Madhukar Dattatraya Deoras

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Madhukar Dattatraya Deoras
Balasaheb devaras.jpg
Personal details
Born 1915, December 11
Nagpur, British India
Died 1996 ,June 17
Nagpur, India
Nationality Indian
Religion Hinduism

Madhukar Dattatraya Deoras (December 11, 1915 - June 17, 1996), popularly known as Balasaheb Deoras, was the third Sarsanghchalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).


He was born on 11 December 1915 in Nagpur to Dattatreya Krishnarao Deoras and Parvathibai. He was the eighth child of his parents and his younger brother Bhaurao was the ninth. His family hailed from Andhra Pradesh. His younger brother also became a pracharak of the RSS. He was educated in New English High School and matriculated from Berar Board of Secondary Education of the Central Provinces in 1931. Then, Balasaheb graduated from Moris College (now Nagpur Mahavidyalaya) in 1935 and obtained his LLB degree in College of Law, Nagpur University. Inspired by Dr. Hedgewar, he was associated with the RSS since its inception and decided to dedicate his life to the goals of RSS.[citation needed]

After Golwalkar’s death Madhukar Dattatreya, known as Balasaheb Deoras also a bachelor and a member of the RSS since his twelfth year became Sarsanghachalak, the supreme leader of the RSS.[1] Balasaheb Deoras, got much more deeply involved in politics than any earlier RSS sarsanghchalak. He was the first pracharak sent to Bengal, but then returned to the movement's headquarters to direct the publication of Tarun Bharat, a Marathi daily, and then Yugadharma, a Hindi daily. He became general secretary of the RSS in 1965. During the same year he addressed the annual meeting of the Jana Sangh. He became sarsanghchalak in 1973. The following year Deoras gave expression to his activist leanings by having the RSS support the 'JP Movement' the anti-Indira Gandhi movement led by Jayaprakash Narayan. Deoras remained at the helm of the RSS till Rajendra Singh took over from him.[2]

In the aftermath of the ending of Emergency following the RSS supreme leader, Deoras’ meeting with Christian and Muslim leaders, the RSS’s national assembly exhorted ‘all citizens in general and R.S.S. Swayamsevaks in particular to further expedite this process of mutual contact by participation in each other’s social functions’. Such sentiments can be viewed as consequences of the optimism in Indian public culture at that time.[3] Under Balasaheb Deoras, the RSS took a turn towards accelerated activism, and tried to dramatically increase the number and range of recruits. The shift in orientation was reflected in its literature: it produced simplified versions of its ideology and new generic forms in which to present them (comic books, posters, postcards, inland letter cards, etc.). The term "the masses" came to occupy a central place in its vocabulary. [4]

Balasaheb continued as Sarsanghachalak till 1994 when he stepped down due to ill health - leaving behind a shining legacy and paving the way for Rajendra Singh to replace him. Declining health eventually resulted in his death on 17 June 1996. He lived long enough to see Atal Bihari Vajpayee become Prime Minister in May 1996, the first ahderent of Hindutva philosophy and of RSS affiliation to become India's PM.

Views of Deoras[edit]

He echoes Savarkar when stating: "We do believe in the one-culture and one-nation Hindu rashtra. But our definition of Hindu is not limited to any particular kind of faith. Our definition of Hindu includes those who believe in the one-culture and one-nation theory of this country. They can all form part of the Hindu-rashtra. So by Hindu we do not mean any particular type of faith. We use the word Hindu in a broader sense."[1] According to Balasaheb Deoras, even though Mahatma Gandhi appeased Muslims, the Muslims never accepted him as one of their own.[5]

In 1973 Balasaheb Deoras denounced the practice of untouchability and appealed to the RSS volunteers to work towards its removal from the Hindu society. The RSS has set up many programs under Seva Bharati, an organization devoted to uplifting the members of scheduled castes. Under its auspices the RSS volunteers have started schools in which they offer vocational courses for the slum dwellers and the former untouchables while teaching them the virtues of Hinduism.[6] Deoras declared: "If untouchability is not wrong, nothing in the world is wrong."[7] He said on November 9, 1985, that the main purpose of the RSS is Hindu unity and it believes all citizens of India should have a 'Hindu culture'.[8]

A brainchild of Balasaheb Deoras, the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch was vocal in its defense of swadeshi, founded in 1993, was conceived as a protectionist bulwark against economic liberalization by the Congress government of P.V. Narasimha Rao in 1991. [9]

Books by Deoras[edit]

Deoras was a powerful orator and writer in English and Hindi. Some of books he authored:

  • Punjab, problem and its solution (1984)
  • Social equality and Hindu consolidation (1974)
  • Hindu sangathana aura sattavadi rajaniti (1997)
  • Sri Balasaheb Deoras answers questions (1984)
  • Rouse: The power of good (1975)



  • Klostermaier, Klaus K. (2007). A survey of Hinduism (3. ed. ed.). Albany: State University of New York Press. ISBN 9780791480113. 
  • Rajagopal, Arvind (2001). Politics after television religious nationalism and the reshaping of the Indian public. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780511155956. 
  • Bhatt, Chetan (2001). Hindu Nationalism Origins, Ideologies and Modern Myths. Oxford: Berg Publishers. ISBN 9781845209865. 
  • Jaffrelot, Christophe (2007). Hindu nationalism : a reader. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-13097-2. 
  • Hasan, ed. by Zoya (1994). Forging identities : gender, communities and the state in India (1. publ. ed.). Boulder u.a.: Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-2333-9. 
  • Malik, Yogendra K.; Singh, V.B. (1994). Hindu nationalists in India : the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Boulder u.a.: Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-8810-4. 
  • Sharma, ed. by Arvind (1994). Today's woman in world religions. Albany: State Univ. of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-1687-9. 
  • Religious fundamentalism in developing countries (1. publ. ed.). Westport, Conn. [u.a.]: Greenwood Press. 2001. ISBN 0-313-31155-2. 


  1. ^ a b Klostermaier, p. 446.
  2. ^ Jaffrelot, p. 177.
  3. ^ Bhatt, p. 166-167.
  4. ^ Hasan, p. 206.
  5. ^ Malik, p. 160.
  6. ^ Malik, p. 157.
  7. ^ Ghimire, Yubaraj. "A Seamless Hindu Vision". outlookindia. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  8. ^ Sharma, p. 111.
  9. ^ Saha, p. 94.

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