Golwalkar (19 February 1906-5 June 1973)

20 November, 2012

Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, also known as Guru Golwalkar or Guruji, was the second Sarsanghchalak (chief) of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, National Volunteers’ Organization). Born near Nagpur (Maharashtra) to a rather poor, lower middle-class family of Karhada Brahmins (Golwalkar’s father was a clerk), Golwalkar proved to be a brilliant student; he studied and even taught for a while at Benares Hindu University (BHU). There he joined the RSS shakha (branch) and met Dr. K. B. Hedgewar, the founder of the RSS, who convinced him to become more active in the organization. In 1939, Golwalkar was appointed as RSS General Secretary. In 1940, he succeeded Hedgewar as organization head, a position he held until his death in 1973. Under his leadership, the RSS became increasingly important on the national scene and developed new strategies for political mobilization. The number of volunteers and shakhas also increased greatly. His ethnicized Hindu vision of the Indian nation and his strong anti-Muslim statements contributed to the organization’s radicalization.


JAFFRELOT, 1996, The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics: 1925 to the 1990s: Strategies of identity-building, implantation and mobilisation, London: C. Hurst.

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OEMV , Golwalkar (19 February 1906-5 June 1973) , Mass Violence & Résistance, [online], published on: 20 November, 2012, accessed 17/02/2021, http://bo-k2s.sciences-po.fr/mass-violence-war-massacre-resistance/en/document/golwalkar-19-february-1906a-5-june-1973, ISSN 1961-9898
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