नमामो वयं मातृभू: पुण्यभूस्त्वाम्
त्वया वर्धिता: संस्कृतास्वत् सुता:
अये वत्सले मङ्गले हिन्दुभूमे
This prayer depicts the land of Bharat and the essence of being Bharatiya, what it essentially means to belong to Bharat and to be Bharatiya. So the words be different, the sentiment of this prayer is at the core exactly like that of Sangh.
I pity those people who say that Sangh is a peerless organisation of 'men'! That women ought to participate in the movement for independence, had been Gandhiji's constant appeal and the women folk of the country did respond to it. Many of them stepped out of their homes and began work that would contribute towards the social reform. Lakshmi Taai Kelkar of Waradha was one of those!
She would spin charkha and travel to across Waradha as a part of the social awakening.. until she noticed transforming changes in 2 of her 6 sons who had joined Sangh Shakha session. She found her sons to have become more morally aware than they used to be. They had an alert conscience now. There she expressed keenness on paying a visit to the Shakha, evidently to understand what kind of activity the organisation was all about.
Travelling all the way to Nagpur, Taai then met Dr Hedgewar. She learnt about the inspiration, objectives, Sangh principles and exclaimed, 'Incredible work!'. Announcing her eagerness to be a part of the mission, she wished ardently to undertake work dedicated to women. We are talking here of year 1936 when work towards the progress of women and their development was an imperative need of the hour. Dr Hedgewar promised Lakshmi Taai that he would extend whole hearted support to her work but advised to set up an independent organisation dedicated for the purpose. And, so in the same year, on Vijayadashmi was launhed the very first saffron flagged shakha of the 'Rashtra Sevika Samiti'!
Smiti recieved continuous guidance and support from the Sangh swayamsevaks. Many were eager to work devoted to be part of women problems and their progress. Dr Hedgewar would then direct them to 'Mavshiji', the name Lakshmi taai was fondly known as. Over the decade, Samiti's work saw extensive progress. And that continues, even today!
The Shakha session of Samiti are quite similar to that of Sangh. The sessions begin by offering pranam to the supremely sacred saffron flag. Being able to protect and defend the nation calls for the ability to protect and defend the honour of your womanhood in first place, is what Samiti believes. In keeping with this norm even today, the Shakha lays special emphasis on the physical fitness of women. Women are taught to accompany Yogachap, knife, sword too. These not only help to develop their physical capacities but also help boost their confidence.
Women are by no standards weak, and this the history of Bharat has proved, time and again! When the power of the evil spelled up, it was to the Adimata that the Gods addressed their austerities for the destruction of the demons. The Bharatiya culture attributes immense importance to the mother power.. And is the reason Sangh and Samiti addresses nation as 'Matrubhumi', slogans 'BharatMata ki Jay'. So I ask again, who says women cannot be a part of Sangh?
..To be continued..
(Bringing to you the sixth part of the article series, Sangha- In and Out that is put down to make people aware of a peerless organisation in the world.. the RSS. Please go through the first five parts if you haven't, links attached below. The next part of the series would consists of write up featuring 'The Sangh journey overseas'- will be published on October 5)