M. S. Golwalkar

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Madhavrao Sadashivrao Golwalkar (February 19, 1906June 5, 1973), popularly known as "Guruji", was the second "Sarsanghchalak" (supreme chief) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.


  • To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the semitic Races - the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.
    • We, or our nationhood defined. Nagpur: Bharat publications. 1939. p. 35.  Quoted in The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics by Christophe Jaffrelot, p. 55.
  • The foreign races in Hindusthan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no ideas but those of glorification of the Hindu race and culture [...] or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment - not even citizen's rights.
    • We, or our nationhood defined. Nagpur: Bharat publications. 1939. p. 62.  Quoted in The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics by Christophe Jaffrelot, p. 56.
  • (...) in order to confer their lost Nationality upon exiled Jews, the British with the help of the League of Nations began to rehabilitate the old Hebrew country, Palestine, with its long lost children. The Jews had maintained their race, religion, culture and language; and all they wanted was their natural territory to complete their Nationality. The reconstruction of the Hebrew Nation on Palestine is just an affirmation of the fact that Country, Race, Religion, Culture and Language must exist unequivocally together to form the Nation idea.
    • Quoted in The Saffron Swastika: The Notion of "Hindu Fascism" by Koenraad Elst, pp. 159-160.

Bunch of Thoughts

  • The Christians committed all sorts of atrocities on the Jews by giving them the label “Killers of Christ”. Hitler is not an exception but a culmination of the 2000-year long oppression of the Jews by the Christians.
    • Bunch of Thoughts, Jagarana Prakashana, Bangalore, 1966, p. 210.
  • Many workers appear to take a delight in blaming others for all ills. Some may put the blame on the political perversities, others on the aggressive activities of the Christians or Muslims and such other faiths. Let our workers keep their minds free from such tendencies and work for our people and our Dharma in the right spirit, lend a helping hand to all our brethren who need help and strive to relieve distress wherever we see it. In this service no distinction should be made between man and man. We have to serve all, be he a Christian or a Muslim or a human being of any other persuasion; for, calamities, distress and misfortunes make no such distinction but afflict all alike. And in serving to relieve the sufferings of man let it not be in a spirit of condescension or mere compassion but as devoted worship of the Lord abiding in the heart of all beings, in the true spirit of our dharma of surrendering our all in the humble service of Him who is Father, Mother, Brother, Friend and Everything to us all. And may our actions succeed in bringing out the Glory and Effulgence of our Sanatana-Eternal - Dharma.
    • Quoted from Talreja, K. M. (2000). Holy Vedas and holy Bible: A comparative study. New Delhi: Rashtriya Chetana Sangathan. Also in [1] [2]
  • 'These protagonists of separatism argue that these 'tribals' worship things like trees, stones and serpents. Therefore they are 'animists' and cannot be called 'Hindus'. Now this is something which only an ignoramus who does not know the ABC of Hinduism will say. (..) Do not the Hindus all over the country worship the tree? Tulasi, bilva, ashwattha are all sacred to the Hindu. (...) The worship of Nâg, the cobra, is prevalent throughout our country. (...) Then, should we term all these devotees and worshippers as 'animists' and declare them as non-Hindus?'
    • M.S. Golwalkar: Bunch of Thoughts, p.471-472. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • [Given the Hindu-tribal continuity, Guru Golwalkar proposed that for the integration of tribals and untouchables, one and the same formula applies:] 'They can be given yajñopavîta (...) They should be given equal rights and footings in the matter of religious rights, in temple worship, in the study of Vedas, and in general, in all our social and religious affairs. This is the only right solution for all the problems of casteism found nowadays in our Hindu society.'
    • M.S. Golwalkar: Bunch of Thoughts, p.479. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • It has been the tragic lesson of the history of many a country in the world that the hostile elements within the country pose a far greater menace to national security than aggressors from outside. Is it true that all pro-Pakistani elements have gone away to Pakistan? It was the Muslims in Hindu majority provinces led by U.P. who provided the spearhead for the movement for Pakistan right from the beginning. And they have remained solidly here even after Partition. In those elections Muslim League had contested making the creation of Pakistan its election plank. The Congress also had set up some Muslim candidates all over the country. But at almost every such place, Muslims voted for the Muslim League candidates and the Muslim candidates of Congress were utterly routed. NWFP was an exception. It only means that all the crores of Muslims who are here even now, had en bloc voted for Pakistan. Have those who remained here changed at least after that? Has their old hostility and murderous mood, which resulted in widespread riots, looting, arson, raping and all sorts of orgies on an unprecedented scale in 1946-47, come to a halt at least now? It would be suicidal to delude ourselves into believing that they have turned patriots overnight after the creation of Pakistan. On the contrary, the Muslim menace has increased a hundred fold by the creation of Pakistan which has become a springboard for all their future aggressive designs on our country.
    • Bunch of Thoughts
  • Conversion of Hindus into other religions is dangerous to the security of the nation and the country. It is therefore necessary to put a stop to it. It is by exploitation of poverty, illiteracy and ignorance, offering of inducement and by deceptive tactics that people are converted. It is but right that this unjust activity is prohibited. It is a duty we have to discharge towards protecting our brethren in ignorance and poverty.
    • M.S. Golwalkar : ‘Bunch of Thoughts’, third edition, 1996, p. 170 Quoted from Talreja, K. M. (2000). Holy Vedas and holy Bible: A comparative study. New Delhi: Rashtriya Chetana Sangathan.
  • Without dynamic conquering spirit, even devotion to a divine cause will be of little avail In this hard world which is an arena for trial of strength with brute forces, mere goodness or noble virtues will not hold the field for a single moment. That is why we find that in spite of all the piety, goodness and devotion to God all through the past thousand years, we were trampled under the feet by foreign aggressors who, though total strangers to goodness and virtue, had a passion for heroic action and organised effort.
    • M.S. Golwalkar : ‘Bunch of Thoughts’, third edition, 1996, p. 92 Quoted from Talreja, K. M. (2000). Holy Vedas and holy Bible: A comparative study. New Delhi: Rashtriya Chetana Sangathan.

Quotes about Golwalkar

  • When Hindu revivalist sources are quoted at all, preference is given to sources or statements which put the movement in a bad light. The most frequently quoted Hindu nationalist publication in the secondary literature is RSS leader Guru Golwalkar's We, our Nationhood Defined, a rambling pamphlet written in 1938, a juvenile mistake which Golwalkar himself withdrew from circulation in 1948, and which the vast majority of living Hindu nationalists has never read. Hindutva-watchers just can't get enough of it: the majority of Golwalkar quotations in scholarly literature is taken from that pamphlet, though he was not the RSS supremo at the time (while his numerous later statements made when he was, are given much less attention) and though he himself later repudiated it.
    • Elst, Koenraad (2001). Decolonizing the Hindu mind: Ideological development of Hindu revivalism. New Delhi: Rupa. p. 81-82
  • He is denounced as a fascist on the basis of two passages in a single booklet written at the start of his career. By such criteria, most famous people who are quoted as authorities on moral and political matters could be crucified on a handful of less felicitous lines in their complete works. However, this unfair treatment happens to be prevalent and is partly the result of the poor defence Golwalkar's followers have given him in the opinion-making domain. Public figures and social movements have to live in the real world and take the sheer facts of the power equation in the public sphere into account. As long as Golwalkar has not been disentangled from this identification with the worst handful of lines in his repertoire, it is most unwise and self-destructive to be seen glorifying him. ... According to the Times of India's Akshaya Mukul (9 March 2006), "We is considered the basic charter of Sangh". Whether this is yet another Marxist lie or just an instance of the stark ignorance of the present generations of journalists, I don't know, but the claim is at any rate untrue. .... And more importantly for us today, the book hasn't played any such role since at least 1948, when the remaining stock of its fourth print was confiscated during the crackdown on all Hindutva forces after the murder of Mahatma Gandhi. The book was never reprinted after that, so that over 99% of all Sangh activists now alive have never even seen a copy. ... Indeed, it was Golwalkar himself who vetoed any further reprints of We. The late K.R. Malkani and other RSS elders told me that Guruji had mused about the book's "immaturity". ... The quotes are so popular and by now worn out precisely because they are not representative for RSS thought. In my interviews and conversations with hundreds of Sangh leaders and activists, including in confidential settings where they let their guard down, I have never ever heard anyone cite Golwalkar's "race pride" quote nor make any statement to the same effect. If it were representative, then certainly it shouldn't be difficult to find more recent statements to the same effect. To be sure, attempts have been made to find or rather to fabricate such more recent RSS statements, vide the false presentation of a Gujarat textbook issued under Congress rule as a BJP textbook and then claiming, equally falsely, that it discussed Nazism without mentioning the Holocaust. Such attempts do show in passing how the Marxists realize that their single piece of evidence for "Hindu fascism", even if it had been strong in itself, is a bit dated and in need of being supplemented with more recent expressions of the same ideological tendency.
    • Elst, Koenraad. Return of the Swastika: Hate and Hysteria versus Hindu Sanity (2007)
  • The image of M.S. Golwalkar (1906-73) has posthumously been narrowed down to just two infelicitous and embarrassing quotations from his first book, one that he himself had repudiated early in his career as RSS leader. If read judiciously and within their context, they are by far not as incriminating as various anti-Hindu polemicists would like to have us believe. In particular, contrary to the common allegation, they do not prove that Golwalkar was a Nazi sympathizer, nor that he had mass murder in mind as the solution for the problems Hindu society experienced with its Muslim and Christian minorities. So, clearly the RSS could defuse the negative-publicity bomb which its enemies claim to have dug up from We, if only it had the intellectual wherewithal to properly analyze the text and then, if this proves to be the right course, to clearly disown specifically what must be disowned. But instead it is satisfied to bury the book, refusing to discuss its contents or even to make it available to readers of Golwalkar's "complete works". Like in decades past, it still prefers to look the other way, intimidated by the total control of the mediatic and intellectual domain by India's anti-Hindu coalition of Islamic, Christian and Marxist polemicists. As so often, it is playing by the rules its enemies have imposed rather than changing the power equation through a sincere intellectual effort. It is a welcome development that Golwalkar's followers finally acknowledge that their Guruji has committed mistakes too. But whatever his faults, shouldn't they resolve that he deserved better than to be censored? Wouldn't they render a better service to his memory as well as to the Hindu cause by subjecting his book to a close and frank reading rather than to the silent treatment?
    • Elst, Koenraad. Return of the Swastika: Hate and Hysteria versus Hindu Sanity (2007)
  • The single oftest-quoted Hindutva statement in the whole Hindutva-watching literature is definitely the [the one] from Golwalkar's We... Till today, and even in academic publications, it is very common to see the anti-BJP rhetoric built entirely on these few sentences in Golwalkar's pamphlet of more than sixty years ago.... That alleged Golwalkar quotations turn out to be excerpted from the invective of his critics, is symptomatic of Hindutva-watching in general: first-hand information is routinely spurned in favour of hostile second-hand claims made by unscrupled commentators. In most journalistic and academic publications on Hindutva, the number of direct quotations is tiny in comparison with quotations from secondary, hostile sources.
    • Elst, K. Was Guru Golwalkar a Nazi ?, 1999. [3], and in Elst, K. (2010). The saffron swastika: The notion of "Hindu fascism". Chapter 2. I.117-130
  • Trying to corner an opponent with an unfortunate but peripheral quotation from his own past works is considered as intellectually dishonest and just not sportsmanlike. How radically different is the treatment which the Hindutva leader Guru Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar gets. In his case, his mature writings are quoted only rarely as compared with his first booklet, We... By contrast, the doctrine of Integral Humanism, formulated by BJS ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya in 1965, which is the official ideology of the BJP, and to which every BJP member has to swear allegiance, is not even mentioned in the vast majority of publications on Hindutva... Due to academic and mediatic power equations, so many dirty tricks with which you would never get away in a normal debate, are standard practice in writings and TV documentaries on Hindutva... The impression of his Nazi connection was created by intentionally dishonest methods, essentially by misinforming the readership through selective quoting, and by falsely presenting secondary comment as primary information.
    • Elst, K. (2010). The saffron swastika: The notion of "Hindu fascism". Chapter 2. I.122-3.
  • In articles of that category, used unquestioningly as source in the majority of introductions to Hindu Nationalism, the targeted Golwalkar book would ... [be] his slim maiden volume, We, Our Nationhood Defined (1939). That attempt at ideological contemplation of the political challenges before Hindu society has earned notoriety because of two overquoted passages... [I] found this common allegation, present in every introductory text on Hindutva, totally wanting.... This oft-quoted passage is irrelevant for the contemporary debates, except to show to what mendaciousness secularists and foreign India-watchers can stoop...
    • Elst, Koenraad. Hindu dharma and the culture wars. (2019). New Delhi : Rupa. Chapter : Guha's Golwalkar
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