Balasaheb Deoras - An inspiration forever

Vishwa Bhaarath
Balasaheb Deoras - An inspiration forever
Balasaheb Deoras 

Few glimpses of inspiration from the life of Balasaheb ji Deoras.

Two tours Balasaheb ji undertook after having been affected by paralysis and with a completely deteriorated and non cooperating ill health are very inspiring. The ban imposed on RSS after Ramajanmabhumi movement was revoked in 1993. Immediately after this, a bomb blast took place in RSS Chennai Karyalaya.  
  The front room of the Karyalaya was damaged. Eleven persons including the residents of Karyalaya and some visitors had lost their lives in the blast. Whole country was stunned. Describing the immediate response of Shri Balasahebji, Sri Srikanth Joshi, the then personal assistant (Sahayak) of Shri Balasahebji, said that the moment Balasahebji came to know the news, he insisted on visiting Chennai and personally consoling the bereaved families.  However, Doctors firmly rejected the idea, keeping his ailing health condition in view.  Balasahebji could not stay back and started expressing his helplessness in consoling those families to whoever visited him in Nagpur. This further deteriorated his health. Explaining the kind of trauma Balasahbji went through that period, Sri Srikanth Joshi had this to say “Whenever he looked into my eyes, he conveyed only one wish i.e visit Chennai. Having seen his resolve, the doctors finally had permitted him to go to Chennai on the condition that he should first go to Hyderabad from Nagpur and take 2 days of rest and then to Chennai, only if he does not have any problem. His health was so critical that he could not even travel for four hours at a stretch.  As per advice, we flew from Nagpur to Hyderabad, halted for two days and then flew to Chennai. As Balasahebji could not walk, he was put on a wheel chair during the entire journey.

Balasaheb Deoras - An inspiration forever
Balasaheb Deoras

Just before landing at Chennai, one of the Air-hostesses struck a conversation with him. For anyone, it looked as if he was going for a special treatment. She asked him as to which hospital he was going to. He said “I am not going to any hospital or for any treatment. I am coming from Nagpur to visit and console the relatives of the people who died in the recent bomb blast”. She was surprised at that. She was apprised about his health. Here is an 80 year old man, who could not walk on his own, half of whose body has been paralyzed, and in addition who could not even urinate on his own as made clear by the urine bag hanging by his side, came all the way from Nagpur to console the families of the deceased whom he did not even know personally. She was completely taken back and left speechless. “Such a long journey in such a worst condition?” she pondered. The aircraft landed in the Airport. She bought a wheel chair. The Hostess and I together could put him in the wheel chair with great difficulty. A car was stationed at the end of the airport to pick us up. She took the wheel chair up the car and helped him to sit in the car. She touched his feet after he sat in the car. She said, “You are really a Mahatma. At this age, in this condition and with the kind of troubles you have, you have come to share the grief of others. I have never seen such a person in my life. You indeed are a Mahatma” and went off.

The car went into Chennai. It was about 10.30 in the morning by the time we reached our place of stay. Balasahebji was insisting me to take him to the Karyalaya. Balasahebji was told that the relatives of the blast victims were asked to assemble at 4 pm and he could meet all of them at that time. He calmed down after that. Doctors had examined him and were worried. His blood pressure was 180/110. He was given tablets to reduce the BP. Doctors were wondering as to how to take him to the Karyalam. By afternoon his BP had risen to 220/120. Doctors feared that if the same continues, he might have a heart attack or could be paralyzed once again. Balasahebji was questioning the delay. With growing impatience, he asked why we were not moving. With no option left, I informed the doctors that we should go to Karyalay at any cost as Balasahebji made a strong resolve.  I also asked them to be ready with medical emergencies, in case of unexpected eventualities as I could sense that his health would further deteriorate if we stayed back. Doctors too had to agree.

We took him to karyalay leaving the rest to God. Seated in the wheel chair, Balasahebji approached the photographs of the martyred svayamsevaks. He offered floral tributes to each one. He put tilak and lit the lamps. He offered dhupam. He was shaking with grief. He looked around the damaged karyalay with tears flowing from eyes. Nearly 200 Swayamsevaks and families were seated inside the shamiana, among whom there were relatives of the martyrs such as mother, sister, brother, father , etc. They were introduced to Balasahebji. Balasahebji spoke for some time with great difficulty. “I have come to meet you. In fact I should have come much earlier. How can I console you? How can I reduce your grief? I am the Sarsanghachalak, head of the institution. I should have come first. I should have come and consoled you first. But doctors did not allow me to come. I have come as soon as they allowed me to travel. Please pardon me. This kind of murder of Swayamsevaks causes a lot of grief. It is impossible to fill the gap. I have come to meet you. My health condition is not good. Still it is my duty to meet you. I also share your personal grief. I can understand your grief.”All the family members of the martyrs were moved by this and some of them with moist eyes spoke “By your coming our grief has reduced. Even in this condition, you have come this far just to share our grief. This is what we wanted. You are really a God. You are a real Mahatma.” Babasaheb ji was not allowed to speak much. His speech in Hindi was translated in Tamil. After the Prarthana, he was taken back for rest. Doctors heaved a sigh of relief and checked his BP. It was 120/80 just normal.”

Courtesy: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

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