“SAFFRON FASCISTS: India’s Hindu Nationalist Rulers”

New book introduces readers to impact of Hindu Nationalism

Pieter Friedrich
3 min readAug 18, 2020


A new book by Pieter Friedrich, now available to order through Amazon in both print and eBook formats, offers a survey of the roots, ideology, and current activities of the Hindu Nationalist movement in India.

The book is particularly relevant as India’s Bharatiya Janata Party and mother organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh paramilitary, are advancing their religious nationalist agenda with increasing speed in India today.

Composed of a series of articles on the theme of Hindu Nationalism, the book’s chapters deal with issues such as the rise of BJP Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the origins of the RSS, the Hindu Nationalist scheme for the disputed region of Kashmir, the conflict over the disputed religious site of Ayodhya, the RSS/BJP’s efforts to prop up US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, the rising risk of mass anti-minority violence under Modi’s regime, and more. The full chapter listing includes:

  1. World Hindu Congress: Why Were Some Indian-Americans Protesting Against RSS?
  2. Disaster for Democracy: How The Modi Wave Flooded India With Fascism
  3. How India’s Ruling Party Mobilizes Indian-Americans to Win Elections
  4. BJP May Have Expelled Sunita Gaur, But It Has Always Rewarded Communal Violence
  5. Cultural Malware: The Rise of India’s RSS
  6. Pulwama: A Present Moment In The Longer Kashmir Story
  7. Jammu and Kashmir Loses “Special Status”: The Hindu Nationalist Agenda
  8. Socializing With The RSS: German Diplomat’s “Direct Contact” Approach?
  9. Ayodhya: A Symbol of The Rule of Lawlessness
  10. US Election: Why Tulsi Gabbard’s “Hindutva” Link Deserves Scrutiny
  11. The Princess of the RSS and Me
  12. Looming Threat of Genocide In India

Reviewers have offered the following remarks:

“This is an important collection of essays of Pieter Friedrich which shows why the world should be very concerned about the right-wing Hindu nationalist forces ruling India. This timely and extremely relevant collection will be very useful reading for scholars, students, and practitioners interested to understand India’s path from democracy to dictatorship and from secularism to theocracy.” — Dr. Ashok Swain, Uppsala University

“In the age of disinformation, propaganda and fake news, it is more important than ever to center critical scholarship and fearless research at the heart of our resistance, as we challenge fascist and authoritarian leaders and regimes. Pieter’s work is meticulously researched, dogged, and consistently sheds light on the connection between neoliberalism, white supremacy, Hindutva, and violence. An important book to understand the present political moment.” — Suchitra Vijayan, The Polis Project

“The RSS, indicted in targeted violence in India since Independence, receives much moral and material support from NRI leaders of the diaspora in the USA. Friedrich does great service exposing their tentacles in US politics.” — John Dayal, retired Indian journalist

“This compilation highlights the problematic character of Hindutva ideology, provides a profound insight on RSS and its international subsidiaries, and is highly relevant for national and international audiences interested in understanding the slow collapse of a plural democracy in India.” — Dr. Ritumbra Manuvie, University of Groningen

“What makes Friedrich’s compendium especially compelling is that its reportage is at once a contemporary account and a historical lens for future generations that will want to mine the depths of Hindutva fascism’s beginning, middle and end; for there should be no doubt that, like all self-destructive xenophobic ideologies, Hindu Nationalism, too, shall come to grief, sooner than later.” — Ajit Sahi, Indian journalist and activist

“We hope that Indians (particularly Hindus) the world over pay attention to this timely and well-researched book which chronicles the rise of Hindu Nationalism, and the consequent decline of democracy, religious freedom and human rights in India. If we are to turn around the juggernaut of Hindu Nationalism, it will require that good and peace-loving Hindus wake up and take back their religion and democracy.” — Hindus for Human Rights


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Pieter Friedrich

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