Rupa to publish RSS: Evolution from an Organization to a Movement by Ratan Sharda

Picture Credit: Rupa
Picture Credit: Rupa


What makes the RSS unique? How has the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh evolved from a ‘shakha’-based organization, which started in an obscure corner of Nagpur in 1925, to a pan-global movement? How is it possible for an organization not to split in nearly 100 years of its existence? Part of the answer lies in the personality of the heads of the RSS or Sarsanghchalaks as they are respectfully called. Each of the Sarsanghchalaks, from Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar to Dr Mohan Bhagwat, has played a key role in guiding and shaping the organization, helping it to evolve into a body that has shown exponential growth while playing a major role in the renaissance of Hindu dharma. Accessing RSS documents, written originally in Marathi and Hindi, conducting meticulous research in the archives, and relying on letters, official statements, resolutions, and his first-hand knowledge of working with five out of six Sarsanghchalaks, the author provides a holistic study of the evolution of the RSS.

The hundredth anniversary of the founding of the RSS is less than five years away. For the first time, readers will now be able to have a historic, factual and authentic understanding of this gigantic people’s movement, told by an insider.


RATAN SHARDA has been an RSS member since his childhood and has worked at various levels of this organization. He also worked as an ABVP activist during 1975–77 in the days of Emergency and was a student leader, jailed while he was the general secretary of his college students’ union. He has worked closely with nearly all the major RSS-affiliated organizations during his days as a senior activist. Thus, he has a wide exposure to the working style of not only the RSS but its affiliated organizations too. He is a founder member of Vishwa Adhyayan Kendra (Centre for International Studies), Mumbai and was its general secretary for eight years. Born in Mumbai in 1955 to Punjabi parents, he has received a PhD for his research thesis ‘Understanding RSS through Its Resolutions— Focus on North East, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab’. He graduated in arts from St Xavier’s College Mumbai and did his post-graduation from Mumbai University. He also holds a diploma in Textile Chemistry. A well-known face on TV panels and freelance columnist as commentator on national issues, Ratan Sharda has written many books on the RSS and has translated two major works about Shri Guruji, written by veteran RSS writer Shri Ranga Hari.

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