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Let’s Talk About: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Ep 1

Chronicling its beginnings in British India, and what it’s like to grow up within the Sangh.

WrittenBy:NL Team

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the fount of Hindutva, is arguably the most powerful and influential organisation in India. It's three years from turning 100 and its influence permeates all spheres, from politics to society.

But how did this behemoth come to be, and where is it likely to go?

Welcome to episode 1 of Let’s Talk About: RSS, hosted by Abhinandan Sekhri and Shardool Katyayan.

In this episode, guests Rajshekhar and Indraneel join Shardool in talking about their personal journeys growing up in the Sangh – the camps they attended, the training over the years, and how their opinions have evolved over the years.

“I grew up inside a system where, from waking up till the end of the day, almost every single decision was centred around the daily activities of the shakha,” says Shardool.

Rajshekhar says his realisation of the world outside led to his eventual disconnect with the RSS. Indraneel says, “The biggest shock was upon reading Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent. It was then I realised that you don’t have to worship the identity you come from."

Parallelly, this episode also explores the birth of the RSS in British India and the life of Keshav Hedgewar, the man who was the seed to what would eventually be the RSS’s tree. Featuring guest panellists like Hartosh Singh Bal, Hitesh Shankar, and Walter K Andersen, the episode pieces together the early days of the RSS, including the many challenges it faced in newly independent India.


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