• 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.

Dominant Tendencies of the Golwalkar Era
Dominant tendencies of the Golwalkar era

The principal issue that I wish to address in this chapter is whether the dominant tendencies of the RSS in the Golwalkar era are, in any fundamental way, different from the tendencies of the organisation under Dr Hedgewar. The monumental book written by Mr V.R. Karandikar, Teen Sarsanghachalak (1999), strenuously makes a tenuous argument that they were not very different at all. It is an intricate and also a dangerous question to raise, since it threatens to challenge this most fond and deeply entrenched belief within the RSS.

The thesis of man-making as one of the most essential requirements of the nation, along with the conviction that this is a Hindu Rashtra with a past ...

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