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Letter of Sardar Vallabhai Patel to RSS Leader Guru Golwalkar: 11 September, 1948

Sardar Vallabhai Patel, union home minister, to Guru Golwalkar, RSS chief in a letter written on September 11, 1948. The letter is quoted in full in Desraj Goel’s Rahstriya Swayamsevak Sangh.The entire Text :
Aurangzeb Road,
New Delhi,11th Sept. 1948

Brother Sri Golwalkar,

Received your letter dated 11th August. Jawaharlal has also sent me your letter of the same date.

You are very well aware of my views on the RSS. I have expressed these thoughts at Jaipur in December last month at Lucknow in January. The people had welcomed those views. I had hoped that your people also would accept them. But they appear to have no effect on the RSS persons, nor was there any change in their programmes. There can be no doubt that the RSS did service to the Hindu Society. In the areas where there was the need for help and organisation, the young men of the RSS protected women and children and strove much for their sake. No person of understanding could have a word of objection regarding that. But the objectionable part arose when they, burning with revenge, began attacking Mussalmans. Organising Hindus and helping them is one thing but going in for revenge for its sufferings on innocent and helpless men, women and children is quite another thing.

Apart from this, their opposition to the Congress, that too of such virulence, disregarding all considerations of personality, decency or decorum, created a kind of unrest among the people. All their speeches were full communal poison. It was not necessary to spread poison and enthuse the Hindus and organise for their protection. As a final result of the poison, the country had to suffer the sacrifice of the valuable life of Gandhiji. Even an iota of sympathy of the Government or of the people no more remained for the RSS. In fact the opposition grew. Opposition turned more severe, when the RSS men expressed joy and distributed sweets after Gandhiji’s death. Under these conditions it became inevitable for the Government to take action against the RSS.

Since then, over six months have elapsed. We have hoped that after this lapse of time,  with full and proper consideration the RSS persons would come to the right path. But from the reports that come to me, it is evident that attempts to put fresh life into their same old activities are afoot. I once again ask you to give your thought to my Jaipur and Lucknow speeches and accept the path I had indicated for the RSS. I am quite certain that therein lies the good of the RSS and the country and moving in that path we can join hands in achieving the welfare of our country. Of course, you are aware that we are passing through delicate times. It is the duty of every one from the highest to the lowliest in this country to contribute his mite, in whatever way possible, to the service of the country. In this delicate hour there is no place for party conflicts and old quarrels. I thoroughly convinced that the RSS men can carry on their patriotic endeavor only by joining the Congress and not by keeping separate or by opposing. I am glad that you have been released. I hope that you will arrive at the proper decision after due consideration of what I have said above. With regard to restrictions imposed upon you I am in correspondence with the CP Government. I shall let you know after receiving their reply.

                                                               Yours

SD.) VALLABH BHAI PATEL

                                                                      (Rendered from the original in Hindi)*

Justice on Trial: Historic Document of Guruji-Government Correspondence, pp. 26-8;

N.B. This letter also, incidentally, clarifies the misunderstanding created that the Sardar had invited them to join the Congress; the invitation is for rethinking and change of heart and then giving it a concrete shape by merger into the Congress. The same thing JP tried to accomplish later and failed.

Another quote from Sardar Patel:

“As regards the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha… our reports do confirm that, as a result of the activities of these two bodies, particularly the former (RSS) an atmosphere was created in the country in which such a ghastly tragedy became possible.”

Sardar Vallabhai Patel, union home minister to Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, who later founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, in a letter  on July 18, 1948. Sardar Patel Correspondence, Volume 6, edited by Durga Das.

About Intercultural Resources

Intercultural Resources is a forum for research and political intervention on issues related to the impacts and alternatives to destructive development. Our effort draws upon the social, cultural, material and intellectual resources that have been generated in the course of dialogues between people of different cultures on questions of social justice, development and self-rule. We are of the view that dialogue can sustain plurality and open possibilities for recovery of the ground lost on account of inter-cultural alienation, which is manifest in a variety of forms of violence that we encounter everyday at different levels of social life. Intercultural Resources is based in Delhi, India. Email: ihpindia@gmail.com

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