Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

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The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) (Hindi: राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ), (National Volunteer Organization[2] or National Patriotism Organization[3]), also known the Sangh, is a Hindu nationalist, paramilitary[4], volunteer[5] and allegedly militant [6] [7] [8][9] organization in India. It is part of the umbrella group of Hindu nationalist organisations - Sangh Parivar.[4] It was founded in 1925 by Dr. K. B. Hedgewar, a doctor from Nagpur, as a social and cultural organisation in British India,[5] to oppose both British colonialism in India and Muslim separatism.[10]

RSS volunteers participated in various political and social movements including the freedom movement[5] and the organization became the leading Hindu nationalist organization in India.[10] By the 1990s, the group had established numerous schools, charities and clubs to propagate its ideology.[10] RSS volunteers are also known for their role in the relief and rehabilitation work during natural calamities[11] and for running more than 100,000 service programs in education, health care, rural development, tribal emancipation, village self-sufficiency, and the rehabilitation of lepers and special needs children.[12][13]

Some critics have referred to the RSS as a Hindu nationalist organization.[1][14][15][16] Some others call it a Hindu supremacist[10] and paramilitary[4] organization. Other critics have accused it of supporting militancy.[17] The RSS denies these accusations, and has sued some accusers.[18] The RSS has been banned three times by the Government of India. It was banned first by the British, then again after independence in 1948 when a former member[19] assassinated Mahatma Gandhi.[10]

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