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Ex-PM Shastri was not hostile to RSS, says Advani

New Delhi: In an article that appeared in the RSS-affiliated Organiser’s 70th anniversary edition, BJP veteran leader L.K. Advani has mentioned how late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shahstri was not ideologically hostile towards the RSS like first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and would often invite its chief Guru Golwalkar for consultations when he was Prime Minister. The article is an extract from Mr Advani’s autobiography My Country My Life.
Advani, who had joined Organiser in 1960 as an assistant editor, described Shastri as a “dedicated Congressman” and his personal qualities won him the goodwill of the nation.
“Unlike Nehru, Shastri did not harbour any ideological hostility towards the Jana Sangh and the RSS. He used to often invite Shri Guruji for consultation on national issues,” Mr Advani said.
The article mentions how Mr Advani had met Shastri as the weekly’s representative several times, “each time carrying a positive impression of this remarkably short-statured but large-hearted Prime Minister”.
Working as a journalist with Organiser also necessitated a change in his sartorial appearance, Mr Advani said, recalling that he went back to trousers from the dhoti he wore as an RSS activist.
“Dhoti-kurta is the dress of a neta (political leader). It does not suit journalists, my colleagues told me. I saw some merit in the advice given by my colleagues and started wearing trousers once again,” Mr Advani said.