Balasaheb Deoras (Madhukar Dattatraya Deoras)
Madhukar Dattatraya Deoras, popularly known as Balasaheb Deoras, was the third Sarsanghchalak (chief) of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, National Volunteers’ Organization), a post he occupied from 1973 to 1994. Born into a middle-class orthodox Brahmin family in Nagpur, Deoras obtained a law degree from Nagpur University. He joined the RSS at a very young age and dedicated his life to the organization (he never married, nor actively practiced law). His goal was to widen the RSS’s scope and that of the Sangh Parivar (the RSS’s family of organizations) by fostering a Hindu renaissance and unity—principally through populist propaganda and through the demonization of the Muslim community. His inflammatory speeches spoiled the communal harmony which reigned in many locations. As the RSS’s chief during the 1990s’ “Babri Masjid/Ramjanmabhoomi issue”, his responsibility for the ensuing violence that engulfed the entire country at that time cannot be ruled out.
JAFFRELOT, Christophe. 1996. The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics: 1925 to the 1990s, Strategies of identity-building, implantation and mobilisation. London: C. Hurst.