On Monday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over the consecration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Executive power symbolically fused with Hindu religion — harking back to myths of Indian rulers as incarnations of Supreme Lord Vishnu — at the former site of the Babri Masjid mosque, demolished by self-styled “angry Hindus” in 1992.

Indian children celebrated the mythological Lord Ram. State-owned railways promised to transport more than 1,000 trainloads of pilgrims to Ayodhya, boosting tourism-related stock prices. Possibly a hundred private jets flew in tycoons and notables. This ecstatic moment capped an unyielding centurylong journey to a vision forged by the anarchist ideologue Vinayak Damodar (Veer) Savarkar.

In his 1923 booklet "Hindutva" — meaning “Hindu-ness” — Savarkar presented an audacious Hindu-centric Indian nationalism. Breaking from the Hindu religion’s message of transcendental equality, he divided the world into friends — those rooted in India through ancestry and devotion to the fatherland — and all others, who were deemed enemies. (A decade later, the German jurist and prominent Nazi Party member Carl Schmitt advocated the same friend-versus-enemy conception of politics.)