Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Monday likened the actions of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, to the Nazis’. He said RSS members were marking houses of those who made donations for the Ram Temple in the same manner in which the Hitler regime identified Jews in concentration camps.

Kumaraswamy was referring to a fundraising drive that was launched on January 14 by the trust that is building the temple in Ayodhya. Since then, members of the RSS-led Sangh Parivar have fanned out across villages, towns and cities in India, going door to door to collect donations.

The RSS Media In-charge ES Pradeep said Kumaraswamy’s comments did not qualify for any response, PTI reported.

While the Hindutva organisations insist they are merely soliciting voluntary contributions, several people allege they have been intimidated into paying up. As reported earlier, the Hindutva workers have also come up with a marking system in which they leave behind stickers on doors of houses to identify families that made donations.

In a series of tweets, Kumaraswamy called out the government for its methods, which he said were similar to the ones “adopted by Nazis”.

“It appears that those collecting donations for the construction of Ram Mandir have been separately marking the houses of those who paid money and those who did not,” the Janata Dal (Secular) leader wrote. “This is similar to what Nazis did in Germany during the regime of Hitler when lakhs of people lost their lives.”

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Kumaraswamy wondered what would be the fate of India and where these developments, which are being witnessed in the country, would “take us finally”.

Quoting historians, Kumaraswamy claimed the RSS took birth at the same time the Nazi Party was founded in Germany. “There are concerns on what will happen if the RSS tries to implement similar policies adopted by Nazis,” he added. “The fundamental rights of people are being snatched away in the country now.”

He said there was an “undeclared emergency” in India. “The country is witnessing a situation where one cannot freely express his or her views,” Kumaraswamy added. “A situation has been created where nobody can share their feelings.”

He also accused the government of buying off the media or bullying them into silence, saying he wondered “what will happen if media upholds the government’s views” in the coming days. “In such a situation, it is difficult to guess what would be the fate of common man,” Kumaraswamy said. “It is clear from the emerging trends that anything may happen in the country.”

The Ram temple is coming up at the site where the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992 by Hindutva extremists who were mobilised under the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Ram Janmabhoomi movement. In November 2019, the Supreme Court in a landmark judgement held the demolition was illegal but handed over the land to government-run trust for the construction of a Ram temple. In August 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the temple.