Nobel Peace Prize winner Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi on Thursday shared the state with the RSS bigwigs at the Hindutva organisation’s annual Vijaydashmi event. Speaking at the event, Satyarthi said that RSS shakhas, local units, could act as firewall to protect children.
However, Satyarthi accepting the invitation to speak the RSS event evoked angry reactions from activists, who accused him of dishonouring his Nobel prize by sharing the stage with proponents of ‘majoritarian fascist’ ideology. Leading the protest was activist Kavita Krishnan, who posted a series of tweets expressing her disgust over Satyarthi’s ill-fated decision.
She wrote, “The world needs to know that Nobel Laureate @k_satyarthi spoke at a platform the Indian Hindu majoritarian fascist organization RSS and asked the RSS to act as a ‘firewall to protect this generation of children’.
“RSS wants to turn inclusive India into a Hindu Nation. RSS founders openly admired Hitler & Mussolini and modelled their organisation on these European fascists. RSS has organised anti Muslim pogroms on many occasions. Yet @k_satyarthi asks them to ‘protect’ children!”
RSS wants to turn inclusive India into a Hindu Nation. RSS founders openly admired Hitler & Mussolini and modelled their organisation on these European fascists. RSS has organised anti Muslim pogroms on many occasions. Yet @k_satyarthi asks them to ‘protect’ children!
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) October 18, 2018
Reminding what one of the founders of the RSS, MS Golwakar, and the founder of Hindu Mahasabha, VD Savarkar, had said about Nazis, Hitler and Mussolini, Krishnan wrote, “Here’s some of the stuff RSS founders said about Hitler and Mussolini. So @k_satyarthi how can India’s Nazis be a ‘firewall’ to ‘protect children’? Do explain.”
In his book We or Our Nationhood Defined, Golwakar wrote, “German race pride has now become the topic of the day. To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semetic Races- the Jews. …Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the roots, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.”
Similarly, Savarkar too praised Hiltler, who was responsible for killing nearly six million Jews in Europe. In his Presidential address at the 22nd Session of the Hindu Mahasabha in 1940, he had said, “There is no reason to suppose that Hitler must be a human monster because he passes off as Nazi.. The very fact that Germany and Italy has so wonderfully recovered and grown so powerful as never before at the touch of Nazi and Fascist magical wand is enough to prove that those political’isms’ were the most congenial tonics their health demanded.”
Krishnan also tagged Malala Yusufzai, with whom Satyarthi had shared his Nobel Peace Prize to take note of this extraordinary development. She wrote, “Malala, request you to appeal to your fellow Nobel Laureate to care about India’s kids & future generations, and stop endorsing fascists as a ‘firewall’ that protects kids. Read the thread and please do speak up!”
Academic and columnist Ashok Swain felt that Satyarthi was determined to follow the footsteps of Burma’s disgraced Aung San Suu Kyi, who has played an instrumental role in facilitating the ethnic cleansing of thousands of Rohongya Muslims. Swain wrote, “Kailash Satyarthi is following the path of fellow noble laureate Aung San Suu Kyi – By joining the fascist gang.”
Journalisr Ruchira Gupta wrote, “Ironically a Nobel Peace winner attends the RSS annual function on the worship of Arms.”
— Ruchira Gupta (@Ruchiragupta) October 18, 2018
Satyarthi has not commented on the criticism. This story will be updated when he issues a statement. Curiously, the Nobel laureate has also shared the photos of the RSS event or tweeted anything about it. One wonders whether he doesn’t feel confident about sharing the news of speaking at an RSS event with the rest of the world for the fear of being exposed globally.
The RSS has been banned on multiple occasions in the past for its militant activities. However, the organisation has become the most powerful in its history under the current government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The RSS is the ideological parent of Modi’s party, the BJP.