South Asia Citizens Web
India: RSS Declared Unlawful - Text of Government communique dated February 4, 1948
Monday, 1 November 2010

In their resolution of February 4, 1948, the Government of India declared their determination to root out the forces of hatred and violence that are at work in our country and imperil the freedom of the Nation and darken her fair name. in pursuane of this policy the Government of India have decided to declare unlawful the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in the Chief Commissioner’s provinces. Similar action is also being taken in the Governor’s provinces.

As democratic governments the Government of India and the provincial governments have always been anxious to allow reasonable scope for genuine political, social and economic activities to all parties and organisations including those whose policies and purpses differ from, or even run counter to their own, subject to the consideration that such activities sghould not transgress certain commonly recognised limits of propriety and law. The professed aims and objects of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh are to promte the physical, intellectual and moral well-being of the Hindus and also to foster feelings of brotherhood, love and service amongst them. Government themselves are most anxious to improve the general material and intellectual well-being of all sections of the people and have got schemes on hand which are designed to carry out these objects, particularly the provision of physical training and education in military matters to the youth of the country. Government have, however, noticed with regret that in practice members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have not adhered to their professed ideals.

Undesirable and even dangerous activities have been carried out by members of the Sangh. It has been found that in several parts of the country individual members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have indulged in acts of violence involving arson, robbery, dacoity, and murder and have collected illicit arms and ammunitions. They have been found circulating leaflets exhorting people to resort to terrorist methods, to collect firearms, to create disaffection against the government and and suborn the police and military. These activities have been carried out under the cloak of secrecy, and the government have considered from time to time how far these activities rendered it incumbent upon them to deal wth the Sangh in its corporate capacity. The last ocassion when the government defined this attitude was when the Premiers and Home Ministers of provinces met in Delhi towards the end of November. (NB: See AICC resolution on Private Armies, dtd November 15, 1947).

It was then unanimously agreed that the stage when the Sangh should be dealt with as an association had not yet arrived and that individuals should contiinue to be dealt with sternly as hitherto. The objectionable and harmful activities of the Sangh have, however, continued unabated and the cult of violence sponsored and inspired by the activities of the Sangh has claimed many victims. The latest and most precious to fall was Gandhiji himself.

In these circumstances it is the bounden duty of the government to take effective measures to curb this re-appearance of violence in a virulent form and as a first step to this end, they have decided to declare the Sangh as an unlawful association. Government have no doubt that in taking this measure they have the support of all law-abiding citizens, of all those who have the welfare of the country at heart.

(Souce: D R Goyal: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Delhi, 1979; 201-202)

NB: AICC Resolution on Private Armies; dtd November 16, 1947

“The All India Congress Committee has noted with regret that there is a growing desire on the part of some organizations to build up private armies. Any such development is dangerous for the safety of the State and for the growth of corporate life in the nation. The State alone should have its defence forces or police or home guards. The activities of the Muslim National Guards, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Akali Volunteers and such other organizations represent an endeavour to bring into being private armies, (and) must be regarded as a menace to the hard-won freedom of the country.. (Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, online; vol 97, p 480).


Front Page of Indian Express report on 1948 Ban of RSS