Born in 1906 (Magh Bahul Ekadashi, Vishswavasu Samvat – 19th February 1906) at Ramtek near Nagpur, Maharashta, Sri Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, otherwise endearingly addressed as ‘Guruji’ by one and all, was the only surviving son among the nine children of his parents, to whom he was their beloved ‘Madhu’. It seems, the destiny spared him, for it was he, who in later years as the second sar-sanghachalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was to be the cynosure of the nation.
A prodigy that he was, he, after having graduated from the Hislop college of Nagpur, joined the Hindu University of Varanasi for his Master’s Degree in Science, during which period the benign and inspiring influence of Pt.Madan Mohan Malaviya, the founder of the University and the reputed Hindu leader of yester – years, prodded young Madhav Golwalkar to work for the Hindu cause. Later for a couple of years he served his Alma Mater as a professor and it was then that he earned from his students the affectionate sobriquet of ‘Guruji’, a reverential attribute which stuck to him permanently in the years that followed. He was initiated into Sangh, when he was still a professor, by Shri Prabhakar Balwant Dani, a student of his, who in later years became the Sar-Karyavah(General Secretary) of the Sangh.
Guruji returned to Nagpur in 1933, to be with his parents and there he came under the magnetic influence of Dr.Keshav Baliram Hegdewar, the founder of Sangh, an event which metamorphosed him, just as it happened between Sri Ramakrishna and Narendra. Having decided to remain unmarried, he studied law and in fact, practised too for a year or two, while devoting most of his time and energy for Sangh activities.
But his inner urge was for spiritual pursuit. He was intimately associated with Ramakrishna Ashram earlier, and he kept alive his association with that religious order while at Nagpur also. Having been overpowered by that strong impulse, he to the utter surprise of all who knew him including his beloved parents, left for the ‘Saragachi’ Ashram of Ramakrishna Math in the Himalayas, to be a ‘Sannyasi’. He was there for a few months, after which he was initiated with ‘Mantra Deeksha’ by Swami Akhandananda, a Gurubhai of Swami Vivekanand. But his was the nature not to be confined within the four walls of the Ashram and his Guru too, in his last days, bade him to serve the society at large from outside the Ashram.
Guruji returned to Nagpur from Saragachi in 1937, and then onwards, plunged himself, heart and soul into the Sangh work. Dr.Hedgewar bequeathed to him, the onus of Sar-Sanghachalakship on the eve of his demise in June 1940.
Guruji steered the organisation for 33 years (1940-1973) as its guide and philosopher. He, with his tireless travel all around the year, visited each and every province at least twice annually – thus for not less than sixty times across the length and breadth of Bharat. This is indeed a unique record. Guruji electrified the work to grow rapidly even in far – off places in Assam and Kerala. With his great erudition, he cogently propounded the historical and sociological background and the logicality of the concept of Hindu Rashtra, which, when he assumed the responsibility as helmsman of the movement for Hindu resurgence represented by RSS, was just an empirical thought. He, thus widened the ideological base of the Sangh making it intelligible to a lay villager and the urban intellectual alike, with his uncompromising stress on the one-hour ‘Shakha’ technique. Through word and deed, he perfected the Sangh methodology also, in every minute detail, thus making it through inculcation of proper samskars, an ideal ‘Man-making’ instrument.
Because of his inspiring personality at the helm, apart from the shakha network, which spread far and wide, a number of affiliates like Vidyarthi Parishat, and Bharateeya Mazdoor Sangh, Vishwa Hindu Parishat, and Bharateeya Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram, to name just a few, also began to sprout forth one after another, as more and more co-workers, imbued with Sangh idealogy and organisational skill, began to translate them in respective fields of their interest. To all these, Guruji was the source – figure and a guide.
Because of his intimate contact alike with the common people and the elite all over Bharat, he always had his finger on the pulse – beat of the nation; and as such many a time he had premonition of the coming events about which he used to forewarn the society and the rulers. In early fifties, when the government appointed a three-man commission, in pursuance of its earlier commitment for the reorganisation of states on linguistic basis, Guruji’s was the lone voice for having a unitary form of government, which alone, he felt, could strengthen the integrity of the then nascent Republic. After many years the realisation has now dawned that the experiment, after all, was disastrous. With regard to turmoil in the North-East states, about the same time, he warned the powers-that-be, about the nefarious activities of the Christian missionaries, with an advice to deal with them with an iron hand; but the advice fell on deaf ears, due to which the country is now paying a very heavy price. In the mid-fifties, when our political masters were toying with ‘Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai’ euphoria, Guruji was forthright in advising them publicly, not to be befooled by the hollow rhetoric, but to fortify our borders. He could clearly foresee and in fact, he forewarned also, about the evil designs of China, to attack us unawares from across the borders. The later events bear testimony to his warning. Again, prior to general census of 1960, when the Punjab problem was till smouldering, he was the first to advise that Punjabi language with Gurmukhi script be owned by all people in Punjab as their mother-tongue and also that all Sikhs should register themselves as Hindus. Had that advice been heeded, Punjab would perhaps not have become the cauldron it turned out to be.
Thus, with his uncompromising commitment to the good of the nation, he built a massive organisation on the same lines. As Sar-Sanghachalak he served the motherland for thirty-three years, at the end of which he passed on the stewardship to the shoulders of Shri Balasaheb Deoras (Madhukar Dattatreya Deoras).