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HVK Archives: 105-year-old Swayamsevaks lives self-help maxim to hilt

105-year-old Swayamsevaks lives self-help maxim to hilt - The Asian Age

Pratap Thorat ()
January 18, 1998

Title: 105-year-old Swayamsevaks lives self-help maxim to hilt
Author: Pratap Thorat
Publication: The Asian Age
Date: January 18, 1998

He was born in the 19th-century, is quietly watching the 20th
century pass by and looks forward with the enthusiasm of a
teenager to carry the message of Hindutva to the 21st century.

Mr Isram Atmaram Katre is 105-years-old and had the energy to
participate in last week's three-day camp of the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh held at Nagpur.

What is more interesting is that Mr Katre was initiated into the
RSS fold only 18 months ago, when he had already crossed the 103-
year-old mark.

A farmer from Belari Khurd village in Tiroda taluka, Bhandara
district, in the easternmost part of Maharashtra. He remembers
the turn of the last century, the death of Lokmanya Tilak, rise
of Mahatma Gandhi, India's partition and freedom, Mahatma
Gandhi's assassination, rise and fall of the Nehru dynasty, the
two world wars, India's wars with Pakistan and China, the
Naxalite rebellion in the jungles of eastern Maharashtra and many
other things. However, for the most part of his life, he has
kept himself away from politics. Mr Katre is a poor paddy-grower,
but spent Rs 300 to get the RSS uniform stitched for himself. He
insisted on coming down to Nagpur, and attended the camp in full
uniform. He does not take anyone's help when it comes to wearing
his clothes, or eating or even taking a bath. Independent and
self-reliant, Mr Katre's only problem is that people around him
continually offer to help him. Equally amazing is the enthusiasm
of the RSS functionaries when it comes to dealing with the 105-
year-old. Asked about this, the local Sangh authorities said, "We
never waste our energies."


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