The struggle to secure the constitutional and political protection of secularism in India has been long and difficult, and secularism’s enemies remain numerous. Hindutwa is waging their war not in opposition to secularism, but in and through it. Increasingly, secularism has become the subject of intense political contestation in which right wing Hindutwa religious and fundamentalist forces endeavor to claim the secularist terrain as their own. In India, the Hindu rights nationalist and right wing political movement devoted to creating a Hindu state increasingly has staked out its own claim, arguing that it alone is committed to upholding secularism. Indeed, secularism has become a central and powerful weapon in the Hindu right’s quest for discursive and political power.

There is a perception that the Indian Muslims are the enemies of Hindus and are working to carve out another Pakistan. Muslims are routinely attacked as barbaric and uncivilized, labeled as “traitors who partitioned the country”, and as traitors who should be condemned. Time and again, Muslims are alleged to be the puppets of Pakistan and loyal only to Pakistan and, thus, to be threats to India’s national security. One actually has to wonder though, if the mention of Pakistan is taken away from the BJP hysteria rhetoric what do they have to offer in terms of ideology or political acumen. Unfortunately, secularist parties in the country have failed to stand by the Muslims or defend their position as loyal citizens of India.

Rashtrya Sawayam-Sevak Sangh (RSS), the parent organization of BJP, VHP, ABVP etc., right from beginning called for Hindu Rashtra, based on the Holy Scriptures. Narendra Modi, in the wake of 2014 elections said “I am a Hindu and I was born in a Hindu family, so I am a Hindu nationalist.” Modi Sarkar on the eve of Republic Day (2015) issued an advertisement with the preamble of Indian constitution, in which the word Secular was missing. The argument was that it is the facsimile of the Constitution formed in 1950. That was just a pretext to show their motives of moving towards Hindu Rashtra.

The similarities between the fascists and the Sangh are quite clear. The organisational structure and political tactics of the Sangh and the fascists is described almost identical, in addition to the strong similarity between fascist genocides and the Sangh’s use of riots and lynchings as potent tools to stamp their authority over the marginalized minorities. Historians have also pointed out that RSS leaders visited fascist Italy and were greatly inspired by what they saw; Golwalkar’s admiration for Hitler is well known. It is for this reason that many use the term “fascist” to describe the Sangh and its activities, drawing explicit parallel between the RSS and the Nazis in particular.

Hindutva emphasizes a myth of national or racial puritan to be celebrated as natural higher beings. It could also be the resurgence of a particular race after a period of decline or destruction. In modern times it started with the emergence of Hindu chauvinism and cultural nationalism under the leadership of RSS led camp. This camp learnt various things from different sectors. They learnt the skills in organising and mobilising from communist parties, mastered the management techniques from churches and Christian institutions, the one-man dictator model of Adolph Hitler and the methods of maintaining private militia.

The Sangh Parivar has been successful on this Hindu siege mentality and has managed to build a Hindu vote bank and has also marginalize Indian Muslims in Indian Politics. The India of today, with Modi and Amit Shah at the helm are regarded as the safeguards of a Hindu Rashtra and brought up on the lines of superiority, do believe in all these ideological propositions, but the language of expression is being made more polished so that the poison of Hindutva is coated with honey and administered with ease.

Hindutva fascists are trying and to a large extent seem to be succeeding in achieving their goal of a society with no Organisation except their own, no space for dissent or struggle, and no possibility of democracy. Their control was far deeper than a mere police state, for it rests to a significant degree on the cooperation and support extended by large sections of the people to the Hindutva. However, for the minorities and detractors, these fascists use harshest methods to gag their voices. The suppression of Delhi protests and ruthless killing of 54 Muslims provides enough empirical evidence to this tendency.

The Sangh targets particular segments for its recruitment – educated youth and those who are already, to a degree, politicized but who are not yet firmly part of any organization. In some cases, as said earlier, dissatisfied second rung leaders of mass organizations have wound up in the Sangh Parivar?

The Sangh Parivar’s standard response to any criticism is that their opponents are “AntiHindu, Anti-National and Anti-Democracy” when it suits them. Critics often unwittingly make it easier for them to make this criticism by not focusing opposition on the Sangh’s propaganda and trying to counter the myths they spread against Muslims and Christians. This is of course absolutely necessary, but it is not enough, for the expansion of the Sangh is not due to their propaganda alone.

The organisational structure and political tactics of the Sangh and the fascists are almost identical, in addition to the strong similarity between fascist genocides and the Sangh’s use of mass killing. Historians have also pointed out that RSS leaders visited fascist Germany and were greatly inspired by what they saw; Golwalkar’s admiration for Hitler is well known. It is for this reason that many use the term “fascist” to describe the Sangh and its activities, drawing an explicit parallel between the RSS and the Nazis in particular.

The danger of the Sangh Parivar is not that it will achieve an impossible victory, but rather the enormous destruction it will create in the process of trying. Before the Sangh reaches the point of internal collapse, it will have generated a politics and a climate that is so opposed to democratic politics that peoples’ movements, social justice struggles and progressive forces will be repressed or destroyed. No doubt resistance will arise again, but in the interim the defeat that would have been suffered will set back struggles for justice by many years. This is the function of extreme reactionary political projects; and if this much is done, the Sangh would have achieved its historical function for capital, whatever it may actually believe its goal to be. If not preempted in time, Sangh’s fascist approach is going to take away the sense of belonging amongst the minorities, especially Muslims, which would be the beginning of the unraveling of India.