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Once No. 3 in RSS, KC Kannan Minds His Business in Curry Powder

Today, Kannan is very much the RSS man he once was. Every morning without fail, he attends the RSS shakha nearby his home in Palakkad, Kerala, and keeps Sangh ideologue MS Golwalkar’s ‘Mein Swayamsewak Hun’ close to his chest.

Anu Narayanan |

Updated:March 10, 2018, 1:31 PM IST
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Once No. 3 in RSS, KC Kannan Minds His Business in Curry Powder
KC Kannan. (Image: News18)
Kochi: In the annals of RSS – or that matter any political organisation in India – there are no such parallels where a man in line for the grand throne relinquished everything one fine day to follow his heart. Yet, that is what KC Kannan did in 2014 when he quit his powerful position as the Sah Sarkaryavah (joint general secretary, No. 3 in the RSS pecking order), got married and raised a family.

Today, Kannan is very much the RSS man he once was. Every morning without fail, he attends the RSS shakha nearby his home in Palakkad, Kerala, and keeps Sangh ideologue MS Golwalkar’s ‘Mein Swayamsewak Hun’ close to his chest.

But these days he has a new line of business to earn his daily bread: selling curry powder.

“Curry powders are a big business in Kerala, there are big brands in the fray. But I had decided from the beginning that I won’t take the easy route. Absolutely unadulterated, our products don’t use any preservatives, for instance. So our profits are wafer thin, but it doesn’t matter,” Kannan says talking about his new means of livelihood.

Kannan says that his other important resolve was to never take advantage of his RSS links. “My wife’s family is into this business, and they help me learn the ropes,” he says.

Among the positions he has held in the RSS are that of the Shareerik Shikshan Pramukh( head of physical training, a post once held by Mohan Bhagwat, the present Sar Sanghachalak, and KS Sudarshan, whom Bhagawat succeeded). In 2012, Kannan became one of the four Sah Sarkaryavahs of RSS, the third most powerful position in the Sangh.

So how does it feel to be out of the top leadership just when the Sangh has become the most powerful organisation in India post the BJP sweep of General Elections 2014?

“Even when I was a Sah Sarkaryavah, power never got into my head. The way I look at it, I was a Swayamsevak with the responsibility of Sah Sarkaryawah, today I am a Swayamsevak without the responsibility of a Sah Sarkryavah. It’s that simple,” he says, adding “In Puthur where I live I attend the shakha daily. Till date, I have never missed a Vijaydashami route march or any such public event of the RSS. But you would not find me in any of the Prantiya Baithaks (regional/state meetings). Because it is not for me to attend such official events anymore.”

So will he return to the organisational leadership should he be recalled? Well, there are precedents. Vasanth Rao Oakh, a pioneering RSS Pracharak who was entrusted to propagate the Sangh ideology in North India by RSS founder Dr KB Hedgewar, is famed for single-handily co-ordinating relief work during the troubled days of partition.

When Dr SP Mookerjee founded the Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS, the early avatar of BJP) Rao wanted to be a part of it, but the then Sarsanghchalak MS Golwalkar refused permission. Rao quit the organisation in protest and founded a parallel political outfit with the help of some of his supporters.

But after few years, Rao met Golwalkar and expressed his desire to return to the fold. Overriding protests from within, Golwalkar brought him back, and he remained in the Sangh, working until the day of his death.

Neither is it a new thing that a Pracharak starts a new life after getting married. As the case of former Sarkaryavah Bhaiyyaji Dani proves, celibacy is not a must for RSS Swayamsevaks. However, over the years it became an unwritten rule that those who volunteer as full-time workers of the Sangh may remain a bachelor. In the past three decades, there were only less than 10 persons who retained their status as Pracharak after getting married. But the numbers were high in the early years of Sangh.

Kannan would not comment on rumours in Sangh circles that the organisation might bring him back. “My life is Sangh”, he says, adding, “The Sangh can decide whatever it feels right. I am a true servant of this organisation and will abide whatever order it gives, till my last breath.”

(The author is a freelance writer based in Kochi. Views are personal.)

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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