The foundation of Muslim rule in India was laid down by Shahabuddin Ghori in 1193 for the next 800 years. Muslim Sufi saints preached in India and millions converted to Islam which alarmed the Hindu population and gave birth to their nationalist movement. This development led to the creation of hardliner Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1925 by Baliram Hedgewar in Nagpur. In Germany, Dietrich Eckart poet and political activist founded the German Workers Party in 1919 to save the nation from Jews. He asked Adolf Hitler to lead the nation to the identity. The German Workers Party was later renamed as the National Socialist Workers Party and this how the Nazi party born.

Nazism is national socialism and the ideology preached by Hitler and his associates. RSS leader Savarkar and Golwalkar praised this ideology and believed the same should be applied to India. The Nazis adopted a new emblem of party based on ancient Aryan origin, the ‘Swastika’ which was a symbol of good luck. The same was adopted by the Hindutva flag bearer as a symbol of spirituality. The slogan of one flag, one leader and one ideology was borrowed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from the Nazis. The Nazis coined the term ‘Fuhrer’ for Adolf Hitler and in India Subash Chandra Bose was called ‘Netaji’.

The concept of ‘Akhand Bharat’ was also borrowed from the Nazi concept of ‘Lebensraum’, meaning living space. According to the RSS philosophy, all that is South of the Himalayas and North of the Indian Ocean is Bharat. According to Nazi Germany, Germans had a right to expand all the way to the East. In 1980 the Bhartiya Jana Sangh political arm of the RSS morphed into the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). In the 1980 elections, BJP got only two seats and in 1991, it succeeded in forming a coalition government. The 1999 elections helped it come into power with 182 seats. In 2014 and 2019, the BJP came to power as a political force. The election campaign was based on anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan rhetoric.

Similarly, the Nazis in 1924 got 3 percent of all votes. In 1928, it got 2.6 percent of the votes however in the 1930 election, it got 6.5 million votes and the party became a huge political force. In 1933, the Nazis won 44 percent of the votes and Hitler became the chancellor and then, the president and the supreme leader. The Nazis created their own para-military force in 1921 named the Storm Section (SA). They were called ‘Brown Shirts’ because of the color of their uniform shirts. Their role was the protection of Nazi rallies. The RSS also raised a force similar to the SA which identified with Khaki shorts, with a bamboo stick, and it was ‘Bajrang Dal’.

The Nazis had extreme hatred towards the Jews and accused them for all the world’s problems. An organised campaign against the Jews was launched under Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister. During the annual Nuremberg Rally, Jews were declared to be enemies of the state. They were asked to go back to Palestine and anti-Semitic legislation was passed which banned marriage between Jews and Germans. Similarly, the RSS leader built the narrative that Hindus should rule India and Muslims and Christians, being outsiders, must be expelled or merged into Hinduism. The RSS was and is famous for anti-Muslim rhetoric and categorised Muslims and Christians as India’s internal enemies.

Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf, is famous across India and has been translated into multiple native languages. The BJP-RSS government is trying to transform India into a purely Hindu state where there is no place for Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and even low caste Hindus. It is said that during the holocaust, the Nazis killed six million Jews, the majority in concentration camps. Thousands of Muslims are killed on daily basis by Hindu groups over allegations of slaughtering cows and eating beef. There are continued Hindu vigilante attacks on Muslims farmers, livestock traders and farmers trespassing cows. The religious intolerance and violence has increased against Muslims and other minorities across India. The fascist and Nazis inspired BJP-RSS government is a real threat to peace and stability in the region.

The writer is a retired brigadier and freelance columnist.

The religious intolerance and violence has increased against Muslims and other minorities across India.