The end came

Lately Keshavarao was not keeping well. Doctors advised him to go to Nasik for complete rest from work. Keshavarao went to Nasik but he was not the one to take rest.
He kept busy in RSS work there. His condition deteriorated. He felt unbearable pain in his back. Some of his associates took him to Bihar for the change of scene.
The scene changed but Keshavarao could not help espousing the cause of RSS even in Bihar. He won new admirers.
One day he was heard muttering in his sleep, “Sangh work has to be accomplished. 1940 has begun. Will the entire year pass off with no achievement?”
Appa Joshi was sitting by the side of the bed. Keshavarao’s mental state worried him. Why he was speaking of the year 1940? Perhaps he wanted RSS spread all over the country as soon as possible but his health was failing him.
Keshavarao had given RSS several very dedicated potential future leaders. Bhaurao Devras was one of them. He wanted Devras to go to Lucknow and work there.
Bhaurao Devras reached Lucknow and initiated several Jungle Sanghas. He revealed the aims and objectives of Sanghas to the people. A large number of youngmen joined the fold of RSS and began working as RSS members.
Another such potential leader was Madhava Sadashiva Golvalkar.
Infact after Keshavarao, it was Golvalkar who took charge of the RSS.
He was working as a professor in Benaras Hindu University after passing M.Sc. He had practised as a lawyer for two years at Nagpur. During this period Golvalkar had come into contact with Keshavarao. Under the influence of Keshavarao he had become a dedicated worker of RSS.
Later, he became famous and revered as ‘Guruji’ for all RSS members.
Keshavarao was never satisfied with the progress of RSS. He would say, “It is just the beginning. From four now forty people come together for Shakhas. But is not great success. We can not rest until entire India becomes one big Shakha and Mother India is totally liberated from the foreign influence.”
In 1940, he was suffering from high fever. Yet he attended ‘Sangha Education Chapter’ being held at Poona. After a few days he returned to Nagpur.
The education chapter used to run for three years. In the final year workers would gather at Nagpur. Keshavarao loved to meet all the workers and exchange views during that session.
One year ‘Education Chapter’ was holding final years course at Nagpur. Keshavarao was in bed incapacitated with illness. Still he wanted to go to meet the final years workers. The doctors would not allow it. It was the saddest experience for Dr. Keshavarao.
He was tossing in bed in agony.
Some workers arrived to report to him the progress of the ‘Education Chapter’. It was a daily routine.
At last the doctor had to relent and allow Keshavarao to go to the Education Chapter.
Keshavarao reached the centre on 9th June, 1940 in excited state. The workers gave him a befitting reception. Some songs and bhajans were sung.
He was beseated on padded chair.
He spoke—“The health is failing me. My voice is weak. I don’t know if you are able to hear me. Friends, I am laid up in bed for the past 24 days. This year has been kind to Sangha. Because I can see our cherished Hindu Rashtra reflected in this education session. Due to illness I could not meet the workers individually. All the workers consider themselves a part of Sangha. But we speak different languages—Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi etc. Still we live here together. I was on sick bed but my heart was always with you. Today you are going back to your respective shakhas. With difficulty I have come to bid you good bye. We shall get separated. But never mind you should not be sad. You have a noble mission to fulfil. You must take a pledge that you will work for the ideals of Sangha till your last breath. Nothing should deter you from this. Keep on marching. Think every night before going to sleep what you did for Sangha on that day. With these words I bid you goodbye.”
Keshavarao’s condition was aggravating. His blood pressure was shooting up.
The doctors decided upon the lumber puncture to draw out water.
Keshavarao called his trusted workers and said, “I am going in for lumber puncture. I think it is their last attempt to save me. If they fail to save me you must carry on the work of Sangha on your shoulders.”
“You will get well,” Golvalkar assured.
“We must hope but be prepared for any eventuality,” Keshavarao said painfully.
The lumber puncture did not result in any improvement.
At night he lost consciousness.
He was running a fever of 102 degrees. All the famed doctors of Nagpur converged to save Keshavarao.
The workers prayed in temples for the health of Keshavarao.
But nothing worked.

Inspite of all efforts of the doctors Dr. Keshavarao Hedgewar passed away at 9 a.m. on 21st June 1940.
The founder of RSS had departed to meet his creator.
His death came as a debilitating shock to all the RSS workers all over the country. His countless admirers were deeply saddened.
Thousands of RSS workers set out for Nagpur to pay their last tribute to the founder of their beloved organisation.
At 5 p.m. Dr. Keshavarao’s funeral procession was taken out. His body was taken to Reshambagh grounds which was his Karmabhoomi. He had bought that land for Sangha.
Shortly later his body was consigned to the flames.
Today Doctor Keshavarao Hedgewar is no more with us. But the organisation he created is still there carrying on his agenda and going strong. Some people may not agree with his ideology and agenda but it can not be denied that inspite of being a cultural organisation RSS is instrumental in shaping the social and political structure of the country well into the 21st century.

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