Bearded Guruji Golwalkar was in his lifetime, revered by millions of his followers as a saviour of Hinduism, a Vivekananda, while to his innumerable critics he was a Fascist leader of Hinduism. Madhavrao Sadashivrao Golwalkar was the son of a school master and lived in the house of his uncle in Nagpur on February 19, 1906. The family came from the village Golwali and hence the suffix Golwalkar. Madhavrao showed enormous strength of will even in his early years. Once, in his childhood, his father gave him a sound thrashing, for neglecting his studies. Golwalkar never, again, gave his father a chance to thrash him.
While only 11, Madhavrao prepared a script for a public lecture at Balaghat. After passing his matriculation examination in 1922, he joined Hislop College in Nagpur as a science student. In the college, he surprised Rey Gardiner by his thorough grasp of the Bible. Later, Guruji would frequently quote the Bible and mince no words in praising, the qualities and dedication of missionary teachers of his student days. Madhavrao was a keen student of Swami Vivekananda's speeches. At school and college, he played hockey and essentially Indian games like kusti and hated cricket.
In 1930, he completed his M.Sc. in Zoology. For about a year he served as a specialist in the aquarium in Madras. A story of those days has it that once when the Nizam of Hyderabad, a guest of the governor of Madras province, visited the aquarium, Golwalkar insisted that the distinguished guest and his retinue should pay the entrance fee. Rules are rules and apply equally to all, he declared, to the consternation of the officials. But he had his way. In 1930, be joined Benares Hindu University as a lecturer in science. It was here that Golwalkar came under the inspiring influence of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, then vice-chancellor of the university, and learnt his first lessons in nationalism under him.
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