The RSS and Bollywood

Eliza Griswold in Slate:

3707061One afternoon in Mumbai, Ramesh Mehta, the former head of the RSS external publicity wing for Africa—specifically Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa—hosted a small tea. He is also a retired film producer and lives in a modest two-bedroom apartment on a quiet, tree-lined street near several prominent Bollywood starlets. Because his son-in-law, an interior decorator, was in the midst of redecorating the living room, his guests sat on Mehta’s bed as he explained India’s history as a Hindu nation. Cleareyed, with tufts of salt-and-pepper hair and a regal nose, Mehta looked like a highly intelligent, 63-year-old ostrich.

“Ours is the most ancient country in the world,” he said, stirring sugar into the glasses of tea with a small spoon. “Thousands of years ago, we were ruled by a Hindu king, and the whole country was one. Even Alexander the Great had to go back from the border because he realized he could not fight us.”

More here.