|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Rajju Bhaiyya was a father figure to Parivar: Sudershan
July 14, 2003 18:31 IST
Last Updated: July 14, 2003 21:00 IST
Former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Rajju Bhaiyya, who died in Pune on Monday, was a fatherly figure to the Sangh Parivar, RSS chief K S Sudershan said.
Rajju Bhaiyya was not keeping well for the last eight to 10 days and his condition further deteriorated during last couple of days, Sudershan said.
He said that despite his deteriorating health condition, Rajju Bhaiyya thought of RSS all the time and had integrated himself with the organisation completely.
"He wanted to attend the just concluded RSS meeting at Kanyakumari. That was his last wish, which remained unfulfilled," Sudarshan told PTI at RSS headquarters.
"Indeed I was scheduled to meet him at Pune on July 22 but unfortunately I have to proceed today to bid him farewell," he added.
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand also paid glowing tributes to former RSS chief, describing him an able organiser who had enthused millions of youth.
"His demise is a great loss to our nation. He was a staunch patriot, able organiser and a great thinker. He will be remembered as a pillar of strength who dedicated his all and enthused millions of our youth," Vajpayee said.
"I had received his affection and also his guidance from time to time. He never allowed any sort of discrimination in the task of social service. He was dear to everybody, despite ideological differences whatsoever," he said.
Describing Rajju Bhaiya as 'a man-making machine' in the context of having guided top leaders of the Sangh Parivar and BJP, Advani said, "As an RSS activist myself, I know how Rajju Bhaiya created good men like Nanaji Deshmukh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee."
"Whenever we would go to him with doubts about anything, he would guide us," he added.
From a nuclear physicist to the fourth Sarsanghchalak of the RSS, Rajendra Singh guided rightwing politics in the country through the turbulent 1980s and oversaw its ascendance as an alternative to the Congress at the Centre.
Little known to the outside world, Singh, popularly called Rajju Bhaiyya, who left a brilliant academic career as a professor of Physics at Allahabad University to become a fulltime Pracharak of the RSS in the early sixties, was considered an expert on Nuclear Physics in the country, a rarity in those days.
Starting as Prant Pracharak of the RSS for Uttar Pradesh, Rajju Bhaiyya rose to become the Sarkaryavaha in the 80's when the Ram Janambhoomi movement led by Sangh outfit Vishva Hindu Parishad, and backed to the hilt by the BJP led by L K Advani, touched its zenith.
The first non-Brahmin and non-Marathi Sarsanghchalak, he led the Sangh fountainhead in the mid-nineties when the graph of the Hindutva ideology in the political arena was rising steadily and significantly.
Born on January 29, 1922 in the district of Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh, the soft-spoken Rajju Bhaiya, who took over from Balasaheb Deoras, remained at the helm of RSS affairs till 2000 after which he passed on the mantle to K S Sudershan owing to ill health.
He, however, continued to guide the organisation in an advisory role.
Rajju Bhaiyya also shared an excellent rapport with political leaders cutting across ideological lines besides academicians, social leaders and intellectuals.
His stint of six years at the top of RSS, though the shortest for any chief of the outfit, was arguably the most stormy.
RSS' political wing, the BJP, scaled new heights by emerging as the largest party in the ruling NDA coalition at the Centre and reaped rich political dividends during his tenure.
He came from a simple family of farmers and his father Balbir Singh was the second Indian Chief Engineer of Uttar Pradesh.
Rajju Bhaiyya did his matriculation from Unnao, completed his graduation and obtained his Master's Degree in Physics from Prayag University at the age of 21. He was acknowledged as an exceptionally brilliant student by Sir C V Raman, physicist and Nobel Prize winner, who was his examiner for MSc and offered fellowship for research with him.
He taught Spectroscopy at Prayag University for several years, where later he was appointed head of the Physics Department.
Rajju Bhaiyya took active part in the Quit India Movement of 1942. It was during this time that he came in contact with the RSS. From then onwards the Sangh influenced his life and he resigned from the prestigious university post in 1966 to offer full time services to RSS as Pracharak.