Shakha

Expressed in the simplest terms, the ideal of the Sangh is to carry the nation to the pinnacle of glory, through organising the entire society and ensuring protection of Hindu Dharma.

Having identified this goal, the Sangh created a method of work in consonance with that ideal. Decades of functioning has confirmed that this is the most effective way of organising the society. 

The Sangh's method of working is of the simplest kind, and there is hardly anything esoteric about it. Coming together every day for an hour is the heart of the technique, and the Sangh has always grown only by personal contact. This is a self-contained mechanism; hence its success.

The daily Shakha is undoubtedly the most visible symbol of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The Shakha is as simple in its structure as it is grand in conception. No better example can be given to prove the truth of the adage that it takes a genius to simplify a mechanical tool, while even a third-rate engineer can complicate a simple mechanism! After nearly seven decades since the inception of the Sangh, people continue to express puzzlement as to how such a simple tool as the daily Shakha can produce idealists and patriots of such sterling worth, willing to dedicate all their energies and talents to the cause of the Motherland, willing even to shed their lives if need be to protect the honour of the Motherland. Herein lies the extraordinary vision, skill and foresight of Dr. Hedgewar, the founder of the Sangh.



What is the Shakha?


A saffron flag (called the Bhagawa Dhwaj) flutters in the midst of an open playground. Youths and boys of all ages engage in varieties of indigenous games. Uninhibited joy fills the air. There are exercises, Suryanamaskar, sometimes training in skillfully wielding the 'Danda'. All activities arc totally disciplined. The physical-fitness programmes are followed by group singing of patriotic songs. Also forming part of the routine is exposition and discussion of national events and problems. The day's activity culminates in the participants' assembling in orderly rows in front of the flag at a single whistle of the group leader, and reverentially reciting the prayer "Namaste Sada Vatsale Matrubhoome" (My salutation to you, loving Motherland). The prayer verses, even as the group leader's various commands are all in Samskrit. The prayer concludes with a heart-felt utterance of the inspiring incantation "Bharatmata Ki Jai".

This, in outline, is the Shakha of RSS. The participants are the 'Sangh Swayamsevaks'.

The Shakha is the most effective and time-tested instrument for the moulding of men on patriotic lines - outreaching by far its physical dimension.

The Shakha process is further strengthened by graded training-camps celled 'Sangha Shiksha Varga' at provincial and all-Bharat level, at regular intervals. 

The Sangh has popularised the observance of six national festivals of social significance: Varsha Pratipada or Hindu New Year; Hindu Samrajya Dinotsav on Jyeshtha Shuddha Trayodashi, commemorating the coronation of Chatrapati Shivaji; Gurupooja on Ashadha Poornima; Raksha Bandhan on Shravana Poornima; Vijayadashami on Ashwayuja Shuddha Dashami; and Makara Sankranti.