The Nazi Party is Analogous to India’s RSS
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.
The following table compares Nazi ideology and practice with that of India’s BJP-RSS regime.
Comparing Nazis with Indian BJP-RSS
|German Nazis||Indian BJP-RSS|
|Sought to establish Aryan supremacy||Seeks to establish Hindu supremacy|
|Anti-Semitism and vilification of Jewish population as political agenda||Islamophobia and vilification of Muslim population as political agenda|
|Reich Citizenship Law redefined German citizenship to exclude Jewish people||India’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) will strip many of their citizenship, as is already happening in Assam since they do not possess historic documents. The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) grants non-Muslims a path to regain citizenship. Muslims would remain stateless.|
|The “Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor” banned marriage and extramarital relations between Jews and those of ‘German blood’||“Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020,” also known as the “Love Jihad” Law seeks to “protect” Hindu women and their honor from Muslim men by preventing inter-faith marriages.20|
|Law banning kosher slaughter||Campaign against halal products. Ban on beef consumption. Lynching on the transportation of cattle.|
|The Propaganda Ministry controlled the press to propagate Nazi ideology||A professional information technology cell and a compliant media (called godi or lapdog media) spread fake news to demonize minorities and mold public opinion in favor of Hindutva ideology. Reporters Without Borders ranked India below Somalia and Colombia in media freedom at 150th level. Textbooks demonize Muslims. Admiration for Nazism is rampant in the BJP-RSS ideology|
|Longing for a return of the glory of Germany, especially pre-WW1||The glorification of ancient India is a standard part of mythology presented as factual history by Modi and the BJP-RSS regime with claims that everything from the internet to stem cells all were first invented by Hindus thousands of years ago|
|Economic boycott of Jewish owned businesses and Jewish professionals||Economic boycott of Muslim owned businesses and Muslim professionals|
|Dehumanization of Jews by referring to them as Untermenschen (subhuman), pigs, vermin, rats, lice||Dehumanization of Muslims by referring to them as rakshasa which in Hindu literature are maneating demons who fought Ram, the prime Hindu god.29 Muslims are also called pigs, termites, foreigners, thieves|
|Hitler was a cult figure – admired as the “unknown soldier” who ascended in rank due to his talent and regarded as the one who alone could save Germany||Modi is a cult figure – admired as a humble “chai wala” (tea seller) who rose to power and boasts a “56 inch chest.” He is regarded as the one who will develop and defend India single-handedly|
|Hitler Youth indoctrinated its young members to embrace supremacist Nazi ideology||RSS runs the largest school network in India. Children in RSS affiliated schools and at public events are indoctrinated to embrace supremacist Hindutva ideology|
|Vandalization and destruction of synagogues||Vandalization and destruction of mosques|
What is Hindutva
Pronounced Hin·dut·va /ˌhinˈdo͞otvə/
Hindutva is a political nationalist ideology seeking to establish Hindu supremacy in India.
The Hindutva ideology, often called Hindu nationalism, is distinct from Hinduism, the religion practiced in India. While Hindutva followers are Hindus, not all Hindus follow Hindutva ideology.
Hindutva seeks to transform India, constitutionally a secular state, into an ethno-religious nation known as the Hindu Rashtra (Hindu nation). Hindutva is the official platform of the BJP, the ruling party of India and the political arm of RSS.
The Nazification of India report is essentially the story of the Hindutva project. RSS is the prime leader of this ideology.
Hindutva ideology dates back roughly 100 years but it has gained tremendous popularity in India under the BJP-RSS regime.
The term Hindutva was popularized by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar through his book, Hindutva. Savarkar was influenced by European Fascism.
The Debate Around Hindutva and Hinduism
“Not all Hinduism is Hindutva, but Hindutva is in fact Hinduism.”
“Hinduism not about killing but Hindutva is” Rahul Gandhi
Caste System as a Tool for Hindu Supremacy
Hitler believed that the so-called “Aryan” blood, “true” German blood, made them physically and spiritually perfect. By the same token, Hinduism is defined by a caste system that is connected to concepts of racial perfection. The Indian term for caste, “Varna,” means color. At the top of this color caste pyramid sit the Brahmins, who tend to have lighter skin. Then comes the Kshatriya, the Vaishya, and the Shudra. The darkest-skined Dalits, treated as untouchables, and the Adivasi, or indigenous tribes, are the historically oppressed outcastes of India. The outcastes also include Mleccha, a term applied to Muslims and Christians. Inspired by Hitler’s race ideology, the RSS leaders promote notions of racial and blood superiority, claiming a link to Aryanism as well.
With Religious Tensions Worsening in India, Understanding Caste Is More Urgent Than Ever
Time Magazine, April 6, 2022
Hindu nationalism is led by the upper castes and their incitement of all Hindus against the Muslim minority is a ploy that enables them to keep their grip on Hindu society.
Jean Drèze, Time Magazine, April 6, 2022