Dress how you want to be addressed: RSS and fascism     

Union Minister Piyush Goyal said training provided in RSS shakhas is better than that of private security guards. Not only training in weaponry, RSS dress code is also inspired by fascism, it seems

Photo courtesy: social media
Photo courtesy: social media

Suprakash Majumdar

Union Minister Piyush Goyal said the training provided in RSS shakhas was far superior than that imparted to private security guards by their agencies.

RSS has been providing training in arms and the dand yudh. They have always claimed that the training is for self-defence. Although the roots of this right-wing ideology and extremism has stemmed from European fascist regimes of 1930s and 1940s.

Even the uniform worn by the swamsevaks, black caps, brown shirt and khaki shorts have a heavy influence from the European fascist regimes. The black cap seems to be inspired by the fascists of Mussolini’s Italy and the Nazis of Hitler’s Germany.

In 1925, when RSS was formed, it introduced Khaki shirts, khaki shorts and khaki caps as the uniform for its members. The khaki cap was based on Gandhi cap that became a rage amongst the freedom fighters in 1920s. This can be proven with a series of events that happened before the formation of RSS. Nagpur was chosen for the annual session of the Indian National Congress. According to RSS activist H V Seshadri, Dr LV Paranjpe started the Bharat Swayamsevak Mandal. K B Hedgewar, also known as Doctorji was its first chief colleague. From July the same year, efforts began to organise a corp of 1000-1500 volunteers from the Congress session. Possibly, the Khaki cap was included by the early volunteers from the Congress in the organisation.

In 1930, the RSS introduced black caps as part of the uniform. Italian dictator was famous for his black cap. Mussolini’s fascists had a black military style uniform which was inspired by the Italian Army. The influence of the European fascism in the formation of RSS and the open support from the RSS leaders to the fascist is not hidden from anyone. This can be traced back to the RSS leaders like Golwalkar and BS Moonje.

“Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.”- Golwalkar.

Marathi media from 1925 to 1935 played a key role in glorifying Mussolini and fascism. Editorials and articles about Italy, fascism and Mussolini flooded the Marathi newspapers and journals of the time. Marzia Casolari, an Italian researcher says, “What impressed Marathi journalists was the socialist approach of fascism and the fact the new regime seemed to have transformed Italy from a backward country to a first-class country”.

On August 13, 1929, a long form article was published, ‘Italy and the young generation’ which stated that the Italian young generation had succeeded the old one to lead the country. Tahmankar published a book in 1927 called ‘Musliniani Fashismo’.

B S Moonje was an ardent admirer of Mussolini and fascism. In February-March 1931, while returning from the round table conference, Moonje made a European tour and Italy was a long stop. Moonje visited various important military schools and educational institution. During the trip, Moonje met Mussolini. Moonje has written about the interaction in his diary extensively.

Moonje said that the structures of the Balilla and Avanguardish, Italian Fascist youth organisations were strictly similar to RSS.

Photo courtesy: social media
Photo courtesy: social media
Opera Nazionale Ballila

Moonje wrote in his diary “your excellency (Mussolini), I am much impressed. Every aspiring and growing nation needs such organisation”.

The black brown shirt was influenced by the Stormtrooper also known as Strumbteilung’s uniforms.

A uniform is not just a symbol of an organisation but also of what the organisation represents. The current scenario in India have many similarities with the European style fascism which led the world into a mess and made the minorities second class citizens.

Photo courtesy: social media
Photo courtesy: social media
RSS youth wing member getting training in fire arms

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