New Delhi: In a major move that has triggered much interest, 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”.
Significantly, one of the controversies, that the RSS was caught with in the past are alleged references by one of its initial leaders to certain policies followed by Hitler’s Nazi Germany in the 1930s and early 1940s. In the decades following the end of world war-II and the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945 and also after German unification in 1990, Germany has consciously sought to condemn its Nazi policies of the past during Hitler’s rule. 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 RSS has been the “socio-cultural nationalist” organisation that has provided the core ideological support to BJP. In addition, RSS cadre have 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.