Marunji (Pune), Jan 4: “Leadership, Constitution and government are not enough to make the nation great and developed. An awakened society with unimpeachable national character and positive strength can take the country on to the path of development and glory”, observed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohanrao Bhagwat here on Sunday.
He was addressing the massive ‘Shivshakti Sangam’ of over two lakh RSS swayamsevaks in uniform from seven districts of Western Maharashtra at Marunji situated at the tri-junction of Nere, Jambhe and Marunji villages near Hinjewadi – Pune’s IT Hub on Sunday evening. Over 50000 citizens had also gathered to witness this historic gathering held after a gap of 33 years. Similar event was held in 1983 at Taljai near Pune where 35000 swayamsevaks had gathered from the entire Maharashtra state excluding Vidarbha region.
That program was addressed by the late Balasaheb Devras, the third Sarsanghchalak of RSS. It is a pleasant coincidence that the present Shivshakti Sangam was held in the birth centenary year of late Devras who gave a much needed social content and impetus to the RSS mission of Hindu consolidation.
RSS Sarkaryawah Suresh alias Bhayyaji Joshi, Kshetriya Sanghchalak Dr Jayantibhai Bhadesia, Western Maharashtra Prant Sanghchalak Nanasaheb Jadhav and Prant Karyawah Vinayakrao Thorat were present on the dais.
The impressive 80-feet three-stroyied stage had to its background the replica of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s famous forts –Torna and Raigarh from where Dr Bhagwat addressed the swayamsevaks, citizens and VIPs from the state on Sunday evening.
The RSS Sarsanghchalak said, “The world always listens to the language of the strong people and treats nations that have acquired strength and power. It is therefore, necessary that we need to develop a collective power of the society in order to create proper place for our country in the world. Such strength must have a strong base of ethics and values, he added.
Dr Bhagwat said that only strong and developed countries can assert their views and cast influence on other nations. The world too follows them and accepts their culture and values irrespective of their distinguishing qualities. Before Independence we had little influence on the world. But as we became free, made some progress with nuclear technology and scientific and industrial achievements, the world began to respect and regard us as emerging power. Now, the entire world has accepted the Indian system of yoga. This is the proof of strength making great thoughts acceptable to the world, he added.
Giving an example of Israel, Bhagwat said that the Jews wandered the world for over 2000 years, spent their days in great distress and trouble wherever they went, except in India. Every year they repeated their resolve to offer prayers in their chosen land of Israel. It took them 2000 years to realize their dream. But they had to fight the surrounding enemy nations to establish and strengthen their nation and convert the desert into a heaven. Likewise, we Indians should also develop a feeling of oneness towards each other and make our society strong, he suggested.
Paying rich tributes to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar in his 125th birth anniversary, Savitribai Fule, the pioneer of women’s education in India and RSS founder Dr Hedgewar, the RSS Chief strongly appealed to the swayamsevaks and people to strive hard to eradicate differences based on castes, language, religion etc. to create a society based on equality and homogeneity.
Quoting Dr Ambedkar who said no political unity was possible until we achieve economic and social unity the RSS Chief said, “Dr Ambedkar had made provisions for the uplift of socially weaker sections in the constitution. But equality does not come through legislation. Protection of values and culture is also equally needed because they have the power to change the minds of the people. We need to remove the seeds of separation from our minds to make the society homogenous and equal.”
He said that because we remained divided on the basis of castes, languages and religions, our society became vulnerable to foreign aggressions. “If our society remains divided between castes and religion we would again be inviting the similar fate for us. To avoid this we need to understand the common thread that binds our society together pervading castes and other barriers. Hindutva and Indian culture that is not limited to any one religion or caste is the common thread that holds this society together. This common point can be used to create a strong society based on principle of equality and homogeneity”, Dr Bhagwat stressed.
He said the RSS’ mission has been to develop powerful citizens with strong national character and goodwill towards all sections of the society. We are the sons of Mother Bharat and as such we are related to each other. The Sangh aims at strengthening this relationship to create a strong society imbibed with national character. Such a society can alone build a strong nation, he added.
This Shivshakti Sangam underlines this mission of RSS, the Sarsanghchalak said. Stressing the point that strength must have support of the moral values and ethos to make it more meaningful and humane. The RSS is the only way to achieve development of nation through selfless service and sacrifice. The swayamsevaks who are always the first to reach and help their brethrens in distress are the personified expression of this mission of RSS. We need to worship ‘Shiva’ and ‘Shakti’ at the same time to make our society stand on the pillars of liberty, equality and fraternity, as envisaged by the great visionaries. Unless this is accomplished, we would not get proper answers to the very fundamental questions that have been dogging our society for centuries, Dr Bhagwat said.
The RSS Chief giving example of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s style of governance said that the mission of RSS is based on principles and not following any particular person. We look at Shivaji Maharaj as personification of these principles and therefore included the festival of his coronation in the six main celebrations of the Sangh. We believe that ‘Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram’ is our cultural identity. The world has already understood the existence of Shiva. But the world believes in power and strength i.e. Shakti. Therefore the confluence of Shiva and Shakti is must. This Shivshakti Sangam only denotes this exigency, he added.
The presence of lakhs of swayamsevaks is not just the expression of strength of the Sangh, he said adding that it is the receipt of RSS’ reach in all the sections of the Hindu society. If we want to take our country to the height of glory then there is no alternative to RSS, the Sarsanghchalak said.
Earlier, Prant Karyawah Vinayakrao Thorat made introductory remarks giving information about the work of RSS, service activities in Western Maharashtra and their results.
A unique, historic event
- The Shivshakti Sangam of RSS near Pune will go down as a unique and historic event in the annals of the RSS. The program was held at the sprawling 400 acres land in Marunji. This constituted the Sanghsthan in 100 acres; parking space in 200 acres, and 44 Siddhata Kendras spread in 150 acres.
- The flag post measured 70-feet in height sporting the ‘Bhagwa Dhwaj’ facing the impressive stage from where Sarsanghchalak addressed the gathering. The stage measured 200 feet in length, 100 ft in breadth and 80 ft in height. It had a lift to scale the highest point where the dignitaries were seated.
- The stage had a background of Shivaji’s Torna fort, and Meghdambari of Raigad fort where the portrait of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Dr Hedgewar and Sri Guruji were kept.
- A total of 1,58,778 swayamsevaks had registered for this Shavshakti Sangam by January 1. In the last couple of days this figure swelled to over two lakh.
- Over 1.5 lakh swayamsevaks and an equal number of citizens had gathered for this historic event. Amongst the swayamsevaks 35713 were college students, over 35000 employees, more than 33000 businessmen, over 8000 doctors, lawyers, chartered accountants, company secretaries, over 8000 retired persons and more than 20000 farmers attended the Shivshakti Sangam.
- They included 102-year-old Shridhar Ballal and 95-year-old Chandulal Mehta of Talegaon Dabhade in full uniform standing in the formation. Four generations of swayamsevaks also participated.
- Dr Bhagwat inspected the parade in an open jeep and was given a guard of honour.
- Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadanvis, Union Minister Prakash Javdekar, Pune’s Guardian Minister Girish Bapat, Social Justice Minister Dilip Kamble, Tribal Welfare Minister Vishnu Savra, Pune MP Anil Shirole, Amar Sable, State BJP President Ravsaheb Danve, Shivshahir Babasaheb Puradare, Dr Majumdar of Symbosis, P D Patil, Industrialist Abhay Firodia, Saints, Muslim religious scholars and clergy, activists of Muslim Rashtriya Manch, were amongst the VIP guests for the program.
- Swayamsevaks handled the traffic arrangements so effectively that there was no traffic jam. This relieved the police and administration also of their heavy duty.
- The swayamsevaks were given food packets consisting puris, chutney and two sweet traditional tilgul cakes. These food packets were collected from nearly one lakh families in Pune by the RSS activists by personally contacting them.
- A digital exhibition of RSS service activities was organized at the site.
- The entire program was executed on time. The 2000-strong band played melodious tunes to please the audience and inspire the swayamsevaks. The most notable tune was Swantryveer Savarkar’s ‘Ode to Liberty’ ‘Jayostute shri Mahanmangale…’. The RSS prayer and the chorus song added fragrance of patriotism to the serene atmosphere of the evening.
By Virag Pachpore
Images are author’s self-contribution.