Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ
Official logo of the RSS
Abbreviation RSS
Formation 27 September 1925  (1925-09-27)
Founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar
Type Right-wing volunteer,[1] paramilitary[2][3][4][5][6]
Legal status Active
Purpose Supporting Hindu nationalism[7]
Headquarters Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
Coordinates
Region served
India
Membership
5-6 million[8][9][10]
51,355 shakhas[11]
Official language
Hindi
Chief
Mohan Bhagwat
Key people
Suresh 'Bhaiyaji' Joshi (General Secretary)
Affiliations Sangh Parivar
Mission "Selfless Service to Motherland"
Website .org.rsswww

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh abbreviated as RSS (

Gallery

Narendra Modi, second swayamsevak to become the Prime Minister of India.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, first swayamsevak to become the Prime Minister of India.

Notable Swayamsevaks

[166] On the other hand, a government of India

The RSS has denied reliability and questioned the objectivity of the report. Former RSS chief K. S. Sudarshan posed allegations that the mosque was demolished by the government men as opposed to the Karsevaks. The RSS alleges that the commission reports are fabricated and motivated primarily by anti-Indian sentiment than any objective desire to seek justice."[165]

Each time, a new demographic group has emerged, the Sangh Parivar has hived off some of its RSS inner-core leadership to harness that group and bring it within the fold, enhancing the voter base of the Parivar.[164]

According to the report of the

Involvement in Babri Masjid demolition

Christian groups accuse the RSS alongside its close affiliates, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Bajrang Dal (BD) and the Hindu Jagaran Sammukhya (HJS) of participation in the 2008 religious violence in Odisha.[161]

Religious violence in Odisha

human rights based in New York, has claimed that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council, VHP), the Bajrang Dal, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the BJP have been party to the Gujarat violence that erupted after 56 Hindus were burnt alive in a coach of Sabarmati Express train at Godhra station by a Muslim mob.[158] Local VHP, BJP and BD leaders have been named in many police reports filed by eyewitnesses.[159] RSS and VHP claimed that they made appeals to put an end to the violence and to have asked their supporters and volunteer staff to prevent any activity that might disrupt peace.[160]

The RSS has been censured for its involvement in communal riots.

Involvement with riots

In response to a high-profile gang rape in Delhi, Mohan Bhagwat, the head of RSS, stated that such incidents only happen in cities, not villages. He further blamed "western values" for the increase in rapes in India. Women's groups have countered that statistics show that rapes in rural India often go unreported.[154] Bhagwat's remarks created a controversy and were criticised by activists and other political parties.[155]

The likening of the Sangh Parivar to fascism by Western critics has also been countered by Jyotirmaya Sharma who labelled it as an "attempt by them to depress indian patriotism and unity". And that such "simplistic transference" has done great injustice to our knowledge of Hindu nationalist politics.[153]

[151] and that the RSS leaders were interested in cultural as opposed to racial sameness.[152]

Criticisms and accusations

Gandhian leader and the leader of Sarvoday movement, Jayaprakash Narayan, who earlier was a vocal opponent of RSS had the following to say about it in 1977 "RSS is a revolutionary organisation. No other organisation in the country comes anywhere near it. It alone has the capacity to transform society, end casteism and wipe the tears from the eyes of the poor." He further added "I have great expectations from this revolutionary organisation which has taken up the challenge of creating a new India."[84]

[150][149]

Field Marshal Cariappa in his speech to RSS volunteers said "RSS is my heart's work. My dear young men, don't be disturbed by uncharitable comments of interested persons. Look ahead! Go ahead! The country is standing in need of your services"[148]

Reception

The RSS has been banned in India thrice, during periods in which the government of the time posed that they were a threat to the state: in 1948 after Mahatma Gandhi's assassination, during the Emergency (1975–77), and after the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition. The bans were subsequently lifted, in 1949 after the RSS was absolved of charges in the Gandhi murder case, in 1977 as a result of the Emergency being revoked, and in 1993 when no evidence of any unlawful activities was found against it by the tribunal constituted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. [147]

Others

On 15 January 2000, The Statesman carried a story about the RSS that depicted the RSS as the killer of Gandhi.[143] Subsequently the Delhi unit of the RSS filed a criminal case of defamation against author of the article A. G. Noorani along with the cartoonist and the Managing Director of the publishing house. When two of the accused did not respond to the Court summons, non-bailable warrants were issued in their name by the Court.[144] On 25 February 2002, Noorani wrote an unconditional apology to the court in which he regretted writing the defamatory article against the RSS. On 3 March 2002, The Statesman also published an apology regretting the publication of the article.[145][146]

Darshan Lal Jain Vs C R Irani and Others

Prima facie the RSS is a non-political cultural organisation without any hatred or ill will towards non-Hindus and that many eminent and respected persons in the country have not hesitated to preside over the functions or appreciate the work of its volunteers. In a country like ours which has accepted the democratic way of life (as ensured by the Constitution), it would not be within reason to accept the proposition that mere membership of such peaceful or non-violent association and participation in activities thereof, will render a person (in whose character and antecedents there are no other defects) unsuitable to be appointed to the post of a Munsiff.

Similar decisions were made by the High courts of different states of India in different cases of political persecution of RSS volunteers.[139] One case involved Ranganathacharya Agnihotri, who was selected for the post of Munsiff but was not absorbed into service at least partially because he had been a volunteer of the RSS in his past. When Agnihotri approached to the then High Court of Mysore (now Karnataka High Court), he was reinstated. The Court said:

State of Karnataka v. Ranganathacharya Agnihotri

A municipal school teacher, Ramshanker Raghuvanshi, was dismissed by the Congress government of [140][141][142]

Many cases have been reported in post-independence India where RSS volunteers have been discriminated against by the government due to their allegiance to the RSS.[139] In a court case of a teacher who was dismissed from service due to his past links with the RSS, the Supreme Court of India called the government's action "McCarthyism" and a "violation of fundamental rights".[140][141][142]

The State of Madhya Pradesh Vs Ramshanker Raghuvanshi

Court rulings on RSS

In 2006, RSS participated in relief efforts to provide basic necessities such as food, milk, and potable water to the people of Surat, Gujarat who were affected by floods in the region.[135] The RSS volunteers carried out relief and rehabilitation work after the floods affected North Karnataka and some districts of the state of Andhra Pradesh.[136] In 2013, following the Uttarakhand floods, RSS volunteers were involved in flood-relief works through its offices set up at affected areas.[137][138]

The RSS was instrumental in relief efforts after the 1971 Orissa Cyclone, 1977 Andhra Pradesh Cyclone[124] and in the 1984 Bhopal disaster.[125][126] It assisted in relief efforts during the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, and helped rebuild villages.[124][127] Approximately 35,000 RSS members in uniform were engaged in the relief efforts,[128] and many of their critics acknowledged their role.[129] An RSS-affiliated NGO, Seva Bharati, conducted relief operations in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Activities included building shelters for the victims and providing food, clothes and medical necessities.[130] The RSS assisted relief efforts during the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and the subsequent tsunami.[131] Seva Bharati also adopted 57 children (38 Muslims and 19 Hindus) from militancy affected areas of Jammu and Kashmir to provide them education at least up to Higher Secondary level.[132][133] They also took care of victims of the Kargil War of 1999.[134]

Relief and rehabilitation

In 2009, RSS claimed that western brands like diabetes".[123]

It is noted that RSS provides education to the people of rural India and socially backward classes living under the poverty.[122]

Bhimrao Ambedkar while visiting the RSS camp at Pune in 1939 observed that Swayamsevaks were moving in absolute equality and brotherhood without even caring to know the caste of others.[121] In his address to the Swayamsevaks, he said, "This is the first time that I am visiting the camp of Sangh volunteers. I am happy to find absolute equality between Savarniyas (Upper cast) and Harijans (Lower cast) without any one being aware of such difference existing." When he asked Hedgewar whether there were any untouchables in the camp, he replied that there are neither "touchables" nor "untouchables" but only Hindus.[97]

During Mahatma Gandhi's visit to RSS Camp accompanied by Mahadev Desai and Mirabehn at Wardha in 1934, he said, "When I visited the RSS Camp, I was very much surprised by your discipline and absence of untouchablity." He personally inquired to Swayamsevaks and found that they were living and eating together in the camp without bothering to know their castes.[120]

[1]

The RSS has advocated the training of Dalits and other backward classes as temple high priests (a position traditionally reserved for Caste Brahmins and denied to lower castes). They argue that the social divisiveness of the Caste system is responsible for the lack of adherence to Hindu values and traditions and reaching out to the lower castes in this manner will be a remedy to the problem.[116] The RSS has also condemned "upper-caste" Hindus for preventing Dalits from worshipping at temples, saying that "even God will desert the temple in which Dalits cannot enter".[117]

Social service and reform

The volunteers of the RSS have also held prominent political and administrative positions in India including the Prime Minister of India, the Vice President of India, the Home Minister and Ministers in the Central Government, Governors and Chief Ministers of various states and the members of elected bodies at the state and the national level and the Indian ambassador to the US.[113][114][115]

RSS has never directly contested elections, but supports parties that are ideologically similar. Although RSS generally endorses the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), it at times refused to do so due to difference of opinion with the party. RSS is open to support any political party that subscribes to its views.[111][112]

Other Hindu organisations are also inspired from RSS's philosophy.

  • Vivekananda Kendra, promotion of Swami Vivekananda's ideas with Vivekananda International Foundation in New Delhi as a public policy think tank with 6 Centres of study
  • Gurbani to the Indian society.[110]
  • Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Communication Wing, spread all over India for media related work, having a team of IT professionals (samvada.org)
  • Bharatiya Vichara Kendra, Think Tank.
  • Laghu Udyog Bharati, an extensive network of small industries.[108][109]
  • Anusuchit Jati-Jamati Arakshan Bachao Parishad, Organisation for the improvement of Dalits
  • Bajrang Dal, Army of Hanuman (2m)
  • Muslim Rashtriya Manch, Organisation for the improvement of Muslims
  • Friends of Tribals Society, and "Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government in 2004. However, the number of Shakas has again increased to about 40,000 by mid 2014 after the return of BJP to power in Delhi in the same year.[93][94][95]

    The shakhas conduct various activities for its volunteers which include physical fitness activities through yoga, exercises and games. It has other activities which emphasize qualities like civic sense, social service, community living and patriotism.[96] The volunteers are trained in first aid and in rescue and rehabilitation operations. The volunteers are also encouraged to become involved in the developmental activities of the village or locality.[96][97]

    Mission

    Golwalkar describes the mission of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as the revitalisation of the Indian value system based on universalism and peace and prosperity to all.[88]

    Organisations which are inspired by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's ideology refer themselves as the members of the Sangh Parivar.[90] In most of the cases, pracharaks (full-time volunteers of the RSS) were deputed to start-up and manage these organisations in their initial years.
    The affiliated organisations include:[105]

    Affiliated organisations

    When it came to non-Hindu religions, Golwalkar's (who once supported Hitler's creation of a supreme race by suppression of minorities)[102] view on minorities was that of extreme intolerance. In a magazine article in 1998 some RSS, and its political offshoot BJP's members have been said to have distanced itself from M.S Golwalkar's views though not entirely.[103]

    Golwalkar also explains that RSS does not intend to compete in electioneering politics or share power. The movement considers Hindus as inclusive of Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, tribals, untouchables, Veerashaivism, Arya Samaj, Ramakrishna Mission and other. as a community, a view similar to inclusive referencing of the term Hindu in the Indian Constitution.[99][100][101]

    In Vichardhara (ideology) Golwalkar affirms the RSS mission of integration as:[88]

    But the immediate focus, the leaders believe, is on the Hindu renaissance, which would build an egalitarian society and a strong India that could propound this philosophy. Hence, the focus is on social reform, economic upliftment of the downtrodden and the protection of cultural diversity of the natives in India.[98] The organisation says, it aspires to unite all Hindus and build a strong India, which could contribute to the welfare of the world. In the words of RSS ideologue and the second head of the RSS, Golwalkar, "in order to be able to contribute our unique knowledge to mankind, in order to be able to live and strive for the unity and welfare of the world, we stand before the world as a self-confident, resurgent and mighty nation".[88]

    [98]

    Sangh shakha at Nagpur headquarter

    Shakha

    The Sarsanghchalak is the head of the RSS organisation; the position is decided through nomination by predecessor. Until as of October 2015, RSS leadership has always been upper caste, primarily Brahmin.[91][92] The individuals who have held the post of sarsanghchalak in this organisation are:

    Sarsanghchalaks

    RSS does not have any formal membership. According to the official website, anyone can become member by joining the nearest "shakha", which is the basic unit.[89] Although the RSS claims not to keep membership records, it is estimated to have 2.5-6.0 million members.[90] The number of shakhas stood at 51,335 in August 2015.[11]

    Structure

    It has been noted that the RSS volunteers participated in the Vinobha Bhave, who had met RSS leader Golwalkar in Meerut in November 1951. Golwalkar had been inspired by the movement that encouraged land reforms through voluntary means. He pledged the support of the RSS for this movement.[87] Consequently, many RSS volunteers led by Nanaji Deshmukh participated in the movement.[1] But Golwalkar has also been critical of the Bhoodan movement, on other occasions for being reactionary and for working "merely with a view to counteracting Communism". He believed that the movement should inculcate a faith in the masses that can make them rise above the base appeal of communism.[88]

    Participation in land reforms

    The RSS defied the ban and thousands participated in Satyagraha against the ban and against the violation of human rights regulations. Later, when there was no letup, the volunteers of the RSS formed underground movements for the restoration of democracy. Literature that was censored in the media was clandestinely published and distributed on a large scale and funds were collected for the movement. Networks were established between leaders of different political parties in the jail and outside for the coordination of the movement.[85] It said that the movement was "dominated by tens of thousands of RSS cadres, though more and more young recruits are coming". Talking about its objectives it said "its platform at the moment has only one plank: to bring democracy back to India".[86] The Emergency was lifted in 1977 and as a consequence the ban on the RSS was also lifted.

    [29] In 1975, the Indira Gandhi government proclaimed emergency rule in India, thereby suspending the

    Movement against the Emergency

    In 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence, RSS volunteers offered their services to maintain law and order of the country and were apparently the first to donate blood.[81]

    During Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri requested RSS cadres to help control traffic in Delhi, so policemen could be freed for defence duties.[79]

    The RSS was invited by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to take part in the Republic Day parade of 1963 in recognition of its volunteer work during the Sino-Indian War in 1962.[79] This event helped the RSS improve its popularity and strengthen its nationalist image.[80]

    War-time activities

    The capture of Dadra and Nagar Haveli gave a boost to the movement against Portuguese colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent.[77] In 1955, RSS leaders demanded the end of Portuguese rule in Goa and its integration into India. When Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru refused to provide an armed intervention, RSS leader Jagannath Rao Joshi led the Satyagraha agitation straight into Goa. He was imprisoned with his followers by the Portuguese police. The nonviolent protests continued but met with repression. On 15 August 1955, the Portuguese police opened fire on the satyagrahis, killing thirty or so civilians.[78]

    After the independence of India, RSS was one of the socio-political organisations who supported and participated in movements to decolonise Republic of India.[77] On the night of 21 July, United front of Goans, a group, working independently of the coalition, captured the Portuguese police station at Dadra and declared Dadra independent. Subsequently on 28 July, volunteer teams of the RSS and AGD captured the territories of Naroli and Phiparia and ultimately the capital of Silvassa. The Portuguese forces which escaped and moved towards Nagar Haveli, were assaulted at Khandvel and were forced to retreat until they surrendered to the Indian border police at Udava on 11 August 1954. A native administration was set up with Appasaheb Karmalkar of NMLO as the Administrator of Dadra and Nagar Haveli on 11 August 1954.[77]

    Decolonisation of Dadra, Nagar Haveli and Goa

    "Our Constitution too is just a cumbersome and heterogeneous piecing together of various articles from various Constitutions of Western countries. It has absolutely nothing, which can be called our own. Is there a single word of reference in its guiding principles as to what our national mission is and what our keynote in life is? No!"[49][73]
    The RSS' opposition to, and vitriolic attacks against the Constitution of India and its author B.R Ambedkar continued post independence, even long after Ambedkar's death. M.S. Golwalkar, the second Sarsanghchalak of the RSS, in his book titled Bunch of Thoughts asserted,
    "Even though Dr. Ambedkar is reported to have recently stated in Bombay that the days of Manu have ended it is nevertheless a fact that the daily lives of Hindus are even at present day affected by the principles and injunctions contained in the Manusmrithi and other Smrithis. Even an unorthodox Hindu feels himself bound at least in some matters by the rules contained in the Smrithis and he feels powerless to give up altogether his adherence to them"[76]
    " by a retired High court Judge Sankar Subba Aiyar which reaffirmed their support for the Manusmriti as the final lawgiving authority for Hindus, rather than the Constitution of India. It stated, Manu Rules our HeartsThe Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh did not stop its unrelenting attacks on this issue, and criticised
    "But in our constitution, there is no mention of that unique constitutional development in ancient Bharat... To this day his laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits that means nothing"[49]
    , complained in an editorial dated 30 November 1949 that, Organiser (newspaper) from the controversial ancient Hindu text "Manu's laws"The Rashtriya Swaysevak Sangh initially did not recognize the Constitution of India and heavily criticised it in view of the fact that the Indian Constitution made no mention of

    Opposition to the Constitution of India

    "Our leaders have set up a new flag for the country. Why did they do so? It just is a case of drifting and imitating...Ours is an ancient and great nation with a glorious past. Then, had we no flag of our own? had we no national emblem at all these thousands of years? Undoubtedly we had. Then why this utter void, this utter vaccum in our minds"[72][73][74][75]
    , lamented the choice of the Tricolor as the National Flag of India, and compared it to an intellectual vacuum/void. In his words, Bunch of ThoughtsFurther, M.S. Golwalkar, the second sarsanghchalak of the RSS, in an essay titled "Drifting and Drafting" published in his book
    "The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give in our hands the Tricolor but it never be respected and owned by Hindus.The word three is in itself an evil, and a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is injurious to a country"[70][71]
    ", stated Bhagwa DhwajThe Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh initially did not recognize the Tricolor as the National

    Opposition to the National Flag of India

    RSS Leaders were acquitted of the conspiracy charge by the Supreme Court of India and following an intervention by the Court, the Indian Government agreed to lift the ban with the conditions that the RSS pledge its loyalty to the Constitution of India, accept the Tricolor as the National Flag of India and adopt a formal written constitution, and make it public.[68]:42– The second Sarsanghachalak, M.S. Golwalkar drafted the constitution for the RSS which he sent to the Government of India on April 11, 1949. On July 11, 1949, the Government of India lifted the ban on the RSS by issuing a communique stating that the decision to lift the ban on the RSS had been taken in view of the RSS leader Golwalkar's undertaking to make loyalty towards the Constitution of India, and acceptance and respect towards the National Flag of India more explicit in the Constitution of the RSS which was to be worked out in a democratic manner[28][68]:43–

    Following [67]:165

    Second ban and acquittal

    The first ban on the RSS was imposed in Punjab Province (British India) on January 24, 1947 by Malik Khizar Hayat Tiwana, the premier of the ruling Unionist Party, a party which represented the interests of the landed gentry and landlords of Punjab, which included Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. Along with the RSS, the Muslim National Guard was also banned.[65][66] The ban was lifted on January 28, 1947.[65]

    First ban

    The Partition of India affected millions of Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims attempting to escape the violence and carnage that followed.[62] Noted Gandhian and recipient of the highest civilian award in India, Bharat Ratna, Bhagwan Das commended the role of the "high-spirited and self-sacrificing boys" of the RSS in protecting the newly formed Republic of India, from a planned coup to topple the Jawaharlal Nehru Administration in Delhi.[63][64]

    Activities during partition

    [61][60]M.S. Golwalkar later openly admitted to the fact that the RSS did not participate in the Quit India Movement. However, such a dubious attitude during the independence movement led to the Sangh being viewed with distrust and anger, both by the general Indian public as well as certain members of the organization itself.

    M.S. Golwalkar, who became the leader of the RSS in 1940, continued and further strengthened the isolation from the independence movement. In his view, the RSS had pledged to achieve freedom through "defending religion and culture" and not by fighting the British.[52][53][54] Golwalkar even lamented the anti-British nationalism, calling it a "reactionary view" that had disastrous effects upon the entire course of the freedom struggle.[55][56] It is believed that Golwalkar did not want to give the British any excuse to ban the RSS. He complied with all the strictures imposed by the Government during the Second World War. The Bombay government appreciated the RSS by noting that the Sangh had scrupulously kept itself within the law and refrained from taking part in the disturbances that broke out in August 1942.[57][58][59]

    [47] In 1934, Congress passed a resolution prohibiting its members from joining RSS, Hindu Mahasabha or the Muslim League.[51] launched by Gandhi in April 1930, but he did not get the RSS involved in the movement. He sent information everywhere that the Sangh would not participate in the Satyagraha. However those wishing to participate individually in it were not prohibited.'Satyagraha' Hedgewar personally participated in the [50][49][48][47] of the Indian national movement was shunned.Tricolor The "Independence Day" announced by the Indian National Congress for 26 January 1930 was celebrated by the RSS only that year and subsequently avoided. The [46] According to

    Indian independence movement

    During World War II RSS leaders openly admired Adolf Hitler.[17][41] Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, who became the supreme leader of the RSS after Hedgewar, drew inspiration from Adolf Hitler's ideology of race purity.[42] RSS leaders were supportive of the Jewish State of Israel, including Savarkar himself, who supported Israel during its formation.[43] While Golwalkar admired Jews for maintaining their "religion, culture and language".[44]

    World War II

    [40][29][30] agitation in 1931 and served a second term in prison.Satyagraha, led movements against the British rule. Hedgewar was arrested in the Jungle Indian National Congress But Hedgewar and his team of volunteers, took part in the [39] Since Hedgewar was primarily associated with the

    A rare group photo of six initial swayamsevaks taken on the occasion of a RSS meeting held in 1939[38]

    After completing his studies and graduating, he returned to Nagpur, inspired by the armed movement. In his memoirs, the third chief of RSS, Balasahab Deoras narrates an incident when Hedgewar saved him and others from following the path of Bhagat Singh and his comrades.[37] Later he left the revolutionary organisations in the year 1925 and formed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

    Previously he was involved in such type of revolutionary activities, a fact disclosed by writers such as viz. C. P. Bhishikar,[33] M. S. Golwalkar,[34] K. S. Sudarshan[35] and Rakesh Sinha.[36]

    Hedgewar was educated by his elder brother. He then decided to study medicine in Calcutta, Ram Prasad Bismil.[32]

    RSS was founded in 1925 by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, a doctor in the city of Nagpur, British India.[28] Hedgewar as a medical student in Calcutta (now known as Kolkata) had been a part of the revolutionary activities of the Anushilan Samiti and Jugantar striving for the independence of India from British rule.[29] He had been charged with sedition in 1921 by the British Administration and was imprisoned for one year.[30]

    An RSS volunteer taking the oath in full uniform

    Founding

    History

    Contents

    • History 1
      • Founding 1.1
      • World War II 1.2
      • Indian independence movement 1.3
      • Activities during partition 1.4
      • First ban 1.5
      • Second ban and acquittal 1.6
      • Opposition to the National Flag of India 1.7
      • Opposition to the Constitution of India 1.8
      • Decolonisation of Dadra, Nagar Haveli and Goa 1.9
      • War-time activities 1.10
      • Movement against the Emergency 1.11
      • Participation in land reforms 1.12
    • Structure 2
      • Sarsanghchalaks 2.1
      • Shakha 2.2
    • Mission 3
    • Affiliated organisations 4
    • Social service and reform 5
    • Relief and rehabilitation 6
    • Court rulings on RSS 7
      • The State of Madhya Pradesh Vs Ramshanker Raghuvanshi 7.1
      • State of Karnataka v. Ranganathacharya Agnihotri 7.2
      • Darshan Lal Jain Vs C R Irani and Others 7.3
      • Others 7.4
    • Reception 8
    • Criticisms and accusations 9
      • Involvement with riots 9.1
      • Religious violence in Odisha 9.2
      • Involvement in Babri Masjid demolition 9.3
    • Notable Swayamsevaks 10
    • Gallery 11
    • See also 12
    • References 13
    • Bibliography 14
      • Sources 14.1
      • Books 14.2
      • Publications 14.3
    • External links 15

    It was banned during British rule,[17] and then thrice by the post-independence Indian government — first in 1948 when Nathuram Godse, a former RSS member,[23] assassinated Mahatma Gandhi;[17][24][25] then during the emergency (1975–77); and after the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992. The ban imposed in February 1948 was withdrawn unconditionally in July 1948.[26] The ban during 1975-77 was a part of the illegal suspension of individual and collective human rights during the emergency. After Indira Gandhi lost the elections, the new government withdrew restrictions on human rights. The ban in 1992 was lifted in the absence of material evidence for supporting a ban.[27]

    [5] and Muslims.[22] It has been criticised as an

    [17] The RSS was founded on

    . India RSS states that its ideology is based on the principle of selfless service to [15][14]