Sardar patel and the Ban on RSS ? Interesting facts
In January 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Nathuram Godse.
Following the assassination, many prominent leaders of the RSS were arrested, and the RSS as an organisation was banned on 4 February 1948 by the then Home Minister Patel. During the court proceedings in relation to the assassination, Godse began claiming that he had left the organisation in 1946.
The then Indian Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Vallabhbhai Patel had remarked that the "RSS men expressed joy and distributed sweets after Gandhi's death".
The charged RSS leaders were acquitted of the conspiracy charge by the Supreme Court of India. Following his release in August 1948, Golwalkar wrote to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to lift the ban on RSS. After Nehru replied that the matter was the responsibility of the Home Minister, Golwalkar consulted Vallabhai Patel regarding the same.
Patel then demanded an absolute pre-condition that the RSS adopt a formal written constitution and make it public, where Patel expected RSS to pledge its loyalty to the Constitution of India, accept the Tricolor as the National Flag of India, define the power of the head of the organisation, make the organisation democratic by holding internal elections, authorisation of their parents before enrolling the pre-adolescents into the movement, and to renounce violence and secrecy.
Golwalkar launched a huge agitation against this demand during which he was imprisoned again. Later, a constitution was drafted for RSS, which, however, initially did not meet any of Patel's demands.
After a failed attempt to agitate again, eventually the RSS's constitution was amended according to Patel's wishes with the exception of the procedure for selecting the head of the organisation and the enrolment of pre-adolescents.
However, the organisation's internal democracy which was written into its constitution remained a 'dead letter'.
On 11 July 1949 the Government of India lifted the ban on the RSS by issuing a communique stating that the decision to lift the ban on the RSS had been taken in view of the RSS leader Golwalkar's undertaking to make the group's loyalty towards the Constitution of India and acceptance and respect towards the National Flag of India more explicit in the Constitution of the RSS, which was to be worked out in a democratic manner.
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