Indian Independence Movement and RSS
After the formation of the RSS, which portrays itself as a social movement, Hedgewar kept the organisation from having any direct affiliation with the political organisations then fighting British rule. RSS rejected Gandhi's willingness to co-operate with the Muslims.
In accordance with Hedgewar's tradition of keeping the RSS away from the Indian Independence movement, any political activity that could be construed as being anti-British was carefully avoided. According to the RSS biographer C. P. Bhishikar, Hedgewar talked only about Hindu organisations and avoided any direct comment on the Government. The "Independence Day" announced by the Indian National Congress for 26 January 1930 was celebrated by the RSS that year but was subsequently avoided.
The Tricolor of the Indian national movement was shunned. Hedgewar personally participated in the 'Satyagraha' launched by Gandhi in April 1930, but he did not get the RSS involved in the movement. He sent information everywhere that the RSS would not participate in the Satyagraha. However, those wishing to participate individually were not prohibited. In 1934 Congress passed a resolution prohibiting its members from joining RSS, Hindu Mahasabha, or the Muslim League.
M. S. Golwalkar, who became the leader of the RSS in 1940, continued and further strengthened the isolation from the independence movement. In his view, the RSS had pledged to achieve freedom through "defending religion and culture", not by fighting the British. Golwalkar lamented the anti-British nationalism, calling it a "reactionary view" that, he claimed, had disastrous effects upon the entire course of the freedom struggle.
It is believed that Golwalkar did not want to give the British an excuse to ban the RSS. He complied with all the strictures imposed by the Government during the Second World War, even announcing the termination of the RSS military department. The British Government believed that the RSS was not supporting any civil disobedience against them, and their other political activities could thus be overlooked.
The British Home Department took note of the fact that the speakers at the RSS meetings urged the members to keep aloof from the anti-British movements of the Indian National Congress, which was duly followed.
The Home Department did not see the RSS as a problem for law and order in British India.The Bombay government appreciated the RSS by noting that the Sangh had scrupulously kept itself within the law and refrained from taking part in the disturbances (Quit India Movement) that broke out in August 1942.
It also reported that the RSS had not, in any way, infringed upon government orders and had always shown a willingness to comply with the law. The Bombay Government report further noted that in December 1940, orders had been issued to the provincial RSS leaders to desist from any activities that the British Government considered objectionable, and the RSS, in turn, had assured the British authorities that "it had no intentions of offending against the orders of the Government".
Golwalkar later openly admitted the fact that the RSS did not participate in the Quit India Movement. He agreed that such a stance led to a perception of the RSS as an inactive organisation, whose statements had no substance in reality. The RSS neither supported nor joined in the Royal Indian Navy Mutiny against the British in 1945 (Bhatt, Chetan (2001), Hindu Nationalism: Origins, Ideologies and Modern Myths, Berg Publishers, ISBN 1859733484).