Understanding Ethno-Religious Fascism in India

By Sarosh Siddiqui

Fascism constituted a major threat to international peace and security in the last century. It caused a major international conflict and triggered several small scale genocidal conflicts across the world. India’s current government, its ideologues and supporters are deeply inspired by the fascist ideology of Hitler, Mussolini and the likes. Fascist Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads political wing (Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP) of the Indian fascist movement that is ethno-religious in nature. This political entity along with other affiliates are jointly implementing a fascist agenda using the vehicle of terror and violence. In view of the possibility of a tragedy it may unleash in South Asia with consequences for other regions too, it is significant to understand this threat.

How Hindu Fascism became an Ideology in India

Watch Video: How Hindu supremacy became a thing in India

Background, Aims and Objectives

The fascist movement of India seeks to establish a Hindu Rashtra (state) excluding anyone who is not Hindu from qualifying for Indian citizenship. It is marked by genocidal hatred of Indian minorities particularly Muslims. With fascist Modi in power, this genocidal hatred is fully mainstreamed. It is an ugly mix of racism and religious chauvinism. Its ideology and implementation strategies comply with internationally established criteria to determine presence and perpetuation of fascism and accompanied genocidal craze in any country. Like Nazis, Hindu fascists glorify a mythical past uncontaminated by the influences of ‘foreign’ cultures and religions. Hindu fascists use propaganda to undermine facts, defame opposing experts as traitors and spread misinformation. As per their beliefs, only Hindus have a claim to India’s citizenship; Hindus have been victim of a conspiracy targeting their majority status, their identity and ancient traditions. Additionally, they consider minorities root cause of law and order issues and engaged, among other things, in seducing Hindu women. They also trivialize achievements of Indian Muslims and Christians, openly ridicule their faith and traditions as well as their contribution to India’s freedom struggle while building the image of several Hindu religious and political figures in mythical proportion.  

Among others, Hindu fascists and terrorists are inspired by following ideologues who authored Nazi style manuals focussed on theorizing Hindu supremacy and organizing murderous campaigns against non-Hindus. 

Mind of a Hindu Fascist 

Watch Video: The Mind of a Hindu Nationalist

i) Bankim Chatterjee: 

Chatterjee wrote a novel Anandamath in 1880s that advocates mob violence against Indian minorities or their expulsion from India to purify Deva Bhoomi (land of gods). Implementing this agenda has been described as a religious and national duty for all Hindus who are devotees, among others, of a goddess which is later equated with Mother India (Bharat Mata). This book proposes purges, genocide as well as mob lynching of India’s non-Hindu population as a tool to achieve liberation.

Read Anandamath by Bankim Chatterjee

  1. ii) Vinayak Damodar Savarkar: 

 Savarkar was a vicious Hindu fascist who defined Aryan racism as a source of Hindu identity through his various books including Hindutva.

 “Nazism proved undeniably the savior of Germany”, Savarkar

 Savarkar started as an Indian nationalist, was accused of involvement in a murder, later sought pardon from the British colonialists and continued his hate projects against Indian minorities throughout his life.

“If we Hindus in India grow stronger, in time these Muslims will have to play the part of Jews instead”, Savarkar

Read Hindutva by Savarkar 

iii) K. B. Hedgewar:

A follower of Bankim Chatterjee and Savarkar, K. B Hedgewar was deeply against Indian minorities. Like his role models, Hedgewar theorized Indian-ness on the basis of loyalty to Hindu religion. He faithfully subscribed to the project of purges and seclusion of Muslims, Christians and other Indian minorities from national life. Hedgewar established a paramilitary organization called Rashtryaswamiya Sevak Sangh (RSS) and had himself designated as its “Supreme Leader”. RSS was based on the ideals of Bankim Chatterjee and Savarkar with Nazi style discipline.

iv) Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar or the Guru of Hate: 

A spiteful fascist ideologue who propagated extreme anti-Muslim and anti-Christian rhetoric and designated Indian minorities as “internal enemies” like Hitler’s revolting designations of Semitic and other races. He was the second supreme leader (Fuhrer) of RSS.  A book based on the extracts of his writings, titled Guruji: Vision and Mission, includes a chapter called “Hindu—the Son of this Motherland,” which claims that Indian-ness does not include Muslims, Christians or Zoroastrians and that only Hindus can truly represent the term. In his book This is We or Our Nationhood Defined published in 1939, he compares the creation of Hindu culture with anti-semitic sentiments in Germany, propagating the concept of a purge. For his views and activities, he was largely referred to as the “guru of hate.” His philosophy is summarized in the following quotation from his writings.

“The non-Hindu people of Hindustan must either adopt Hindu culture and languages, must learn and respect and hold in reverence the Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but of those of glorification of the Hindu race and culture … in a word they must cease to be foreigners; or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment—not even citizens’ rights”, Golwalkar

Terror and Violence: Vehicles of Hindu Fascism

SanghParivar (RSS, VHP and BD)

RSS: The ideologues of Hindu fascism created Rshtriyasawamya Sevak Sangh (RSS) with Nazi-style discipline. Millions of RSS workers wear brown shorts (now brown trousers) like Nazi Brown Shirts. They are routinely trained in militancy and regularly inspired by genocidal hatred of minorities. One of its members Nathuram Godse assassinated Gandhi in 1948. India’s Prime Minister Modi is himself a devoted RSS worker. As the Chief Minister of Gujarat, he supervised anti-Muslim carnage in 2002. His genocidal speeches at that time and later are enough to classify him with Hitler, Mussolini and Slobodan Milosevic.

RSS supreme leaders (Fuhrers) Hedgwar and Golwalkar encouraged violence against Muslims in various parts of India including by attacking Mosques during prayers. Later, this violence was extended to other minorities particularly Christians. RSS has been offering education and other services for millions of otherwise deprived Hindu Indians. These young men and women are fed on fascistic explanations of their economic and social problems and are prepared for upcoming undefined “wars” against non-Hindu minorities – most of whom are regarded as the fifth columnists. Through careful monitoring, capable  among them are infiltrated in Indian Universities and research institutions, police, para-military forces, army, secret service, legal system and other important administrative and security institutions. This way, RSS has managed to induct sympathizers in every state institution. Their ingress in all sections of Hindu society explains inflammatory and hateful views even of India’s educated and relatively prosperous classes about their minorities.

RSS produced a highly violent and extremely vicious Nazi-style family of affiliates called Sangh Parivar (family of RSS). Among others, the members of Sangh Parivar include terrorist outfits such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal. Collectively, they are Hindu Sturmabteilung or Brownshirts. These killers usually use the symbol of Hanuman or monkey god to project their violent and murderous power.

Modi’s Involvement in Gujarat Massacre

Watch Video: Was Indian PM Narendra Modi Complicit in an Anti-Muslim Pogrom? (2008)


Muslims Otherised

Watch Video: Is India’s Muslim minority ‘otherised’?

X-Marks on Muslim Homes

Watch Video: ‘X’ marks spark concern among Muslims in India’s Gujarat

Hindu Girls Trained as Terrorists

Watch Video: Hindu nationalists train young girlst to bomb, shoot & murder Muslims


Rise of Hindu Fascism

Watch Video: The Wild West of Uttar Pradesh: Rise of the Radicalised Hindu Fringe


Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) or World Hindu Council

Bajrang Dal (BD) or the ARMY OF HANUMAN

VHP is the most important member of Sangh Parivar. Bajrang Dal (BD) is its youth wing. VHP and Bajrang Dal have been involved in cow protection, religious conversion and Babri Mosque demolition disputes. Their violent and armed workers were instrumental in demolishing a 16th century Muslim Mosque as a sequel to a violent march led by the BJP leader L. K Advani. Its workers are the most enthusiastic promoters of mob violence against Muslims and other Indian minorities. Human Rights organizations widely reported that VHP and Bajrang Dal were involved in the carnage of Muslims in Gujarat (2002) under the careful watch of then Chief Minister of Gujarat and now the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi

 Arundhai Roy on RSS and Modi

Watch Video: Arundhati Roy on Narendra Modi and Hindu Nationalists in Chicago


Armed with weapons and Government issued lists of Muslim homes and businesses, they massacred hapless minority several days. They staged similar massacres at several other places including Muzaffarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh (UP). Their sense of impunity is embedded in the faith that their political mentors will provide them unbreachable protection and, if arrested, the Indian courts would dismiss their cases eventually. In addition to mob rioting and carnage, they organize mob lynching of individuals and rape and publicly beat Hijab clad women.

Not merely the political and administrative system, but also the justice system offers them full protection against law. Akhlaq Ahmed in UP and Pehlu Khan in Rajasthan were killed on suspicion of carrying beef and selling cows. The lynching was video-recorded and shared widely as a victory of Hinduism over Islam including by killers. But the Indian courts despite strong evidence, set the killers free contributing to prevailing impunity among the murderous followers of Hindu fascist organizations and deepening fear among already terrified minorities. The leaders of VHP and BD openly threaten minorities particularly Muslims in public rallies and ask them to leave India or convert to the lowest castes of Hinduism if they want to survive. The members of minority communities particularly Muslims are frequent victims of mob lynching in the name of cow protection or promotion of Hinduism. On her facebook page, a leader of BJP’s women wing, Sunita Singh recently urged Hindu youth to organize rapist bands, enter into every Muslim home and gang rape Muslim women while Aditya Nath, current Chief Minister of UP, the largest Indian state asked his cheering supporters in a public rally to dig corpses of Muslim women out of their graves and rape them. An 8-year Muslim Kashmiri girl was raped for several days and murdered by Hindu goons in a temple last year. Two BJP Ministers led protests which included several Hindu fascist women against charge sheeting the rapists. Similar genocidal actions are widespread in India today. Genocidal views have been expressed, among others, by senior officers of the Indian army such as Major General ® GD Bakhshi.

 Hindu Cow Protection Terrorists

Watch Video: India’s cow protection mobs


Hindu Fascists Torturing Muslims

Watch Video: Muslim man in India tortured to death by suspected Hindu vigilantes

Christians Attached



India’s Hindu Fascists

Watch Video: Hindu mob burns Muslims as they sleep, 27 killed

Facebook Page post of Sunita Singh

Hindu Fascist Praveen Togadia

Watch Video: Pravin Togadia Hate Speech

Hindu Fascist Praveen Togadia 

Watch Video: Praveen Togadia Hate Speech Against Akbaruddin Owaisi And Indian

Hindu Girls Trained as Terrorists 

Watch Video: Hindu nationalists train young girlst to bomb, shoot & murder Muslims

RSS and Hindu Fascism

Watch Video: IN India’s Hindu Fundamentalists | People and Power



Jammu Kashmir is a disputed territory between Pakistan and India. It was forcibly occupied by India in 1948. Recognizing the right of the Kashmiris to self-determination, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) called for a plebiscite in the occupied State to determine its future status. India never allowed a free and fair plebiscite in the occupied State. After decades of Indian misrule and exploitation, the Kashmiri people launched a peaceful struggle against India’s occupation in the late 80s. India responded to their legitimate demands by brute force. The ensuing repression gave birth to a resistance movement which is still continuing.

On 5 August 2019, the Hindu Fascist government of Narendra Modi did away with the charade of Kashmiri statehood accepted by the previous Indian leaders earlier in order to legitimize occupation. This Hindu fascist takeover of Kashmir was declared as yet another phase of South Asia’s Muslim surrender to the vision of Hindu supremacy.  Far from achieving this objective, this reckless step has intensified tensions with neighbouring Pakistan which is a party to the dispute and pushed South Asia to the brink of a disaster of unimaginable proportion.

Since 5 August 2019, the scale and impunity of Indian government’s draconian steps has increased manifold resulting in egregious violation of fundamental rights and freedoms of the Kashmiri people. Given the gravity of the situation, Genocide Watch has issued genocide alert of Jammu and Kashmir.


Hindu fascism and Hindu terrorism are living threats to humanity. Marked by extreme form of racism, it is mainstreamed in the Indian society that has been categorized as racially one of the most intolerant in the world. It is incumbent on all those who believe in sovereign equality and peaceful existence of nations as well as in respect for human rights of all, to raise their voices against this threat and its murderous leaders.

  • In view of the gravity of the threat to lives and property of minorities – in addition to the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir as well as Assam – Genocide Watch may issue Genocide Alert for all Indian states particularly those which are almost permanent theaters of violence against minorities including Haryana, UP, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Utarakhand, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  • The murderous Hindu fascist organizations collect funds from sympathizers in North America and Europe which are later used for violence against minorities in India. There is a need to not only proscribe these organizations but also closely watch their activities as they metamorph under different names. A permanent monitoring system needs to be evolved for this purpose.
  • The international organizations including relevant structures of the United Nations may strengthen monitoring of the leaders of Hindutva (Hindu fascism) as their words and actions are causing and intensifying repression against minorities as well as inciting genocidal hatred against them. Among others, there is a need to carefully watch Modi, his Ministers, political associates, Chief Ministers of various states and BJP members of Parliament. Information about any objectionable speech as well as discriminatory or violent action may be quickly shared worldwide in order to raise awareness about their possible impact. For this purpose, an international observatory needs to be established.
  • The Human Rights bodies and procedures may submit special reports on the activities of Hindutva (Hindu Fascism) leaders and submit their cases for sanctions by the UNSC. For this purpose, a UNSC Committee may be established. They may also take necessary action to alleviate the suffering of the Kashmir people.
  • Before recruiting from India, international bodies must carefully check the background of the applicants. In case of their association with any of Hindu fascist organizations, the candidates should be disqualified.
  • Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir is a flashpoint for future conflicts. It is the responsibility of the international community particularly multilateral bodies to take tangible steps to resolve this issue in accordance with justice and equity as well as the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
  • Fascist Indian leaders must be dissuaded from inciting a conflict with Pakistan


About Author:-  Mr. Sarosh Siddiqui is visiting fellow at IPI.



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