The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) this past week launched the "RSS Network in Canada" report, with the World Sikh Organization of Canada.
It is the first attempt to describe how Canadian communities and institutions are being used to help fulfil the vision of the RSS—a group that wants to remake India into a country run by and for its Hindu majority.
This poses a major challenge to Canada's commitment to pluralism and tolerance. It is time we start asking the right questions, especially as #Ottawa looks to engage India on trade and other partnerships.
RASHTRIYA SWAYAMSEVAK SANGH (RSS) NETWORK IN CANADA
The RSS, or Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, is one of the most influential non-government groups in the world.
It’s also the mother organization behind the party currently governing India: the Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP.
Yet outside of India, few know about the RSS, its agenda, and its ideas.
Formed in the early 20th century, the RSS is a right-wing paramilitary organization that believes India should be run by and for its Hindu majority first and foremost. In such a vision, religious minorities in India, from Muslims, to Sikhs, to Christians, to Dalits, become second-class citizens.
The RSS is the centre of a network of groups that helps push these ideas. Some of these groups have engaged in organized violence against Muslim and other minority communities across India. The threat they pose is ongoing and by no means a thing of the past.
Yet the RSS has only grown in influence as the BJP dominates India’s politics. Through organizations that engage in humanitarian, community, education, and political work, the RSS has been spreading its ideologies across the world, including into Canada.
What does this mean for democracy, pluralism, and for tolerance in our country? Or the world?