Majority of today's generation are not aware, in 1963, Jawaharlal Nehru - then PM of India had invited RSS at the Republic Day Parade, as a respect of gratitude on RSS Swayamsevak's for assisting Indian Armed Forces in fighting the Indo-China 1962 War.
During the China War in 1962, the Swayamsevaks of the RSS swung into action mobilising support to the governmental measures in general and to the jawans in particular. Pandit Nehru was so impressed that he invited a Sangh contingent to take part in the Republic Day Parade of 26th January 1963. At a mere two days' notice, over 3500 Swayamsevaks turned up at the parade in full Sangh uniform.
Their massive march became the major highlight of the programme. When, later on, some Congressmen raised their eyebrows over the invitation to Sangh, Pandit Nehru brushed aside the objections saying that all patriotic citizens had been invited to join the parade.
Jawaharlal Nehru said that "given the spirit of RSS Swayamsevaks, even the Lathi could successfully fight the bomb and valiantly fought the Chinese Armed Forces". Hence he especially invited an RSS contingent to participate in the Republic Day Parade of 1963!
These days it is a fashion amongst the Congress and other pseudo-secular leaders, people to speak ill about the RSS and the Sangh Parivar. They accuse the RSS of preaching hatred, creating communal tension and dividing the society on the basis of caste.
Before spewing venom against one of the most respected and World's Largest Voluntary organization, in India, these pseudo-secular leaders should have a deeper perspective of our history. They must know that the court of law had categorically stated in the Mahatma Gandhi murder case that it was the act of an individual and that no organization was associated with it. They must know how their own idols and icons had come to respect the RSS and had praised it.
In 1934, when Gandhiji visited a 1500-strong Swayamsevaks camp at Wardha, he was pleasantly surprised to find that the Swayamsevaks were not even aware of the castes of one another, not to speak of any ideas of untouchability. The visit had left such a deep impression on Gandhiji's mind that he referred to it full thirteen years later.
In his address to the workers of Sangh in Bhangi Colony at Delhi on 16th September 1947, he said, "I visited the RSS camp years ago, when the founder Shri Hedgewar was alive. I was very much impressed by your discipline, the complete absence of untouchability and the rigorous simplicity.
Since then the Sangh has grown. I am convinced that any organization which is inspired by the high ideal of service and self-sacrifice is bound to grow in strength." (The Hindu: 17th September 1947)
When Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar visited Sangh Shiksha Varga in Pune in 1939, he was surprised to find the Swayamsevaks moving about in absolute equality and brotherhood without even caring to know the caste of the others.
When Dr. Ambedkar asked Dr. Hedgewar whether there were any untouchables in the camp, the latter replied that there were neither touchables nor untouchables, but only Hindus.
After partition, when the Maharaja of Kashmir was harbouring the idea of retaining Kashmir as an independent kingdom, it was Guru Golwalkar of the RSS whom Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had sent to convince the Maharaja to join India.
Shri Guruji flew to Srinagar on 17th October 1947. After discussions with Shri Guruji, the Maharaja finally expressed his readiness to sign the Instrument of Accession to Bharat. Shri Guruji returned to New Delhi on 19th October, and reported to Sardar Patel about the Maharaja's readiness to accede to Bharat.
After partition, Delhi was in the throes of violence and intrigues by the Muslim Leaguers. When later on Dr. Bhagwan Das, the great savant and a recipient of the Bharat Ratna award, came to know the details of the role of RSS in those crucial days, he wrote on 16th October 1948: "I have been reliably informed that a number of youths of RSS were able to inform Sardar Patel and Nehruji in the very nick of time of the Leaguer`s intended coup on September 10, 1947, whereby they had planned to assassinate all members of Government and all Hindu officials and thousands of Hindu citizens on that day and plant the flag of Pakistan on the Red Fort and then seize all Hindusthan."
He added: "Why have I said all this? Because if those high-spirited and self-sacrificing boys had not given the very timely information to Nehruji and Patelji, there would have been no Government of India today, the whole country would have changed its name into `Pakistan`, tens of millions of Hindus would have been slaughtered and all the rest converted to Islam or reduced to stark slavery.
Well, what is the net result of all this long story? Simply this - that our Government should utilise, and not sterlise, the patriotic energies of the lakhs of RSS youths."
During the China War in 1962, the Swayamsevaks of the RSS swung into action mobilising support to the governmental measures in general and to the jawans in particular. Pandit Nehru was so impressed that he invited a Sangh contingent to take part in the Republic Day Parade of 26th January 1963. At a mere two days' notice, over 3000 Swayamsevaks turned up at the parade in full Sangh uniform. Their massive march became the major highlight of the programme. When, later on, some Congressmen raised their eyebrows over the invitation to Sangh, Pandit Nehru brushed aside the objections saying that all patriotic citizens had been invited to join the parade.
WHAT DID THE CONGRESS LEADERS THEN SAID
Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, then Vice Chancellor, Banaras Hindu University, happened to take a delegation of foreign dignitaries to an RSS shakha which continued to be conducted despite the heavy rain. The visitors were immensely pleased and Radhakrishnan was impressed to meet research scholars, lecturers, graduate and postgraduate students participating in the shakha.
Above all, Gandhiji first visited an RSS camp on December 24, 1934 at Wardha along with Mira Behn and Mahadev Desai. On watching the parade organised in his honour, he said: "I am tremendously pleased. Nowhere in the country have I seen such a spectacle." He was much impressed with the absence of caste differences including that of untouchability. He readily vacated his tent for Keshav Hedgewar and at the end of his visit, he declared that he saw no shortcomings in what he saw of the RSS.
"From all points of view you are doing excellent work. If there is any shortcoming at all it is that this organisation does not admit people of other religions". By the next day, Hedgewar had arrived in Wardha and he responded to Gandhiji's invitation and answered all questions and clarified whatever issues about the organisation that were raised.
When I visited the RSS camp, I was very much impressed by your discipline and the complete absence of untouchability. - Mahatma Gandhi at the RSS rally, Delhi 16.9.1947
In the Congress those who are in power feel that by virtue of authority they will be able to crush the R.S.S. RSS uses the "danda" you cannot suppress an organization. Moreover "danda" is used by RSS meant for protecting the nation. Using of "danda" is for "Dandam Dasha Gunam Bhavet". After all, R.S.S. Swayamsevaks are great patriots. They love their country. - Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in a public meeting, Lucknow 6.1.1948
I am surprised to find the Swayamsevaks moving about in absolute equality and brotherhood without even caring to know the caste of the others. - Babasaheb Ambedkar at Pune Camp, May 1939
On November 20, 1949, Zakir Hussain told a Milad Mahfil in Monghyr about RSS, "The allegations against RSS of violence and hatred against Muslims are wholly false. Muslims should learn the lesson of mutual love, co-operation and organization from RSS". - Dr. Zakir Hussain
On November 3, 1977 at Patna, at the RSS training camp, Jaya Prakash Narayan said: "I have great expectation from this revolutionary organisation which has taken up the challenge of creating a new India. I have welcomed your venture whole-heartedly."
Yours is a revolutionary organization in the forefront of social transformation taking place today. You alone have the capacity to end casteism and wipe the tears from the eyes of the poor. - Jayaprakash Narayan at RSS public function, Patna 3.11.1977
The name of RSS is a household word for selfless service all over the country. - Koka Subba Rao, Rtd. Chief Justice of Supreme Court of India, 25.8.1968
RSS has played an honourable role in maintaining Hindu-Sikh unity before and after the murder of Indira Gandhi in Punjab, Delhi and other places. - Sardar Khushwant Singh in Sunday Column
The attempt by Congress leaders to deflect attention from corruption by seeking to tar the image of the RSS does not come as a surprise. For long years, self-styled pseudo-secular politicians have criticized the RSS as a communal organisation. Few of the critics take the trouble to find out what precisely it stands for.
Since the run-up to the 1967 general election, the RSS has been widely used as a whipping boy to convince the Muslims that the critic is a secularist.