RSS behaves as though it “owns the country,” warns India’s main opposition party

According to India’s main opposition party, the Indian National Congress (INC), the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a paramilitary which birthed the country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is running a “remote control government” from its headquarters in Nagpur, Maharashtra.

“You cannot be running a remote control government from Nagpur,” said INC spokesperson Pawan Khera on 16 June 2021. Arguing that the RSS owes accountability to the nation, he finished, “Enough is enough. RSS cannot behave as though it owns the country, it owns my life, it owns my religion, it owns my culture, it owns my future and my civilization…


Fueled by a broken fast, I will continue fighting the fascism of the RSS

I conducted a hunger-strike from the morning of 26 May to afternoon of 31 May 2021. Here’s what I said when I broke my fast.

Hi, this is Pieter Friedrich. It has now been about 124 hours — over five days — since I’ve eaten anything as I’ve been on hunger-strike to protest a $2.5 million donation made by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to Sewa International USA, a nonprofit linked to the RSS, which is a violent Hindu nationalist paramilitary in India.

I have done what I can to shine a light on this issue. …


Hi, this is Pieter Friedrich. I’m now on my fifth day of of hunger-strike to protest a $2.5 million donation made by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to Sewa International USA, a nonprofit linked to the RSS, which is a violent Hindu nationalist paramilitary that is pushing a fascist agenda in India.

But my protest is also for myself as well as for you — my friends, supporters, and allies.

One of my heroes, the martyred Punjabi human rights defender Jaswant Singh Khalra, once told this story:

“There is a fable that when the Sun was setting for the first…


Hi, this is Pieter Friedrich.

After over 72 hours, I am now on my fourth day of hunger-strike to protest Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s $2.5 million donation to Sewa International USA, a nonprofit linked to the RSS, which is a violent Hindu nationalist paramilitary in India.

One aspect of my protest is that Sewa USA is a partisan organization run by people who literally campaigned to get Narendra Modi elected as Prime Minister of India. …


Hi, this is Pieter Friedrich, and it is now over 48 hours since I have eaten anything, and I am entering my third day of hunger-strike to protest Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s $2.5 million donation to Sewa International USA, a nonprofit linked to the RSS, which is a violent Hindu nationalist paramilitary in India.

The RSS is, essentially, a fascist organization. Its founders were directly inspired by the European fascist movements of the 20th century such as in Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany. Its ideology closely mirrors that of those fascists.

The RSS’s founders declared their goal of subjugating…


Hi. This is Pieter Friedrich, and I’m starting my second day on hunger-strike to protest Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s donation of $2.5 million to Sewa International USA, a group that is linked to the RSS, which is a violent Hindu nationalist paramilitary in India.

It has now been over 24 hours since I last ate. I am consuming nothing but water, tea, and coffee. My demand is simple: Take It Back, Jack.

The RSS is the mother organization in a massive network of affiliated groups known collectively as the Sangh Parivar. This includes its welfare wing, Sewa Bharati, which…


Saying #TakeItBackJack after $2.5 million donation to Sewa International USA

SIGN THE PETITION: #TAKEITBACKJACK

Hi. This is Pieter Friedrich, and I’m going on a hunger-strike to protest Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s donation of $2.5 million to Sewa International USA.

Sewa USA is connected to Sewa International, in India, which is itself affiliated with Sewa Bharati, which is the social service wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist paramilitary that is implicated in countless incidents of violence against minorities, including pogroms.

Over the past 20 years, reports have repeatedly exposed how donations made for disaster relief purposes to chapters of Sewa International have been given to organizations…


Sewa International gets $2.5 million despite ties to militant Hindu nationalist group

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who on 10 May 2021 announced a $2.5 million donation to Sewa International, must have missed journalist Neha Dixit’s viral tweet, published a week earlier, urging Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) not to support the controversial nonprofit organization because “they work as the welfare wing of RSS.”

As COVID-19 ravages India, Sewa International recently announced its plan to raise $10 million for medical equipment to support the country’s struggle against the virus. …


Bera views discussion of human rights as a “barrier” to “move past”

Transcribed from a conversation with Monica Gill.

When the protests against India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) were going on and really gaining strength in December of 2019, which is the exact time when Bera got this appointment to chair this Subcommittee on Asia, he did make a couple of remarks. I’ll quote, for instance, he said, that “India’s strength is as a secular democracy,” which was particularly relevant in context of the anti-CAA protests considering that, for those who don’t know, the CAA is an extremely controversial piece of legislation which basically sets religion as the criteria for obtaining Indian…


German and French MPs concerned by rise of paramilitary

“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,” stated Deputy Clémentine Autain in France’s National Assembly on 23 March.

Autain was posing a parliamentary question to the 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 deputy would like to know what is the link between the French government and the RSS, an organization which…

Pieter Friedrich

Friedrich is a freelance journalist and analyst of South Asian affairs. Learn more about him at www.PieterFriedrich.com.

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