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Fascist Antecedents of Narendra Modi and His Party

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COMMENT: Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi, with a political background in a Hindu nationalist party with strong fascist roots, is now in charge of the world’s second largest country and the world’s largest democracy.  

 Narendra Modi  belonged to the RSS, an organization with an historical affinity for Nazism and fascism.  Capitalizing on anti-Muslim fervor in India, RSS has generated much gravitas.

Modi has been implicated in complicity in lethal anti-Muslim rioting in India.  

Several thoughts in this regard:

  • Karl Haushofer (a key influence on a number of important Hitler aides) developed the concept of German allegiance with “the Colored Peoples” of the colonial world as a further vehicle for securing German economic and political control. Haushofer’s theories underlie, in part, the fascist heritage of key elements of the Hindhu Nationalist movement currently gaining increasing influence in Indian politics.
  • An associate of RSS assassinated Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The BJP itself evolved from the RSS.
  • In 2012, Digvijaya Singh discussed Modi’s campaign tactics, comparing his RSS training with the methodology of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.
  • The Indian situation has some similarities with regard to Islam with the rise of fascist groups in Europe. The center parties simply ignore the problems of jihadism and do nothing, creating a vacuum for the fascist groups to fill. No country on the planet suffers more from jihad terrorism than India… but nobody calls it terrorism, they use euphemisms like “communal violence” as if both parties are guilty.   Sometimes hundreds are slaughtered and it barely makes the Western press, because, let’s face it, Indian lives are cheap in the eyes of multinational finance and corporatism. 
  •  Currently, Modi isn’t even allowed to come to the US due to his support of anti-Muslim riots (note: if the U.S. applied this concept to those who support PRO-Muslim riots, we would have a lot less visitors from several parts of the world, so this double-standard plays right into the right-wing Hindu wheelhouse).
  •  Modi’s talking all the right “free trade” talking points with the West right now, and the EU has lifted his visa ban–the US will surely follow suit.

Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International by Kevin Coogan; Autonomedia Inc.; Copyright 1999 [SC]; ISBN 1-57027-039-2; pp. 68-69.

EXCERPT: . . . . In its struggle to break British dominance, German military intelligence also looked to nationalist independence movements in the Middle East, Asia, and Ireland. After World War I, Haushofer continued to support these anti-British groups. In the 1930’s, Indian nationalist leader Subhas Chandra Bose [whose Indian national Army later received military support in World War II from both Germany and Japan] was a correspondent for the Zeitschrift fur Geopolitik. [Haushofer’s publication.] . . . In July 1942, foreign policy expert Hans Weigert profiled Haushofer’s ‘Eurasian liberation front’ policies in Foreign Affairs. Weigert pointed that Haushofer actually welcomed ‘the rise of the colored world,’ even writing that ‘the struggle of India and China for liberation from foreign domination and capitalist pressure agrees with the secret dreams of Central Europe.’ . . . .

 “Hindu Fundamentalism: Why We Are Concerned” by Paul Crofts and Anjona Roy; Searchlight Magazine; January/2003 [#331]; p. 20.

EXCERPT: During the 1940’s the RSS’s new leader, Madhev Golwalkar, following the death of [RSS founder Keshav Baliram] Hedgewar, sympathized both with German Nazism and Italian fascism. In 1939, Golwalkar said: ‘German race pride has now become the topic of the day. To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races-the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifest here. Germany has shown how well nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.’ (Golwalker [1939] in We, or Our Nationhood, Defined.’ . . .

. . . . There has been no explicit and unconditional disavowal of nazi-like doctrines by the RSS/HSS or a repudiation of Golwalker’s ideas. Indeed, Golwalkar is held up as an example and spiritual leader for young RSS/HSS Swayamsevaks (members) and affectionately referred to as ‘Guruji.’ . . . .

. . . . Following Mahatma Gahdhi’s assassination by a former RSS member, Nathuram Godse, the RSS was banned by the Indian government from 1948 to 1949. After the ban was reversed the RSS, while claiming to devote itself solely to cultural activities, created several offshoot organizations, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), or World Hindu Council, in 1964, the Jana Sangh political party in 1951, which was the precursor to the current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and numerous other organizations. . . . .

“Hindu Nationalist’s Historical Links to Fascism and Nazism” by Palosh R. Ghosh; International Business Times; 3/6/2012.

EXCERPT: . . . . The BJP has a very interesting history — officially formed in 1980, its history can be traced much further back to the pre-1947 era when Hindu nationalists not only demanded an independent India, but one completely dominated by Hindus.

The current BJP is the successor of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) party, which itself was the political arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a group that espoused openly militant Hindu activism and the suppression of minorities in India.

The RSS was founded in 1925 by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, a doctor from the central Indian town of Nagpur in Maharashtra, who agitated for both independence from the British crown and the strict segregation of Hindus and Muslims.

What may surprise many in the West is that some of the most prominent figures of RSS deeply admired Fascism and Nazism, the two totalitarian movements that swept through Europe at the time.

As such, RSS was outlawed by the British (and was even periodically banned by the Indian government after independence). Indeed, Naturam Godse, the man who assassinated Gandhi in 1948, was himself a former RSS member who felt that the Mahatma made too many generous concessions to the Muslims.

In the decades prior to that momentous event, senior RSS members had direct links to both Benito Mussolini in Italy and Adolf Hitler in Germany. Part of the RSS’ fascination with these totalitarian regimes was their shared opposition to the British Empire — however, it went far beyond that. The RSS (as well as multitudes of other Hindu nationalists) admired the way Mussolini and Hitler reorganized their respective nations so quickly from the wreckage of war to build a powerful economy and military under the banner of patriotism and nationalism.

With respect to Hitler and Nazism, the links to India and Hinduism were deeper and more profound.

Much of Nazi ideology and imagery came from the symbols and history of ancient India – indeed, the infamous Nazi swastika was based on a Hindu symbol of strength and good fortune. Moreover, the legendary history (some would say, myth) of the invasion of prehistoric India by the mysterious “Aryan” tribes would (centuries later) provide Hitler with his notion of a “super master race” that was destined to dominate the world.

During World War II, some Indian nationalists received explicit support from German Nazis — in fact, some Indian soldiers even served in Hitler’s armies and in the notorious SS.

Marzia Casolari, an Italian scholar who studied Indian politics, once wrote of RSS’ connections with European fascism: The existence of direct contacts between the representatives of the [Italian] Fascist regime, including Mussolini, and Hindu nationalists demonstrates that Hindu nationalism had much more than an abstract interest in the ideology and practice of fascism. The interest of Indian Hindu nationalists in fascism and Mussolini must not be considered as dictated by an occasional curiosity, confined to a few individuals; rather, it should be considered as the culminating result of the attention that Hindu nationalists… focused on Italian dictatorship and its leader. To them, fascism appeared to be an example of conservative revolution.

Perhaps there was no greater admirer of Hitler and Mussolini in India than Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, another leading member of RSS.

In a speech delivered in 1940 (after the Second World War had commenced), Savarkar said: There is no reason to suppose that Hitler must be a human monster because he passes off as a Nazi or Churchill is a demigod because he calls himself a Democrat. Nazism proved undeniably the savior of Germany under the set of circumstances Germany was placed in.

Savarkar criticized Nehru for his staunch opposition to fascism.

Who are we to dictate to Germany… or Italy to choose a particular form of policy of government simply?” Savarkar rhetorically asked.

“Surely Hitler knows better than Pandit Nehru does what suits Germany best. The very fact that Germany or Italy has so wonderfully recovered and grown so powerful as never before at the touch of Nazi or Fascist magical wand is enough to prove that those political ‘isms’ were the most congenial tonics their health demanded.”

Indeed, many Hindu nationalists also derided Gandhi for opposing Nazism and fascism. In 1939, a spokesman for the Hindu Mahasabha (Hindu Party) intimately connected Germany with Indian culture and people.

Germany’s solemn idea of the revival of the Aryan culture, the glorification of the Swastika, her patronage of Vedic learning and the ardent championship of the tradition of Indo-Germanic civilization are welcomed by the religious and sensible Hindus of India with a jubilant hope,” the spokesman blustered.

“Only a few Socialists headed by… Nehru have created a bubble of resentment against the present government of Germany, but their activities are far from having any significance in India.”

He added: “Germany’s crusade against the enemies of Aryan culture will bring all the Aryan nations of the world to their senses and awaken the Indian Hindus for the restoration of their lost glory.

While the RSS was not explicitly anti-Semitic (largely because India never had a large Jewish population), Savarkar even praised Hitler’s treatment of the Jews (at least before the death camps and ovens became known to the public at large).

In 1938, during the time of accelerating anti-Jewish legislation in Germany, Savarkar suggested a similar fate for India’s Muslims.

A nation is formed by a majority living therein,” he declared. “What did the Jews do in Germany? They being in minority were driven out from Germany.”

Another senior RSS member, Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, also praised Nazism and believed the ideology should be applied to India.

German race pride has now become the topic of the day,” he wrote.

“To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic Races — the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan [India] to learn and profit by.

Golwalkar enthusiastically advocated for an India dominated by Hindus.

“There are only two courses open to the foreign elements, either to merge themselves in the national race and adopt its culture, or to live at its mercy so long as the national race may allow them to do so and to quit the country at the sweet will of the national race,” he wrote.

“That is the only sound view on the minorities problem. That is the only logical and correct solution. That alone keeps the national life healthy and undisturbed… The foreign races in Hindustan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of the Hindu race and culture, i.e., of the Hindu nation and must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment not even citizen’s rights.”

If one were to replace “Hindu” with “German,” Golwalkar’s words would match Hitler’s rhetoric almost exactly.

Savarkar also spelled out why Hindus should rule India and others should either be expelled or merged into the Hindu majority.

The Aryans who settled in India at the dawn of history already formed a nation, now embodied in the Hindus,” he wrote.“Hindus are bound together not only by the love they bear to a common fatherland and by the common blood that courses through their veins and keeps our hearts throbbing and our affection warm but also by the of the common homage we pay to our great civilization, our Hindu culture.

During a speech given to Indian military officers and Indian nationalist Subhash Chandra Bose in Dresden, Germany, in 1943, Hitler himself reportedly said: You are fortunate having been born in a country of glorious cultural traditions and a colossal manpower. I am impressed by the burning passion with which you and your Netaji [Bose] seek to liberate your country from foreign domination. Your Netaji’s status is even greater than mine. While I am the leader of 80 million Germans, he is the leader of 400 million Indians. In all respects he is a greater leader and a greater general than myself. I salute him, and Germany salutes him. It is the duty of all Indians to accept him as their führer and obey him implicitly. I have no doubt that if you do this, his guidance will lead India very soon to freedom.”

After the defeat of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany in World War II, Hindu nationalists distanced themselves from the totalitarian regimes of Europe.

However, their calls for a “Hindu India have only strengthened over the years. In the present climate, the RSS and BJP are both generally opposed to the Muslim presence and express extreme hostility toward India’s principal Muslim rival, Pakistan.

Moreover, Nazism, and the mysticism of Adolf Hitler’s warped philosophies, remain an obsession with many Indians, almost 80 years after Der Führer came to power in Germany.

“Narendra Modi Trained by RSS in ‘Nazi Tradition’: Digvijayah Singh”; Times of India; 10/2/2012. 

ENTIRE TEXT: Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday slammed Narendra Modi over his allegation on Sonia Gandhi’s foreign trips, saying he has been trained well by RSS in the “Nazi tradition” of false propaganda and BJP’s “cheap intentions” have been proved by trying to politicise a health issue.

Comparing the Gujarat chief minister with Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister of Nazi government in Germany, the Congress leader picked on his favourite target RSS alleging it trains its cadres in “disinformation campaign”.

In his posts on the microblogging site Twitter, Singh said, “Sangh trains it’s cadre in disinformation campaign. Obviously Modi has been trained well! Sangh has modelled itself in the Nazi tradition.

“Sangh training to it’s cadre. Jhoot bolo zor se bolo aur baar baar bolo (Tell a lie, tell it loudly and tell it hundred times). Doesn’t it remind you of Hitler’s Goebbels?”

Singh’s attack againt Modi and RSS came a day after Modi alleged that Rs 1,880 crore was spent from state exchequer for Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s foreign trips citing a media report.

In the night, he offered to publicly accept his mistake if the claim turned out to be false.

“I had said this thing based on the report of a newspaper. If my information is wrong, today I say that I will publicly accept this mistake”, Modi said addressing another rally in Junagadh.

Digvijaya Singh said the incident “establishes the motive of BJP and Narendra Modi, their malafide cheap intentions. They want to politicise even an issue like health”.

The Congress president had gone thrice to an undisclosed destination abroad in last more than a year for a surgery.

“Modi’s Role Model: Margaret Thatcher or Lee Kuan Yew” by John Cassidy; The New Yorker; 5/19/2014.

EXCERPT: . . .  As several commentators have noted in recent days, Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister-elect, shares several characteristics with Margaret Thatcher, the late British Prime Minister.

Like Mrs. T., Modi is a product of the provincial petite bourgeoisie. Thatcher’s father ran a corner store in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Modi, too, came from a family of grocers: his father ran a number of tea stalls in the Gujarat city of Vadnagar. Thatcher was a strong believer in enterprise and the self-help ethos that often goes with it, and she disdained the metropolitan élites, whom she accused of bringing Britain to its knees. In seeking to put the “Great” back into “Great Britain”—that was how she saw her mission—she surrounded herself with right-wing oddballs and entrepreneurs, ignored the advice of her colleagues, and frequently acted dictatorially. . . .



One comment for “Fascist Antecedents of Narendra Modi and His Party”

  1. Oh look, the ‘Omidyartopus’ has another arm:

    Pando Daily
    REVEALED: The head of Omidyar Networks in India had a secret second job… Helping elect Narendra Modi

    By Mark Ames
    On May 26, 2014

    Last weekend, India’s elections swept into power a hardline Hindu supremacist named Narendra Modi. And with that White House spokesman Jay Carney said the Obama administration “look[s] forward to working closely” with a man who has been on a US State Dept “visa blacklist” since 2005 for his role in the gruesome mass-killings and persecution of minority Muslims (and minority Christians).

    Modi leads India’s ultranationalist BJP party, which won a landslide majority of seats (though only 31% of the votes), meaning Modi will have the luxury of leading India’s first one-party government in 30 years. This is making a lot of people nervous: The last time the BJP party was in power, in 1998, they launched series of nuclear bomb test explosions, sparking a nuclear crisis with Pakistan and fears of all-out nuclear war. And that was when the BJP was led by a “moderate” ultranationalist — and tied down with meddling coalition partners.

    Modi is different. Not only will he rule alone, he’s promised to run India the way he ran the western state of Gujarat since 2001, which Booker Prize-winning author Arandhuti Roy described as “the petri dish in which Hindu fascism has been fomenting an elaborate political experiment.” Under Modi’s watch, an orgy of anti-Muslim violence led to up to 2000 killed and 250,000 internally displaced, and a lingering climate of fear, ghettoization, and extrajudicial executions by Gujarat death squads operating under Modi’s watch.

    We can understand the White House being forced to congratulate Modi through gritted diplomatic teeth. What’s harder to stomach is the public cheering of India’s election results by one of the most prominent progressive names in Silicon Valley.

    * * * *

    Omidyar Network, as Pando readers know, is the philanthropy arm of eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar. Since 2009, Omidyar Network has made more investments in India than in any other country in its portfolio. These investments were largely thanks to Jayant Sinha, a former McKinsey partner and Harvard MBA, who was hired in October 2009 to establish and run Omidyar Network India Advisors.

    During Sinha’s tenure, Omidyar Network steered a large portion of its investments into India, so that by 2013, India investments made up 18% of Omidyar Network’s committed funds of well over $600 million, and 36% of the total number of companies in its portfolio.

    In February of this year, Sinha stepped down from Omidyar Network in order to advise Modi’s election campaign, and to run for a BJP parliamentary seat of his own. Sinha’s father, Yashwant Sinha, served as finance minister in the last BJP government from 1998 (when his government set off the nukes) through 2002. This year, Sinha’s father gave up his seat in parliament to allow Jayant Sinha to take his place.

    During the campaign, Sinha’s father publicly backed Modi’s refusal to apologize over the deadly riots under his watch: “Modi is right…why should he apologize?” His ex-Omidyar staffer son, Jayant, boasted a few weeks ago that his father’s BJP government ignored international outrage in 1998 when detonating its nukes, known as ““Pokhran””:

    When Atalji became PM in 1998, the global media attacked us similarly. However, we pursued our national interests including Pokhran.

    Shortly after Sinha left Omidyar Network to help Modi win, Modi gave a speech calling for opening India’s e-commerce market to foreign companies such as Ebay, whose largest shareholder is Pierre Omidyar. The message was clear: Modi is the candidate of hi-tech India, violent ultranationalism notwithstanding.
    At the same time, Sinha helped organize a summit meeting between Modi and major global investors like JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Nomura bank.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 26, 2014, 4:57 pm

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