The opponents of the Sangh started
disturbances. There was stonethrowing in Nagpur and other places on 31st
January. They attacked the house of Guru and pelted stones. Totally unperturbed,
Guru kept on reciting Bhagavad Gita with perfect equanimity and poise.
The Government arrested Guru under
the baseless accusation of Gandhi's assassination. The Sangh was banned,
and thousands of Swayamsevaks and workers were dumped behind the bars.
Being alarmed by the growing strength of the Sangh, and due to the enormous
public approbation Guru had been receiving all over the country, the Government
cracked down on the Sangh in a bid to trample and finish it. There was
in fact no connection whatsoever between the Sangh and the murder of Gandhiji.
The Government had to withdraw the charges barely within a week. The courts
of law released the Swayamsevaks and passed strictures against the Government
The Government released Guru also on
6 August with certain restrictions imposed on him. He entered into prolonged
correspondence with the top leaders of the country. He appealed to the
Government to lift the ban on the Sangh and to clear it of the charges,
since they were all baseless. The restrictions on Guru too were eventually
Guru went to Delhi. Thousands of citizens
gave him a rousing welcome by showering flowers on him. Talks ensued. A
suggestion was put forward for merger of the Sangh with Congress. Guru
at once rejected it. Talks and correspondence failed. Preparations for
a nation-wide movement to start the Sangh Shakhas in defiance of the ban
order were set in motion overnight, with lightning speed. As expected,
Guru was re-arrested. Sangh Shakhas was started in hamlets, villages, towns
and cities all over the country again. More than a hundred thousand Swayamsevaks
offered Satyagraha. They
were promptly jailed. They were subjected
to untold miseries and torture. People took out protest marches demandingimmediate
removal of the ban. Many eminent personages came forward for mediation
and began negotiation with the Government, The Swayamsevaks were denied
even the minimum facilities that were normally made available to ordinary
prisoners in the jails. As a result, their health condition began to deteriorate.
Guru never bent before the Government. His cardinal faith was that "Ultimately
Truth alone triumphs."
On 12 July 1949 the Government removed
t the eighteen-month-old ban on the Sangh.
Guru advised the Swayamsevaks, "Forget
the nightmarish episode of the ban. You should not harbor even the slightest
bitterness in your minds about those responsible for causing us harm and
injustice. After all they are our countrymen. Remember that both the tongue
and the teeth always remain together. Once in a way by accident the teeth
may bite the tongue; but on that account we do not knock them down. If
one leg trips the other, are we to cut that leg? Those who have harmed
us are very much our own people, not outsiders. Hence let us forget and