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FTR #1070 Update on Hindutva Fascism and Socialists for Trump and Hitler (The “Assistance”)

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Listen: MP3 This program was recorded in one, 60-minute segment.

Subhas Chandra Bose T-Shirt

Introduction: Wrapping up a long, complex series on fascist and apparent intelligence connections to the crop of self-proclaimed “socialists” who have emerged to dominate media and internet coverage in recent months, we review key points of “Boseian” Indian fascism, the Hindutva fascism of Narendra Modi and the unappetizing possibility of the two conduits flowing together to make the world’s second most populous country a Nazi political, historical and cultural epicenter.

A recent New York Times piece encapsulated the significance of India, per se, noting the emergence and dominance of the Modi/BJP/RSS Hindutva fascism: ” . . . . ‘This is something that Jawaharlal Nehru had predicted,’ Mr. Mukherjee said, referring to India’s first prime minister. ‘He said if fascism ever came to India it would come in the form of majoritarian Hindu communalism. That is exactly what is happening.’ . . .  India is the second most populous nation, after China. It is a pivotal geopolitical player; its economy is huge and everyone wants to do business here; and it has a long secular history. . . .”

Before returning to the subject of the Nazification of India, we note a primary element of the analysis in the “Socialists for Trump and Hitler (‘The Assistance’)” series:

Fundamental to an understanding of the criticism Mr. Emory has expressed of the Bernie Sanders and AOC phenomena is the strategic use of anti-Communism by the Underground Reich and related elements, discussed in, among other programs, AFA #37.

In the early 1960’s, there was a plot afoot on the part of Nazi elements to use anti-Communism to enslave America. Might some of the elements we have seen in this series have coalesced in such a context? One cannot use anti-Communism to enslave America without “Communists.” Is this why we see far-right and explicitly fascist elements grouped around Bernie Sanders and AOC?

General Walker and the Murder of President Kennedy by Jeffrey H. Caufield, M.D.; Moreland Press [HC]; Copyright 2015 Jeffrey H. Caufield; ISBN-13: 978-0-9915637-0-8; pp. 86-87.

. . . . Garrison did not provide an explanation for all of the [David Ferrie] note’s subject matter. However, he did know the meaning of “flying Baragona in the Beech.” “Beech” refers to the model of Ferrie’s airplane, a Beechcraft. Baragona was a Nazi from Fort Sill. . . .

. . . . Garrison also obtained a transcript of a letter written by Ferrie to Baragona. Next to Baragona’s name, Garrison wrote: “Note Baragona is important.” The letter had been sent to Garrison by Glenn Pinchback, and a carbon copy was sent to Mendel Rivers, a congressman from Georgia. (Pinchback worked in the Operations Command at Fort Sill, where he intercepted mail.) In the letter, Ferrie shared his dream of the re-unification of Germany and living in a world where all the currency was in Deutschmarks. Pinchback’s summation of the letter described a “Neo-Nazi plot to enslave America in the name of anti-Communism,” and “a neo-Nazi plot gargantuan in scope.” The Ferrie letter spoke of the need to kill all the Kennedys and Martin Luther King, Jr. . . . Pinchback also reportedly obtained a letter from David Ferrie to Baragona confessing his role in the assassination of Robert Gehrig, who was a Nazi and Fort Sill soldier. . . .”

With Saikat Chakrabarti, who is the “power behind the throne” for AOC being an apparent devotee of Subhas Chandra Bose (“The Duce of Bengal”), it is of paramount importance to understand both the nature of Bose’s WWII activities and the contemporary Underground Reich extensions of his political and economic influence.

In that context, we note, for purposes of review and clarification:

  1. Narendra Modi’s networking with Surya Kumar Bose, Subhas Chandra Bose’s grandnephew, promising to declassify files on Bose.
  2. Surya Bose’s presidency of the Indo-German association” . . . . Surya, who has a software consultancy business in Hamburg and is president of the Indo-German Association . . . .”
  3. The genesis of the Indo-German association in Germany during World War II. Note that this organization must, as a matter of course, network with the remarkable and deadly Bormann organization” . . . . The DIG was set up on September 11, 1942, by Subhash Chandra Bose at Hotel Atlanta in Hamburg.’ . . . . Bose recounts, adding that the DIG today is the largest bilateral organisation in Germany, with 27 branches. As a consultant he often guides Germans keen on working in the booming Indian IT sector. He is also a founder-member of the German-Indian Round Table, an informal gathering that seeks to further mutual business interests. . . .”
  4. Surya Kuma Bose’s networking with Alexander Werth, the German translator for Subhas Chandra Bose’s German forces, which were folded into the Waffen SS at the end of World War II. ” . . . . Back in the day, Netaji’s stay in Germany had proved instrumental in shaping his struggle. Decades later, that legacy would play a pivotal role in shaping his grandnephew’s career. Bose came to Germany on the advice of Alexander Werth, Netaji’s German interpreter in the Indian Legion. . . .”
  5. The collaboration of Surya Kumar Bose, Alexander Werth and World War II associates of Subhas Chandra Bose in both Germany and Japan in the compilation of a biography that fundamentally revises the history of “the Netaji.” ” . . . . Its six parts deal with his experiences in India, Germany and Japan and have been co-authored by people who either worked with, or were close associates of, his during his stay in their respective countries. The aim of the biography is to place Subhas Chandra Bose in a correct historical perspective with regard to his much publicized revolutionary activities, and to provide an understanding of an extremely complex man, much maligned by Britain and greatly misunderstood by her allies. . . .”
  6. The true character of Saikat Chakrabarti’s apparent idol Subhas Chandra Bose’s politics is to be found in his 1935 networking with Mussolini: “. . . . Netaji Bose, by his own admission in his book, ‘Indian Struggle’ (published in 1935 in London), believed India needed a political system that was a mix of fascism and communism — something that he called samyavad. Netaji made a special trip to Rome in 1935 to present a copy of his book to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, whom he greatly admired and whose ideals he would follow for the rest of his life. . . .”
  7. Subhas Chandra Bose’s politics were the antithesis of what we would expect from the AOC camp: “. . . . In a speech the same year in Singapore, Bose spoke about India needing a ruthless dictator for 20 years after liberation. Then Singapore daily, Sunday Express (now defunct), printed his speech where he said, ‘So long as there is a third party, ie the British, these dissensions will not end. These will go on growing. They will disappear only when an iron dictator rules over India for 20 years. For a few years at least, after the end of British rule in India, there must be a dictatorship . . . . No other constitution can flourish in this country and it is so to India’s good that she shall be ruled by a dictator, to begin with . . . .”

Through the years, we have highlighted the Nazi tract Serpent’s Walk, which deals, in part, with the rehabilitation of the Third Reich’s reputation and the transformation of Hitler into a hero.

In FTR #1015, we noted that a Serpent’s Walk scenario is indeed unfolding in India.

Key points of analysis and discussion include:

  1. Narendra Modi’s presence on the same book cove(along with Gandhi, Mandela, Obama and Hitler.)
  2. Modi himself has his own political history with children’s books that promote Hitler as a great leader: ” . . . . In 2004, reports surfaced of high-school textbooks in the state of Gujarat, which was then led by Mr. Modi, that spoke glowingly of Nazism and fascism. According to ‘The Times of India,’ in a section called ‘Ideology of Nazism,’ the textbook said Hitler had ‘lent dignity and prestige to the German government,’ ‘made untiring efforts to make Germany self-reliant’ and ‘instilled the spirit of adventure in the common people.’  . . . .”
  3. In India, many have a favorable view of Hitler: ” . . . . 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.’ . . . . Consider Mein Kampf, Hitler’s autobiography. Reviled it might be in the much of the world, but Indians buy thousands of copies of it every month. As a recent paper in the journal EPW tells us (PDF), there are over a dozen Indian publishers who have editions of the book on the market. Jaico, for example, printed its 55th edition in 2010, claiming to have sold 100,000 copies in the previous seven years. (Contrast this to the 3,000 copies my own 2009 book, Roadrunner, has sold). In a country where 10,000 copies sold makes a book a bestseller, these are significant numbers. . . .”
  4. A classroom of school children filled with fans of Hitler had a very different sentiment about Gandhi. ” . . . . ‘He’s a coward!’ That’s the obvious flip side of this love of Hitler in India. It’s an implicit rejection of Gandhi. . . .”
  5. Apparently, Mein Kampf has achieved gravitas among business students in India” . . . . What’s more, there’s a steady trickle of reports that say it has become a must-read for business-school students; a management guide much like Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese or Edward de Bono’s Lateral Thinking. If this undistinguished artist could take an entire country with him, I imagine the reasoning goes, surely his book has some lessons for future captains of industry? . . . .”

With Bose being presented as exemplary of an historical revision that historically reconfigures fascism as an anti-imperialist force,  we wonder if the pro-Hitler sentiment in India, the Hindutva fascism of Narendra Modi and the revisionism of “Boseian” fascism will dovetail coalesce along the lines of Serpent’s Walk?

We also wonder if the media-driven prominence of Bernie Sanders and AOC will precipitate “anti-Communism” as  a  vehicle for enslaving America on behalf of the  Underground Reich?

Program Highlights Include: Analysis of Saikat Chakrabarti’s work at online payment start-up Stripe that suggests the possibility that Chakrabarti  may be close to Peter Thiel, who headed a consortium of early investors in Stripe; review of Thiel’s work for Facebook and surveillance company Palantir; review of Thiel’s opposition to democracy and women’s suffrage; review of Thiel’s links to Trump and affinity for Third Reich legal theoretician Carl Schmitt; an update on the murder of Gauri Lankesh, exemplifying the political terror that coalesced in India under the Modi regime; the apparent role of RSS-linked elements in Lankesh’s murder; the doctrinaire anti-Semitism used to assail [non-Jewish] professor Audrey Truschke’s research on the role of the Muslim Mughal emperors in Northern India; the ascent of mystical, bogus science under Modi’s Hindutva regime; review of the mythological idolization of the Kshatriya warrior caste by the Nazi SS; review of the Hare Krishna sect’s emhasis on the murderous revival of the Kshatriya caste (Bernie Sanders backer Tulsi Gabbard is a member of the Hare Krishna cult and a key U.S. liaison figure for Narendra Modi and the RSS; the etymological link of “Chakrabarti” to “Khastriya.”

1a. We have seen many named “Chakrabarti” or variants thereof in connection with pro-Subhas Chandra Bose activity. We wondered if there might be a Sanskrit and/or Hindi etymological link between the “Kshatriya” warrior caste and “Chakrabarti.” Here is what we found: ” . . . . People with the surname Chakraborty commonly belong to the Brahmin and Kshatriya of higher varna caste. It is spelled in various ways, including Chakraborti,Chakrabarti,Chakrabarty. . . .”

Chakraborty Geneology and Chakraborty Family History Information

About the Chakraborty surname

Chakraborty is a common surname of Bengali Hindus in India and Bangladesh. People with the surname Chakraborty commonly belong to the Brahmin and Kshatriya of higher varna caste. It is spelled in various ways, including Chakraborti,Chakrabarti,Chakrabarty.

1b. Bhaktivedanta Swami (founder of the Hare Krishna cult to which Sandernista Tulsi Gabbard belongs) valued the traditional position of the Kshatriya warrior caste, to which the Nazi SS considered themselves as successors, according to Kevin Coogan’s brilliant analysis (in Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International.)

The Hare Krishna Movement: The Postcharismatic Fate of A Religious Transplant edited by Edwin F. Bryant and Maria L. Ekstrand; Columbia University Press [HC]; Copyright 2004 by Columbia University Press; ISBN 0-231-12256-X; pp. 366-367.

. . . . When asked by a disciple how the kshatriya training in the planned varnasharam college was to be organized, he replied:

“. . . . the kshatriyas should be taught how to fight also. There will be military training. There will be  training how to kill.”

Kshatriya students in the ISKCON varnashram college were to practice killing:

“Just like Kshatriyas, they have to learn how to kill. So practically, they should go to the forest and kill some animal. And if he likes, he can eat also.”

There is no single instance where Bhaktivedanta Swami speaks about kshatriya training without mentioning killing. While he might not have considered it to be the most important aspect of that education, he does stress this aspect:.

“ . . . . Some disturbing elements you can kill you can kill some tiger. Like that. Learn to kill. No nonviolence. Learn to kill. Here also, as soon you’ll find, the Kshatriya, a thief, a rogue, unwanted element in the society, kill him. That’s all. Finish. Kill him. Bas. Finished.

 It is not that because the Kshatriyas were killing by bows and arrows formerly you have to continue that. That is another foolishness. If you have got . . . If you can kill easily by guns, take that gun.

 All the royal princes were trained up how to kill.

 The killing is there, but the Brahmin is not going to kill personally. . . .

Only the Kshatriyas. The Kshatriyas should be so trained up.

 A Kshatriya, he is expert in the military science, how to kill. So the killing art is there. You cannot make it null and void by advocating nonviolence. No That is required. Violence is also a part of the society. . . .”

1c. Online payment company Stripe was a point of professional relationship between “Mr. AOC”–Saikat Chakrabarti–and Peter Thiel. (As we have seen, Chakrabarti was AOC’s campaign manger, is her chief of staff, founded both PAC’s backing AOC and heads a political consulting company that received almost a million dollars from Chakrabarti’s two PACs.)

Again, as highlighted in the series “Socialists for Trump and Hitler, (The “Assistance”)”, Chakrabarti is an apparent political acolyte of Subhas Chandra Bose–“The Duce of Bengal.”

According to Chakrabarti’s LinkedIn profile, he joined Stripe, the online payment company, as a “Founding Engineer” in February of 2011 and worked there until May 2013. He built up the product team at Stripe during this period according to the Politico profile on Chakrabarti, so he was clearly a very important person at the company at this early stage.

Here’s the possible Thiel connection: Stripe was started in 2010 by Patrick and John Collison in 2010. According to a linked article on the beginnings of the company, the brothers started working on Stripe in early 2010, spent about six months developing the core idea, and at that point they realized they were on to something big but needed institutional backing. The brothers went to Y Combinator to raise their capital. Y Combinator is a ‘startup accelerator’ that Patrick had already used to start an earlier company, Auctomatic. Y-Combinator only invested $20,000-$30,000.

According to the linked article, it was that next summer (the summer of 2011) that the Collison brothers met with Peter Thiel after Thiel spoke at a Y-Combinator dinner. Thiel, who co-founded PayPal with Elon Musk, had a number of insights into the online payment marketplace and offered to invest in Stripe. Thiel brought in Elon Musk, Sequoia Capital, and Andreeseen Horowitz as investors and they raised $2 million.

So–officially— Chakrabarti joins Stripe in February of 2011 and in the summer of 2011 they meet Thiel who brings in a number of new investors.

In fact, that meeting with Thiel and the new investments must have happened well before the summer of 2011 because there is a Tech Crunch article from the end of March 2011 talking about Thiel and the rest of the new investors raising $2 million for Stripe. And in the actual interview that following article is based on, Patrick Collison makes it sound like Strip got its $2 million investment in the fall of 2010.

This suggests the distinct possibility that Chakrabarti came on board Stripe after Thiel and the rest of his team of investors got involved.

IF Chakrabarti got involved after Thiel invested, that raises the questions of: a) whether Chakrabarti already knew Thiel before joining Stripe and b) the question of what his relationship with Thiel was after joining Stripe and before jumping into left-wing politics.

The following article is based on a roughly 60-minute interview with Patrick Collison. At  roughly 36 minutes into the interview, Patrick recounts that early fundraising and puts a time frame of receipt of the funding by “Team Thiel” at the end of the summer of 2010. The period from August 2010-September 2011 was apparently involved with building the initial Stripe product. Based on that chronology, the hiring of Chakrabarti as the head of product development happened after this team of investors got involved:

“Startup Grind Hosts Patrick Collison of Stripe, 6 Months In – Full Interview” by Francisco Cruz; The Startup Grind; 02/19/2012.

. . . . Growing and Scaling Stripe

[00:35:46.5] Patrick Collison: Friends told other friends, this kind of stuff. We couldn’t have them use Stripe because I mean the problem is I told you how the account payment process actually happened in the bank, and so we sort of convinced ourselves that there might be something interesting here, but now we had to actually go try and build the infrastructure and make it work. And so we decided at the end of that summer that we would go and take this seriously and we would go and build that infrastructure and figure out whatever it is that we need to learn and actually launch it properly. So we took some investment and Y Combinator, Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Sequoia and Theresean Hardwoods invested in our c brand.

[00:36:26.9] Anybody we’ve heard of?

[00:36:27.6] Patrick Collison: Then we basically spent the next fourteen months building the infrastructure that could actually make this work. Something from like August 2010 to the end of September 2011, it was building infrastructure. We finally launched it to the public I think it was 30th September 2011. Just over six months ago.

1d. Based on the interview transcript, it sounds like that 14 month period of building the Stripe infrastructure started in August of 2010 and took place after they raised their capital. Tthat’s a little mysterious and then it gets weirder: According to the following article from March 28, 2011, the $2 million was raised by that point, but Stripe at that point wouldn’t comment on whether or not the financing happened at all. We can be confident that the $2 million investment was made before the end of March 2011, but we don’t know precisely  when it happened in part because Stripe wouldn’t even confirm it happened at all at that point.

Why the mystery?

“Stealth Payment Startup Stripe Backed By PayPal Founders” by Michael Arrington; Tech Crunch; 03/28/2011.

There isn’t much information out there about Stripe, a new payments startup cofounded by brothers Patrick Collison and John Collison (last seen selling their startup Auctomatic to Live Current Media for $5 million).

It’s an online business to business and business to consumer payments provider, we’ve confirmed. “How is it different than PayPal or Google Checkout?” I asked someone who’s seen the product. Their answer – “It doesn’t suck.”

Developers have a lot of trouble getting the various payments parts to work properly – from getting a merchant account to making the software work properly on your website. And then there is fee gouging. Stripe is said to make the process very, very easy for developers.

Apparently Stripe really doesn’t suck, because the company has taken approximately $2 million in a venture round from PayPal founders Peter Thiel and Elon Musk, as well as Sequoia Capital, Andreesen Horowitz and SV Angel. Stripe was valued at around $20 million in the round, we’ve heard but haven’t confirmed. The company wouldn’t comment on whether or not the financing occurred at all. . . . .

We’re left with a range of time when this investment led by Peter Thiel happened: some time between August of 2010 and March of 2011. And Chakrabarti joined Stripe in February 2011. So the available evidence strongly suggests Chakrabarti was one of the first people brought on board after this $2 million investment.

But regardless of when exactly it happened, the fact that Chakrabarti was apparently a key employee in this early phased of Strip suggests that Chakrabarti likely got to know Peter Thiel as a result of working there if he didn’t already know him. And given Thiel’s role as a key financier of far right politics in the US and Chakrabarti’s clear enthusiasm for Subhas Chandra Bose, the question of what kind of relationship Chakrabarti had with Thiel in the lead up to his decision to drop everything and jump into left-wing politics is a pretty relevant question.

2. Through the years, we have highlighted the Nazi tract Serpent’s Walk, which deals, in part, with the rehabilitation of the Third Reich’s reputation and the transformation of Hitler into a hero.

In we detailed the Hindutva fascism of Narendra Modi, his BJP Party and supportive elements, tracing the evolution of Hindutva fascism through the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi to the present time.

Modi’s BJP is a political cat’s paw for the RSS, the Hindutva fascist organization that murdered Gandhi.

In FTR #1015, we noted that a Serpent’s Walk scenario is indeed unfolding in India.

As the saying goes, you can’t judge a book by its cover. There are exceptions: When a children’s book is entitled “Great Leaders” and has a picture of Adolf Hitler standing next to Barack Obama, Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela, that’s a book cover that suggests this book should be skipped.

Key points of analysis and discussion include:

  1. Narendra Modi’s presence on the same book cove(along with Gandhi, Mandela, Obama and Hitler.)
  2. Modi himself has his own political history with children’s books that promote Hitler as a great leader: ” . . . . In 2004, reports surfaced of high-school textbooks in the state of Gujarat, which was then led by Mr. Modi, that spoke glowingly of Nazism and fascism. According to ‘The Times of India,’ in a section called ‘Ideology of Nazism,’ the textbook said Hitler had ‘lent dignity and prestige to the German government,’ ‘made untiring efforts to make Germany self-reliant’ and ‘instilled the spirit of adventure in the common people.’  . . . .”
  3. In India, many have a favorable view of Hitler: ” . . . . 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.’ . . . . Consider Mein Kampf, Hitler’s autobiography. Reviled it might be in the much of the world, but Indians buy thousands of copies of it every month. As a recent paper in the journal EPW tells us (PDF), there are over a dozen Indian publishers who have editions of the book on the market. Jaico, for example, printed its 55th edition in 2010, claiming to have sold 100,000 copies in the previous seven years. (Contrast this to the 3,000 copies my own 2009 book, Roadrunner, has sold). In a country where 10,000 copies sold makes a book a bestseller, these are significant numbers. . . .”
  4. A classroom of school children filled with fans of Hitler had a very different sentiment about Gandhi. ” . . . . ‘He’s a coward!’ That’s the obvious flip side of this love of Hitler in India. It’s an implicit rejection of Gandhi. . . .”
  5. Apparently, Mein Kampf has achieved gravitas among business students in India” . . . . What’s more, there’s a steady trickle of reports that say it has become a must-read for business-school students; a management guide much like Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese or Edward de Bono’s Lateral Thinking. If this undistinguished artist could take an entire country with him, I imagine the reasoning goes, surely his book has some lessons for future captains of industry? . . . .”
  6. Hitler’s shockingly popular reputation in India, is due, in part, to the efforts of Bal Thackeray, the now deceased chief of the Shiv Sena party which is a long-standing BJP ally. ” . . . .Thackeray freely, openly, and often admitted his admiration for Hitler, his book, the Nazis, and their methods. In 1993, for example, he gave an interview to Time magazine. ‘There is nothing wrong,’ he said then, ‘if [Indian] Muslims are treated as Jews were in Nazi Germany.’ This interview came only months after the December 1992 and January 1993 riots in Mumbai, which left about a thousand Indians slaughtered, the majority of them Muslim. Thackeray was active right through those weeks, writing editorial after editorial in his party mouthpiece, ‘Saamna’ (‘Confrontation’) about how to ‘treat’ Muslims. . . .”
  7. Again, Thackeray felt that the treatment Hitler meted out to the Jews should be meted out to Muslims” . . . . Thackeray said this about the führer’s famous autobiography: ‘If you take Mein Kampf and if you remove the word Jew and put in the word Muslim, that is what I believe in.’ . . . .”

3. Even the staid New York Times has noted the arrival of fascism in India. The same article also notes the profound importance of India. ” . . . . ‘This is something that Jawaharlal Nehru had predicted,’ Mr. Mukherjee said, referring to India’s first prime minister. ‘He said if fascism ever came to India it would come in the form of majoritarian Hindu communalism. That is exactly what is happening.’ . . .  India is the second most populous nation, after China. It is a pivotal geopolitical player; its economy is huge and everyone wants to do business here; and it has a long secular history. . . .”

“Under Modi, a Hindu Nationalist Surge Has Further Divided India” by Jeffrey Gettelman, Kai Schultz, Suahisini Raj and Hari Kumar; The New York Times; 4/11/2019.

. . . . “In plain language, they are what we now call communal fascists,” said Aditya Mukherjee, a retired historian, referring to Mr. Modi and his political allies.

“This is something that Jawaharlal Nehru had predicted,” Mr. Mukherjee said, referring to India’s first prime minister. “He said if fascism ever came to India it would come in the form of majoritarian Hindu communalism. That is exactly what is happening.”

India is the second most populous nation, after China. It is a pivotal geopolitical player; its economy is huge and everyone wants to do business here; and it has a long secular history. . . .

4. In FTR #990, we highlighted the assassination of investigative reporter Gauri Lankesh. We also noted the irony in Pierre Omidyar evolving into an icon of investigative reporting by virtue of his launching of The Intercept, when he helped elect Narendra Modi and helped to install the OUN/B successor organizations in power in Ukraine. Both regimes have manifested lethal hostility to investigative journalists and political activists.

In an update on Lankesh’s killing, we note that her murder occurs in the context of unprecedented pressure on, and itimidation of, the media by the Hindutva fascist regime of Narendra Modi. ” . . . . Since he took office in 2014, Modi has not held a single news conference in India. Among B.J.P. politicians, a popular term for journalists is ‘presstitutes.’ A dispatch on Indian journalism last year by the Committee to Protect Journalists described an unprecedented climate of self-censorship and fear, reporting, ‘The media is in the worst state India has ever seen.’ . . . . In these circumstances, Lankesh’s audacity and integrity were all the more notable. And her murder has deepened the chill. . . . Jignesh Mevani, a legislator and an activist from Gujarat, fears that if the B.J.P. is re-elected, its extremist supporters will be emboldened. ‘Every year they will kill 10 to 15 of our kind of people and put 10 to 15 of our kind of people in jail,’ he told me at a July meeting in Bangalore in Lankesh’s honor. ‘So by the time they are in power for a decade, the major faces of the progressive civil rights movements of this country will be gone.’ Lankesh’s murder seemed to fit what was by then an unmistakable pattern of assassinations of intellectuals who opposed the fundamentalist-Hindu ideology that animates the B.J.P., all of which remained unsolved. Between 2013 and 2015, three religiously freethinking Indian writers and activists were shot dead near their homes by assailants who escaped on motorcycles: the doctor Narendra Dabholkar, in Pune; the politician Govind Pansare, in Kolhapur; and the scholar M.M. Kalburgi, in Dharwad. After Kalburgi’s murder, scores of Indian writers returned their awards from the National Academy of Letters to protest both the lack of progress in the murder investigations and the B.J.P.’s silence over rising intolerance, to no effect. There was much anxious speculation over who might be the next writer to die. . . .”

(When we discussed Bernie Sanders ally Tulsi Gabbard, we noted that THIS is the sort of activity with which she has associated herself. She is very close to the Modi regime and helped arrange the details of Modi’s 2015 visit to the U.S. While traveling in India, she networked with the RSS milieu.)

After much delay, Hindutva fascists have been arrested in connection with Lankesh’s killing: ” . . . . in May, the Karnataka Police’s special investigation team filed a charge sheet against a Hindutva activist named K.T. Naveen Kumar, running to some 650 pages and accusing him of criminal conspiracy, among other things. Fifteen more suspects have been arrested and charged in the months since then . . . . According to the police, forensics indicated that the gun that killed Lankesh was potentially also used in two of the three other unsolved assassinations that seemed to fit the same pattern. The police suspect that the accused are part of an apparently nameless, multistate right-wing assassination network with at least 60 members. Many of the accused have connections with a small, secretive Hindutva group called the Sanatan Sanstha, members of which have previously been arrested as suspects in four separate bombings of public places. . . . Perhaps the most extraordinary discovery the police have made in their investigation of Lankesh’s murder is a detailed diary recovered from the home of a leading suspect. In it were two lists, ostensibly of people the conspirators wanted dead, reportedly including Veerabhadra Chennamalla, a liberal-minded Hindu priest, and K.S. Bhagavan, an outspokenly atheist Shakespeare scholar. First on one of the lists was Girish Karnad, who is perhaps the greatest living Kannada playwright. All have been particularly forthright in their criticism of Hindutva. Second on one list was Lankesh. In the months since she was shot, some of her friends and colleagues have grown more cautious about what they write and say and post to social media, even as this year’s unusually fraught and uncertain Election Day approaches. . . . .”

“Railing Against India’s Right-Wing Nationalism Was a Calling. It Was also a Death Sentence” by Rollo Romig; The New York Times Magazine; 3/17/2019.

. . . . The situation has unquestionably deteriorated over the past several years — a fact that owes much to the ascent of the B.J.P. In the 2014 elections, the party won 282 of the 545 seats in the lower house of India’s Parliament, which determines the prime ministership. The Congress Party, which has led nearly every Indian government since independence, won only 44.

Political pressure on journalists is nothing new in India, but the current government is the first in many years to treat them as an ideological enemy. Since he took office in 2014, Modi has not held a single news conference in India. Among B.J.P. politicians, a popular term for journalists is “presstitutes.” A dispatch on Indian journalism last year by the Committee to Protect Journalists described an unprecedented climate of self-censorship and fear, reporting, “The media is in the worst state India has ever seen.”

In these circumstances, Lankesh’s audacity and integrity were all the more notable. And her murder has deepened the chill. The anonymous author of Humans of Hindutva, a popular Facebook page satirizing the religious right wing, abruptly shut it down twice in 2017 after posting about receiving death threats (though the page has since returned). “I have no desire to end up like Gauri Lankesh,” the author wrote. A young investigative reporter named Aruna Chandrasekhar told me that Lankesh’s example had been particularly inspiring to Indian women freelance journalists, and that when she found herself feeling vulnerable while reporting a story alone in an unfamiliar place, the thought of Lankesh’s fearlessness used to embolden her. “Gauri’s murder shook me,” she said. . . .

. . . . Jignesh Mevani, a legislator and an activist from Gujarat, fears that if the B.J.P. is re-elected, its extremist supporters will be emboldened. “Every year they will kill 10 to 15 of our kind of people and put 10 to 15 of our kind of people in jail,” he told me at a July meeting in Bangalore in Lankesh’s honor. “So by the time they are in power for a decade, the major faces of the progressive civil rights movements of this country will be gone.”

Lankesh’s murder seemed to fit what was by then an unmistakable pattern of assassinations of intellectuals who opposed the fundamentalist-Hindu ideology that animates the B.J.P., all of which remained unsolved. Between 2013 and 2015, three religiously freethinking Indian writers and activists were shot dead near their homes by assailants who escaped on motorcycles: the doctor Narendra Dabholkar, in Pune; the politician Govind Pansare, in Kolhapur; and the scholar M.M. Kalburgi, in Dharwad. After Kalburgi’s murder, scores of Indian writers returned their awards from the National Academy of Letters to protest both the lack of progress in the murder investigations and the B.J.P.’s silence over rising intolerance, to no effect. There was much anxious speculation over who might be the next writer to die. . . .

. . . . For nearly half a year after Lankesh’s murder, there were no arrests, and nearly everyone following the case seemed to be resigned to the fact that this would be just another unsolved assassination. But then, in May, the Karnataka Police’s special investigation team filed a charge sheet against a Hindutva activist named K.T. Naveen Kumar, running to some 650 pages and accusing him of criminal conspiracy, among other things. Fifteen more suspects have been arrested and charged in the months since then; all are in jail awaiting trial and are expected to plead not guilty. Police are still searching for two more.

The accused include a young utensil salesman named Parashuram Waghmare, who the police say confessed to pulling the trigger. The police also say that Waghmare wasn’t familiar with Lankesh when the conspirators asked him to kill her, so they showed him YouTube videos of her speeches to persuade him to commit the murder. They gave him 10,000 rupees, or around $150. Members of a Hindutva group called Sri Ram Sene started a Facebook fund-raising campaign to support his family. (The group’s leader, Pramod Muthalik, later denied any connection to Waghmare.)

According to the police, forensics indicated that the gun that killed Lankesh was potentially also used in two of the three other unsolved assassinations that seemed to fit the same pattern. The police suspect that the accused are part of an apparently nameless, multistate right-wing assassination network with at least 60 members. Many of the accused have connections with a small, secretive Hindutva group called the Sanatan Sanstha, members of which have previously been arrested as suspects in four separate bombings of public places. (The cases are ongoing; two Sanatan Sanstha members were convicted of one blast but are out on bail awaiting appeal.)

The more established Hindutva organizations, including the R.S.S. (the Hindu-nationalist paramilitary group) and B.J.P., have tried to distance themselves from such groups and have raised legal complaints against those who have tried to connect them to violence perpetrated by the Hindutva fringe. In February, a magistrate ruled that Rahul Gandhi, the president of the Congress Party, would stand trial for defamation for implying a link between the R.S.S. and Lankesh’s murder.

Late one night I met with N.P. Amruthesh, the lawyer for four of the accused men, who is himself a proud follower of the Sanatan Sanstha. An affable man, seemingly indifferent to appearances, he wore a worn orange dhoti and white shirt with a blue ink stain billowing out beneath the pocket. While we spoke, a news segment about Lankesh’s case appeared on his TV: The R.S.S., it was reported, had issued a statement saying that the latest man arrested, Mohan Nayak, who is not represented by Amruthesh, was not a member of the organization. Amruthesh laughed. “In my opinion, personal opinion, that is not correct,” he said. “When any person is working for Hindutva, it is your duty to give protection to that person. … They’re claiming that he’s not our member, but I came to know that he always goes to R.S.S. activities and everything. These organizations, they don’t want to take the responsibility.” Such disavowals, he said, were bad for morale.

Narendra Modi, meanwhile, has kept his silence. He has never publicly mentioned Lankesh’s name or referred to her case. “Why should Prime Minister Modi react?” Muthalik, the Sri Ram Sene leader, said in a public speech. “Do you expect Modi to respond every time a dog dies in Karnataka?”

Perhaps the most extraordinary discovery the police have made in their investigation of Lankesh’s murder is a detailed diary recovered from the home of a leading suspect. In it were two lists, ostensibly of people the conspirators wanted dead, reportedly including Veerabhadra Chennamalla, a liberal-minded Hindu priest, and K.S. Bhagavan, an outspokenly atheist Shakespeare scholar. First on one of the lists was Girish Karnad, who is perhaps the greatest living Kannada playwright. All have been particularly forthright in their criticism of Hindutva.

Second on one list was Lankesh. In the months since she was shot, some of her friends and colleagues have grown more cautious about what they write and say and post to social media, even as this year’s unusually fraught and uncertain Election Day approaches. . . . .

6. In numerous broadcasts and posts, we have highlighted Hindutva (Hindu supremacist/nationalist) fascism, the ideology of Narendra Modi’s BJP and its parent organization, the RSS. (Some of these programs are: FTR #’s 795, 889, 988, 989, 990, 991, 992, 1015, 1018, 1019, 1020.)

We have a reminder of how deeply the Hindutva fascism of India’s ruling BJP party and its parent RSS group were shaped by the Nazis. It’s also a reminder of how important idealized mythological pasts are for fascist movements. Finally, it’s a reminder of the important role anti-Semitism played in providing a model to RSS on how to successfully demonize of minority group (Muslims, in the case of the RSS) and how anti-Semitism remains a ‘go-to’ tool for Hindu nationalists today when dealing with non-Indians perceived to be enemies of the movement.

Audrey Truschke, a historian of premodern India at Rutgers University, ruffled Hindu nationalist feathers with her scholarly works on the historical legacy of Islam in India. Her research primarily deals with the Muslim dynasty that ruled much of north and central South Asia in the 16th and 17th centuries. As a result of that work, Truschke has found herself under attack from Hindu nationalists upset with her work, and tarring her with anti-Semitic slurs (despite Truschke not being Jewish). 

 “Hindu nationalists increasingly use anti-Semitic slurs to target me – and that isn’t surprising” by Audrey Truschke; Scroll.in; 11/12/2018

Two years ago, I awoke to the following tweet, “I hope another Hitler comes back and finishes off your people”, accompanied by a picture from 1945 of the bodies of dead Jews piled outside a liberated concentration camp. Since then, I have been regularly attacked with anti-Semitic language and tropes on social media, especially on Twitter.

I am a target for anti-Semitic insults due to my work: I am a historian of premodern India. My research primarily concerns the Mughals, a Muslim dynasty that ruled much of north and central South Asia in the 16th and 17th centuries and built the Taj Mahal. Most historians – especially those who work on non-Western, premodern topics – find their audience confined to scholars and students. But Indians have a voracious appetite for history, and the historical legacy of Islam in India has become a subject of explosive controversy in recent years. This potent combination has made my scholarship of wide interest among Indian and Indian American readers and has also made me a target of vicious personal attacks on the basis of my perceived race, gender, and religion.

Historically, anti-Semitism was not an Indian problem. Small Jewish communities, often traders, have dotted India’s western coast for more than a millennium. Premodern Indian Jews did not suffer from the persecution and discrimination that often characterised the lives of their European counterparts. In the 20th century, many Indian institutions and independence leaders condemned rising anti-Semitism in Europe. For example, following Kristallnacht in 1938, the Indian National Congress issued a declaration against Hitler’s Germany. Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, two of India’s most famous Independence leaders, condemned the Nazi treatment of Jews.

India’s distaste for anti-Semitism began to erode in the early 20th century, however, especially among Hindu nationalists. Hindu nationalists – who believe that India ought to be a Hindu nation in population and character – warmly embraced fascist ideas. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a paramilitary Hindu nationalist group founded in 1925, modelled itself on contemporary European fascist movements. The Hindu Mahasabha, a Hindu nationalist organisation founded in 1915, openly supported Nazism, including “Germany’s crusade against the enemies of Aryan culture”, as a spokesman for the group put it in 1939.

Rise of anti-Semitism in India

A key appeal of Nazism for early Hindu nationalists was anti-Semitism, which they saw as a useful model for how to demonise India’s Muslim minority. Muslims constituted 24% of the Indian population in 1941, and they comprise 14% of Indians today (the drop is explained by the Partition of Pakistan and its large Muslim population from India in 1947). Speaking in 1939 in Calcutta, VD Savarkar, the ideological godfather of Hindu nationalism, identified Indian Muslims as a potential traitorous people not to be trusted, “like the Jews in Germany”. In the same year, MS Golwalkar, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader, wrote that Germany’s “purging the country of the semitic Race – the Jews” was “a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by”.

For decades, Hindu nationalists constituted a set of fringe organisations whose extreme ideas were rejected by the wider Indian public. In 1948, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh man, Nathuram Godse, assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, which sparked a brief ban on the group’s operations. The Sangh experienced a remarkable recovery in subsequent decades, however, transforming itself from an extremist association known for producing Gandhi’s killer into the leaders of independent India. Today, Narendra Modi, who has had a lifelong association with the RSS, leads India as its prime minister.

Independent India has developed a strong appetite for aspects of fascism, including Nazi ideology. Hitler’s autobiography, Mein Kampf, has gone through countless editions in India and has been a bestseller in the country for decades. The work is especially popular among businessmen who see it as a self-help guide for how determination and strength can produce success. Indeed, I was once told by a gentleman in Bikaner, “Madam, you are a great leader like Hitler.” This was meant as a compliment.

Growing hate and intolerance

The Indian fascination with Hitler is often explained away as having nothing to do with anti-Semitism. Some argue that Indians hardly learn about the Holocaust in school and that they are historically and emotionally distant from the darker sides of Nazism. Others point out that the Indian state enjoys robust relations with Israel.

In India, however, growing bigotry and close relations with Israel are hardly mutually exclusive. A prejudiced attitude against Muslims has served as a binding glue between Israel and India over the past decade or two. Hate crimes against numerous groups – including Muslims, Christians, Dalits, and anybody who eats beef – are on the rise in Modi’s India. Such trends are unsurprising given the Hindu nationalist propaganda espoused by Modi and his political party, the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Anti-Semitic attitudes are not a central storyline in this larger flowering of prejudice, but they are a readymade playbook of virulent hate that can be unleashed against foreign scholars. Academics, such as myself, often contradict Hindu nationalist claims about a pristine Hindu past, in which Muslims are seen as barbarous invaders, by arguing that many Muslims were embedded into the fabric of premodern Indian society. By virtue of our dedication to accuracy, scholars also shed unfavourable light on the origins of groups such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Hindu nationalists lack the historical evidence to counter academic claims on scholarly grounds, and so they turn to one of their most finely-tuned weapons: identity-based attacks. . . .

. . . . One curious aspect of this anti-Semitism directed at me is that I am not, in fact, Jewish. Perhaps my last name suggests a Jewish identity to those unfamiliar with eastern European surnames, but I suspect that darker reasons often lurk behind this mistaken identification. Several of my academic advisors are Jewish and frequently maligned as such by Hindu nationalists. As a result, I am evidently perceived as a Jew by association. More insidiously, the old anti-Semitic trope that Jews control universities still surfaces with alarming regularity. This is a sub-type of the foundational anti-Semitic trope that there is an international Jewish conspiracy to run the world. In other words, anti-Semitism blinds people into assuming that I am Jewish, and then provides them with a remarkably hateful set of tools with which to attack me.

India has a growing problem with hate and intolerance. Alarmingly, in recent years, much of this hate has been sponsored by groups and figures that are close to the Indian government. Within India, Muslims remain the chief targets of mounting bigotry and violent assaults. When attacking non-Indians, however, Hindu nationalists increasingly resort to the virulent anti-Semitic ideas that inspired their early leaders.

7. Hindutva fascists are also attempting to infuse scientific theory with Hindu mythology, not unlike the atavism that elements of the Nazi regime and the SS in particular espoused, dismissing Einstein, among others as a purveyor of “Jewish science.”

“India scientists dismiss Einstein theories”; BBC; 01/07/2019

Scientists in India have hit out at speakers at a major conference for making irrational claims, including that ancient Hindus invented stem cell research.

Some academics at the annual Indian Science Congress dismissed the findings of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein.

Hindu mythology and religion-based theories have increasingly become part of the Indian Science Congress agenda.

But experts said remarks at this year’s summit were especially ludicrous.

The 106th Indian Science Congress, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, runs from 3-7 January.

The head of a southern Indian university cited an old Hindu text as proof that stem cell research was discovered in India thousands of years ago.

G Nageshwar Rao, vice chancellor of Andhra University, also said a demon king from the Hindu religious epic, Ramayana, had 24 types of aircraft and a network of landing strips in modern day Sri Lanka.

Another scientist from a university in the southern state of Tamil Nadu told conference attendees that Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein were both wrong and that gravitational waves should be renamed “Narendra Modi Waves”.

Dr KJ Krishnan reportedly said Newton failed to “understand gravitational repulsive forces” and Einstein’s theories were “misleading”.

Critics said that while ancient texts should be read and enjoyed – it was nonsense to suggest they represented science.

The Indian Scientific Congress Association expressed “serious concern” at the remarks.

Pseudoscience moves from fringe to the mainstream

Analysis by Soutik Biswas, BBC News, Delhi

India has a mixed relationship with science.

On the one hand, it has a rich tradition of outstanding scientists – the Higgs boson particle, for example, is named partly after an Indian physicist and Einstein’s contemporary, Satyendra Nath Bose. Particle physicist Ashoke Sen, meanwhile, is the recipient of Fundamental Physics Prize, the world’s most lucrative academic award.

But it also has a long tradition of replacing science with myths, leading to a fringe culture of pseudoscience.

Many believe under Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP party, pseudoscience has moved from the fringe to the mainstream.

Mr Modi himself set the tone in 2014 with his outlandish claim that cosmetic surgery was practised in India thousands of years ago.

Many of his ministers followed suit with similar claims. India’s top science summit also started inviting academics with Hindu nationalist leanings who have made equally bizarre claims.

Such claims usually hark back to an imagined glorious Hindu past to bolster religious nationalism. The BJP and its hard line allies have for a long time mixed mythology and religion to bolster political Hinduism and nationalism. Adding science to the mix, say critics, will only help propagate quack science and erode scientific temper.

Also, as economist Kaushik Basu says: “For a nation to progress it is important for people to spend time on science, mathematics and literature instead of spending time showing that 5,000 years ago their ancestors did science, mathematics and literature.”

Other claims made by Indian politicians and scientists:

* India’s junior education minister Satyapal Singh in 2017 said that airplanes were first mentioned in the ancient Hindu epic, Ramayana. He added that the first working plane was invented by an Indian named Shivakar Babuji Talpade eight years before the Wright brothers
* Also in 2017, the education minister for the western state of Rajasthan said it was important to “understand the scientific significance” of the cow, claiming it was the only animal in the world to both inhale and exhale oxygen
* In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told medical staff at a Mumbai hospital that the story of the Hindu god Ganesha – whose elephant head is attached to a human body – showed cosmetic surgery existed in ancient India
* Geologist Ashu Khosla said that Hindu god Brahma discovered dinosaurs and documented them in ancient Indian scriptures while presenting a research paper at the Indian Science Congress on Sunday
* Lawmaker Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank prompted outrage in 2014 when he said that “science is a dwarf in front of astrology”. He added that astrology was “the biggest science” and that India conducted nuclear tests more than 100,000 years ago

Discussion

One comment for “FTR #1070 Update on Hindutva Fascism and Socialists for Trump and Hitler (The “Assistance”)”

  1. Finally, the link to Peter Theil, who I always knew was behind Bernie and AOC. Thank you!

    Posted by May Frock | May 14, 2019, 8:13 pm

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