The RSS must have been a major brain wave of some Hindu revivalist, or so we think. But it was not. It was based on DIRECTLY copying the fascists. BS Moonje was 17 years older than Hedgewar, and in many crucial ways, his mentor. And it was his PERSONAL VISIT to Italy (which included meeting Mussolini) that led to the current form and shape of RSS.
The Indian leader was in Rome during March 15 to 24, 1931. On March 19, in Rome, he visited, among others, the Military College, the Central Military School of Physical Education, the Fascist Academy of Physical Education, and, most important, the Balilla and Avanguardisti organisations. These two organisations, which he describes in more than two pages of his diary, were the keystone of the fascist system of indoctrination – rather than education – of the youths. Their structure is strikingly similar to that of the RSS. They recruited boys from the age of six, up to 18: the youths had to attend weekly meetings, where they practised physical exercises, received paramilitary training and performed drills and parades. According to the literature promoted by the RSS and other Hindu fundamentalist organisations and parties, the structure of the RSS was the result of Hedgewar’s vision and work. However Moonje played a crucial role in moulding the RSS along Italian (fascist) lines. [Source: Marzia Casolari, Hindutvas Foreign Tie-Up in the 1930s: Archival Evidence , Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 35, No. 4 (Jan. 22-28, 2000), pp. 218-228].
When BJP came to power the last time, it left a strong sense in the minds of the "minorities" that it didn't really want them there, or that they should "behave".
Since the BJP-led coalition assumed power in 1997, there has a been a significant increase in violence against Christians, and Christians have been warned not to abuse the hospitality that Hindus have extended to them.16 There has been a shift from a more or less peaceful co-existence of different religious and ethnic communities to a polity of hegemony and dominance, and from a polity of rational discourse to the argument of threat and violence. [Source]
Regardless of the truth behind this perception, there is no doubt that Mussolini's and Hitler's methods of terrorising those who don't agree with this "dominant" discourse are constantly being threatened. Vivek Garg has never hesitated to threaten each time he feels somewhat challenged. Force and violence are a PART AND PARCEL of the "Hindu" revival.
Fascism's goals and methods are DEEPLY EMBEDDED within the RSS/BJP DNA. It is never going to be possible to get away from this basic fact.
This also means it is never going to be possible for BJP to promote FREEDOM and HUMAN EQUALITY.
I will, of course, continue to try to engage with BJP or anyone else, on the idea of bringing liberty to India. But I doubt if BJP can ever change its colours, being merely a branch of RSS.
5.4Hitler was a great Hindu (even possibly an avatar of Vishnu!)
We know how Golwalkar was constantly praising Hitler and the fascists. Although this idea has now been downplayed publicly, it continues to inform "Hindu" revivalist movements at the subterranean level. On Facebook the "Hindu" revivalists never hesitate to praise the fascists, particularly Hitler.
But Savarkar was also constantly promoting Hitler. "Speech after speech Savarkar supported Hitler's anti-Jewish policy and on October 14, 1938 he suggested the following 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" [cited in Maria Casolari, Hindutva's foreign tie-up in the 1930s: Archival evidence, Economic and Political Weekly, January 22, 2000]
Savarkar's praise for Hitler's methods continued even after Hitler had effectively destroyed Germany – well into India's independence
"At a felicitation in Pune in [15th] January 1961 he said that military power was the only criterion of a great nation. He would prefer Hitler to democracy that was cowardly and yielding to every aggressor." [Source]
The fact that Modi's Gujarat government praised Hitler thought its textbooks (although that was later rescinded under public pressure) is a continuation of the same trend. Just removing that chapter publicly doesn't mean A THING. It continues to inform the thinking of the "Hindu" revialists.
Friend Vivek Garg has written on Facebook that Hitler was not just a great "patriot" (which presumably is license to kill millions of fellow citizens – the Jews), but a "great Hindu". That was a pretty shocking statement (given I do respect Hinduism in many ways), but such a statements stands nowhere in comparison to the views of a MAJOR member of the "Hindu" revivalist movement.
Is the following true? Almost certainly yes.
Hindu Mahasabha leader Srimat Swami Satyananda seems to have firmly held the view that Hitler was an avatar of Vishnu:
Savitri Devi came under the influence of Srimat Swami Satyananda, who was director of the city's Hindu Mission and active in the nationalist Hindu Mahasabha movement. Tilak had gotten it wrong, Satyananda told Savitri, the Aryans didn't originate in the Arctic–they came from the Antarctic. During previous interglacial periods, Antarctica had enjoyed a temperate climate, and there were still ancient cities buried under the ice and snow. More ominously, Satyananda told Savitri that the presence of the swastika, the traditional Hindu sign of good fortune, in the flag of Nazi Germany showed that this European nation was returning to its Aryan roots. In addition, "he told her that he considered Hitler an incarnation of Vishnu, an expression of the force preserving cosmic order."
See also this: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/73923/hitler-once-worshipped-vishnu-elite.html
Also: “What did Ramana Maharshi say about Adolf Hitler? Did he ever mention him?” And the disciple answered, “Yes, he considered him as a jnani.” [Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950) had an ashram in Tiruvannamali] – cited in 7. HINDUISM AND NATIONAL SOCIALISM.
I suspect that as regional literature is translated into English in the coming years, there will be PLENTY of evidence to support the fact that Hindu revivalists did give Hitler a major stature and mistakenly thought that he was promoting Hinduism (he, of course, detested Indians – and denied that Indians were Aryans).
The fact that this idea is not an idle delusion but is driving some people even today, is illustrated by the videos, below. This is full fledged cottage industry (not just in India but globally).
Whipping up communal hatred is part of the mandate of the Sangh Parivar. It has been planned for years. Hundreds of RSS shakhas across the country (shakha literally means "branch," and RSS shakhas are "educational" cells) have been indoctrinating thousands of children and young people, stunting their minds with religious hatred and falsified history, including unfactual or wildly exaggerated accounts of the rape and pillaging of Hindu women and Hindu temples by Muslim rulers in the precolonial period.
Bal Thackeray, the leader of the Shiv Sena — the right-wing Hindu fundamentalist political party in the state of Maharashtra, responsible for a pogrom in which hundreds of Muslims were massacred in the city of Bombay in 1992-93 — has the lasting solution. He’s called for civil war.
Look around you and you’ll see in little parks, in empty lots, in village commons, the RSS is marching, hoisting its saffron flag. Suddenly they’re everywhere, grown men in khaki shorts marching, marching, marching. Source: Fascism’s Firm Footprint in India by Arundhati Roy, 30 September 2002