German Ambassador Visits RSS Headquarters, Meets Bhagwat

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Germany’s Ambassador to India Walter J. Lindner with Mohan Bhagwat. — Twitter handle of Walter J. Lindner

Caravan News

NEW DELHI — German Ambassador Walter J. Lindner on Wednesday visited the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters in Nagpur and met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, with the German envoy tweeting significantly that the RSS has “not been uncontroversially perceived throughout its history”.

The German envoy tweeted, “Visit of Headquarters of RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) in Nagpur and (had) long meeting with its Sarsanghchalak (chief) Dr Mohan Bhagwat. Founded 1925, it is the world’s largest voluntary organisation — though not uncontroversially perceived throughout its history.”

The diplomat, however, also alleged that the organisation has had a controversial past.

Walter J Lindner took charge as Germany’s Ambassador to India in May this year. He was in headlines soon after his appointment for his bright red Ambassador car. His visit to RSS headquarters has created a controversy and is condemned for insensitivity towards victims of Nazism.

The RSS is regarded as the ideological fountainhead of the BJP, with most senior leaders of the ruling party, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, having their origins in the organisation.

In addition, RSS cadre has played a crucial role in mobilising support for the BJP during elections. Perhaps this could be one of the reasons why foreign diplomatic missions may be interested in reaching out to the RSS and understanding its policies.

In 2017, Bhagwat addressed a meeting of diplomats from over 50 countries, which was organised by the India Foundation, a pro-rightwing think tank.

In May 2015, BJP president Amit Shah had accompanied a group of EU diplomats to the RSS headquarters. The group, comprising diplomats from various EU member states, met Bhagwat during their trip.

(With media inputs)

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has been trying hard to unite Hindus across India, cutting across barriers of caste, colour, creed, region, language, strata and even gender. They have achieved a degree of success in the last 9 decades. In the pre-war era, the Nazis talked of nationalism, class equality and gender justice (though restricted to ethnic Germans who were white Christians). On the face of it, there was nothing objectionable in their ideology, when compared to the environment prevalent in Europe and even the rest of the world at that time. Those days, racism, with emphasis on white race and Christian religion, was the norm and Britishers were one of its greatest practitioners. The British of that period, did not even believe in class equality and hence, for many Indians, Nazis appeared to be more acceptable. As indeed did the Communists. The more horrendous manifestations of Nazism became apparent after the war, just as the atrocities committed by the Communists under Joseph Stalin in erstwhile USSR, came to be known only after his death. Today, the most defining aspect of Nazi Germany is the Holocaust, which targeted mainly Jews, Gypsies and Jehovah Witness (a non mainstream Christian denomination). And the support which Nazis got during their rule in Germany and even after their defeat, came mainly from Vatican and other mainstream Christian churches of that time. The RSS on the other hand, expressed horror over the Holocaust and expressed solidarity with the Jews. The spiritual mastermind of the Holocaust was Pope Pius XII. After his death and after the Second Vatican Council, Roman Catholics and other mainstream Christians tried to live down the infamous Nicene Creed, propagated by Constantine the Great. Further improvement took place after the Cold War. Therefore, uproar over the German Ambassador’s visit to RSS headquarters, is absolutely unacceptable.

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