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RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat Reaches Kolkata To Pay Tribute To Netaji Ahead Of Celebration On January 23

Opposing the popular beliefs and claims by historians that Neytaji shared an ideology that stood far away from that of RSS's, the organisation released a statement explaining the relationship between Netaji and RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar and how the two leaders met in 1921 during the Congress session in Kolkata.

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RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat
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 Ahead of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's birth anniversary, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat reached Kolkata on Thursday to attend a series of events organised by the social enterprise. And one of those would "Netaji Loho Pronam", an RSS-organised event that would be held on January 23 to pay tribute to the late freedom fighter. 

Opposing the popular beliefs and claims by historians that Neytaji shared an ideology that stood far away from that of RSS's, the organisation released a statement explaining the relationship between Netaji and RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar and how the two leaders met in 1921 during the Congress session in Kolkata.

"Both Netaji and Dr. Hedgewar believed a nationalistic, disciplined organisation would be the path to freedom. That's why one created the RSS, and the other created the Azad Hind Fauj. Netaji's first experience with the RSS when he was travelling in a train and looked out of a window while the train was crossing Nagpur. He saw a gathering of RSS in uniform who were participating in a parade. He later found out that these Swayamsevak were from the RSS, and that it was founded by his one-time Congress colleague Dr. Hedgewar. He expressed a desire to meet Dr. Hedgewar and in June 1940 they met in Nagpur. Many historical opinions believe that Netaji went to meet Dr. Hedgewar with a wish of the Azad Hind Bahini and RSS joining hands. Unfortunately, Dr. Hedgewar was seriously unwell at that time and the meeting was short and Dr. Hedgewar passed away that week itself," the statement added.

Commenting along similar lines, Chandra Bose, Netaji Subhas Chanda Bose's great-grandnephew told NDTV explained on what grounds Netaji showed support to RSS. He said that Netaji believed in a disciplined way of life and RSS has had a disciplinary structure on that note, Netaji appreciated the organisation's structure and efforts of social enterprise. However, he noted that in today's time, Netaji would not endorse the Hindu fanaticism that is propagated by quite a few leaders from the social wing. 

Speaking to NDTV, he said, "I am not too sure if it would go beyond because Netaji was extremely inclusive, he would never support any kind of fundamentalist or Hindu fanaticism. I am not saying RSS is. But there are certain statements, certain leaders of the RSS make at times. Netaji would never tolerate or never accept."

In another agenda, the RSS has also reached Kolkata ahead of the crucial panchayat polls. Reportedly the saffron wing has expanded and grown in structure in several shakhas (divisions) of West Bengal and Bhagwat has reached the state to take a note of the organisation's work on ground. 

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