K. S. Sudarshan

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Kuppahalli Sitaramayya Sudarshan
Sarsanghchalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
In office
Preceded by Rajendra Singh
Succeeded by Mohan Bhagwat
Personal details
Born (1931-06-18)18 June 1931
Raipur, Central Provinces, British India
Died Script error: No such module "age".
Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
Alma mater Jabalpur Engineering College

Kuppahalli Sitaramayya Sudarshan (18 June 1931 – 15 September 2012) was the fifth Sarsanghachalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist organisation from 2000 to 2009.


Sudarshan was born in Kannada-speaking Sankethi Brahmin family[1][2] in Raipur (now in Chhattisgarh). He received his Bachelor of Engineering in Telecommunications (honours) from Jabalpur Engineering College (formerly named as Government Engineering college) in Jabalpur.[3] His parents hailed from Kuppahalli village, Mandya District of Karnataka.

He was only nine years old when he first attended an RSS Shakha. He was appointed as a Pracharak in 1954. His first posting as a pracharak was in Raigarh district of Madhya Pradesh(Now Chhattisgarh). In 1964, he was made the prant pracharak of Madhya Bharat at a fairly young age. In 1969, he was appointed convener of the All-India Organisations' Heads. This was followed by a stint in the North-East (1977) and then, he took over as the chief of the Bouddhik Cell (the RSS think-tank) two years later. In 1990, he was appointed joint general secretary of the organisation. He has the rare distinction of having held both posts of sharirik (physical exercises) and Boudhik (intellectual) pramukh (chief) on different occasions.[4]

In January 2009, acknowledging his lifelong selfless social service and his vast contribution in nation-building; Shobhit University, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, conferred upon him Honorary Doctor of Arts (Honoris Causa).[5]


Sudarshan became Sarsanghachalak (Supreme chief) of the RSS on 10 March 2000.[6] He succeeded Rajendra Singh, who stepped down on health grounds.[7]

In his acceptance speech, Sudarshan recalled how he was hand-picked to head the Madhya Bharat region. He said though initially he was hesitant to take up the responsibility, the then RSS Sarsanghachalak Golwalkar helped him to make up his mind. "I was able to discharge my duties because people senior to me fully co-operated with me," he said.[8]

A strong votary of swadeshi, he was seen as one of the hard-liners within the RSS.[9] He had often criticised the National Democratic Alliance government in general and the Bharatiya Janata Party in particular for its economic policies. In 2005, his statements suggesting that both Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K.Advani step aside and let a younger leadership take charge of the BJP created a rift within the Sangh parivar.[10] He stepped down as Sarsanghachalak on 21 March 2009, due to poor health.[11]

He was popularly known in Sangh circles as "Sudarshan Ji". He died at the age of 81 in Raipur on 15 September 2012.[12][13]


  1. "RSS turns heat on BJP as KS Sudarshan warns party of straying from its ideological moorings". India Today. Retrieved 25 April 2005.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "KS Sudarshan, former RSS chief, passes away". Times of India. Retrieved 15 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Former RSS chief KS Sudarshan cremated in Nagpur". NDTV.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "rediff.com:K S Sudarshan: Born into RSS". www.rediff.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "RSS remembers 5th Sarasanghachalak, Social Engineer KS Sudarshanji on his 4th Punyatithi #EngineersDay". Vishwa Samvada Kendra. 15 September 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Sudarshan is new RSS chief". Rediff.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "'While time hardens cement, at this age, it does not heal bones'". Rediff.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "K S Sudarshan: Born into RSS". Rediff.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Hardliner who never shied away from controversy". Deccan HERALD. 18 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Conflict in the Parivar". Frontline. Archived from the original on 18 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "RSS chief K S Sudarshan announces retirement". The freelibrary.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Sudarshan, a RSS hardliner who wanted to pray in mosque on Eid". The Hindustan times. 17 September 2012. Archived from the original on 17 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "K. Sudarshan dead". TDNpost. 15 September 2012. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Preceded by
Rajendra Singh
Sarsanghchalak of the RSS
2000 – 2009
Succeeded by
Mohan Bhagawat