Volunteers of the rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) participate in a drill during a training camp in Bhopal.Reuters

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat stoked fresh controversy by reiterating that India is a "Hindu" nation, prompting Congress leader Digvijaya Singh to indirectly compare him to Nazi Germany-ruler Adolf Hitler.

The head of the RSS, the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, brushed religious sentiments for the second time in a week with his call for a 'Hindu' state.

"Hindustan is a Hindu nation...Hindutva is the identity of our nation and it (Hinduism) can incorporate others (religions) in itself," Bhagwat said at a function in Mumbai on Sunday.

Singh took to Twitter on Monday to draw comparisons between Bhagwat and the infamous German leader.

"I thought we had one Hitler in making but it seems now we have Two! God Save India!", Singh tweeted in a clear reference to Bhagwat's comments, as well as to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's statement earlier that he was not worried over comparisons with Hitler.

The RSS head had spoken of uniting Hindus, across all castes. "For the next 5 years we have to work with the aim of bringing equality among all the Hindus in the country. All Hindus should be drinking water at one place, should be praying at one place and after their death, their bodies should be burnt at the same place," he said, according to the Press Trust of India. 

Reports suggested Bhagwat's comments could be poll-influenced, especially to win over Dalits in states such as Maharashtra which will be going to polls soon. 

His statement comes just a week after he made controversial statements in Cuttack last Sunday, saying that all Indians should be called 'Hindus' just like nationals of Germany are called Germans and those of USA are called Americans.

Bhagwat's repeated comments on Hindutva has raised questions of the organisation pushing the religious ideology at a time when communal violence is on the rise across the nation.

The Congress has hit out angrily at the RSS, stating that these comments would polarise the Indian pluralistic society. The party had last week claimed that there has been an increase in communal violenece under the new government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who himself has been an RSS pracharak in his early political life. 

Meanwhile, Rao, Telangana's first chief minister, said he was not ashamed of being compared to Hitler for his government's decision to conduct a survey of Telangana residents.

''I am a Hitler and I will be worse than Hitler if need be, to stop illegalities," Rao had said in response to criticism to the survey, according to NDTV.

Singh posted several comments on Twitter, urging Bhagwat to explain if 'Hindutva' was a religious identity and if a person of another religion would also be a Hindu.

Here are some of his tweets –

Quick Links