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Hindu revivalism remains a growing force in India today It is also a concern among the millions of displaced Hindus scattered around the world Its roots lie in the belief that Hinduism is an endangered lifestyle This notion is fuelled by the political assertiveness of minority groups efforts to convert Hindus to other faiths suspicions that the political authorities are sympathetic to minority groups and the belief that foreign political and religious ideologies are destroying the Hindu community Every morning at sunrise groups of men in military-style uniforms gather together before saffron coloured flags in all parts of India to participate in a common set of rituals physical exercises and lessons For one hour each day they are taught to think of themselves as a family with a mission to transform Hindu society Andersen and Damle 1 They are the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh RSS the largest and most influential organization in India committed to Hindu revivalism The RSS or National Volunteer Organization is perhaps the most interesting of any of Indias social movements The growth of the RSS provides a detailed illustration of Indias changing face The purpose of this paper is to provide the reader with an early twentieth century view of an organization that emerged out of frustrations among Indias Hindu revivalists These revivalists were discontent with the work of nationalists in politics and determined to unify the Hindus of India against the alien threats within the nation The origins of nationalist movements in nineteenth century India can be traced to the expansion of Western English education Those attracted to the new education came primarily from high caste Hindu groups Many of the proponents of social political and religious reform among Hindus were drawn from this English educated class Until very late in the nineteenth century most politically articulate Indians were willing to collaborate with the colonial administration However a shift from collaboration to criticism began in the latter part of the
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