Thursday, February 19, 2015

M.S. Golwalkar - Biography

Golwalkar was born on 19 February 1906 at Ramtek near Nagpur, Maharashtra. It was Magha bahula ekadashi.

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After graduating with a Bachelor's degree in the sciences from the Hislop College in Nagpur in 1926, he joined Benaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi for his Master's degree in science. During this period, he came under the influence of Madan Mohan Malaviya, a nationalist leader and the founder of the University. After completing his degree in 1928, he went to Madras to pursue his doctorate in Marine Life but was unable to complete it for financial reasons. Later, he served at BHU as a professor for three years, teaching zoology. It was here that he earned from his students the affectionate sobriquet of 'Guruji', owing to his beard, long hair and simple robe. Golwalkar returned to Nagpur and  had obtained an LL.B. Degree also by 1935.

In Nagpur, Golwalkar came into contact with the Ramakrishna Mission.  He started visiting the President of Sri Ramakrishna Ashram, Swami Bhaskareshvarananda in Nagpur. There he came in close and friendly contact with Sri Amitabh Maharaj. He came to know through him that in the Sargachi Ashram, in Bengal, there stayed Swami Akhandananda, a direct disciple of revered Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa. In 1936, one fine day, Shri Guruji quietly left for Sargachi. He visited the Saragachi Ashram in Murshidabad district of West Bengal and became a disciple of Swami Akhandananda, a direct disciple of Ramakrishna and a companion of  Vivekananda. He stayed in Saragachi Ashram and served the old Swamiji.  On 13 January 1937, he was initiated into the order and eventually, received his diksha.  He returned to Nagpur after his guru died in February 1937.

Golwalkar joined RSS  was he lectured at BHU. He went to the RSS' "Officers Training Camp" in Nagpur. Hedgewar persuaded him to take a more active role in the RSS after his return to Nagpur in 1937. He was appointed General Secretary of the RSS in 1939. Golwalkar was asked to look after RSS by Hedgewar before his death.

In his role as the Sarsanghachalak, Golwalkar expanded the RSS into a nationwide organization.  He  developed a network of numerous socio-cultural organisations in the entire country which now called the Sangh Parivar. The Bharatiya Jana Sangh (political party), Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (trade union), Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (students union), Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram (Tribal welfare) are important nationwide organizations, that were started by Swayamsevaks who were inspired by Guruju to start organizations in various fields of public life and promote unity of Hindus.

RSS expanded into Jammu and  Kashmir in 1940. Balraj Madhok went  as a pracharak to Jammu, with Prem Nath Dogra acting as the pranta sanghchalak. A shakha was started in Srinagar in 1944 and Golwalkar himself visited Srinagar in 1946.  When Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in January 1948 by Nathuram Godse, a former member of Hindu Mahasabha,  Golwalkar was arrested on 4 February, along with 20,000 swayamsevaks, and the RSS was banned on charges of promoting "violence" and "subversion."  Godse declared that he acted on his own initiative and no connection between the RSS and the Gandhi's assassination has ever been made officially. Golwalkar was released on 5 August after the expiry of the six month statutory period.

The ban on the RSS however continued, and Golwalkar tried to negotiate with the then Home Minister Vallabhbhai Patel about lifting the ban. Golwalkar responded by launching a satyagraha on 9 December 1948. Golwalkar was arrested once again, along with 60,000 RSS volunteers. The RSS leaders developed a written a constitution for the RSS and has discussions with  Patel.  The ban on RSS was subsequently lifted on 11 July 1949.

The ban or RSS alerted Golwalkar to the need for a political party to support RSS. Shyam Prasad Mukherjee was interested in starting a new party and Guruji sent some senior RSS members and pracharaks to work with Shyam Prasad Mukherjee. Thus Bharatiya Jana Sangh had RSS members as founding party members.

In January 1963, came the birth centenary of Swami Vivekananda. The RSS got involved in spreading  his immortal message throughout the length and breadth of the country under the guidance of Shri. Guruji.

It was also decided to erect a grand memorial as an eternal symbol and source of inspiration for the people of Bharat at the very rocky spot off Kanyakumari, in the sea, where Swami Vivekananda sat meditating about the future of Bharat. Shri Guruji deputed the then All India Baudhika Pramukh of RSS, Eknathji Ranade to look organize  this project. He involved,  the Swayamsevaks  in collecting donations throughout the country and the project got the support of all the parties, organizations and the government.

The Vivekananada memorial stands today as an epicenter of inspiration about thinking about the future of the country. Swai Vivekananda  talked of balanced development of material and spiritual aspects of the society and individual. He was proud of India's world teachership in the spiritual side of life. But he was pained due to its deterioration in material aspect.  He tried to strengthen the spiritual aspect further and took steps to remove the weakness in material aspect.

His collected speeches and papers published as a book, Bunch of Thoughts is a widely quoted book.

He left the land he loved on 5 June 1973 for the other world.


राष्ट्रिय योद्धा upload

Shri Guruji Golwalkar
Mahesh Sharma
Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd., 2006 - 392 pages

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