We have heard of the sprinkling of reports about stores named Hitler, and the utter surprise that generates in Western observers. India, after all, is a diverse multicultural democracy. Hitler goes as well with it as sushi goes with curry.
At least on the surface.
Hitler has had a long and chequered posthumous life in India. Even during the second World War, the thinkers in the Indian National Congress (Party) sought to distance themselves from the Allies (Quit India movement messed up the British pretty good.) The doers, however, wanted to go further. They wanted an open alliance with Axis. Driver of this train of thought was Netaji (Dear Leader) Subhash Bose. He fled British imposed house arrest to Germany and sought a tete a tete with the Fuhrer. The Fuhrer however was not very impressed by this darker Aryan, but agreed to ship submarine him off to Japan. Subhash had better luck in Japan in persuading the imperial government to free British-Indian soldiers under his command to fight the British.
He led his `Indian National Army’ to push the British Army back from Burma to eastern borders of India and wrested the Andaman and Nicober Island from the British. Then Japan became too stretched to supply him. Nobody knows what happened to him.
Subhash is still hailed as a hero in India. He is quite a hot-potato in higher echelons of power- they have to maintain friendly relations with the former Allied powers but disowning him is political suicide.
The recently deceased Bal Thakerey, whose death brought Mumbai to standstill (complaining about it could land you in Jail, as Shaheen Dhada found out) and whose funeral was attended by hundreds of thousands, said to Time magazine- “There is nothing wrong, if Muslims are treated as Jews were in Nazi Germany.”
He would say such a thing. His ideological background- the Hindutva movement- is laced with Nazi influence. Savarkar, one of the founding fathers of the movement, wrote of his admiration of Hitler- how Hitler gave the Germans a sense of identity and pride. Savarkar even defended his treatment of Jews. Savarkar’s followers, now ardent admirers of Israel1, defend him by saying that he didn’t know what actually was being done to the Jews. Then they will go on to prescribe nuking Mecca. There are quite a few of such prescriptions on youtube.
Dilip D’Souza writes for The Daily Beast2-
Of 25 students in the class, 9 picked Adolf Hitler, making him easily the highest vote-getter in this particular exercise [to name an admirable person]; a certain Mohandas Gandhi was the choice of precisely one student. Discussing the idea of courage with other students once, my wife was startled by the contempt they had for Gandhi. “He was a coward!” they said. And as far back as 2002, the Times of India reported a survey that found that 17 percent of students in elite Indian colleges “favored Adolf Hitler as the kind of leader India ought to have.”
Indeed, Hindutva inspired Bharatiya Janata Party is the second largest party in India. Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, widely believed to have overseen killing of nearly two thousand Muslims and the displacement of hundreds of thousands more, is the leading candidate for the BJP. In BJP ruled state of Orissa Christian converts who seek to escape the caste system are marauded like clockwork every year during Christmas.
If the West remains oblivious to the menace this (possibly the most successful proto-fascist movement of modern times according to University of Chicago professor Martha Nussbaum) poses, it is headed for a surprise