India’s most influential Hindu nationalist group is going on a charm offensive

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Source: The Washington Post

September 21

NEW DELHI — The strident Hindu nationalist organization that helped propel Prime Minister Narendra Modi to power is attempting a makeover to soften its image ahead of next year’s national elections.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS, held an unprecedented three-day event this week in the heart of New Delhi, where its leader explained its views to critics and adherents alike.

Founded in 1925, the RSS is the backbone of the Hindu nationalist movement and the progenitor of India’s current ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent most of his career as an RSS organizer. The group is known for its dislike of publicity and its influence at the highest levels of India’s government.

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