There have been a number of books on the Rashtriya Swayamsevek Sangh (RSS). Most of these books have been either anti-RSS. Interestingly, a significant number of supporters and detractors of the RSS have been carrying on with their arguments without even knowing enough about the RSS itself. This book is an attempt to fill this gap and provide factual information how the RSS functions and what is its organisational structure. Against this backdrop, it is pertinent that to understand the RSS, one has to understand the broad organizational structure of the Sangh Parivar. Broadly, one can define the Sangh Parivar by its composition. It comprises RSS and several frontal organizations. The RSS remains the mentor and provides guidance, direction, support and logistics for the frontal organizations.
The book, which comprises 13 chapters, highlights that the Sangh Parivar has a multi-dimensional organizational structure. In the absence of clarity over this aspect, one can get the facts mixed up. The RSS worked as a single organization during the first two decades of its existence. There were no frontal organizations. Its focus was to expand and consolidate its base to every nook and cranny of the country through the daily gathering of its volunteers. This daily gathering is known as shakha. A shakha still remains the lifeline of the Sangh Parivar. Technically, all the frontal organizations of the RSS are autonomous organizations. They have an organizational structure, which is not a replica of the RSS’ organizational structure. However, pracharaks (full-time RSS workers) are deputed to work in these organizations by the RSS at different levels.
Elaborating on the importance of the shakha, the book says the daily shakha is undoubtedly the most visible symbol of the RSS. The shakha is as simple in its structure as it is grand in conception. No better example can be given to prove the truth of the adage that it takes a genius to simplify a mechanical tool, while even a third-rate engineer can complicate a simple mechanism. After nearly seven decades since the inception of the Sangh, people continue to be surprised as to how such a simple tool as the daily shakha can produce idealists and patriots of such sterling worth, willing to dedicate all their energies and talents to the cause of the motherland.
Laying emphasis on the significance of the RSS training camps (Sangh Shiksha Varga), the book underlines that one of the prime purposes of these training camps is to ensure that the top RSS ideologues and stalwarts can deliver discourses to swayamsevaks coming from different parts of the country at one place. It is one of the most effective ways for the senior RSS functionaries to connect with the swayamsevaks. There are no political discussion in any of the RSS training camps, where the focus happens to be on ideology, physical strength, character building, organizational work and key national challenges.
In a nutshell, the book unravels the functioning of the organisation by providing an insight into the hitherto unexplained aspects of the RSS— daily shakha, saffron flag, prayer, training camps, full-time workers, etc. In fact, this book provides authentic information about the organizational structure of the RSS, which is simple yet unique and baffling for those who do not know about the RSS.
By Ashok Kumar