K. B. Hedgewar

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Hedgewar on a 1999 stamp of India

K. B. Hedgewar (1 April 1889 – 21 June 1940), also known as Doctorji, was the founding Sarsanghachalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).


  • Democracy does not reside in speeches but in actual practices of its votaries.
    • quoted from Dr Rakesh Sinha: Hedgewar, for posterity, Indian Express, [1]
  • Accept only that which stands to your reason. Never accept anything merely because it is preached by some great leader. Test its truth on the touchstone of your intellectual discrimination.
    • Dr. K.B. Hedgewar, Quoted from Talreja, K. M. (2000). Holy Vedas and holy Bible: A comparative study. New Delhi: Rashtriya Chetana Sangathan.
  • Peace and love are possible only between equals. The real enemies of peace are those weak people, who, because of their weakness, incite the strong. If we are weak, we commit the sin of disturbing world peace. The real cause of our degradation is our mental weakness.
    • Dr. K.B. Hedgewar, Quoted from Talreja, K. M. (2000). Holy Vedas and holy Bible: A comparative study. New Delhi: Rashtriya Chetana Sangathan.

Quotes about Hedgewar[edit]

  • Dr. Hedgewar was a man of action, not a thinker and writer. He has left us very few writings, but that in itself is indicative of an important choice which the RSS has made since the beginning and to which it has remained true: a disdain for intellectual work. Hedgewar was of the opinion that Hindu society already had everything to succeed in the struggle for survival and freedom, except for a single prerequisite: organization. So, he wanted no more time to be wasted on reading and writing, and all energy to be devoted to organizing the Hindus.
    • Elst, Koenraad (2001). Decolonizing the Hindu mind: Ideological development of Hindu revivalism. New Delhi: Rupa. p. 144
  • The RSS was not founded as a vehicle of some deep "identitarian" strategy, but as a simple vigilante group protecting Nagpur Hindus against Muslim rioters in the post-Khilafat tension.
    • Koenraad Elst : The Ayodhya Demolition: an Evaluation, in India., & Dasgupta, S. (1995). The Ayodhya reference: The Supreme Court judgement and commentaries.
  • It is simply a fact that through K.B. Hedgewar, the RSS was an offshoot of the freedom movement. He himself had been involved with the revolutionary wing of the freedom movement in Bengal, and had drawn his lessons about the needs of Hindu society on the eve of the (by then increasingly inevitable) transition to freedom. The RSS uniform was originally the uniform of a safety squad guarding a conference of the Indian National Congress, which had felt the need of extra security after the Khilafat riots against Hindus because most politicized Muslims saw Congress as a Hindu phenomenon. ... So, through different tributaries, the RSS was entirely rooted in the freedom movement, in both its Gandhian and revolutionary wings.
    • Elst, K. Let's combat communalism. in : Elst, Koenraad. The Problem with Secularism (2007)
  • Hedgewar started the organization with purely pragmatic ends in mind, such as dissuading Muslim ruffians from harassing Hindu girls in the post-Khilafat communal tension in Nagpur.
    • Elst, K. (2010). The saffron swastika: The notion of "Hindu fascism". I.169

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