Madhav Sadashivrao Golwalkar
19 February 19065 June 1973
Place of birth: Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
Place of death: New Delhi, India

Madhavrao Sadashivrao Golwalkar, popularly known as Guruji, was the second "sarasanghachalak" of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.


Golwalkar was born on 19 February 1906 at Ramtek near Nagpur, Maharashtra, and was the only surviving son among the nine children of his parents. He spent his childhood in Nagpur.He was called "Madhu" by his parents and friends.

Madhav completed his graduation from Hislop college,Nagpur.During those times Bible was a compulsory subject.Prof Gardiner was the teacher and he was a well known expert on Bible. In one of the lectures Madhav got in an argument with Prof Gardiner.Finally Bible was referred to and it was discovered that Madhav's point was correct.He wanted to pursue MBBS,but could not get through.

From his youthful days,he was attracted towards spirituality.Once when asked whether he will move to Himalayas,he replied that Himalya's magnaminity and calm will come to him.

Early Years

Golwalkar completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Zoology at Banaras Hindu University. Later he became a teacher at BHU, where his students addressed him as 'Guruji'. Golwalkar came in contact with the Ramakrishna Order at Nagpur. On 13 January 1937 Guruji was initiated into the Ramakrishna Order by Swami Akhandananda, a direct disciple of Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and gurubhai of Swami Vivekananda. Golwalkar eventually received his 'diksha' and became a sanyasi.Swami Akhandananda died of ill health shortly thereafter.

Involvement with the RSS

In the meantime, Bhaiyyaji Dani, a student at BHU and a close associate of RSS "sarsanghachalak" K. B. Hedgewar, started an RSS "shakha" (branch) in BHU.Golwalkar came into contact with the RSS through his friendship with Dani. Eventually, Golwalkar met and interacted with Hedgewar. Hedgewar,impressed by Golwalkar's simplicity,dedication and intelligence, invited him for the RSS Officer's Training Camp in Nagpur.

After Akhandananda's death, Hedgewar started involving Golwalkar in the regular functioning of the RSS.Hedgewar was deeply impressed by Golwalkar and started seeing him as his successor.Hedgewar eventually died of ill health on June 21, 1940, and Golwalkar succeeded him as sarsanghachalak.

Golwalkar steered the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh through various obstacles over three decades, to make the RSS one of the foremost organizations in India dedicated to the purpose of nation building. Some of the events during his period included the Quit India Movement in 1942, the Partition of India in 1947, the Indo-China war in 1962, and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.

Golwalkar was the force behind formation of many Hindu organisations like VHP, student wing ABVP etc. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is celebrating 2006-07 as Guruji centenary year. His complete works are now available in different Indian languages and English.


A controversial statement made by Golwalker was made in his book "We or our Nationhood Defined" which seemed to lend tacit support for the atrocities of Nazi Germany. He said:

"... Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the semitic races – the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well nigh-impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimiliated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by"[1]

His critics, most notably far-left Marxist and Islamic Fundamentalist groups, have used this to allege that all Hindus are inherently fascist and so are not deserving of religious freedom. Such attacks have been debunked by Koenraad Elst as politically motivated misrepresentations and quote mining. He asserts that discussion of this quote must be made in the proper context and that Golwalkar never endorsed the actions of the Nazi regime:[2]

"Note that Golwalkar's text mentions "racial purity" as Germany's concern but does not "make a plea" for it, and that he never described Hitler as "a source of inspiration.That alleged Golwalkar quotations turn out to be excerpted from the invective of his critics, is symptomatic of Hindutva-watching in general: first-hand information is spurned in favour of hostile second-hand claims made by unscrupled commentators. In most journalistic and academic publications on Hindutva, the number of direct quotations is tiny in comparison with quotations from secondary, hostile sources... If we do not just focus on the selected quotation (as we are led to do by those who made the selection in the first place), but read the whole book, we find that Golwalkar is definitely not asking the Hindus to emulate Nazi Germany."[2] He further asserts that Hindutva groups have largely renounced the book where such quotes were made, including Golwalkar himself. It hasn't been published since 1948 and that basically, it is a tool to vilify/ harass those who subscribe to Hindutva.[3][4]

Elst further argues that the statement made was more a reactionary response to the ethnic separatism of the Muslim League made during that period when Muhammad Ali Jinnah wanted to segregate Muslims from Hindus on the basis of the Two Nation Theory.[2]

Golwalkar was not an anti-semite, as he repudiated and condemned antisemitism in his works:[5]

"The Christians committed all sorts of atrocities on the Jews by giving them the label “Killers of Christ”. Hitler is not an exception but a culmination of the 2000-year long oppression of the Jews by the Christians."[5]

As for his views on Zionism and Israel, Golwalkar was supportive of the Zionist movement and also supported the creation of Israel as a Jewish State:[6]

"The Jews had maintained their race, religion, culture and language; and all they wanted was their natural territory to complete their Nationality"[6]

Rajesh Tembarai Krishnamachari, a contributor to the South Asia Analysis Group, writes that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has shown persistent and steady growth, and that the views of the group expressed cogently in the text ‘A Bunch of Thoughts’ by M S Golwalkar has not been refuted by any of the Marxists, despite their largely unsuccessful smear campaign against Gowalkar.[7] Sadashiv Golwalkar was the name of his father. He was a teacher. The name of his mother was Lakhshami Bai.


Golwalkar died of cancer on June 5, Nagpur


  1. Golwalkar, M S (1939): We, or Our Nationhood Defined, Bharat Prakashan, Nagpur. page 12
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Was Guru Golwalkar a Nazi? by Koenraad Elst
  3. [1]
  4. [2]
  5. 5.0 5.1 MS Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Jagarana Prakashana, Bangalore, 1966, p.210
  6. 6.0 6.1 Elst, Koenraad (2001). The Saffron Swastika: The Notion of "Hindu Fascism" (in English). Voice of India. DOI:{} }}. ISBN 8185990697. 
  7. Decline of the Left in India,South Asia Analysis Group
Sheshadri H. V.; Shri Guruji, A Life Sketch; Jalandhar, 2006

External links

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