti-Bharat and the anti-Sangh forces are also evolving. What is Sangh’s plan to tackle this challenge?

Our opponents are acknowledging our growth by opposing us. If the importance of Bharat and the influence of the Sangh did not increase, then there would be no reason for opposition. Opposition proves that we have risen in significance. The Sangh has resolved to respond to the strategies of the so-called opponents through extensive work of the Sangh and the participation of volunteers – by increasing its presence and engaging people in various social and intellectual activities.

You have been re-elected as the Sarkaryavah. Critics of the Sangh consider it an autocratic organisation, while common people remain either curious or confused about it. How would you analyse the type of democracy that exists in the Sangh?

I do not understand why the Sangh is accused of being an autocratic organisation, when Sangh is an organisation with very open atmosphere; anybody and everybody can participate in the Shakha. Former Sarsanghchalak Pujaniya Balasaheb Deoras ji had once said – “Even an ordinary Swayamsevak can ask a question to the respected Sarsanghchalak ji, who is the topmost in the Sangh, and the Sarsanghchalak ji himself answers it”. This is the type of democracy we see in the Sangh. Perhaps this does not happen in any other organisation. That’s why I fail to understand why critics make such baseless allegations. Sangh is an organisation with family atmosphere. All decisions at all levels in Sangh are taken after due deliberation and consensus.

There are upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the country, and it is also an election year for the Sangh. How should we view the celebration of democracy, and what message would you like to give to the volunteers and society?

I have addressed this issue in the Sarkaryavah report. In his concluding speech to the pratinidhis, the revered Sarsanghchalak also emphasised on the duty of every citizen in the system of democracy. This has also been included in our Panch Parivartan mission. Every citizen must fulfil their duty to vote. We must make efforts to ensure 100% voter turnout. Our aim is to strengthen democracy by working in our respective areas. During such times, national issues should be brought before society, and discussions should take place on social welfare, national unity, and the welfare of Bharat. Such topics should be broached and a conducive environment should be created. That is why we have called it Lok-Mat-Parishkar (Refining Public Opinion). Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya had insisted for Lok-Mat-Parishkar. Although this work should continue throughout the year, it should be emphasised even more during the election season.

It is beyond doubt that the Sangh is progressing in its work. What will be the next phase of this work?

As an organisation, the Sangh has a neatly defined organisational structure. It is the functioning body of the Sangh. The workers of the Sangh work within this organisational structure. However, the essence of the Sangh is a spontaneous national movement. Therefore, it is necessary to work towards bringing together all sections of society, awakening and mobilising the righteous soul of society, and thus to bring about comprehensive social change. There should be no divisions based on caste in society. The feeling of nationalism should sweep through every section of society. The Sangh must become a strong national movement, working towards change while enlightening the people. Therefore, the Sangh has always emphasised that it will not confine to work as an organisation within the society, but should rather work towards organising the society itself. Therefore, there should be no division between the Sangh and the society it serves. From this perspective, realising the spirit of nationalism that animates the righteous forces within society, one must participate in this movement for national rejuvenation. You may term this as Sangh’s vision or the next phase of the Sangh.