The Saffron Swastika: The Notion of ‘Hindu Fascism’, 2 vols.

The Saffron Swastika: The Notion of ‘Hindu Fascism’, 2 vols.

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One of the rare matters on which all known religions seem to agree, is the condemnation of calumny as an extremely grave evil. Calumny carries little risk to the perpetrator but can inflict enormous damage on the targeted individual or group, not through the calumniator’s own hands but through those of all who lend credence to his words. It is both cowardly and destructive. In today’s opinion climate, no calumny is worse than the allegation that someone is a ‘fascist’, by which is meant a ‘Nazi’. It is this gravest of calumnies which is nowadays routinely heaped upon Hinduism and its political vanguard. Originally launched by the Communists, the defamatory slogan of ‘Hindu fascism’ has been adopted by Christian and Islamic spokesmen as well as by many Western India-watchers. It is amazing that adherents of Christianity, Islam and Communism in this country should have the effrontery to hurl this slander on Hindus and Hinduism, in their speeches as well as writings. For it is precisely these ideologies which share with Nazism not only their own doctrines of racism, anti-Semitism, exclusivism, totalitarianism and terrorism, but also their own histories of imperialist expansion through crusades, jihads, wars of liberation, genocides, mass slaughters, enslavements and cultural vandalism. They have succeeded in their diabolical game of blackening Hindus and Hinduism to a considerable extent, partly because they have come to dominate the academia and mass media due to the perversion of secularism in the post-Independence Nehruvian establishment but mainly because the Hindu intelli-gentsia by and large has remained ignorant of the their doctrines and histories and failed to understand the peril posed by the ideological wars they constantly wage on all fronts. On the other hand, there is nothing either in the time-honoured doctrines or the hoary history of Hinduism which resembles even remotely the ideology or history of Nazism, or for that matter, Christianity or Islam or Communism. Hinduism has always been and remains a deep-rooted tradition of spiritual, cultural and social pluralism with ample provision for all sorts of scepticism and democratic debate. Far from creating any machinery for heresy-hunting and persecution of dissent, Hindus have given shelter to the persecuted people from many lands and in all ages. But what is most important, they have always regarded their own homeland as the only playfield for their chakravartins, and never waged wars of conquest beyond the borders of Bharata-varsha. Hitler’s National-Socialist regime had impressed many people in and outside India because of his real or apparent successes in economics and in national reunification. Yet, the Hindutva ideologues never adopted those ideas of Hitler’s which were to give his name the most monstrous connotations. Contrary to an assiduously propagated myth, RSS leader M.S. Golwalkar in his admittedly immature booklet, We: Our Nationhood Defined, did not hold Hitler up as a model for India. Far from it, he explicitly sought guidance from democratic political thinkers, and failed to mention even one of the authoritarian-nationalist leaders and thinkers of the West. In this book, Dr. Koenraad Elst has presented his wide-ranging study of Fascism, Nazism, Communism and the Hindutva movement. He has drawn the conclusion that ‘Hindu fascism’ like ‘Loch Ness monster’ is merely a combination of words which may produce some sound and fury but which signify no observed reality.

Additional information


Koenraad Elst



Bib. details

xvi,1070p., bibl., ind., 23cm.






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