Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to Mr Golwalkar, the second RSS chief, as “Poojniya Guru Ji” in his book, “Jyotipunj”, in which he tells the life stories of 16 men who inspired him.
The Indian Council for Philosophical Research (ICPR), set up by the HRD ministry to promote research in philosophy and assist projects in the field, believes that Mr Golwalkar’s views on nationalism have been misunderstood and maligned by his adversaries.
A seminar titled, “The Concepts of Nation and Nationalism in the thoughts of MS Golwalkar”, will be organised next month. The council has invited entries from scholars till July 27 following which a date for the seminar will be decided.
“The seminar aims at putting the views of Golwalkar in correct perspective since he has been much misunderstood and maligned by his adversaries. He was a champion of robust nationalism. His views on nation and nationalism are to be understood in proper context in a holistic way and in the light of present day Indian and global scenario,” a concept note for the seminar says.
According to an ICPR member, “Golwalkar’s conception can be regarded as enlightened nationalism when he talks of ‘Hindu Rashtra’. It is not theocracy. Rather, it can be branded as ‘dharmocracy'”.
“He emphasised on ‘dharma-centricity’ of Indian cultural ethos. Dharma is a very comprehensive concept enriched by several ideas and ideals, customs, traditions and practices which are beneficial to individual, society and world at large,” he added.
“One of the major thrust of his views was rejection of communist-socialist-capitalist ideology and revival of ancient Indian ideas and ideals which are not antagonistic to universal well-being, though they are full of patriotic fervour,” the ICPR member said.
“There has been a fierce debate in the West as to what is nation and nationalism. These concepts were understood narrowly and still such views prevail there. But in India these concepts do not have only territorial confinements but also cultural overtones,” he added.
Mr Golwalkar, the ideological guru of the RSS, was the successor of RSS founder KB Hedgewar. He has written two books, “Bunch of thoughts” and “We or our nationhood defined”.