Hindutva Nation

The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) describes itself as “a voluntary, non-profit, social and cultural organization [that] aims to organize the Hindu community in order to preserve, practice and promote Hindu ideals and values” [1]. It is currently active and receiving funds from 45 countries and boasts 750 branches [2]. Each national HSS is autonomous, though there are global coordinators [3]. HSS is very active in the English speaking world and problems have been flagged in UK, USA and Canada as summarized below. In Europe, in addition to UK, branches can be found in Germany (http://hssgermany.org/), Norway (https://www.hssnorway.org/), Denmark (https://www.facebook.com/hssdenmark), Finland (https://www.facebook.com/HSSFinland/) and so on. It is common knowledge that HSS is closely associated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), an extreme Hindu-nationalist group in India. While in India, RSS claims HSS as its international wing, HSS abroad usually ostentatiously distances itself from RSS.

While the far-right nature of RSS is well documented, HSS is usually careful to publicly maintain a veneer of moderation and to distance itself from RSS. Below, we first list the issues flagged concerning HSS, and then evidence of HSS-RSS equivalence, finishing with a brief note on presence of HSS in Germany.