Muralidhar Rao joined the RSS at a very young age. At the age of 17, during the
Emergency and the subsequent Janata government experiment, he chose
‘nationalist ideology’ over ‘violent class struggle’. He finds the ultra-Left people
method undemocratic and violent.
He led Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) first in Warangal and later in
Hyderabad. He was popular leader on the campus, & soon elected general secretary
of Osmania University Students’ Union in 1984. He was instrumental in weaning
away a large number of youths from the violent politics of left-wing extremism
during 1980s in north Telangana.
When he joined ABVP in the 1980s, it was not a force in the district. It was due to his
efforts that ABVP became a dominant force in the whole of Telangana.
As a Convener of federation of all student unions in 1984-85 in Andhra Pradesh, he
believed in developing regional understanding among students of different states. He
invited delegation of prominent student leaders of Asom Gana Parishad headed by
Sh. Dinesh Goswami.
Assasination attempt –
The association with RSS and then with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)
was not smooth for him. He was a target of the Naxalites all through his students’
politics days. Infact, several of his colleagues got killed by the ultra-Leftist.
His rising popularity brought him in ideological conflict with ultra-Left ideology and
organisations active in Warangal and Hyderabad districts.
On a fine afternoon in November 1986, after lunch at the university hostel, Rao had
barely stepped outside when he was surrounded by ultras. Without a word, question
or exchange of glances, he was shot at from close range. The bullet pierced his chest
– only a thin skin protected it from hitting the heart. As blood oozed out of his body
Rao ran to protect himself. He was chased up to good length till he found the police
station. From there, he was immediately sent to a local hospital. A team of doctors
soon operated on him. He was saved but took a few months to recover.
He was soon spotted by the top brass of the RSS and sent to Rajasthan in 1987,
where he worked towards building the organisation. He was in Rajasthan from July
1987 to February 1990 and went by the name of KK (Krishna Kant). He lived in
ABVP offices, kept a low profile and used the time to expand the organisation
base of Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP). He was Organising secretary of
ABVP in Rajasthan and worked in boarder districts of Rajasthan (like Jodhpur and
He showed remarkable skills in organizing the students and won the laurels of late
Bhairon Singh Shekawat. He was trained in organizational matters in the rough and
tumble of rural areas. His efforts-built success and ABVP soon became a dominant
force on the varsity campuses of Rajasthan. He lived there for three years.
Incidentally there were three elections during the period in which Rao alias KK was
in Rajasthan — Rajasthan University elections, Jodhpur University elections and Lok
Sabha elections. And the BJP got favourable results in all three. The party also went
on to form a government in Rajasthan in March 1990.
Jammu & Kashmir
During the height of militancy in Jammu & Kashmir, he was involved in building the
party at the grassroots level.
He was the Organising Secretary of ABVP, Jammu and Kashmir. He took the
intiative in conducting the project “SERU” (Students Experience in Regional
Understanding) to develop greater understanding about the different regions among
the students and youth of the country.
As anti-India forces indulged in terror and violence in the Kashmir valley, he played
a key role in organising a historic march of students and ABVP activists from Jammu
to Srinagar against fundamentalist forces. He made several visits to Srinagar
incognito despite threats to his life from jihadists.