Hitler's rising popularity in India
#1
Over the year's I've noticed Adolf Hitler's popularity seems to be increasing in India aslongwith a diminishing popularity of Gandhi. It's not just the fanatics, but the liberals too who don't seem to mind following some of Hitler's ideals. Agreed Hitler didn't commit any atrocity in India, but what sort of an image are we portraying to the world by idolising a mass murerer?

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#2
*Hitler, Not Gandhi shoud be given credit for the independence of India*

Silly Indians. Neither deserve credit for the independence of India. Brits left India on their own terms. Gandhi did not kick the Brits out of India. The empire was stretched thin. Gandhi or no Gandhi the Brits were leaving their colonies after the war. However we can sort of credit Gandhi, Nehru and Co. for shaping the kind of India that got Independent.

Anyway coming back to the topic of Hitler, I am not surprised by his popularity in India. Blood and soil ideology of Nazis fits well with conservatism. India is a conservative nation. Hindus are a conservative bunch who have a minority to hate. So it is sort of a natural fit.

Besides Indians are by and large uneducated. They don't know what Hitler thought about Gandhi and Indians. Hitler apparently was dumbfounded as to why British were putting up with Gandhi. He never understood why the Brits wouldn't just shoot the bugger down like Nazis were doing to their opponents in Europe.

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#3
Hitler may have killed a lot of jews but we can't forget that at that time german people's sympathies made it possible for him to rule.A lot of germans shared his ideas on aryan supremacy and nationalism.in other words he had the ground support.most of the documentaries and articles written by western people unfailingly portray him as bumbling ,shaking and mentally sick personality,but whatever actual footage remain of him shows him far from it. western media has left no stone unturned to show him as the perfect evil,even from birth...but i think it will take a person herculean effort to keep him in such a state of continuous evilness.also,there is no denying that his supremacy theory had no scientific basis and killing people in the way he did is the most heinous thing to do..but what of his antagonists ,the english people,who based on their notion of supremacy were sent off by the church to rule half the planet..and the way they massacred indian people in hordes (remember the peaceful gathering in jalianwala bagh)..
though it doesn't make hitler's crime any less,it shows that western people have no moral authority to chide hitler.
as for indian independence,it was granted because world war broke english back..they hardly had resources to keep their country intact...so they started withdrawing from their colonies..
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#4
The "Hitler reacts..." subtitled videos of the clip in Der Untergang, which now virally infest cyberspace, have had the pernicious side effect of diluting in the popular imagination the seriousness of the historical warning to citizens of democracies settling for autocracy under the pretext of choosing decisive leadership that restores civilizational pride.

India's great eastern neighbour, whose recent prosperity causes much lament in India about 'democracy slowing us down', is one of the recent historical instances of prosperity secured at the cost of surrendering political liberties like in the post-Tiananmen deal as described in the BBC Documentary China's Capitalist Revolution, and decried here as a tenuous 'economic nationalism' and betrayal of the slain student activists of 1989. Such a naive utilitarianism subsuming all national commitments including citizens' human rights to an uncompromising priority of swelling the notional national treasury has characterized all such 'bread-and-circuses' deals in history. How such naive utilitarianism is incompatible with minority rights is explained here from a fundamental Ethics perspective. The question in India, however, is much more concrete, for the much-vaunted 'Gujarat model of development' is fraught with the same risks of many citizens eventually losing their say and their share in the process that is ostensibly for their own development. These risks are spelled out in this essay "All resemblances are not coincidental" by Ahmedabad-based sociologist Shiv Visvanathan.

The perils of 'growth worship', the notion that drastic expenses in social capital and human costs are acceptable to secure national prosperity, which was a hallmark of the Third Reich, are all too real even in our contemporary democracy and perpetrated not by a megalomaniac dictator but more insidiously and implemented not by industrial slaughter but rather by displacement in the name of industry. Arundhati Roy's essay 2004 essay "The Road to Harsud" about the casual attitude of the State (and indirectly the electorate and commentariat) is a reminder that human sacrifice still persists in India, this time at the altar of Development. "The Road to Harsud" by Roy ought to be required reading in History and Civics classes along with Kurt Vonnegut's essay "Wailing shall be in all the streets" for one recounts the submergence of a 700-year old town and the other the fire-bombing of a 700-year old city, both with callous disregard for the inhabitants and both in the name of a Free People.

This is a historical warning which needs to be ceaselessly and unremittingly reiterated, and for this we cannot afford at this juncture to dismiss any voice that lends itself in protest against supremacist rhetoric. To insist that anyone who speaks out against majoritarian excesses, supremacist stances and human rights violation should have earned apostolic credibility or should have an unchequered past, is something we do at our own peril. Whether these voices come from the 'East' or 'West', from a former empire or a former colony, from political leftists or committed partisans are questions we don't have the luxury of expending time over; at a time when we most urgently to unite the voices of all those, who like Martin Niemoller, but preferably in a more timely way than him, realize that it is us and our humanity that are at stake.
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#5
Aryan supremacy is a notion that might sound appealing to a lot of Indians. Also that Hitler targeted a certain group of people by terming them an inferior race might sound appealing too. Hitler considered Jews an oppressor class, exploiting the poor - An ideal for a person who is deluded in his belief as to his race or region being oppressed by an outside race/religion.
There's a lot about Hitler and his policies that might attract a racist, a religious nut or a nationalist, regionalist.
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#6
(03-Sep-2012, 10:05 PM)arvindiyer Wrote: The "Hitler reacts..." subtitled videos of the clip in Der Untergang, which now virally infest cyberspace, have had the pernicious side effect of diluting in the popular imagination the seriousness of the historical warning to citizens of democracies settling for autocracy under the pretext of choosing decisive leadership that restores civilizational pride.

You nailed it. People are charmed by decisive leadership all the time, not just in India even in the enlightened west. George Bush won in 2004 primarily because he was viewed as a decisive leader inspite of all his drawbacks, while John Kerry could not shake off the image of a flip-flopper.

(03-Sep-2012, 10:05 PM)arvindiyer Wrote: To insist that anyone who speaks out against majoritarian excesses, supremacist stances and human rights violation should have earned apostolic credibility or should have an unchequered past, is something we do at our own peril. Whether these voices come from the 'East' or 'West', from a former empire or a former colony, from political leftists or committed partisans are questions we don't have the luxury of expending time over; at a time when we most urgently to unite the voices of all those, who like Martin Niemoller, but preferably in a more timely way than him, realize that it is us and our humanity that are at stake.

This reminds me of the time when the Govt. of India refused to address the issue of castism at admittedly toothless United Nations conferences (2001, 2009) against racism. One of the excuses was that west should not lecture India on racism. No wonder India has not made any progress on this issue.
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