New Delhi: European Members of Parliament have raised serious concerns over the rise of RSS, a Hindu paramilitary group, which is the ideological mentor of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Recently, Deputy Clémentine Autain came down heavily on French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs regarding a 9 February visit by France’s Ambassador to India, Emmanuel Lenain, to the headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
”The RSS is a Hindu nationalist paramilitary group, whose early leaders openly admired Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, and which has been repeatedly accused of stoking inter-religious hatred and committing acts of violence,” she said while speaking in the French National Assembly on 23 March.
She questioned as to what is the link between the French government and the RSS, ”an organization which does not hold governmental functions and elective mandates?”
In early 2021, a group of nearly a dozen German parliamentarians from Die Linke Party, criticised the RSS as well as the BJP and enquired about the German government’s perspective on Germany’s perspective on the current circumstances in India.
”The Indian government uses a multitude of draconian laws to muzzle government critics and to prevent human rights defenders from doing their legitimate work under the guise of national security,” the group had said.
In July 2019, German Ambassador to India Walter Lindner stirred controversy and sparked global coverage after he met with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at the paramilitary’s headquarters.
Australian Senator Janet Rice, in November 2020, had attacked the RSS after the country’s High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell met Bhagwat. ”This is a disgrace. We believe that the high commissioner should resign.”
Rice denounced the RSS as ”a fascist organization that openly admits admiration for Adolf Hitler and the appalling genocide that occurred under his Nazi regime.”