New Delhi: Allan Octavian Hume laid the foundation of Congress Party in 1885 only to uproot the rising sentiment of cultural nationalism (Hindutva), claims a new book by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak Narendra Sehgal.
The book, titled 'Yugparvartak Swatantrata Sainani Dr Hedgewar ka antim lakshya - Bharatvarsh ki Sarwang Swantantrata (Last aim of freedom fighter Dr Hedgewar – a complete freedom of Bharat)', talks about how Dr KB Hedgewar, the founding sarsanghachalak of the RSS in 1925, was a freedom fighter.
The book further goes on to say that the Congress had no movement for freedom and acted like the armour of the British rule. “For many years we have been hearing that the RSS had no contribution in the freedom movement. The truth, though, is that Sangh was always present in the freedom struggle. The Sangh does not believe in propagating its work, which is why nobody knows about it,” said Narendra Sehgal while talking to News18.
RSS workers believe that Hedgewar was an "unknown and unsung freedom fighter, who neither wrote his autobiography nor rallied to get published in newspapers". Hedgewar, they believe, was convinced of one motto – nahi chahiye pad-yash-garima (I don’t want post, fame and name) and "dedicated his life for Bharat".
Sehgal worked on the book for two-and-a-half years and narrated Hedgewar’s journey in various stages like – Bal Swatantrata Sainani (child freedom fighter), Vipalvi Swatantra Sainani (Revolutionary), Veervrati Swatantrata Sainani (Brave freedom fighter), Chintansheel Swatantrata Sainani (Thinker), Swayamsevak Swatantrata Sainani (Rooted to Hindutva ideology), Parivrajak Swatantrata Sainani (Monk) and Bhavishyadrishtha Swatantra Sainani (Futuristic).
The emphasis of the book is on comparing AO Hume’s INC with Hedgewar’s Sangh. “After the 1857 freedom struggle, there was a widespread and entrenched feeling of Hindutva. AO Hume laid the foundation of INC to make this sentiment directionless. To counter the anti-Hindutva bid of Hume, Dr Hedgewar established RSS — an outfit of deshbhakt freedom fighters,” said the author of the book published by Prabhat Prakashan.
Sehgal further added, “If Congress had not been founded by Englishmen, India would have become free much before 1947. There also would have been no division of India-Pakistan and Afghanistan, Tibet, Bhutan all would have been part of Bharat. Most importantly, our youth would not have been inclined towards western culture.”
Talking to News18, publisher Prabhat Aggarwal said that people wanted to know more about the RSS. “In 2025, the RSS would have completed 100 years. In recent times, the acceptability of RSS has grown. People are getting to know about it. They also have questions regarding its role in the freedom movement. When people have doubts about our role in freedom struggle and are putting up questions, we need to answer them.”
Aggarwal also said that there was a need to show the Sangh’s contribution in the freedom movement because for so many years “we have only known about one family".
“What about others like Subhash Chandra Bose, Lala Lajpat Rai and Gopal Krishna Gokhale?” he asked.
“The book aims to nullify the criticism against Sangh for not participating in the freedom movement. Sangh worked behind the curtains during the freedom struggle, and we can expect more books on the theme in coming days,” he added.