- Name : Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar
- Date of Birth : Apr 01, 1889
- Passed Away On : Jun 21, 1940
- Religion : Hindu
- Death Place : Nagpur
- Address : Nagpur
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NAME: Keshav Baliram Hedgewar
DATE OF BIRTH: 1 April 1889
PASSED AWAY ON: 21 June 1940
PLACE OF BIRTH: Nagpur
DEATH PLACE: Nagpur
OCCUPATION: Political Activist, Physician
Keshav Baliram Hedgewar was the first Sarsanghachalak or founding member of RSS or Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He started this organization in the year 1925 in Nagpur.
Hedgewar was born in a Marathi Deshastha Brahmin family of Nagpur on 1 April 1889. His father was Baliram Pant who was an orthodox priest and mother was Revati. Both the parents died due to plague epidemic when Keshav was just 13 years old.
• Keshav was studying at Neel City High School in Nagpur. But, his duration was short at this educational institution as he was rusticated for singing ‘Vande Mataram’against the wishes of the then British Government.
• Thus, he pursued his higher studies at Rashtriya Vidyalaya situated in Yavatmal and Pune.
• After completing his matriculation, he went to Kolkata to study medicine in the year 1910. B.S. Moonje who was the National President of the Hindu Mahasabha insisted him to do the same.
• Keshav completed L.M and S examination from National Medical College in the year 1914. He later on completed one year apprenticeship and returned to Nagpur as a Doctor in the year 1915.
Formation of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS:
Hedgewar was an active participant in the workings of Indian National Congress in 1920s. However, after the Hindu-Muslim riot in the year 1923, he became disillusioned by the policies of INC. Also, he started thinking about any other alternative of nation-building. He emphasised on the cultural and religious heritage of Hindus and thus considered the latter to form Indian nationhood.
All this was due to the fact that he was greatly influenced by the works of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
Consequently, Hedgewar founded RSS in the year 1925 on the auspicious day of Vijaydashmi. His main aim was to collect all Hindus to get India free from British power and establish Hindu cultural and spiritual beliefs.
Hedgewar also created the female wing of RSS in the year 1936. He also worked day in day out to get maximum support from youth for his sangh. He inspired many young boys and girls to join his mission and thus went to many provinces other than Nagpur to get the support. His sangh members started calling him ‘Doctorji’.
He and his fellow sangh members started opening RSS shakhas at places like Lucknow, Kashi, etc.
Hedgewar very intelligently and purposefully kept all the Sangh activities away from Indian Independence Movement. He made it a point to avoid any anti-British activity.
Hedgewar suffered from severe back pain in the later years of his life. Due to ill health he started delegating responsibilities to other members of RSS and M.S. Golwalkar became his successor as Sarsanghchalak.
He attended the last sangh meeting in the year 1940 where he delivered the speech saying “I see before my eyes today a miniature Hindu Rashtra”.
He died on 21 June 1940 in the morning hours and his last rites were performed at Resham Bagh in Nagpur.
To Commemorate Him
There are several instates named after Hedgewar to commemorate him. Some of them are as follows:
• Dr. Hedgewar Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (Amravati)
• Dr. Hedgewar Shikshan Pratishthan (Ahmednagar)
• Dr. K.B. Hedgewar High School (Goa)
• Dr. Hedgewar Aarogya Sansthan, Karkardoma (New Delhi)
A tribute by: ObituaryToday.com