• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Lost Years of the RSS is a historical analysis of the events that have shaped the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in its 85 years of existence. Written from an insider's perspective, this in-depth work critically analyzes the major turning points in the history of RSS from the viewpoint of both a follower and an opponent, while digging deep into its socio-political history.

Beginning with the political ethnography of the RSS, the book charts the organization's growth over time—from the Partition, the first ban, the Golwalkar and Deoras periods, the demolition of Babri Masjid, to the present, when the original principles of the Sangh have been forgotten, leading to the current decadence within the organization.

The author concludes with suggestions for a way forward for the RSS, wherein the lessons learned from the past can be put to use and the original values can be reinstated. At the heart of the book is the author's implicit desire to contradict the current media representations of the Sangh and portray the RSS as what it was actually meant to be.

Political Ethnography of the RSS
Political ethnography of the RSS

As I mentioned at the end of the previous chapter, I will now discuss the very serious objection of the Hindu Rashtra being a vindictive concept, excluding the Muslims and threatening to exterminate them.

Delineating the Thesis for Nationhood

Towards the close of 1938, Hedgewar wanted to delineate the concept of the ‘nation’ in greater detail. This job was given to Golwalkar, who derived his thesis substantially from a book written by Babarao Savarkar, the elder brother of the revolutionary V.D. Savarkar, titled We or Our Nationhood Defined (henceforth referred to as We). The original 1939 publication We was later altered. Four different versions of the text exist. Golwalkar ultimately disowned the ownership of the whole endeavour saying ...

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