It is undeniable: a bunch of men in khaki, committed to the idea of a Hindu India; Hindutva; and celibacy, exert immense influence over of the BJP. They operate from Nagpur and belong to what is ostensibly a socio-cultural organisation with no interest in active politics. But that is how the RSS has been portrayed for decades, despite the ban for the Mahatma’s assassination in 1948.
Veteran journalist and author of the bestselling book, Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times chronicles the journeys of men and a woman of the RSS and their affiliates and brilliantly reveals the little-known facts behind their gigantic personas.
Keshav Baliram Hegdewar: The founder of the RSS and its first sarsanghchalak, who as a young revolutionary was called ‘Cocaine’, and transported subversive literature and arms for a group…
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar: The leading light of the Hindu Right-wing, who had once invited Gandhi for dinner and told the ‘vegetarian’ that unless one consumed animal protein, it was futile challenging the might of the British…
Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar aka Guruji: The iconic hermit-ideologue whose appointment as sarsangchalak was challenged by many in the RSS and he had told them that if it wasn’t accepted, then, ‘I will throw him out of (the) RSS like a stone in rice…’
Syama Prasad Mookerji: The brilliant academic-statesman who became part of Nehru’s Cabinet and amongst several other differences with him, had told him: ‘You have divided India. I have divided Pakistan.’
These and others including, Balasaheb Deoras; Deendayal Upadhyaya; Atal Bihari Vajpayee; Lal Krishna Advani; Vijayaraje Scindia; Ashok Singhal; and Bal Thackeray form part of this brilliantly researched account of those who established the RSS. What is remarkable about the book is that despite India being a secular state, the RSS, proves the author, exists as a force to reckon with and is today the world’s largest cadre-based organisation.
Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay is a senior journalist and author of Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times and Sikhs: The Untold Agony of 1984.
A well-known face on television debates, he writes for several newspapers and magazines, including The Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Outlookand The Statesman.
Pub date: 10 April 2019 | Imprint: Tranquebar | Price: INR 799