The RSS - Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh - was founded on Vijayadasami Day, 27 September 1925 as a social organization to provide character training through Hindu discipline and to unite the Hindu community. It proclaims its ideal as upholding Indian culture.

"National Volunteer Organization" or National Patriotic Organization is a right-wing charitable, educational, volunteer, Hindu nationalist, non-governmental organization. It is the world's largest voluntary non-governmental organization. RSS states that its ideology is based on the principle of selfless service to India.


Affiliated organizations

Organisations which are inspired by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's ideology refer themselves as the members of the Sangh Parivar. In most of the cases, pracharaks (full-time volunteers of the RSS) were deputed to start-up and manage these organisations in their initial years.

The affiliated organisations include:

  • Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), literally, Indian People's Party 
  • Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, literally, Indian Farmers' Association 
  • Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, literally, Indian Labour Association 
  • Seva Bharti, Organisation for service of the needy.
  • Rashtra Sevika Samiti, literally, National Volunteer Association for Women 
  • Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, literally, All India Students' Forum 
  • Shiksha Bharati 
  • Vishwa Hindu Parishad, World Hindu Council 
  • Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, literally, Hindu Volunteer Association – overseas wing
  • Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, Nativist Awakening Front
  • Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Nursery
  • Vidya Bharati, Educational Institutes
  • Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram, Organisation for the improvement of tribals
  • Muslim Rashtriya Manch, Organisation for the improvement of Muslims
  • Bajrang Dal, Army of Hanuman (2m)
  • Anusuchit Jati-Jamati Arakshan Bachao Parishad, Organisation for the improvement of Dalits
  • Laghu Udyog Bharati, an extensive network of small industries.
  • Bharatiya Vichara Kendra, Think Tank.
  • Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Communication Wing, spread all over India for media related work, having a team of IT professionals (
  • Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, a sociocultural organisation with the aim to spread the knowledge of Gurbani to the Indian society.
  • Vivekananda Kendra, promotion of Swami Vivekananda's ideas with Vivekananda International Foundation in New Delhi as a public policy think tank with 6 Centres of study


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Keshav Baliram Hedgewar -  (1 April 1889 – 21 June 1940) was the founding Sarsanghachalak (supreme leader) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Hedgewar founded the RSS in Nagpur in 1925.

Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar (19 February 1906 – 5 June 1973), also known as Shri Guruji was the second Sarsanghchalak (Supreme Leader) of theRashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

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

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Mohan Madhukar Bhagawat (born 11 September 1950) is the chief of the Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in India. He was chosen as the successor to K. S. Sudarshan in March 2009 

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H. V. Sheshadri - Birth: 1926 - Death: 2005) was an Indian author and a social activist. He was one of the most important leaders of the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and devoted his entire life for promoting the Hindu cause.

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Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi was on Saturday unanimously re-elected as RSS General Secretary, second-in-command of the influential right wing outfit, for a third straight term.known for his organisational skills and astute planning was elected 'Sarkaryavah' by the delegates attending the Akhil Bhartiya Pratinidhi Sabha.

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Senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue M.G. Vaidya

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Kodipakam Neelameghacharya Govindacharya (born May 2, 1943) is a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh pracharak, environmental activist, social activist, political activist and thinker. He was associated with Bharatiya Janata Party.