Founded in 1925, the RSS took direct inspiration from the European fascist movements of the 1920s-1940s, including the Nazi Party. Today, it has metastasized into a 6 million + member uniformed and armed paramilitary. The RSS is responsible for acts of gross violence, including participating in every major pogrom in independent India. We are calling on the US State Department to declare the RSS a terrorist organization.
The RSS is infamous for its members dressing in uniforms which strongly resemble those worn by members of the Hitler Youth. It was founded in 1925, the same year that the Nazi party was reformulated with Hitler as its leader. In addition to drawing inspiration from the Nazis, the RSS modeled itself after Mussolini’s fascist movement in Italy.
In 1931, RSS co-founder BS Moonje met Mussolini in Rome. After praising the dictator's fascist youth group, ONB, for its "military regeneration" of Italian youth, Moonje wrote, “India and particularly Hindu India need some such institution for the military regeneration of the Hindus.” He claimed that "the idea of fascism vividly brings out the conception of unity amongst people" and declared: “Our institution of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh of Nagpur under Dr Hedgewar is of this kind.”
The longest-serving RSS chief, M.S. Golwalkar, called it treason for an Indian to convert away from Hinduism or refuse to "glorify the Hindu Race and Nation." In 1939, he also wrote glowingly in support of Nazi racial policy: “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 called this “a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.”
In its June 2019 report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom warned that the RSS’s agenda “to alienate non-Hindus or lower-caste Hindus is a significant contributor to the rise of religious violence and persecution.”
The RSS has been repeatedly accused of instigating violence. It has been banned several times, the first time following the assassination of M.K. Gandhi by a former RSS member.
In 2002, Human Rights Watch named the RSS and its subsidiaries as the groups responsible for an anti-Muslim pogrom that killed 2,000 in the Indian state of Gujarat. In 2012, Swami Aseemanand, a full-time RSS worker, confessed to orchestrating several terrorist bombings which claimed hundreds of lives from 2006 to 2008. Many other instances of bombings, assassinations, and pogroms have been laid at the feet of the RSS.
The RSS (including its many subsidiaries) has been linked to many other major incidents of anti-minority violence all across India. These include the 1947 Jammu Massacre (20,000+ Muslims killed) and the 1969 Gujarat Riots (400+ Muslims killed) — both of which occurred shortly after visit by Golwalkar. Later came the 1970 Bhiwandi Riots in Maharashtra (190+ Muslims killed), the 1983 Nellie Massacre in Assam (2,200+ Bengali Muslims killed), the 1984 Sikh Genocide in Delhi (3,000+ Sikhs killed), the 1985 Gujarat Riots (hundreds of Muslims killed), the 1987 Meerut Riots in Uttar Pradesh (hundreds of Muslims killed), the 1989 Bhagalpur Riots in Bihar (900+ Muslims killed), the 1992 nationwide riots following the Babri Mosque destruction (2,000+ Muslims killed), the 2002 Gujarat Pogrom (2,000+ Muslims killed), the 2008 Odisha Pogrom (100+ Christians killed), and countless other smaller-scale incidents.
We, the undersigned, call on the US State Department to give the RSS a "Foreign Terrorist Organization" designation with due haste.
The Declare RSS a Terrorist Organization petition to US State Department was written by Pieter Friedrich and is in the category International Affairs at GoPetition.