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Lost Years of the RSS

Lost Years of the RSS

  • Sanjeev Kelkar - Ex-Medical Director, Novo Nordisk Education Foundation
Critical Acclaim

August 2011 | 392 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd

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.

Foreword Kumar Ketkar
Original Design of the RSS: An Analysis  
Political Ethnography of the RSS  
Other Dominant Tendencies of the Golwalkar Era  
Withdrawal, Return and Ascent of Deoras  
The Emergency and Post-Emergency  
The BJP, the Parivar and Deoras: 1980-85  
Catapulting the Hindu to the Centre Stage  
Road to Political Power and Its Aftermath  
The Unipolar World and the RSS' Response  
The Future, If Any  
The New Hindutva (Violent) Forces
Epilogue: The Problem of Ideologies  
Postscript: Ayodhya Judgement and Bihar Assembly Elections

Whatever the future, given the RSS’ multi-layered history, this was a story waiting to be told. Mr Kelkar’s intention may be to analyse the history of the RSS as a believer as well as an opponent. But objectivism is easier said than achieved. In Mr Kelkar’s case, the opponent’s viewpoint resembles that of a mother, bitterly disappointed in her child but unrelenting in her support and affection nonetheless. So expect a historical account of a “misunderstood” organization and a loyalist’s take on the way forward.

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ISBN: 9788132105909

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