Basic FAQ on RSS

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh    20-May-2017
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What is the long form of RSS?

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. 

Who is the founder of RSS?

Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar was the founder of RSS. He was a freedom fighter who devoted his entire life to the service of motherland. 

When and where RSS was formed?

RSS was founded by Dr. Hedgewar at Nagpur in 1925. 

Who can become a member of RSS?

Any Hindu male can become member of RSS.

Why does RSS always talk only about Hindus? Is it a religious organisation?

In the RSS, we do not use the word "Hindu" in the context of a worshiping deity or as a religion. Hindus have a "View of Life" and a "Way of Life". In the RSS we use the word Hindu in this context. In a landmark judgement the country"s Supreme Court has also said that Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life.

For instance, Truth is one but there may be several ways to look at it, describe it, and also to attain and realize this truth. Yet all these several forms are similar. This unity in diversity is Bharat"s world view and also the Hindu"s world view. All those who share this world view, accept and honour Bharat"s history, nurture the country through their own social values and make sacrifices to protect these value systems are "Hindus" despite having different religious moorings or following a separate religion.

So, can a Christian or a Muslim also become a Swayamsevak with the RSS?

Christians and Muslims who live in Bharat have not come from an alien land, rather they are all children of this nation. All our forefathers and ancestors are from this country. If for any reason, a person changes his religion then that does not mean that they should change their values and vision towards life. So Christians, Muslims or people following any other religion who live in Bharat & who subscribe to the world view of Bharat are all "Hindus". They are welcome to be in the RSS. In fact, several such "Hindus" do come into RSS, take active part in Sangh"s activities towards nation building and work with full responsibility. They are neither discriminated against nor do they receive any special treatment.

How do women become members in RSS ?

Women can become members in Rastra Sevika Samiti.

Samiti works with the same ideology and mission among womenfolk.

What is the procedure of membership of RSS?

There is no formal membership procedure of RSS. Any one can join the nearest ‘Shakha’, which is the basic unit and activity of RSS. There are no fees, no registration process. Once he starts attending Shakha, he is considered as a member. 

Why is there a uniform for RSS functions? Is it compulsory to become a member? How does one get it?

The RSS develops through physical training, a sense of unity and brotherhood among the Swayamsevaks. For this purpose a uniform is always considered as quite helpful. However, uniform is prescribed for special functions, it is not compulsory in daily Shakhas. It is not provided by RSS, but as a Swayamsevak realizes its importance, he prepares the uniform at his own expenses. 

Why RSS insists on half pant in uniform and daily Shakhas?

It is not a matter of insistence but of convenience. The daily Shakha program consists of physical exercises. For this purpose, a half pant is found to be suitable and affordable to all. 

What is Shakha?

A daily gathering of all Swayamsevaks in a predefined area at a common meeting place for one hour is called a Shakha. 

What is the daily program of Shakha?

The daily programs of Shakha consist of physical exercises, patriotic songs, group discussions on various subjects, reading of good literature and a prayer to our motherland. 

How many members and how many RSS shakhas are there in Bharat?

There are Shakhas in approximately 50,000 villages and towns of Bharat. As RSS does not keep a formal membership or register of Swayamsevaks, the exact number of Swayamsevaks is difficult to count.