Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Narendra Modi and Adolf Hitler II

My previous article, Narendra Modi and Adolf Hitler, raised many objections from commenters (at another site where I publish my articles) who did not believe Modi and Hitler were similar. They asked me many questions. Here, I answer some of them.

[But the kind of the debate that ensued actually worried me more. Most of these debates confirm my belief that we are in deeper shit than what I would like to tell myself.]

Is Modi really the next Hitler? Do you really believe it?

Modi may not be Hitler and may be he is far from it. May be, India is not ripe yet for bringing such a leader onto the stage. May be, what he did in 2002 is a one-off incident which he won’t repeat again. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that we are creating the very similar situation that Europe went through during late 1800s and early 1900s. WW-II was the point of culmination of that situation. The exit point for fueling such hatred for another identities and instilling such superiority complex of oneself is a blood bath. The more the pent up sentiments and prolonged the indoctrination the bigger the blood bath.

Many nations who have experienced this gruesome war have gone back to check such sentiments from growing within and have put in place many harsh boundaries, some even sound ridiculous – like the law which prohibits people from denying Holocaust.

India, on the other hand, continues to harbor similar sentiments, not really knowing where it is taking us. India continues to play innocent when small flash points occur, thinking it is all OK. According to me, Indians are myopic, which is clearly seen in all their policies- either it is road building, or nation building. They are being myopic in this context too.

Nearly 93% Indians believe that “our culture is superior to others”, topping the list in a survey conducted in various nations [available at pewglobal.com]. Also, we are very insecure about our greatness. 92% of Indians think that “our way of life needs to be protected against foreign influences.”

In addition to this superiority complex and xenophobia, which we share with pre-WWII Nazi Germany, we also have a pent up hatred for minority religions in India. I wish there was a poll conducted to check the hatred for other religions within the country, and I believe we will top the list in that survey too.

I see a trend which does not bode well for India. In spite of all the prosperity, we are plunging our nation into darkness. It is like entering a long and deep tunnel. We will not know till we reach it. And I believe we are racing towards that tunnel.

Do you think we can avert the calamity that you predict?

Absolutely! There is no reason we need to follow the same pattern as pre-WWII Europe. I wish and hope that we don't follow the same pattern. I believe that we can avert such calamities by setting right examples at every step. For that we need to teach our people the outcomes of our actions.

We had 1984 riots where Sikhs for butchered and massacred. We should have raised our voices and asked for justice. We did not raise our voices. We did not protest. As a majority, we just shrugged it off. We thought it was one of those 'natural reactions'. Sikhs in India lost faith in Indian Union. It fueled and exacerbated Khalistan Movement and thousands were killed.

Now, we have another of those incidents. A government, the state and its apparatus colluded with killers in targeting people of one identity. And yet, we do not raise our voice. We do not protest. Instead, we hail such people as heroes and vote them back to power. Wrong examples!

Such wrong examples lead to wrong results. We will see more Muslims disillusioned and disenchanted. That will lead to more displeasing actions and we continue to go down that spiral path and the only exit is a blood bath. I don't want that to happen in India.

Teaching ourselves history and consequences of our inaction is very important. For that one has to know what could happen when we go on setting wrong examples. We need to teach in our history books what happened after Indira Gandhi's assassination. We need to teach how our leaders who were in power came onto streets to encourage and support the killers that targeted people of one identity. We need to teach how those events spiraled into a big terrorist movement in this land where thousands of young people died.

We need to teach how fascism grew in pre-WWII Europe. How innocuous it seemed to wave one's national flag and salute it brimming with pride. How harmless it sounded to create new theories that proposed how superior the people of that land were. How reasonable it sounded to target one community for all the ills of the society. Yet, all those simple actions were hijacked by certain people who used it to create greatest tragedy of human history.

What will save India?

What will save India is its diversity. While Hindutva forces continue to unify all Hindus under one banner, regional and other distinct groups will continue to prop their own factions. That alone will save India. I encourage and promote such local identities.

I don't see a necessity for unifying Indians under one banner called Hinduism, or one color of nationalism as defined by the highest flag bearers. We want our local identities, our religious identities, our languages. We don't want to trade them for another.

Why did you choose Hitler for comparison? Why not a Mao, Stalin or Osama?

My attempt was not to insult Modi by comparing him with Hitler. The reason why I chose Hitler and not Mao or Stalin is for obvious reasons. The present Hindutva movement sounds closer to the rise of Nazis than the rise of Communists. I have no love for Stalin, Mao or Osama.

The common themes between the present Hindutva movement and the erstwhile rise of Nazis are the following:

1. Establishing superiority of oneself over others - culturally, intellectually, and historically [which is main theme of Nazism, pronounced in pre-WWII Germany and to certain extent in Japan and Italy, but is not the main theme in Communism. The main theme of Communism is the rise of worker class to topple the privileged, but then to go on and establish another privileged class - which is another story.]

2. Creating an enemy based on identity - religious or racial or national [which is again one of the main features of Nazism, but is not the main theme in Communism. The enemies of Communism are within, mostly the rulers or the privileged class, or the intellectuals. They are not necessarily targeting people of one identity. Stalin killed all kinds of people independent of their identity- his own people, his political opponents, critics, Cossacks, Muslims dissidents, and what not.]

3. Following one person who is idolized above the party or its ideology [Hitler above Nazi Party or Germany itself. Communism usually tries to promote the whole party and not necessarily one idol. Even if there is one idol who dominates for a while, it corrects itself to go back to promoting the party.]

The similarities that I cited between Modi and Hitler is not with a motive or an agenda- it's only to put across an observation. Readers are free to introduce a "politically motivated" element to it and dismiss it.

Related Posts: Narendra Modi and Adolf Hitler III, When majority is not right, First they came for…, Narendra Modi and Adolf Hitler, Sad day for India, We are going to pay the price, Hindu Fascism, Significance of Tehelka, We are going to pay the price

13 comments:

  1. I agree with you totally.
    When I read this article and many of your articles it is like 'this-guy-in-my-head-reading-my-thoughts' kind of feeling.

    Keep up your good work.
    The following interview of Ramsey Clark, the formet US Attorney General from 'The Hindu' has subtle connection with this article. here it is:

    http://www.hindu.com/2007/12/17/stories/2007121754781100.htm

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sujai:

    I agree with your conclusion even though analysis is faulty at times.

    Khalistan movement did not start with 1984, rather 1984 was at the high point of Khalistan movement. After 1984, Khalistan movement could never again reach the same heights. Moreover, Punjab saw much more violence before 1984, than after it.

    Per your logic hate crimes are bad because they cause separatist movements to grow. If it were true, then 1984 proves exactly the opposite point. Khalistan movement LOST strength after 1984, not gained as you have erroneously mentioned.

    The bottom line is that hate crimes are bad because they are bad regardless of their final impact in either strengthening or weakening of a separatist movement.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Vivek Behal:

    I have changed the statement to reflect your observation regarding Khalistan movement.

    Per your logic hate crimes are bad because they cause separatist movements to grow.

    I am not sure I say that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Bhutto Assassinated - Sujai: Your take on riots after Bhutto's assassination?

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/12/27/pakistan.bhutto/index.html

    - Bodhiswaha

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  5. Sujai, you were right in stating that the Khalistan movement got strengthened after 1984. In fact the term 'Khalistan' was only used by separatists living outside India, mainly the US, UK and Canada. Indian Sikhs were never in favor. However the massacre of 1984 changed that. There was much more violence after '84 than before '84. Mr. Behl is wrong in that regard.

    Inder

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  6. Sujai

    I'm not entirely comfortable with this video - but I'll leave it to your good judgment.


    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8074843446056714872&q=Indian+muslims&total=2507&start=10&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=9

    ReplyDelete
  7. "What will save India is its diversity. While Hindutva forces continue to unify all Hindus under one banner, regional and other distinct groups will continue to prop their own factions. That alone will save India. I encourage and promote such local identities."

    And I believe this is precisely one of the reasons Modi won. Unlike any Congress leader who would have been a stooge of the Centre, Modi was seen by many Gujaratis as a symbol of Gujarati pride (more than even that of Hindutva). The fact that Sonia resorted to name-calling only helped Modi further, as many Gujaratis were incensed by what they felt was an affront on Gujarati pride.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sujai, here's another video - the other side of the same coin, as posted 2 comments above:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCRFWStxV_4
    -chirkut

    ReplyDelete
  9. Comparing Gujarat riots with Holocaust is like comparing local naxal with Osama. Stalin or Hitler cannot come up in this land as long as Hinduism is alive. RSS Shakas teach nationalism. They don't teach Jihad. Please start focussing on Nandigrams and Kashmir which are real and live issues. Gujarat riot is history. It is the spontaneous reaction of angry community.(I am not justifying). It is not the organized ethnic cleansing like Kashmir. Even in 2030 secular(?!) parties will keep harping on 2002 Gujarat riots,by that time modi would have ensured that all Gujaratis(Hindus and Muslims) reach western standard of living. In 2030, Sujai will be writing blog about how Gujarat muslims suffered in 2002 Gujarat riots.

    ReplyDelete
  10. abhi:

    I did not compare Gujarat riots with Holocaust. I compared Modi with Hitler. When Hitler came into power, there were only riots, there was not Holocaust yet.

    Stalin or Hitler cannot come up in this land as long as Hinduism is alive.

    This whole blog is dedicated to burst that bubble.

    RSS Shakas teach nationalism. They don't teach Jihad.

    ;-)
    So did fascists. They taught only nationalism, not Jihad.

    Please start focussing on Nandigrams and Kashmir which are real and live issues.

    Why do most commenters ask me to concentrate on something else while I am discussing a topic? Is it because I make them uncomfortable talking some real stuff?

    [BTW, I have many topics on Kashmir - you failed to see them.]

    Gujarat riot is history.

    Wow! What an argument. So, how come Modi keeps fishing up history to justify his campaign on hatred. So, how come Hindutva groups go back correcting histories?

    It is not the organized ethnic cleansing like Kashmir.

    I beg to differ. Read Tehelka report to start with.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sujai,
    Fascism started in 1920's and died in 1945. Hinduism is there for the last 3500 years. It has never produced Alexander or Aurangazeb for doing mass murders. It has never produced Ghazni or Alauddhin Ghilji for desecrating holy places of other cultures. Compassion and mercy even for enemies are its core features.(See Rajput kings). Its holy scriptures have not told us to spread its religion through sword. It never asked to murder infidels. Imagine yourself living in Iran where Atheists can be hanged. If Hinduism had recommended taking sword, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan would have remained as Hindu countries. Its history is filled with defeat because of compassion, treachery because of mercy. If Karunanidhi or Buddadeb succeed in their efforts to decimate Hinduism, probably next Hitler can emerge from here. I read your Kashmir articles where you indicated ethnic cleansing of Kashmir hindus is India's problem. Please don't defame Gujaratis who love to live peaceful life.

    ReplyDelete
  12. @Sujai..

    FYI not to enlighten you..just to Give you an idea how things can be interpreted and told

    http://www.blogs.ivarta.com/Narendra-Modi-as-Prime-Minister-Why-Not-PART-I/blog-239.htm

    http://www.blogs.ivarta.com/Narendra-Modi-as-Prime-Minister-Divisive-politics-Part-II/blog-240.htm

    http://www.blogs.ivarta.com/Narendra-Modi-Why-we-need-him-as-PM-for-India-Part-III/blog-241.htm

    ReplyDelete

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