K. S. Sudarshan

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Kuppalli Sitaramayya Sudarshan
Born (1931-06-18)18 June 1931
Raipur, Madhya Pradesh (now Chhattisgarh), India
Died 15 September 2012(2012-09-15) (aged 81)
Raipur, Chhatisgarh, India
Alma mater Jabalpur Engineering College
Organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

Kuppalli Sitaramayya Sudarshan (18 June 1931 – 15 September 2012) was the fifth Sarsanghachalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist organisation from 2000 to 2009.


Sudarshan was born in Raipur (now in Chhattisgarh) in a Sanketi Brahmin family. He did his Bachelor of Engineering in Telecommunications (honours) from Jabalpur Engineering College (formerly named as Government Engineering college) in Jabalpur.[1]

He was only nine years old when he first attended an RSS Shakha. He was appointed as a Pracharak in 1954. His first posting as a pracharak was in Raigarh district of Madhya Pradesh(Now Chhattisgarh). In 1964, he was made the prant pracharak of Madhya Bharat at a fairly young age. In 1969, he was appointed convener of the All-India Organisations' Heads. This was followed by a stint in the North-East (1977) and then, he took over as the chief of the Bouddhik Cell (the RSS think-tank) two years later. In 1990, he was appointed joint general secretary of the organisation. He has the rare distinction of having held both posts of sharirik (physical exercises) and bauddhik (intellectual) pramukh (chief) on different occasions.[2]

In January 2009, acknowledging his lifelong selfless social service and his vast contribution in nation building; Shobhit University, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, conferred upon him Honorary Doctor of Arts (Honoris Causa).[3]


Sudarshan became Sarsanghachalak (Supreme chief) of the RSS on 10 March 2000.[4] He succeeded Rajendra Singh, who stepped down on health grounds.[5]

In his acceptance speech,Sudarshan recalled how he was hand-picked to head the Madhya Bharat region. He said though initially he was hesitant to take up the responsibility, the then RSS Sarsanghachalak Golwalkar helped him to make up his mind. "I was able to discharge my duties because people senior to me fully co-operated with me," he said.[6]

A strong votary of swadeshi, he was seen as one of the hard-liners within the RSS.[7] He had often criticised the National Democratic Alliance government in general and the Bharatiya Janata Party in particular for its economic policies. In 2005, his statements suggesting that both Atal Behari Vajpayee and L.K.Advani step aside and let a younger leadership take charge of the BJP created a rift within the Sangh parivar.[8] He stepped down as Sarsanghachalak on 21 March 2009, due to poor health.[9]

He was popularly known in Sangh circles as "Sudarshan Ji". He died at the age of 81 in Raipur on 15 September 2012.[10][11]


Preceded by
Rajendra Singh
Sarsanghchalak of the RSS
2000 – 2009
Succeeded by
Mohan Bhagawat