Modi’s stature in the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh or RSS needs no introduction. Narendra Modi became the Prime Ministerial candidate, despite the fact that the world was against him, primarily because RSS was behind him. You may read Rajnath Singh: The unsung hero behind Modi magic and NDA’s unity, and How Modi handled the 2002 riot challenge simply remaining “silent” to know about the interesting political battle (within and outside the party) that Modi won under the aegis of RSS. And now, Modi is the undisputed candidate from BJP or NDA for the upcoming 2019 general election.
So, to sum up things, a common man would think that RSS has a big contribution in Modi’s political career. But what made RSS so impressed about Modi? There are millions of workers of RSS, but why Modi? Modi was nothing when he joined RSS. He had no background, not much qualification, no achievements, etc. Then what gain did he provide to RSS that the organisation made him such great! Check out below!
Let’s start from inception:
It won’t be wrong to claim that Gujarat is like the capital for RSS. But, Gujarat became a separate state only after 1960. RSS used to exist prior to that, but was never known. To be specific about Ahmadabad, which is considered the prime destination for RSS in contemporary times, used not to exist then; it was under Bombay Presidency back then.
RSS during those days or during its inception days was a mere self-acclaimed nationalist organisation, led by few educated, reputed, Bramhins. During 1960, when the demand of Gujarat formation started, RSS used to be led by a Marathi Bramhin, Lakshman Inamdar or Lakshman Rao Inamdar. Lakshman was well educated, was a lawyer, and moreover, had a very good reputation of being honest. He was the man who came upfront to spread the branches of RSS all across the globe. But, the progress used to be slow.
However, Lakshman had a huge popularity. Like many others, Narendra Modi was (he is still) a big fan of Lakshman. In fact, Modi has written a book on Inamdar, which was inaugurated by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Modi during the early days, through his association skill and manpower management, quickly became an associate at the RSS headquarter. This helped him getting closer to Lakshman. Despite being praised, Modi used not to take things for granted. Moreover, he used not to mind even doing the works like cleaning houses, making tea, etc. In fact, he used to happily clean the clothes of Lakshman. Narendra was like a blind follower of Lakshman.
Naturally, Lakshman was quite impressed with Modi as well. Modi got popular within RSS as Lakshman was a powerful personality.
RSS growing big through Modi:
So far you learned how Modi grew within RSS. Now it’s time to learn how RSS has made it big through Modi, or, why RSS made Modi big.
No doubt Inamdar was a huge personality, but an organisation like RSS, which had many other big names also, didn’t have a second thought or produced no huddle for Modi. This was happening as RSS too was eager to evolve from an organisation being led by only a few powerful Brahmins to an honest Nationalist party. It wanted to be exemplary by bringing an “OBC” Modi upfront, thus proving RSS is not limited within Brahmin or higher caste society. RSS had well felt that Modi can do this. Especially, he had own heart of Lakshman, who was regarded well by people of all classes.
Above all, it was the phase when Congress was splitting from within. Workers within the party had started opposing Indira Gandhi and had started supporting Morarji Desai. Congress (led by Indira Gandhi) had started creating a bad image communally as well.
Keeping all these in sight, or presuming a huge political transformation in future, RSS knew that it has this best opportunity to get closer to people. It knew the organisation has to be vast, evolving from a mere Brahmin led group. And, the result is evident today.
RSS today has around 60k branches, with 6 million active members. It has expanded itself to 40 nations, including the likes of UK and the US. In UK itself it has around 84 branches. And the chant behind this globalisation is “Vishwa Dharma”. Needless is to say that this growth has hastened after Modi came in power, though the process was consistent even when BJP was not in power. In fact, RSS affiliated MRM (Muslim Rashtriya Morcha) is also growing rapidly. It has around 10,000 volunteers in India itself. Muslim votes for BJP has grown significantly, in states like Gujarat itself, powered by Modi’s political ability.
So, after all these discussions, it should be very clear on whether Modi has made it big through RSS or RSS through Modi.