With the passing away of Balasaheb Deoras an era came to an end. Poojya Balasaheb formed the last surviving nucleus in the string of workers who had the privilege of personal contact with the founder of the Sangh. Balasaheb's entire life was inspired by the fierce patriotic fervour that poured out of Doctorji's heart. No wonder such a tried and trusted life should be a constant source of inspiration to innumerable youth to plunge themselves headlong into the yanja that is national service. The result is for the whole world to see : a massive ideologically one family for-ever growing from strength to strength.
Forget & forgive
The spectacular triumph in his fight against the Emergency never went to his head. He came from a different mould from those who deliver themselves of the most astoundingly imbalanced statements as soon as they are installed in office, however small and insignificant and equally ephemeral, because with the least popular support their egos are inflated. Understandably, when he came out of the jail and was being enthusiastically congratulated in State after State on successfully leading the anti-Emergency movement he had this to say to the people : Forgive and forget. Thousands of swayamsevaks were dumped into jails simply for the crime of being patriots. Many were subjected to atrocities resulting in maiming, permanent damage to health, the financial ruin brought about by 19 months incarceration. Balasaheb personally witnessed this all round devastation of many a swayamsevak's family and future. And yet he asked them to be brave and forgive and forget. Sometime during these days Balasaheb and I called on Charan Singh who said that he would never forgive Smt Gandhi, Balasaheb said : We are social workers; you are an administrator. Our aim is to bring all the people together. It is imperative for us to inculcate in us the quality of forgiveness. All social workers should bear in mind this attitude of Balasaheb.
The Sangh had reached all the regions, then called provinces before Doctorji's demise. During the days of Poojaneeya Guruji as the Sangh grew, swayamsevaks sowed the seeds of the RSS ideology in various fields of social activities. Without diluting the importance of what the Sangh wants to achieve Balasaheb helped the work being carried on in various fields by providing them with workers and guidance in many ways. He saw to it that the institutions helped by the Sangh rose to eminence in their respective fields. As a result institutions drawing inspiration from the RSS ideology are now on the top whether in the field of politics, labour, students, religion or vanavasis. Along with this the number of shakhas too ha s multiplied by two and a half.
Balasaheb had a knack for details, the smallest of which would not escape his notice. And then he would adopt the most practical attitude. During the agitation in Assam against foreign infiltration it was Balasaheb who pointed out the fine distinction between infiltrators and refugees. Is it fair and just to push back as illegal infiltrators our own Hindu brethren who seek refuge in India, exasperated by the atrocities perpetrated against them in Bangladesh? No one had any answer to this poser from Balasaheb. Later Taslima Nasreen's Lajja exposed to the world the heart-rending condition of Hindus in Bangladesh.
The then ruling party set up a minorities commission as one step ahead in their attempt to appease a certain minority community. Balasaheb lambasted this misconceived move and moulded public opinion in favour of setting up a human rights commission. Analysing the problem created by the secessionist agitations in Kashmir, Nagaland and Mizoram Balasaheb observed : Any part of India that ceased to have a Hindu majority proceeded to break away from the parent country. This one lesson we must learn from history. His argument was irrefutable.
Exceptional organisational skills
Balasaheb possessed exceptional organisational skills. His dealings with workers, allowing them freedom to think independently, respecting everybody's right to have his own opinion and yet bringing them all around a unanimous decisions. I could watch him operate all these tricks-of-the-trade because I worked with him for long years. Often times even if a majority of workers would be in favour of a proposed decision, he would ask me to hold on the final decision so as to accommodate the few who held a dissenting opinion. He would suggest we have a person-to- person talk with them. persuade them in favour of the majority view and then come to a final decision which he would prefer to have unanimous.
He had boundless compassion for the weaks and deprived sections of society. He would always ask the workers to assume that they were born in a scheduled caste when thinking about these people.
Fortunately he lived long enough to witness the deliberate misinformation campaign in the political field against the RSS ideology more or less dying out. Truth may be covered but for a while: ultimately truth triumphs. This faith inspired him to continue with his mission. I am sure, Balasaheb will continue to inspire all of us swayamsevaks to tread our chosen path to attain the goal.
Prof. Rajendra Singh