Dattatreya Hosabale: 'Datta ji' who becomes the 2nd Kannadiga to occupy No 2 position in RSS

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Bengaluru/New Delhi, Mar 20 (PTI) Affable RSS pracharak Dattatreya Hosabale, who was elected its new Sarkaryavah (executive head) on Saturday, is known for his pragmatic approach, and many believe, his elevation in the organisation will help the Sangh expand and evolve further.

His elevation will further strengthen the chemistry between the BJP and its ideological mentor RSS as his pragmatism gives elbow room to the saffron party for political manoeuvrings, they said.

Hosabale, who was the Sah-Sarkaryavah (joint general secretary) of the Sangh since 2009, was elected the Sarkaryavah (General Secretary) at a two-day annual meeting of the Sangh's highest decision-making body Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) which began at Bengaluru on Friday.

Popularly known as Datta ji in RSS circles, he was among the first in the Sangh’s top brass to adapt technology and join social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

He joined the RSS in 1968 and its students’ wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarti Parishad four years later.

He rose through the ABVP ranks to become its organisation secretary, serving in the capacity for 15 years from Mumbai.

According to sources, Hosabale shares cordial relations with the top brass of the BJP and the government including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, making him the apt person for maintaining a proper coordination between the RSS and the party.

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

Top BJP leaders such as its president JP Nadda, Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Pralhad Joshi and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan have worked with him during their ABVP days.

Leaders such as Himachal Pradesh Jairam Thakur, BJP's Madhya Pradesh unit chief VD Sharma and BJP's general secretary Dilip Sakia, who all started their carrier from the ABVP, were groomed by him, sources in the Sangh said.

Hosabale is also known for articulating his views on contentious issues such as homosexuality without deviating from Sangh’s ideology, they said.

He is second Kannigada after H V Seshadri, who had occupied the Sarkaryavah post for 9 years since 1987, to hold this RSS post.

Born on December 1, 1954, Hosabale hails from a family of RSS activists in 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.

Hosabale was imprisoned for more than a year during Emergency.

Hosabale, 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.

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 symbol of global oneness.

Interestingly, Hosabale was elected 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. PTI KSU/JTR TIR TIR