The Nazi Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterparte) was both the propagator of Nazi ideology and a political party. Formed in 1920 as the German Workers’ Party by Anton Dexler, Adolf Hitler took over its leadership in 1921. In 1933, as Hitler was named the Chancellor of Germany, he moved to ensure all senior government officials were members of the party.
The Nazi Party had several strong-arm groups that served to protect its meetings and public rallies. While members of these groups were drawn from different paramilitary groups, they were organized under the Sturmabteilung (SA), and then later the Schutzstaffel (SS). The squads were later unified with other security agencies under the leadership of Heinrich Himmler. Under his leadership, the SS squashed any dissent and achieved subordination of the general German population.
Hitler realized the power of propaganda, and in 1933 appointed Joseph Goebbels as Reich Minister for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment.9 Goebbels’ main task was to project a positive image of the Nazi party and rally people behind its message and leadership. The extermination of Jews was not merely driven by political need: the Nazis believed Jews were impure and needed to be removed from Germany; they methodologically planned and implemented the genocide of Jews and other minorities.
The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), formed in 1925, is the Indian equivalent of the Nazi party. While it borrows from Nazi teachings, it works differently. The RSS is not in itself a political party, it is a paramilitary organization that operates via many different branches. (See figure 2) One such branch, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), serves as its political arm. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, most of his cabinet, and many members of the Indian parliament are followers of the RSS and its Hindutva ideology.
RSS paramilitary troops mobilize mobs for violence, while a dedicated information technology department, known as the IT Cell, pushes its propaganda, rallying people behind its ideology, isolating moderates, neutralizing opposing media, and targeting human rights activists and minorities for the benefit of BJP politicians and policies.
RSS organizes 60,929 daily military drills in their units called Shakhas. These drills are attended by 500,000 people daily. It also runs 10,000 weekly social media cell meetings across India. The combined power of the BJP government and the street power of the paramilitary RSS define the Hindutva force.