by Sameer Kuppahalli* from Malibu, California of United States of America.

A misunderstood person in an equally misunderstood organization (by Media), Doddappa stood for the doctrine of religious freedom and liberty. He embodied the concept of secular, the very essence of the word “hindu”. Far from a religious bigot that most of the mainstream media tried to dub him, in reality he was a truly secular person who had developed strong relations in each community including Muslims and Christians.

Farewell to my uncle K. S. Sudarshan (Doddappa)!

KS Sudarshan, former RSS Sarasanghachalak

When I think of doddappa, one word sums it all “courage under fire”. I first witnessed the strength of his character in 1990 when my father, his younger brother, was fighting for his life. Putting aside his own emotional rollercoaster, he was a pillar of strength to each of us in the family. To me however, he was beyond human. Most have seen him as

A person detached from family entanglements, but I saw him as the most caring person one can imagine.
RSS was and is his family. I am fortunate to have seen him from a perspective of his other family. A hard shell with an extremely soft core. He was moved to tears when he finally met our daughter Nupur, a child with special needs. The instant bond that they established can’t be described. Doddappa, due to his progressing dementia, would sometimes forget her name and call her “Sai baba” (Nupur sometimes sits in the same pose as Sai-baba). She would go running to him and sit in his lap.
As Sarsanghchalak of RSS, he was a source of inspiration to most of us in RSS. Though controversies also were an integral part of his service, the most telling moment for me was the “walk the talk” discussion he had with Shekhar Gupta of Indian Express. He challenged the BJP, specifically Atalji and Advaniji, to develop younger leaders. In any other country it would have been hailed as bold and courageous, but he was lampooned by dim-wits and imbeciles including Shekhar Gupta himself. But that never deterred him. He did not mince words and spoke his mind, a person of deep and rock-solid conviction. He personified “walk the talk” by stepping down as the Sarsanghachalak, the same way as his predecessors did – selfless and devoid of any personal ambitions.
A misunderstood person in an equally misunderstood organization, Doddappa stood for the doctrine of religious freedom and liberty. He embodied the concept of secular, the very essence of the word “hindu”. Far from a religious bigot that most of the mainstream media tried to dub him, in reality he was a truly secular person who had developed strong relations in each community including Muslims and Christians.
Others are more competent to comment on his accomplishments in the social field, but the void that he has left in our hearts will take a long time to fill – maybe never.
(writer Sameer Kuppahalli, son of KS Suresh, Sudarshanji’s middle brother.)

Sameer Kuppahalli, USA