Evidence From Archives

RSS modelled after Nazis and Fascists

Shamsul Islam

The process of the Hindutva takeover of the democratic-secular Indian polity got huge push with Narendra Modi, a seasoned RSS ideologue becoming the prime minister of India in 2014. His commitment to the cause of the Hindutva politics and hatred for the Indian democratic-secular polity has been unambiguous. While ruling the State Gujarat as the chief minister in 2013 he had declared himself to be a Hindu nationalist. It was first time in the history of Independent India that any person occupying a constitutional office identified him/herself as Hindu nationalist. It is to be noted that terrorists who assassinated Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, regarded as Father of the independent India, on January 30, 1948 at Delhi, described themselves, too, as the Hindu nationalists.

His taking over as the prime minister was celebrated by the RSS and its innumerable known and unknown organisations by declaring open war against the democratic-secular Indian polity on a large scale. The Hindutva cadres and mobs ruled the streets of India with vehemence never seen after Independence. RSS leaders declared that with Modi as the PM India was once again under a Hindu ruler after Prithvi Raj Chauhan (1178-92); almost 1000 years later! One leading RSS office-bearer, Rajeshwar Singh declared:

"Our target is to make India a Hindu Rashtra by 2021. The Muslims and Christians don't have any right to stay here…So they would either be converted to Hinduism or forced to run away from here."

The terrorism is in the genes of the RSS (which translates as "national volunteer association") as evidence from its own archives will prove. It was formed in 1925 by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar (known as Doctorji in the RSS fraternity), Balakrishna Shivram Moonje, his mentor and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the propounder of the idea of Hindutva; all Brahmins. Hedgewar was in the Indian National Congress (INC) but left it as he was against the anti-British freedom struggle led by MK Gandhi which treated people of all religions as part of the Indian nation and stood for an inclusive independent India. A biography of Hedgewar published by the RSS describes that he parted with INC because,

Gandhiji worked constantly with one eye on Hindu-Muslim unity… But Doctorji sensed danger in that move. In fact, he did not even relish the newfangled slogan of 'Hindu-Muslim Unity'. 

Benito Mussolini
This group of Hindu nationalist (RSS) leaders declared India to be a Hindu nation where the main enemies were Muslims and Christians of India. According to them Muslims and Christians remained out of this nationhood because they did not assimilate into the Hindu cultural heritage or the Hindu religion. Savarkar argued that they,
cannot be recognised as Hindus; as since their adoption of the new cult they had ceased to own Hindu civilisation [Sanskriti] as a whole. They belong, or feel that they belong to, a cultural unit altogether different from the Hindu one. Their heroes and their hero-worship, their fairs and their festivals, their ideals and their outlook on-life, have now ceased to be common with ours.

Indian Muslims and Christians were thus 'emigrants' following foreign religions, and not entitled to be part of the Indian nation which was a Hindu nation. In order to tackle the Muslims and Christian 'problem' they found the Nazi and the Fascist projects of cleansing the Jews very attractive. The Italian researcher, Marzia Casolari has done pioneering work in making public the direct linkages between RSS and Mussolini based on Moonje's diary. Moonje, "a politician strictly related to the RSS" had man-to-man meeting with Mussolini on the evening March 19, 1931 at Rome. According to Moonje's own diary he told Mussolini that
I just saw this morning and afternoon the Balilla [Italian Fascist Youth Organisation] and the Fascist Organisations and I was much impressed. Italy needs them for her development and prosperity…Every aspiring and growing Nation needs such organisations…'Signor Mussolini-who appeared very pleased-said-Thanks but yours is an uphill task. However I wish you every success in return.'

According to Moonje's diary immediately after his return from Rome he called upon Hindu nationalist leaders to
Imitate the youth movements of Germany and the Balilla and Fascist organisations of Italy. I think they are eminently suited for introduction in India, adapting them to suit the special conditions. I have been very much impressed by these movements and I have seen their activities with my own eyes in all details.

March 31, 1934, Moonje, Hedgewar and Laloo Gokhale had a meeting, the subject of which was again the military organisation of the Hindus, along the Italian and German lines. Moonje called upon the gathering that they should work for
standardisation of Hinduism throughout India... But the point is that this ideal cannot be brought to effect unless we have our own swaraj with a Hindu as a dictator like Shivaji of old or Mussolini or Hitler of the present day Italy or Germany... But this does not mean that we have to sit with folded hands until some such dictator arises in India. We should formulate a scientific scheme and carry on propaganda for it…

According to Marzia, Moonje publicly admitted that his idea of militarily reorganizing Hindu society was inspired by the "military training schools of England, France, Germany and Italy" Moonje's 'Preface to the Scheme of the Central Hindu Military Society and its Military School' declared at the outset:
This training is meant for qualifying and fitting our boys for the game of killing masses of men with the ambition of winning victory with the best possible causalities of dead and wounded while causing the utmost possible to the adversary.

The renowned Indian historian, Professor Ramchandra Guha underscoring the continuation of Fascist Italian legacy by the current RSS-BJP regime wrote,
The Italian State of the 1920s bears a striking resemblance to Modi's regime today which speaks respectfully of the Constitution while blatantly violating its spirit and essence, which appeals to ancient wisdom while displaying a contempt for modern science, which claims to exalt ancient culture while manifesting an utter philistinism in practice…

The most prominent ideologue of the RSS, MS Golwalkar (known as Guru Golwalkar in the RSS fraternity) who became RSS Supremo in 1940 and who is credited by the present Indian PM to have groomed him into a political leader declared:
If, as is indisputably proved, Hindusthan is the land of the Hindus and is the terra firma for the Hindu nation alone to flourish upon, what is to be the fate of all those, who, today, happen to live upon the land, though not belonging to the Hindu Race, Religion and culture.

It would be like the Jews under Hitler and Mussolini. Thus Golwalkar glorified the Holocaust in the following words:
German Race pride has now become the topic of the day. To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races-the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.

Golwalkar, finally, following into the foot-steps of Hitler, arrived at the following solution for the minority "problem" in India; Muslims and Christians who were declared belong to foreign races,
From this stand point, sanctioned by the experience of shrewd old nations, the foreign races in Hindusthan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of the Hindu race and culture, i.e., of the Hindu nation and must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment not even citizen's rights. There is, at least should be, no other course for them to adopt. We are an old nation: let us deal, as old nations ought to and do deal, with the foreign races who have chosen to live in our country.

Savarkar went on to support Hitler's anti-Jewish pogroms and on October 14, 1938, he suggested the same solution for the Muslim problem in India:
A Nation is formed by a majority living therein. What did the Jews do in Germany? They being in minority were driven out from Germany.

It may be confusing for anyone to find that RSS celebrated the Holocaust by openly supporting Hitler (1940s and early 1950s) but now zealously supports the Jewish State. Mohan Bhagwat, the current Supremo of the RSS, addressing the 'Yuva Sankalp Shivir' (Youth pledge camp) at Agra on November 3, 2014 advocated "treading the path of Israel while serving the cause of nationalism." Devsena Mishra while writing in the Jerusalem Post, a leading Israeli daily underlined this love between the RSS and Israel in the following words,
whenever a BJP (a political affiliate of the RSS) government comes to power, the vibrancy in India-Israel relations reaches new heights.

It is normal for the RSS. It is not contradictory but shows two equally important Fascist traits of the organisation. Its support to the Holocaust was the outcome of its love for the Aryan race and support to the Jewish State, today, only underlines its unbridled hatred for Muslims; the non-Aryans. According to the renowned author Khushwant Singh the Hindutva icons, Savarkar and Golwalkar who laid down this path for the RSS.

Both believed in the superiority of the Aryan race and approved of Adolf Hitler's extermination of millions of Jews in gas chambers. Nevertheless, they supported Zionism and the Jewish state of Israel for no other reason but that it was forever waging wars against its Arab neighbours who were Muslims. Islamophobia became an integral part of Hindutva.

Vol. 53, No. 22-25, Nov 29 - Dec 26, 2020