German ambassador causes outrage visiting fascist Indian group

The RSS shares the fascist ideology of the Nazi Party and supports extreme Hindu nationalism.

By ALEX WINSTON
July 26, 2019 10:19
1 minute read.
RSS members march

RSS members march . (photo credit: SUYASH DWIVEDI/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

German ambassador to India, Walter Lindner, provoked outrage and an online petition calling for his recall to Germany, after he visited the headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [RSS] organization, a right-wing, Hindu nationalist group.

The RSS is a controversial, extremist paramilitary-style volunteer organization connected to India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. It shares fascist ideology supporting Hindu nationalism and anti-Christian an anti-Muslim beliefs. During World War II, RSS leader M.S Golwalkar openly admired Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, and took inspiration from Adolf Hitler's ideology of racial purity. In 1939, he wrote, “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.” He said it was “a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.”

The RSS has been banned several times throughout its history, and has been incriminated in instigating anti-Christian and anti-Muslim violence in India, including involvement in the 1992 demolition of the 16th-century Babri mosque.


Lindner's visit on July 17 was seen as unusual as no other foreign ambassador has visited the RSS headquarters or held one-on-one meetings with its leader. Lindner apparently acknowledged the controversial visit when he wrote on his Twitter feed of the organization, "Founded 1925, it is world’s largest voluntary organization - though not uncontroversialy perceived throughout its history..."

The ambassador's visit caused media outrage and an online petition for his recall, which has so far reached 3000 signatures. Lindner was only appointed to the post in April.






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