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Former RSS chief passes away

Pune, July 14
Former RSS chief Rajendra Singh, popularly known as Rajju Bhaiyya, died here today following a prolonged illness. A bachelor, the 81-year-old former RSS chief is survived by his brother.

The last rites would be performed here tomorrow evening. Senior RSS ideologues and other political leaders will be arriving in Pune to pay their last respects, Vishwa Samvad Kendra chief in Mumbai Laxmikant Joshi said.

“Rajju Bhaiyya” passed away while he was having his noon meal. The body would be moved to the RSS city office in Moti Baug in the Shanivar Peth area of the city. The body was taken to Sassoon Hospital as he had donated his eyes, family doctor Jagdish Karmarkar said.

New Delhi: Atal Bihari Vajpayee will visit the Pune residence of the former RSS chief on Tuesday to pay homage. According to BJP sources, Mr Vajpayee’s programme was being worked out. He will be in Pune in connection with two of his other functions.

Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and BJP President M Venkaiah Naidu and other BJP leaders will also attend the funeral. Meanwhile, Mr Vajpayee, Mr Advani and other members of the Cabinet Committee on Security observed a two-minute silence soon after the news of the death of the former RSS chief. A meeting of the committee was on at the Prime Minister’s residence when the news of the death of the RSS leader came this afternoon. — UNI

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OBITUARY
From N-physicist to RSS chief
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 14
From nuclear physics to the then highly secretive precincts of the RSS. This was the metamorphic journey of Prof Rajendra Singh, who played a significant role in the evolution of right wing politics and shaped the destiny of the BJP, died in Pune today.

Popularly known as Raju Bhaiyya, he left a promising academic world of nuclear physics to devote his time to the RSS in the mid 60s and went on to become its fourth chief.

Prof Rajendra Singh left a brilliant academic career as Professor of Physics at Allahabad University to become a full-time Pracharak of the RSS in the early 60s. He was not only considered to be an expert on nuclear physics, but was also a popular teacher in terms of his simplicity and clear concepts.

Starting as Prant Pracharak of the RSS for Uttar Pradesh, he rose to become the Sarkaryavaha in the 80s when the Ramjanmabhoomi movement led by the Vishva Hindu Parishad and backed by the BJP marked a watershed in politics.

The first non-Brahmin and non-Marathi Sarsanghchalak, he led the sangh fountainhead in the mid-90s when the graph of the Hindutva ideology in the political arena was rising.

Hailing from a simple family of farmers, Raju Bhaiyya was born on January 29, 1922 at Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh. His father Balbir Singh was the second Indian chief engineer of Uttar Pradesh.

The soft-spoken Raju Bhaiyya, who took over from Balasaheb Deoras, remained at the helm of the RSS affairs until 2000 after which he passed on the mantle to K.S. Sudarshan owing to ill health. He, however, continued to guide the organisation in an advisory role. He helped in demystifying the RSS as he made himself more accessible and stopped functioning exclusively from the organisation’s headquarters in Nagpur.

Raju Bhaiyya did his matriculation from Unnao, completed his graduation and obtained his master’s degree in physics from Prayag University at the age of 21. He was acknowledged as an exceptionally brilliant student by Sir C.V. Raman, physicist and Nobel Prize winner, who was his examiner for M Sc and offered fellowship for research with him.

He taught spectroscopy at Prayag University for several years, where later he was appointed head of the Physics Department. Raju Bhaiyya took active part in the Quit India Movement of 1942.

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