Updated: March 24, 2021 8:48:24 am
Dattatreya Hosabale has been elected as Sar-karyawah or General Secretary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Hosabale, who was elected at the RSS’s triennial Pratinidhi Sabha at Bengaluru on Saturday (March 20), replaces Suresh ‘Bhaiyyaji’ Joshi.
Hosabale, 66, was born on December 1, 1954, and belongs to Sorab village in Shimoga district of Karnataka.
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He had his grooming in Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of RSS, of which he was the organising secretary (sangathan mantri) for nearly 12 years.
Hosabale is likely to get at least 10 years at the helm of RSS affairs. While Sarsanghchalak (RSS chief) is the philosopher and guide of the organisation, Sar-karyavah is the one who is in charge of the organisation’s day-to-day activities.
Hosabale, who is called Datta by his fraternity, joined RSS in 1968 and was sent to ABVP in 1972, where he became a full-time worker in 1978. He was made sangathan mantri of the ABVP in December 1992 in the Kanpur session.
He was back in RSS in 2003 and was appointed the outfit’s sah-bauddhik pramukh (joint-incharge of intellectual activities) in 2004. Then, in 2009, he became sah-sarkaryawah in the team of Suresh Joshi, when the latter replaced Mohan Bhagwat at the post.
As he was appointed Sar-karyawah today, Hosabale took the blessings of sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat and outgoing Sar-karyawah Joshi by touching their feet.
Considered very close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Hosabale’s name was proposed by regional sanghchalak Ashok Sohoney of Gujarat and endorsed by five other delegates. In fact, his name was doing the rounds for many weeks. In an indication of things to come, he was being deputed in several recent RSS programmes that Joshi was supposed to attend. His name had emerged even in 2015 and 2018 but Joshi was re-elected both occasions.
After school at his birthplace and Sagar (taluk HQ), Hosabale moved to Bengaluru to pursue his college education and joined the fNational College. Later, he obtained his Master’s in English literature from Bengaluru University.
Hosabale is fluent in Kannada, Hindi, English, Tamil, and Sanskrit. He founded a Kannada monthly magazine named Aseema. He enjoyed proximity with almost all writers and journalists of Karnataka, notable among them being Y N Krishnamurthy and Gopal Krishna Adiga.
Hosabale was imprisoned for more than a year under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during the fight to restore democracy against the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi’s government.
In the ABVP, he launched several new initiatives. One of his key projects was Youth Development Centre in Guwahati, Assam, and World Organisation of Students and Youth (WOSY).
He is the first Sar-karyawah most of whose time as pracharak was spent in an anushangik (frontal organization), that is ABVP. Before him, Madandas Devi was sah-sarkaryawah for nine years but he was never a Sar-karyawah.
Several RSS pracharaks have been in RSS’s frontal organisations, from Dattopant Thengdi to Ashok Singhal, but they were never elected as Sar-karyawah of the RSS.
As sah-sarkaryawah, Hosabale is currently based in Lucknow, and involved closely with ensuring coordination between the RSS and BJP there.
After the announcement that he would be Sar-karyawah, Hosabale addressed delegates for nearly five minutes, and told them that his family’s main occupation was farming, and they were also into the betelnut (supari) trade.
The RSS is currently preparing for its centenary celebrations (1925-2025), which will start in October 2024. The next ABPS is also in March 2024, which means that Hosabale is likely to remain in the post for another term.
Hosabale was one of the six sah-sarkaryavahs (deputy general secretaries) assisting Joshi. RSS watchers see his election as being long overdue.
Meanwhile, Joshi, who was also coordinating among RSS, BJP and other organisation of the Sangh Parivar, is now expected to concentrate fully on coordination work from Delhi.
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