Hedgewar was part of freedom struggle, claims RSS leader

RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale opening a lecture series in Kozhikode on Thursday.
| Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale has claimed that K.B. Hedgewar, the organisation’s founder, was involved in revolutionary activities against the British rule, unlike what is being claimed by a section of people.

He was here on Thursday to open a lecture series organised by the Kesari weekly to mark the centenary of the RSS. The series is being held from August to December. The RSS leader spoke on the historical background of the founding of the organisation.

Mr. Hosabale claimed that Hedgewar was opposed to the British rule even while he was a school student in Nagpur. He was involved in revolutionary activities against the colonial government when he was a medical student in then Calcutta. He also actively participated in arranging funds to legally defend those accused in the Alipore conspiracy case, including Aurobindo Ghosh. The RSS founder was also inspired by Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak, Mr. Hosabale pointed out. 

Between 1899 and 1919, there were many people across the country who tried to organise armed struggle against the British and awaken the people in their own spheres. Jogesh Chandra Chatterji, in his book, In Search of Freedom, has mentioned that Hedgewar was a link between the revolutionaries of Bengal and then Central Provinces. He used to carry arms from Bengal and distribute in Nagpur, the headquarters of Central Provinces. “Hedgewar was listed in a booklet published by the police titled Political Criminals of India in January 1914. Only those individuals associated with revolutionary organisations and activities and who knew how to make bombs and other explosives have been listed in it. Hedgewar’s name was included from the Central Provinces. This is for those people who say that the RSS and its founder were not involved in the freedom struggle. We don’t need their certificate, but the fact is this,” Mr. Hosabale added.