India Study Centre (ISC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organized a webinar titled, “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh: A Move Towards Fascism in South Asia” on January 13, 2021. The speakers at the webinar included Dr. Zafar Iqbal Cheema, President Strategic Vision Institute Islamabad; Lt. General ( Retd) Asif Yasin Malik HI (M), Former Secretary of Defense; Ambassador Aziz Ahmad Khan, Former High Commissioner in New Delhi;Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General ISSI; and
Ambassador Khalid Mehmood, Chairman Board of Governors ISSI.
The webinar was moderated by Dr. Saif Malik Director ISC who stated that India’s image as a soft power is diminishing due to its human rights violations.BJP is the political wing of RSS and is transforming India into an intolerant state towards its own minorities. In his welcome remarks, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry pointed out that ISC will be focusing on Indian Chronicles and on Pakistan’s dossier towards India in its upcoming events. His remarks were followed by a presentation by Ms. Mahwish Hafeez, Research Fellow at ISSI about the activities of RSS in India. She presented an overview of the organization, its functions and modus operandi.
In his remarks Dr. Zafar Iqbal Cheema stressed upon the ideology, methodology and nature of RSS. He stated that the ideology of RSS is based on Hindu nationalism which is inspired by Nazi nationalism; the worst fascism in human history. It is exclusionary in nature, especially targeting the Muslims as outsiders. It is, therefore, not only a threat to South Asia but to the whole world.
Addressing the webinar, General Asif Yasin Malik stated that the present-day India should be called Hindustan as this name depicts the true DNA of the country where fascism and religious extremism reigns supreme. Comparing fascism to India indicates that all its symptoms are present in the country. There is no personal freedom in India today, where even the lower-class Hindus feel suffocated.
Amb. Aziz Ahmad Khan was of the view that under the current government of Modi, the whole façade of soft image of India is gone. He further stated that the chances of this fascism to diminish soon are bleak, as it enjoys a popular support in the country. He further pointed out that it becomes incumbent upon us to present the true face of India to the world.
In his concluding remarks, Ambassador Khalid Mehmood said that the exclusionary policies have permeated the state of India and has torn the veneer of Indian secularism and pluralism before the world. The webinar was followed by a Q/A session.