Udayavni Special

Who is Datta ji, the second Kannadiga to occupy No 2 position in RSS


Team Udayavani, Mar 20, 2021, 6:22 PM IST

Shimoga: With his election as the Sarkaryavah (general secretary) on Saturday, Dattatreya Hosabale has become the second Kannadiga to occupy the number 2 position in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent organization of the BJP, the country’s ruling party.

H V Seshadri was the other Kannadiga, who had occupied the Sarkaryavah post for 9 years since 1987.

Hosabale, who was the Sah-Sarkaryavah (joint general secretary) of the Sangh since 2009 was elected as the Sarkaryavah at the two-day annual meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS), the Sangh’s highest decision-making body that began here on Friday.

Popularly known as Datta ji in RSS circles, he was born on December 1, 1954 to Hosabale Sheshagiriyappa and Meenakshamma.

From a family of RSS activists he hails from a small village Hosabale of Soraba Taluk in Shivamogga district of Karnataka.

His initial schooling was in his birth place Hosabale and also in Sagar. He later moved to Bengaluru to pursue his college education and joined the National College.

Hosabale then took literature and obtained his masters in English Literature from Bengaluru University.

He joined RSS in 1968 and then the student organisation ABVP in 1972.

Hosabale was imprisoned for more than a year under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during the fight to restore democracy against Emergency imposed by former prime minister the late Indira Gandhi.

Hosabale, then a youth activist then, is said to be the first to inform the likes of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L K Advani, S N Mishra and Madhu Dandavate about the imposition of the Emergency while they were at a meeting in Bengaluru on the morning of June 26, 1975.

He became a full-time worker of ABVP in 1978 and then went on to become its national organising secretary for 15 years with his headquarters being Mumbai.

Hosabale played an active role in setting up the Youth Development Centre at Guwahati, Assam and the World Organisation of Student and Youth (WOSY).

The founding editor of ‘Aseema’, a Kannada monthly, he became Sah-Baudhik Pramukh (second in command of the intellectual wing of RSS) in 2004.

Fluent in Kannada, Hindi, English, Tamil and Sanskrit, Hosabale is said to have keen interest in literature. He had also termed football as symbol of global oneness.

Interestingly, Hosabale was elected as the Sarkaryavah at the ABPS held in his home state Karnataka.

Though ABPS is held at different places annually, every third year it is held at RSS headquarters in Nagpur for the election of Sarkaryavah, but it was shifted to Bengaluru this time in the wake of surging COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra.

According to sources, Hosabale has cordial relations with the top brass of the BJP and the government including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and is the apt person for the job for having proper coordination.

They also said his vast experience in ABVP, the youth wing and in the North East will help the organisation grow.

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