A militant, right-wing Hindu nationalist organization, founded in 1925 by K. B. Hedgewar, and developed ideologically by Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar. Most influential among upper caste Maharashtrians, it was modelled on the 17th- and 18th-century warrior ascetic orders, such as the Ākhāṛās, and organized on paramilitary lines. Gāndhī's assassin, Nathuram Godse, was a member. It has frequently been banned, but currently has a membership of over five million, and is the parent organization for a number of other radical groups. It describes itself as a ‘cultural’ movement rather than a political party.