1. FESTIVALS: Ganeshotsav, the ten day festival, starts on the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, the Bhaadrapad Shukla Chaturthi, corresponding to September 19 this year and culminates on Anant Chaturdashi, the 29th September this year. The festival is celebrated all over Bharat and also outside Bharat.
In USA Milwaukee, Columbus in Ohio, Krishnadevrai shakha at Irvine CA observed Ganesh pooja programs where children were taught to make Ganesh moorthi of clay, paint and decorate it and perform pooja etc. At places Lezim processions were taken out and Prasad distributed. Joyful celebrations were also reported from Delhi, Bhagyanagar (Hyderabad), Tamilnadu and Karachi where over 1000 people participated in the Ganesh pooja at local Swaminarayan temple, Gitananda Ashram temple in Italy, Bharatiya Embassy at Tokyo etc.
2. FORMER RSS SARSANGHCHALAK KUPPAHALLI SITARAMAIYA SUDARSHAN, polularly known as Sudarshanji, passed away in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, on September 15. He was 81. He was cremated in Nagpur the next day.
Born on June 18, 1931 in Raipur, Sudarshanji did his Bachelor of Engineering in Telecommunications (honours) from Sagar University. He joined the Sangh shakha at the age of 9 years and become a Pracharak in 1954. His first posting as Pracharak was in Raigarh district. In 1964, he was made Prant Pracharak of Madhya Bharat at a fairly young age.
He became the fifth Sarsanghchalak on March 10, 2000 succeeding Prof. Rajendra Singh who was popularly known as Rajju Bhaiya. Due to ill health, he stepped down as RSS chief in 2009 and handed over the charge to Shri Mohan Bhagwat.
We offer our heartfelt Shradhhanjali at the sudden demise of Pu Shri Sudarshan ji on September 15 and pray at the feet of SriParmeshwar to bestow sadgati to the departed soul.
He was known for doing new experiments in the Sangh. It was during his tenure of Sharirik Pramukh that the training of kharag, shool, chhurika etc. was replaced with niyuddha, yogasan, and sports. Similarly, the bauddhik activities at the shakha also got new dimension during his tenure as Akhil Bharatiya Bauddhik Pramukh.
He was in Raipur on his routine pravas. After morning walk he started doing pranayam and in that position he suddenly passed away. As per his wish, his eyes were donated to Madhav Netra Pedhi.
His body was then taken to Nagpur in the evening by a special aircraft provided by the Chhattisgarh Government. With the waves of emotions, senior RSS, BJP and leaders offered their tribute at Reshimbagh. Prominent among them were Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat, Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi, Pramukh Sanchalika of Rashtra Sevika Samiti Shantakka, Swami Akhileshwarananda, veteran VHP leader Shri Ashok Singhal, senior BJP leaders Shri LK Advani, Smt Sushma Swaraj, Shri Arun Jaitley, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Chief Ministers of different states including Shri Narendra Modi , Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan , Shri Jagdish Shettar , Dr Raman Singh who offered tributes and remembered his contributions.
Many religious leaders from Muslim, Christian and Buddhist sects were also present to pay tribute. Jamat Ulema-e-Hind’s President Maulana Kazmi and Minority Commission’s Shri Siddiqui made a point to visit Reshimbagh to pay homage. Many dignitaries from Tibetan Government in Exile were present, as Sudarshanji was active in gathering support to the Tibetan independence struggle.
Shraddhanjali programs and messages
Condolence meeting in Nagpur was held at Reshimbag on Sept 26th. “Late Sudarshanji was a perfect confluence of knowledge, devotion and duty. He guided and let not only we swyamsevaks but also the entire society by example”, said Dr. Mohan Bhagwat. Stating that his death was a personal loss to him, the RSS chief confessed that he used to approach Sudarshanji whenever he wanted some clarification or guidance. He said he took the reins of this biggest organization from Sudarshanji and he was assured that he would get the necessary guidance in times of crises. Now his demise has created a big void in my life. Condolence messages from Dr Pranav Pandya of Gayatri Parivar and Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar, Jain Muni Vijay Ratnasundar Surishwar Maharaj of Sakal Jain Samaj, Swami Dayanand Saraswati and Bhadant Sadanand Mahasthvir Sanghnushasak were read out on the occasion.
Sudarshanji’s ashes were immersed in Ganga at Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar on September 25 in the presence of huge gathering of swyamsevaks.
Baba Ramdev: Sudarshanji was a father figure to me. He dedicated himself to the nation till he breathed his last.
Swami Satyamitrananda Giri: Sudarshanji was a modern saint who thought only for the nation and welfare of the humanity.
Shri Bani Deshpande and Roza Deshpande -daughter of the late communist ideologue Sripad Amrit Dange: Our friendship was not for political reason. Sudarshanji used to discuss with us the issues of science and Vedant for hours.
PCLM president RL Francis: Sudarshanji always advocated for social justice. He was a strong supporter of maintaining peace and harmony among all religions.
Arch Bishop Mar Aprem at Trichur, Kerala : ’Sudarsanji is the person who was the model for all the leaders who realizes the value of Communal harmony.
Vaikunt Samaroh was held at Mysore on September 26 where RSS sarkaryavaha Bhayyaji Joshi, K.Suryanarayan Rao ji and swayamsevaks, family members were present.
3. 9TH WORLD HINDI CONFERENCE CONCLUDES IN SOUTH AFRICA: The three day long 9th World Hindi Conference concluded in Johannesburg city of South Africa. Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur felicitated several Hindi scholars, writers and laureates, who had gathered from different parts of the world for their contribution towards the language. The conference was jointly inaugurated on September 22 by Kaur and the Finance Minister of South Africa, Pravin Gordhan. According to M. Ganapathi, Secretary West (Ministry of External Affairs), "The main aim of the ninth World Hindi Conference is to promote Hindi language and widen its reach. Other than this were , use of Hindi in information technology; making Hindi as a language of knowledge; science and employment and to attract and encourage the youth to learn Hindi language."Ganpathi further said, "We would want Hindi to be the seventh official language in the United Nations. “
The programme of the three-day conference included nine academic sessions, cultural programmes and exhibitions on various aspects of Hindi including IT applications in the field of Hindi.
4. 'DHARMA, DHAMMA HAVE SIMILAR ROOTS' – DR MM JOSHI: Former Union minister Murli Manohar Joshi has said that Dharma and Dhamma have similar roots. "Dialogue between Sanatan Dharma and Buddhism is the need of the hour. It will pave way for a balanced global development," said Dr. Joshi while addressing the concluding session of the two-day International Dharma-Dhamma Convention organized at Vidhan Sabha building Bhopal on September 23.
Joshi said the convention should send a message of controlling desires as unending desires are the root cause of man's miseries. He said that all the religions including Sanatan Dharma, Buddhism and Jainism call for unity, harmony and service.
Vedacharya Dr David Frawley (Vamdev Shastri) said that ancient knowledge will be taught in modern context at Sanchi Buddhist University. Dr Rammohan informed about Sanchi Declaration and research papers presented during the plenary session.
About 235 delegates from 19 countries participated in the convention jointly organized by Madhya Pradesh government, Center for study of religion and Society, SriLanka Mahabodhi society and India Foundation, New Delhi.
On September 22, at Sanchi, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa laid the foundation stone of Sanchi University of Buddhist and Indic Studies. He said at this occasion that there was a need to revive the Buddhist and Indic value systems which paved way to modern concepts of human rights and fundamental freedom.
Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigme Y Thinley, Governor Ram Naresh Yadav, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, BR Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar and 12 countries’ saints and scholars were present on the occasion.
Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigme Y Thinley described the occasion of Sanchi University’s foundation laying ceremony as a moment of happiness and pride for him. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said a grand temple of Sita should be built at a place where Sita underwent agnipariksha (trial by fire) in Sri Lanka and that his government was ready to extend assistance
5. Judge of Appeal in Singapore: A Bharat-origin judge has been named as the new chief justice of Singapore, making him the first from the community to head the courts. Sundaresh Menon, presently Singapore's Judge of Appeal, will assume the office of the chief justice from November 6. He would take over from Justice Chan Sek Keong, (Anderson School, Ipoh) who retires at the age of 75 Justice Menon said: "I am greatly honoured and privileged to be entrusted with this awesome responsibility; and humbled by the calibre of those who have been so entrusted before me". Menon, 50, obtained his Master of Laws from Harvard University, after graduating with First Class Honours in Law from the National University of Singapore.
6. NUCLEAR-CAPABLE AGNI-III TEST-FIRED: Two days after the successful trial of highly advanced Agni-IV ballistic missile with a strike range of about 4000 km , Bharat testfired its nuclear-capable Agni-III ballistic missile with a strike range of 3000 km on September 20.The indigenously developed surface-to-air missile, which can carry a warhead of 1.5 tonne protected by a carbon all composite heat shield, took off at 1315 hours from a mobile launcher at launch complex-4 of Integrated Test Range at Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast, defence sources said.
"It was the fifth test in the Agni-III series carried out to establish the 'repeatability' of the state-of-the-art missile's performance," a DRDO scientist said.
The missile is equipped with hybrid navigation, guidance and control systems along with advanced on-board computers. The electronic systems are hardened for higher vibration, thermal and acoustic effects, a DRDO official said.
7. Kashmiri Pandits observe Balidan Divas: Various functions were organized by Kashmiri Pandits at different places in Jammu on September 19 in connection with observance of Martyrs' Day.
This day is being observed by the Kashmiri Pandit community as the Balidan Divas since 1990 in commemoration of the martyrdom of Pandit Tikalal Ji Taploo and also the persecution that was inflicted upon the Kashmiri Pandit community in the valley of Kashmir. The Kashmiri Pandit community was made the selected victim of terror and terrorism, murder and mayhem on a large scale resulting in their mass exodus from the valley.
The Joint Forum of KP Organizations organized a protest demonstration at outside the Raj Bhawan, Jammu. The protesters carrying placards and posters raised slogans against terrorism and apathy of the government towards the Kashmiri Pandits.
8. IAF CHIEF INSPECTS 1ST INDIGENOUS AEW&C JET: “ The success of this program will put our country into the elite group which can develop and deliver such complex state of the art systems," said Dr Vijay Kumar Saraswat, DG DRDO. He was speaking at a function organised to commemorate the formal receipt of the AEW&C Bharat aircraft by Centre for Airborne System (CABS). Dr Saraswat congratulated the AEW&C team from DRDO, IAF, CEMILAC, DGAQA, and the EMBRAER team for this significant achievement.
The indigenous AEW&C System based on projections by the IAF and built on the EMB-145I by DRDO has incorporated more operational capabilities than contemporary systems of its class."
Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne PVSM AVSM VM ADC, Chief of Air Staff, Indian Air Force was the chief guest in the function in which the aircraft was formally received in CABS. Speaking on the occasion, he said he was personally very satisfied with this significant milestone in the programme which was not, and still is not, an easy programme.
9. Hindu SANGAM SACRAMENTO, CA: First ever Hindu Sangam in Sacramento under the banner of “Annapoorna” was organized, in which 15 Hindu organizations, including 3 temples, of greater Sacramento area participated. Annapoorna is an initiative of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), USA and was started in 2005. This was the whole day event on Sep 15th 2012 at Shree Laxmi Narayan Mandir. More than 400 people participated in the event exceeding the expectation; the estimate was for 250 to 300 people.
In his keynote address US HSS Sanghchalak Ved Nanda spoke about the “need of organized Hindu Society and how to achieve that”. He also said we were the first one to say Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah & did add all not only ecology but whole universe in our thoughts.
10. NOW JAPANESE ARE WALKING UP TO JAIPUR FOOT: After the amputees from war-ravaged nations and the handicapped from poor countries, now the technically advanced Japanese too are coming in to fit on the simple and user-friendly Jaipur Foot.
Four Japanese, three of them women, flew into the Pink City recently to get equipped with the artificial limb at Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) here. There was neither any waiting period nor the long-winded processes. Saki Tabaku (20), Fumiko Takado (38) and Hitomi Onishi (35) could walk in a few minutes after they were fitted with Jaipur Foot and Jaipur Knee.
The Japanese were inspired to try out the Jaipur Foot by the Japanese researcher Ken Endo who holds a doctorate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Mr. Endo is presently working as a research associate with Japanese multinational Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Tokyo. MIT has collaborated with BMVSS on developing prosthesis and Mr. Endo has been part of the project. “They were surprised at the speed with which the artificial limbs could be fitted on them as the process would have taken about a month in Japan,” Mr. Endo said. A similar prosthesis in Japan would have cost Rs.6 lakh, while the Jaipur prosthesis cost Rs.2,200 only, he observed. However it was news for Mr. Endo as well that the prosthesis is given free of cost to the poor patients.
BMVSS founder and chief patron D.R .Mehta hailed the visit of the Japanese as recognition for Bharatiya technology from a much advanced nation like Japan.
11. HINDRAF LEADER'S TRAVEL BAN LIFTED: Hindraf Makkal Sakthi Chairman P. Waythamoorthy has been struck off the Immigration Department's blacklist.
"This means he is now free to travel around the world," Immigration director-general Datuk Alias Ahmad said yesterday.
He said the travel ban had been lifted following a request by the police. Three days after the Hindraf protest in November 2007, Waythamoorthy left the country for the United Kingdom. His passport was revoked in March 2008 and he applied for political asylum in Britain.
Waythamoorthy remained in self-imposed exile there until last month, returning to Malaysia by crossing the border from Singapore.
12. MUSLIMS WELCOME RSS PRACHARAK’S BHARAT PARIKRAMA YATRA: RSS Pracharak Sitaram Kedilaya’s Bharat Parikrama Yatra received a warm welcome at a Muslim Institute in Netoor panchayat -the rural side of Kochi city in Kerala. RSS Pracharak 'The heart of the Bharat is lying at our village, where all the culture of mankind is deep rooted. I think every religion teach us to love the nature” this was the message by RSS Pracharak Sitaram Kedilaya to the Villagers of Netoor in Kerala.
In reply the Yathim Khana (a Muslim Institute) administrator Hamsa said clearly that the Holy book Khuran says those people who look to other religious temple or worshipping place with a cruel eye or with a bad intention, he is not Islam..”
13. : Grooming of children to respect parents, guests, teachers and volunteering in society is essentially an Indian tradition with parents. Most Indian parents do it whether they live in India or abroad. The first lesson they give to their children is – Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, and Atithi Devo Bhava.
But there are less fortunate children, who are orphaned, or abandoned by their parents in India because of poverty. Many of these children live in squalor on streets. There are also children of sex workers, who are not lucky enough to have enough motherly care. All these children are neglected and left to fend for themselves.
Priyanka Bhargav, a young college student from South Barrington, IL, is sensitive to the travails of these neglected children and abandoned women.
Priyanka was born in India, but immigrated to the US as a baby. She feels that she is lucky, to be groomed by her parents in the traditional way of Indian values. She particularly attributes her sensitivity to poor children, to her father Yogesh Bhargav. While she has absorbed the essence of the first lessons she has received from her parents, she has taken volunteering very seriously.
She attributes her strong sense of volunteerism to her exposure to Hindu Swayam Sevaksangh (HSS)-USA. As a child, she was introduced to HSS by her parents.
Priyanka has just returned from Pune, India, where she volunteered to take care of less fortunate orphaned slum children, children of sex workers and even the abandoned women. She participated in a 10-week summer Yuva for Seva project of Sewa International-USA.
Speaking to India Tribune, Priyanka pours out her heart having worked with these hapless orphaned children, children of sex workers and abandoned women. She says: “I was in Pune for my project. I worked with an organization called Chaitanya Mahila Mandal, which works with women, who have gone through terrible things. They include the women, who are forced into flesh industry, the women, who have gotten pregnant and then abandoned, the women, who have been abused physically, mentally, emotionally or sexually, and even the women, who have been abandoned by their parents.”
Priyanka says that Aashray is a rehabilitation and counseling center for these women where they can stay free of cost up to three years. The aim of the Aashray is to make these women self-dependent and to rehabilitate them. She says “I worked with these women, teaching them yoga, games, bhajans and English. They also participated in discussions on various topics.”
She says she was touched by the children, whose mothers were being forced into the flesh industry. “There is a night crèche for these kids, who would otherwise be drugged and put to sleep or be forced to watch their mothers. In the night crèche, I taught the children songs, slokas, bhajans, English alphabets and numbers. I even taught them some games. For them, I created ‘alphabet flashcards’ with a letter on one side and two words with pictures that start with that letter. I also made motivational posters to be displayed on the walls of the crèche,” she adds.
She has created various fundraising documents for Chaitanya Mahila Mandal, which will be uploaded on to their Web site www.cmmpune.org and a volunteering document that would enable one to donate money, resources, time or all the three.
Priyanka says that she has been trying to volunteer with Yuva for Sewa for the past two years and was finally able to do so this summer. “I have always been passionate about helping out my community in India, my motherland. I wanted to volunteer in India. Visiting India with my family as a tourist has been fun, but I wanted to see a different side of India, the side I often hear about a lot, but never had a chance. Therefore, when I got a chance, I made full use of it,” she says with conviction.
She says her experience in India in helping the women, who have been abused, trafficked or abandoned by their husbands and families, had been very painful and life-changing. “Navigating a city that I had never been in before, communicating in the languages I did not know well, and adapting to living conditions in an Indian hostel had been very challenging. This experience had broadened my view about the world,” she says.
Asked how she felt working with women who were in flesh trade, Priyanka says: “I feel sorry for them. Given an opportunity they would all like to get out of it. But it is a vicious circle. Some women are bought by brothel-keepers. To win freedom, these women have to pay back these brothel-keepers. To pay back the money, these women have to keep on selling their bodies. When they sell their bodies, they get sick. To get treated they have to spend money. Therefore, the debt never gets reduced. Often it gets mounted. So they live in perennial debt and die in debt.”
Priyanka condemns the system and pities these women and their children for being trapped in the vicious circle for no fault of theirs. The social organizations like Chaitanya Mahila Mandal and Aashray are helping them. But they are very few and the need is more.
Priyanka says that she was one of the six girls and three boys chosen by HSS-USA to volunteer with Yuva for Sewa in various Indian cities. One of the volunteers was an American girl. Priyanka says that their experience has been no different from hers. Given an opportunity, she wants to go to India once again and work for the upliftment of these neglected children and unfortunate women.- J.V. Lakshmana Rao (IndiaTribune Oct 1, 2012)
14. SUNITA WILLIAMS TAKES OVER COMMAND AT INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION: Just after the Soyuz spacecraft separated from the space station on September 16, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams took over command of Expedition 33 at the station from Commander Gennady Padalka, becoming the second woman in history to do so.
Williams will be sharing the Space Station with veteran Russia cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide until mid-October, when three more astronauts, including NASA astronaut Kevin Ford, will arrive and round out the full crew of Expedition 33.
"I would like to thank our (Expedition) 32 crew mates here who have taught us how to live and work in space, and of course to have a lot of fun up in space," Williams told Padalka during a change of command ceremony.
15. DELHI UNIVERSITY'S ENGLISH DEPARTMENT AMONG WORLD'S BEST: The QS World University Rankings has ranked Delhi University among the 100 best places to study English. Even as Bharatiya institutions of higher education have drawn flak for failing to make the top 200 in overall university rankings, DU's English department features in the 51-100 group in QS' annual survey.
English (or language) departments of three other Bharatiya universities have made QS' list by subject Jawaharlal Nehru University, University of Calcutta and University of Hyderabad. But unlike DU's department, they are in the 151-200 ranks group.
In English teaching, DU is in the same league as Pennsylvania State University, St Andrew's University and University of Sussex — all in the 51-100 category. DU's English is better than that of Purdue University, Nottingham University and University of Liverpool.
16. BANGLADESH PARLIAMENT PASSES HINDU MARRIAGE LAW: Bangladesh’s parliament has passed a landmark bill aimed at protecting the rights of the Hindu community members, especially women from marriage-related cheating.
The law would authorise the government and the local government authorities to appoint a marriage registrar to be known as Hindu Marriage Registrar at every ward of the City Corporation and municipality. The bride would have to be minimum 18 years old and the groom 21 years, the report said.
17. DEFINE US BY ETHNICITY, NOT RELIGION: ASSAM MUSLIMS: After the violence in Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD), heated discourses on the Muslim community have become common in the state. Sadou Asom Goria Moria Deshi Jatiya Parishad (SAGMDJP), an organisation representing indigenous Assamese Muslims, on Sunday said that their community members wanted to be identified by their ethnicity and not by their religion.We belong to the Goria, Moria and Deshi ethnic groups of the Assamese Muslims. It is another fact that our religion is Islam, but we have our own ethnic identities.These communities have evolved distinct identities because of their ethnicity.We want these communities to be identified and referred to by their ethnic identities and not by religion, SAGMDJP president Sahiruddin Ali Ahmed said in a public meeting on September 16. (Times of India, Sept 16.2012 )
18. ALUMNI OPEN PURSE TO HELP IIT-D BUILD RESEARCH SCHOOLS: The highly successful alumni of IIT-Delhi are helping the institute look beyond government funding for several ambitious research projects.
Currently, two complexes are being built in IIT-Delhi with 100 per cent alumni funding. The first is Amarnath and Shashi Khosla School of Information Technology, named after parents of US-based venture capitalist Vinod Khosla.
Kusuma School of Biological Sciences, funded by alumnus Anurag Dikshit through the UK-based Kusuma Trust, named after his mother, is another project coming up on the campus.
Patanjali Keswani, managing director of Lemon Tree Hotels and an alumnus, recently announced Rs 20 crore for GH Keswani Research Centre at the institute.
19. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Dr.Sadanand Sapre, sah samyojak Vishwa Vibhag returned from his tour to Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar. Visitors:
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: All who have actually attained any real religious experience never wrangle over the form in which the different religions are expressed. They know that the soul of all religions is the same and so they have no quarrel with anybody just because he or she does not speak in the same tongue. – Swami Vivekananda
JAI SHREE RAM
SUDARSHAN: A LEADER WHO BROKE BARRIERS
Former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief KS Sudarshan, who passed away on Saturday, broke the barriers of past burdens, dogmas and ritualism and often faced severe criticism from various quarters. But once he took a stand, no one could make him go back on it.
Sudarshanji was like a family member. Sharing the good times and bad, standing with us like a father figure and trying to help. For him scholarship, organisational burden and national policies came after human relations. An emotional person, he would often engage visitors in long chats, and it was a great experience to listen to his words of wisdom on science, spiritualism, metaphysics, environmental issues and almost anything under the sun.
Even when he was the global chief of the world's largest Hindu organisation, he remained the most accessible person on earth with whom we could discuss, criticise, vehemently oppose organisational decisions, even express disagreement on what he said or wrote, and yet be without the fear of any 'disciplinary action'.
He was, after all, a father figure to us. A mentor who never got angry but who tried to shape us through love and persuasion.
He was us.
Yet he never trod the beaten path.
His first address to the nation, a press conference in Nagpur after assuming charge as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief, was on the economic situation and the need to assertively follow a policy that would help indigenous industry grow, provide more employment to the skilled and unskilled labourers and blue collar workers. Contact Raman Singh (chief minister of Chhattisgarh) and get information on what he has done to produce bio-fuel and publish a detailed report, he would say.
His long discussions with the then petroleum minister Ram Naik resulted in the central government's policy on bio-fuel.
In RSS karyalayas (office cum residence), he made it an unwritten rule followed by all to only fill as much water in the glass as one is sure to drink. 'Don't waste water, don't fill up the glass only to throw it into the washbasin. Water is sacred and scarce,' he would urge.
He tried to persuade everyone he met to stop ostentatious marriages. Don't go in for such celebrations, it's a mockery of India's poor millions and a blot on Hindu society. And so was his mission to fight female foeticide. We worship Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati as stone idols but kill them in the womb, he said in a speech.
He praised Indira Gandhi for her role in the 1971 war and invited a huge load of criticism from those who thought we ought to be hateful and hard-hitting on the Congress. He hated the hate element in Indian politics and tried to reach out to everyone as an Indian.
The business of enlisting, de-listing and blacklisting is a Communist preserve, he would tell us, why should a Hindu fall into that abyss and still hypocritically keep on chanting the story of Charvak, the atheist who was given an exalted position of rishi in spite of being an exponent of a philosophy that negated Vedic principles.
Very often, whenever he happened to be in Delhi ], he would come to the offices of Panchjanya and Organiser and discuss several contemporary issues with the editors. His knowledge of global affairs and their likely impact on India was awesome. His friends' circle included diplomats, scientists, Vedic scholars, environmentalists and economists espousing the cause of Swadeshi.
He was fond of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s poems and would recite many of them verbatim at several meetings. So when a daily newspaper published his interview that created awkwardness between him and Vajpayeeji, he felt sad about it. And it goes to the credit of both leaders' maturity that the bad blood was removed and relations normalised.
His knowledge of Islam was so astounding and correct that he surprised the Islamic ulema and maulanas, whom he loved to engage in conversations. He wanted to reach out to Indian Muslims and inspired many such organisations and efforts. Perhaps he was the only Hindu leader of his stature who never forgot to send Eid greetings to his Muslim friends every year.
He would often come to our home, chat with the kids as if he was of their age and watch some interesting programmes, essentially non-political, on television. He was very happy when our daughter was born and came home to name her and be a part of the annaprashan ceremony.
At a later stage, when he relinquished the post of RSS chief, he would often feel sad and lonely and recite Atalji's poems -- on the resolve to face odd situations with firmness. About his failing health, he would say: 'I forget the names of my close associates, it's a terrible thing.' And would often go back in time, recalling his Jabalpur days, his roots in Tamil Nadu, and the plight of Hindus due to their own mistakes.
Once he told us that a great astrologer in Tirupati (now no more) had divined his past and said he was a Sri Lankan Tamil in his previous birth. We all laughed.
Sudarshanji wanted to restore the glory of Hindus the world over and would often say, 'The time is very near when Hindu society will unshackle the colonial mindset and acquire its destined place in the comity of nations. No one can keep Hindus subjugated and a slave of political expediency for long.'
An ardent devotee of Sri Aurobindo, he would declare with a great confidence -- a new India will rise, and soon. Happier, mightier and wealthier. Hindus are born with the divine gift of science and mathematics; no one can beat them in scientific pursuits. It's in our genes.
He would get enraged on seeing the plight of Hindus in Pakistan, Bangladesh and even in India due to political vote-banks and sham secularism. The leaders are spineless, they do not feel the pains and sorrows of Hindus, he would lament. Every party has a Hindu leadership, why don't they feel anguish on seeing how Hindus are being persecuted all over South Asia, he would ask. We must work with the Hindus of other political groups and shouldn't be confined to the Bharatiya Janata Party alone, but are other groups willing to receive us, he would question.
He broke the barriers of past burdens, dogmas and ritualism and often faced severe criticism from various quarters. But once he took a stand, no one could make him go back on it.
He was like a family member to us. And to many, many Swayamsevaks all over the nation. I regret not being able to have his best speeches and interviews published in his lifetime, although a publisher had made such an offer years before. But his memory will always keep us moving towards building a greater and happier Bharatvarsh that is India.( www.rediff.com September 17, 2012 ) --Tarun Vijay is a Bharatiya Janata Party member of the Rajya Sabha