Raipur: RSS chief Kuppalli Sitaramayya Sudarshan was a Hindutva hardliner who never shied away from a controversy or two even if it meant crossing swords with the BJP.
The fifth Sarsanghchalak of the RSS, who headed the Sangh fountainhead from 2000 to 2009, was a strong votary of `swadeshi`.
A gold medallist in Bachelor of Engineering in Telecommunications from Sagar University, Sudarshan, who attended his first RSS shakha (class) at the age of nine, chose to become an RSS pracharak.
Born on June 18, 1931, in Raipur, Sudarshan became a pracharak (one responsible for propaganda of the RSS ideology) in 1954. His first posting as a `pracharak` was in Raigarh district. In 1964, he was made the pranth pracharak and in 1969, he was appointed convener at the national level.
Sudarshan rose through the RSS ranks and became the number two in the organisation under Rajju Bhaiyya, who later handed over the reins to him in 2000 due to ill-health. Sudarshan worked as the Sarsanghchalak till 2009.
As the RSS chief, he made certain statements which drew the ire of not only BJP but also Dalits across the country. Known for his unpredictable nature and strict discipline, Sudarshan spoke against the Constitution, the BJP-led NDA government and even tall leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani.
After the NDA was voted out of power, Sudarshan said in 2005 that the old guards of BJP like Vajpayee and Advani should retire and give way to the younger lot.
"Throw away the outdated Indian Constitution which speaks of British legacy," Sudarshan had said in his first official interaction with the media on March 10, 2000 after becoming the RSS chief.