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March 9, 2000
The way the Sangh is structured
The structure of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh resembles that of any other organisation, with one unique clause. This clause stipulates that after a certain level, only unmarried men who work full time with the organisation can rise in the ranks.
Thus, the top leadership comprises only bachelors.
The smallest unit of the organisation is a shakha or the branch. A city may boast a number of branches with dozens or hundreds of members, depending on the RSS's popularity there.
At the top, the sarsanghchalak is assisted by three (or four) rashtriya sahkaryavahs.
Sarsanghchalak Rajendra Thakur is assisted by H V Seshadri, the sarkaryavah (general secretary), and three sahkaryavahs (joint general secretaries) -- K C Sudarshan, Suresh Ketkar, and Madandas Devi. Sudarshan is also the coordinator for the other outfits.
These five form the top core along with the Akhil Bharat Prachar pramukh (all-India messengers' chief), Mohan Bhagwat.
The rashtriya sahkaryavahs are supported by the kshetriya(zonal) sahkaryavahs, with each kshetriya sahkaryavah in charge of a few states.
A zone might have two to three sahkaryavahs
Below them come the sahprant pracharak, who look after either a small state or part of a big state. The sahprant pracharak is assisted by the prant pracharak, who is in charge of a few cities in a given state.
The prant pracharaks, who perform the key task of spreading the RSS message, are also under theprachar pramukh. Prant pracharaks are often deputed to the RSS's allied organisations, and play a key role in affiliated organisations.
Only bachelors are made prant pracharaks, with rare exceptions. Thus, married men can usually rise in the RSS hierarchy to a level below prant pracharak, which is the mahanagar karyavah.
A mahanagar karyavah is in charge of a city's branches or a couple of small cities. He is followed by a sahkaryavah, who looks some shakhas within the city.
Below the sahkaryavah is the nagar karyavah, who again is in charge of a few shakhas. He is followed by shakha pramukhs who, as the name suggests, head individual shakhas or branches.
Every RSS member, no matter how senior, belongs to a shakha. By tradition, the RSS top leaders belong to the Nagpur shakha, the city of its birth.
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