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90 years of RSS: Lesser known facts about Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

New Delhi: Today is the 90th foundation day of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).RSS was founded on Vijayadasami on 27 September 1925 by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, a Nagpur based doctor.It was formed as a social organisation
India TV News Desk October 24, 2015 14:35 IST
India TV News Desk

New Delhi: Today is the 90th foundation day of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

RSS was founded on Vijayadasami on 27 September 1925 by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, a Nagpur based doctor.

It was formed as a social organisation to provide character training through Hindu discipline and to unite the Hindu community.

RSS, the world's largest voluntary non-governmental organisation, states that its ideology is based on the principle of selfless service to India.

The organisation initially drew inspiration from European right-wing groups during World War II. Gradually RSS has grown into an extremely prominent Hindu nationalist umbrella organisation and by the 1990s, allied organisations had established numerous schools, charities and clubs to spread its ideological beliefs.

India TV brings to you 9 lesser known facts about RSS 

1. RSS has no branch, and is run by its own members. The Bhagwa Dhwaj (saffron flag) is the only Head of the organization and followers worship the same. It is a single unit and is the world's biggest association to provide voluntary services with over 60 lakh dynamic members, in addition to millions of followers.

2. RSS membership has no identity card or business card. There are no hard and fast rules for RSS members. Anyone can walk in or walk out anytime. RSS volunteers participate in various political and social movements. One must have the zeal to serve the country that is the only criteria to join this organization.

3. RSS has two setups - Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha is a part of the male organization and Rashtra Sevika Samity for the females. Both have the same values and intentions.

4. In 1947, Mahatma Gandhi had addressed a RSS rally. The rally was held in the Sweeper's Colony in Delhi where he also fielded questions posed by Swayamsevaks.

5. During the Indo-China war, when the traffic police were on the border and the country ran out of the police, only RSS volunteers came forward to help the country by acting as traffic controllers on every traffic post.

6. RSS was banned during the British rule and then thrice by the post-independence Indian government -- first in 1948 when Nathuram Godse, a former RSS member, assassinated Mahatma Gandhi; then during the emergency (1975-77); and after the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992.

The ban imposed in February 1948 was withdrawn unconditionally in July 1948. The ban during 1975-77 was a part of the illegal suspension of individual and collective human rights during the emergency. The ban in 1992 was lifted in the absence of material evidence for supporting a ban.

7. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru had invited RSS to participate in 1963 Republic Day parade as the organization helped the Indian civilians and soldiers great in the year 1962. Nearly 3500 Swayamsevaks marched in the parade.

8. Nuclear physics expert, Professor Rajendra Singh, popularly known as Rajju bhaiya, who was a professor and head of the Department of Physics at Allahabad University, was chief of RSS from 1994 to 2000. He was acknowledged as an exceptionally brilliant student by CV Raman who was his examiner during his Masters.

9. Vidya Bharati Sansthan, which operates about 40,000 schools in India with more than 40 lakh students, is the educational wing of RSS.

10. RSS now has 51,330 Shakhas at 33,222 places, 12847 Saptahik Milan & 9008 Sangh Mandali across the country.

11: Timeline:- 1925: RSS established. 1940: Reaches all states. 1980s: Reaches almost all districts. 2015: RSS has over 90 million Swayamsewaks