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FTR #1015 Update on Hindutva Fascism

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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment. [5]

[6]Introduction: In numerous programs, we have highlighted the Nazi tract Serpent’s Wal [7]k, which deals, in part, with the rehabilitation of the Third Reich’s reputation and the transformation of Hitler into a hero.

In FTR #’s 988 [8] and [8] 989 [8]990, [9] 991 [10], and 992, [11]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.

It appears 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.

[12]Key points of analysis and discussion include:

  1. Narendra Modi’s presence on the same book cove [13](along with Gandhi, Mandela, Obama and Hitler.)
  2. Modi himself has his own political history [14] 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 [14]. 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 [15]: ” . . . . as far back as 2002, the Times of India reported a survey [15] 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 [16], 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 [17]), 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 [18]” . . . . What’s more, there’s a steady trickle of reports that say it has become a must-read for business-school students [19]; 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 [18], the now deceased chief of the Shiv Sena party which is a long-standing BJP ally [20]. ” . . . .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 [18]” . . . . Thackeray said this [21] 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.’ . . . .”

[22]Next, we further develop the operational link between Pierre Omidyar (of EBay and Intercept fame) and Narendra Modi’s BJP (a political front for the Hindutva fascist RSS. (We covered this in–among other programs–FTR #889 [23].)

Jayant Sinha, the lead advisor for the Omidyar Network in India [24] became Narendra Modi’s finance minister and is now a member of parliament. Sinha garlanded (adorned with flowers) eight men convicted of killing a meat trader last year as part of a far right Hindu national “cow vigilantism” campaign. The killing was caught on video. One of the killers was a local BJP leader.

The killing  of Alimuddin Ansari took place a day after Modi belatedly proclaimed that “killing people in the name of cow protection unacceptable.”

Prior to Modi’s statement, cow vigilantism had been going on for years with a muted response from Modi’s government.

As a result of Modi’s statement, the eleven people involved with the killing were sent to a fast track court and given life sentences in March, making it the FIRST successful conviction over an act of cow vigilantism.

Sinha protested that conviction, claiming that he was convinced that justice was not done. He then demanded that the case be probed again, but by the Central Bureau of Investigation this time.

Fast forward to today: eight of the convicted were released on bail, [25] while they appeal their conviction. They then traveled to Sinha’s residence where they were feted [26].

The symbolic importance of cow vigilantism isn’t simply a demonstration of the BJP’s willingness to cater to Hindutva fascist ideology. The focus on the cow is part of the atavistic, anti-modernist, anti-pluralist narrative the BJP and its ideological RSS parent have been promoting.

Cow vigilantism is central to a narrative that exalts a mythical time [27] of Brahmanic purity that allegedly existed before the arrival of the British and Muslims on the Indian subcontinent.

Because lower caste Hindus and Muslims who consume beef in India, the cow vigilantism provides a convenient proxy issue to excuse attacks on those seen as ‘other’ by the Hindu nationalists.

As the article puts it, a crucial ingredient to Modi’s political success has been tapping into a nostalgic impulse for a purer past. [27] The sacredness of the cow has come to symbolize that Hindu nationalist drive for national renewal.

” . . . . Under this worldview, the golden age of Hindu rule in the Vedic period, subsequently sullied by foreign pollutants—the British, yes, but the rapacious Muslim in particular—is to be channeled into twenty-first-century renewal, piloted by an arbitrary set of “Hindu values.” And foremost among these is the inviolability of the cow. . . .

. . . . The BJP, as well as its ideological parent organization the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, peddle a version of nationalism that prioritizes exclusivity, in which Indians are rigidly defined by ethnicity and religion. The trope of the cow is thus a convenient instrument, measuring the allegiance to the nation along gastronomical—and thereby spiritual—lines. Non-Hindus are deemed a surplus population, and violence against them is sanctioned in an attempt to cleanse the true body politic. . . .”

In our discussions with Peter Levenda [28], we have set forth the manner in which fascism mobilizes xenophobic [29], eugenicist longing for a mythical “purer past” [30] to gain and rally adherents.

” . . . . But the crucial ingredient is the way Modi has tapped into the nostalgic impulse. Svetlana Boym, a Russian-American philologist, has described this as the ‘historical emotion’ of modernity, and argued that attempts to create a ‘phantom homeland’ through ahistorical restoration would only breed monstrous consequences. As she writes in The Future of Nostalgia [31], it is a ‘restorative nostalgia’ that ‘is at the core of recent national and religious revivals. It knows two main plots—the return to origins and the conspiracy.’

And so we inhabit a landscape where MAGA caps, Little England, the Hindu Rashtra, and the Islamic Caliphate have arrested the imagination of millions. These are all overtures to an Edenic past, promising an order that preserves tradition by purifying society of contagion. . . .”

With 2017 now in the rear view mirror, we conclude the program by capping our revulsion at the Bay Area’s 50th anniversary celebrations of the Summer of Love (1967.) In FTR #991 [10], we detailed the Hindutva fascist/Nazi philosophy of Hare Krishna cult founder and head guru A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

On 1/29/1967, Prabhupada and his cult were the beneficiaries of monies generated by a concert and dance featuring the leading San Francisco psychedelic-era rock bands. The event also featured participation by LSD guru Timothy Leary, whose activities and career are inextricably linked with the CIA.

Program Highlights:

  1. Hare Krishna cult founder Bhaktivedanta Swami’s fundamental opposition to democracy. “So monarchy or dictatorship is welcome. . . . Personally, I like this position, dictatorship. Personally, I like this.”
  2. Bhaktivedanta Swami’s teachings dovetail superbly with Nazi occult philosophy. ” . . . . Bhaktivedanta Swami, however, speaks extensively about ‘the Aryans’–at least twenty-five of his purports and over a hundred lectures and conversations contain lengthy elaborations on the topic. He places all those whom he calls ‘non-Aryan’ in a category similar to his ‘unwanted population,’ thus dividing humans into two groups: a large group of varna sankara  and non-Aryans on one side, and a small group of Aryans,  ie those who follow varnashram, on the other: ‘Those who traditionally follow these principles are called Aryans, or progressive human beings.’ ‘The Vedic way of life,’ he writes, ‘is the progressive march of civilization of the Aryans.’ ‘In the history of the human race, the Aryan family is considered to be the most elevated community in the world.’ . . . . In more than one fifth of his statements he clearly describes or defines them in racial terms: The Aryan family is distributed all over the world and is known as Indo-Aryan. The Aryans are white. But here, this side, due to climatic influence, they are a little tan. Indians are tan but they are not black. But Aryans are all white. And the non-Aryans, they are called black. Yes . . .”
  3. Bhaktivedanta Swami’s philosophy saw Europeans and Americans as part of, and extensions of, the Aryan race. Note that he, also, invokes the mythical lost past, in which Aryan/Brahmanic culture became degraded. In an address to a French audience, he intoned as follows: ” . . . . So we all belong to the Aryan family. Historical reference is there, Indo-European family. So Aryan stock was on the central Asia. Some of them migrated to India. Some of them migrated to Europe. And from Europe you have come. So we belong to the Aryan family, but we have lost our knowledge. So we have become non-Aryan, practically. You French people, you are also Aryan family, but the culture is lost now. So this Krishna consciousness movement is actually reviving the original Aryan culture. Bharata. We are all inhabitants of Bharatavarsha, but as we lost our culture, it became divided.  So on the whole, the conclusion is that the Aryans spread in Europe also, and the Americans, they also spread from Europe. So the intelligent class of human being, they belong to the Aryans. Aryan family. Just like Hitler claimed that he belonged to the Aryan family. Of course, they belonged to the Aryan families. . . .”
  4. It should  come as  no surprise that Bhaktivedanta was pro-Hitler, viewing the Fuehrer as “a gentleman,” who had to kill the Jews because they were “financing” against him. “. . . . So these English people, they were very expert in making propaganda. They killed Hitler by propaganda. I don’t think Hitler was so bad [a] man. Hitler knew it [the atomic bomb] . . . .  He was gentleman. He said that ‘I can smash the whole world, but I do not use that weapon.’ The Germans already discovered. But out of humanity they did not use it. . . . The activities of such men are certainly very great . . . Therefore Hitler killed these Jews. They were financing against Germany. Otherwise he had no enmity with the Jews. . . . Therefore Hitler decided, ‘Kill all the Jews.’ . . . .”
  5.  An in-depth view of Bhaktivedanta Swami’s view of “shudras” reveals the deep racist/fascistic views of social class/caste. Described variously as “black” or “common,” shudras are the focus of deep ideological contempt. This should be seen against the background of the Aryan racial philosophy of Bhaktivedanta Swami. “. . . . ordinary people; the laborer class; once-born; the lowest class of men; non-Aryan; worker; the black man; he must find out a master; one who has no education; almost animal; just like a dog; he becomes disturbed; one who is dependent on others; they are ignorant rascals; unclean; equal to the animal; no training; fools, rascals. . .  According to his understanding, people of black or dark skin color, as well as native Americans, are shudras, are third-class, degraded, and less intelligent: ‘Shudras have no brain. In America also, the whole America once belonged to the Red Indians. Why they could not improve? The land was there. Why these foreigners, the Europeans, came and improved? So Shudras cannot do this. They cannot make any correction. . . . A first-class Rolls Royce car, and who is sitting there? A third class negro. This is going on. You’ll find these things in Europe and America. This is going on. A first-class car and a third-class negro. . . .”
  6. Bhaktivedanta Swami did not feel that the black American slaves should be freed. ” . . . . Just like in America. The blacks were slaves. They were under control. And since you have given them equal rights they are disturbing, most disturbing, always creating a fearful situation, uncultured  and drunkards. What training they have got? . . .  That is best, to keep them under control as slaves but give them sufficient food, sufficient cloth, not more than that. Then they will be satisfied. . . . ‘So the Kiratas, they  were always slaves of the Aryans. The Aryan people used to keep slaves, but they were treating slaves very nicely.’ And that the Kiratas were Africans, he had explained many times: ‘Kirata means the black, the Africans.’ . . . .”
  7. Bhaktivedanta Swami had some “choice” things to say about women: ” . . . . Generally all women desire material enjoyment.Women in general should not be trusted. Women are generally not very intelligent. It appears that women is a stumbling block [sic] for self-realization. . . . Although rape is not legally allowed, it is a fact that a woman likes a man who is very expert at rape. When a husbandless woman is attacked by an aggressive man, she takes his action to be mercy. Generally when a woman is attacked by a man—whether her husband or some other man—she enjoys the attack, being too lusty. . . .”

1a. We begin by referencing the Nazi tract Serpent’s Walk. Like The Turner Diaries (also published by National Vanguard Books), the book seems to be a blueprint for a Nazi takeover of the United States (rather than a novel), set to take place in the middle of the 21st century. The book describes the Third Reich going underground, buying into the American media, and taking over the country.

Serpent’s Walk by “Randolph D. Calverhall;” Copyright 1991 [SC]; National Vanguard Books; 0-937944-05-X; Back Cover. [32]

It assumes that Hitler’s warrior elite – the SS – didn’t give up their struggle for a White world when they lost the Second World War. Instead their survivors went underground and adopted some of the tactics of their enemies: they began building their economic muscle and buying into the opinion-forming media. A century after the war they are ready to challenge the democrats and Jews for the hearts and minds of White Americans, who have begun to have their fill of government-enforced multi-culturalism and ‘equality.’

1b. This process is described in more detail in a passage of text, consisting of a discussion between Wrench (a member of this Underground Reich) and a mercenary named Lessing.

Serpent’s Walk by “Randolph D. Calverhall;” Copyright 1991 [SC]; National Vanguard Books; 0-937944-05-X; pp. 42-43. [32]

. . . . The SS . . . what was left of it . . . had business objectives before and during World War II. When the war was lost they just kept on, but from other places: Bogota, Asuncion, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Colombo, Damascus, Dacca . . . you name it. They realized that the world is heading towards a ‘corporacracy;’ five or ten international super-companies that will run everything worth running by the year 2100. Those super-corporations exist now, and they’re already dividing up the production and marketing of food, transport, steel and heavy industry, oil, the media, and other commodities. They’re mostly conglomerates, with fingers in more than one pie . . . . We, the SS, have the say in four or five. We’ve been competing for the past sixty years or so, and we’re slowly gaining . . . . About ten years ago, we swung a merger, a takeover, and got voting control of a supercorp that runs a small but significant chunk of the American media. Not openly, not with bands and trumpets or swastikas flying, but quietly: one huge corporation cuddling up to another one and gently munching it up, like a great, gubbing amoeba. Since then we’ve been replacing executives, pushing somebody out here, bringing somebody else in there. We’ve swing program content around, too. Not much, but a little, so it won’t show. We’ve cut down on ‘nasty-Nazi’ movies . . . good guys in white hats and bad guys in black SS hats . . . lovable Jews versus fiendish Germans . . . and we have media psychologists, ad agencies, and behavior modification specialists working on image changes. . . .

1c. Before turning directly to the subject of music, the broadcast addresses the gradual remaking of the image of the Third Reich that is represented in Serpent’s Walk. In the discussion excerpted above, this process is further described.

Serpent’s Walk by “Randolph D. Calverhall;” Copyright 1991 [SC]; National Vanguard Books; 0-937944-05-X; pp. 42-44. [32]

. . . . Hell, if you can con granny into buying Sugar Turds instead of Bran Farts, then why can’t you swing public opinion over to a cause as vital and important as ours?’ . . . In any case, we’re slowly replacing those negative images with others: the ‘Good Bad Guy’ routine’ . . . ‘What do you think of Jesse James? John Dillinger? Julius Caesar? Genghis Khan?’ . . . The reality may have been rough, but there’s a sort of glitter about most of those dudes: mean honchos but respectable. It’s all how you package it. Opinion is a godamned commodity!’ . . . It works with anybody . . . Give it time. Aside from the media, we’ve been buying up private schools . . . and helping some public ones through philanthropic foundations . . .and working on the churches and the Born Agains. . . .

1d.  In numerous programs, we have highlighted the Nazi tract Serpent’s Wal [7]k, which deals, in part, with the rehabilitation of the Third Reich’s reputation and the transformation of Hitler into a hero.

In FTR #’s 988 [8] and [8] 989 [8]990, [9] 991 [10], and 992, [11]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.

It appears 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:

“Indian Children’s Book Lists Hitler as Leader ‘Who Will Inspire You’” by Kai Schultz; The New York Times; 03/17/2018 [13]

An Indian publisher came under fire this weekfor including Hitler in a children’s book about world leaders who have “devoted their lives for the betterment of their country and people.”

“Dedicated to the betterment of countries and people? Adolf Hitler? This description would bring tears of joy to the Nazis and their racist neo-Nazi heirs,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center [33], an international Jewish human rights organization, said in a statement.

Published by the Pegasus imprint of India’s B. Jain Publishing Group, the book, called “Leaders” — but listed on the publisher’s website as “Great Leaders” — spotlights 11 leaders “who will inspire you,” according to a product description on the publisher’s website [34].

On the book’s cover, a stony-faced Hitler is featured alongside Barack Obama, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi. . . .

“Placing Hitler alongside truly great political and humanitarian leaders is an abomination that is made worse as it targets young people with little or no knowledge of world history and ethics,” Rabbi Cooper [of the Simon Wiesenthal Center] said in the statement.

Annshu Juneja, a publishing manager at the imprint, said by email that Hitler was featured because, like Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, “his leadership skills and speeches influenced masses.”

We are not talking about his way of conduct or his views or whether he was a good leader or a bad leader but simply portraying how powerful he was as a leader,” he said. . . .

. . . . In parts of Asia, atrocities committed in Nazi Germany are poorly understood [35] and Hitler is sometimes glorified as a strong, effective leader.

In 2004, reports surfaced of high-school textbooks in the state of Gujarat, which was then led by Mr. Modi, thatspoke glowingly of Nazism and fascism [14].

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.” Only briefly does the book mention the extermination of millions of Jews and others by the end of World War II.

Dilip D’Souza, an Indian journalist, wrote in a 2012 editorial [18] that when 25 mostly upper-middle-class students taught by his wife at a private French school in Mumbai were asked to name the historical figure they most admired, nine of them picked Hitler.

“ ‘And what about the millions he murdered?’ asked my wife. ‘Oh, yes, that was bad,’ said the kids. ‘But you know what, some of them were traitors.’ ” . . .

2.  Hitler has had a positive impact on many students in India, whereas Gandhi’s image has been tarnished. Much of the posthumous popularity of Hitler comes from Bal Thackeray and his Shiv Shena Party.

“Hitler’s Strange Afterlife in India” by Dilip D’Souza; The Daily Beast; 11/30/2012 [18]

Hated and mocked in much of the world, the Nazi leader has developed a strange following among schoolchildren and readers of Mein Kampf in India. Dilip D’Souza on how political leader Bal Thackeray influenced Indians to admire Hitler and despise Gandhi. My wife teaches French to tenth-grade students at a private school here in Mumbai. During one recent class, she asked these mostly upper-middle-class kids to complete the sentence “J’admire …” with the name of the historical figure they most admired.

To say she was disturbed by the results would be to understate her reaction. Of 25 students in the class, 9 picked Adolf Hitler, making him easily the highest vote-getter in this particular exercise; a certain Mohandas Gandhi was the choice of precisely one student. Discussing the idea of courage with other students once, my wife was startled by the contempt they had for Gandhi. “He was a coward!” they said. And as far back as 2002, the Times of India reported a survey [15] that found that 17 percent of students in elite Indian colleges “favored Adolf Hitler as the kind of leader India ought to have.”

In a place where Gandhi becomes a coward, perhaps Hitler becomes a hero.

Still, why Hitler? “He was a fantastic orator,” said the 10th-grade kids. “He loved his country; he was a great patriot. He gave back to Germany a sense of pride they had lost after the Treaty of Versailles,” they said.

“And what about the millions he murdered?” asked my wife. “Oh, yes, that was bad,” said the kids. “But you know what, some of them were traitors.” . . . .

. . . . Except this is no easily written-off experience. The evidence is that Hitler has plenty of admirers in India, plenty of whom are by no means kids.

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 [17]), 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.

And the approval goes beyond just sales. Mein Kampf is available for sale [36] on flipkart.com, India’s Amazon. As I write this, 51 customers have rated the book; 35 of those gave it a five-star rating. What’s more, there’s a steady trickle of reports that say it has become a must-read for business-school students [19]; 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?

Much of Hitler’s Indian afterlife is the legacy of Bal Thackeray, chief of the Shiv Sena party who died on Nov. 17 [37] [of 2012–D.E.] .

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.

On Dec. 9, 1992, for example, his editorial contained these lines: “Pakistan need not cross the borders and attack India. 250 million Muslims in India will stage an armed insurrection. They form one of Pakistan’s seven atomic bombs.”

A month later, on Jan. 8, 1993, there was this: “Muslims of Bhendi Bazar, Null Bazar, Dongri and Pydhonie, the areas [of Mumbai] we call Mini Pakistan … must be shot on the spot.”

There was plenty more too: much of it inspired by the failed artist who became Germany’s führer. After all, only weeks before the riots erupted, Thackeray said this [21] 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.”

With rhetoric like that, it’s no wonder the streets of my city saw the slaughter of 1992-93. It’s no wonder kids come to admire a mass-murderer, to rationalize away his massacres. It’s no wonder they cling to almost comically superficial ideas of courage and patriotism, in which a megalomaniac’s every ghastly crime is forgotten so long as we can pretend that he “loved” his country. . . . 

3. It should come as no surprise that Bal Thackeray’s Shiv Sena party was an ally of Modi’s BJP.

“Shiv Sena;” Wikipedia.com [20]

 . . .The party has a powerful hold over the Bollywood [38] film industry.[13] [39] It has been referred to as an “extremist”,[14] [40][15] [41] “chauvinist”,[16] [42][17] [43] as well as a “fascist [44] party“.[18] [45][19] [46] Shiv Sena has been blamed for the 1970 communal violence in Bhiwandi [47], the 1984 Bhiwandi riot [48] and violence in the 1992-1993 Bombay riots [49] . . .

. . . . The party has been in coalition with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for Lok Sabha [50] as well as Maharashtra Assembly [51] since 1989. The two formed a government in Maharashtra between 1995-1999.[23] [52] The Sena was the opposition party in the state along with the BJP from 1999 to 2014. . . .

4. Jayant Sinha, the lead advisor for the Omidyar Network in India [24] became Narendra Modi’s finance minister and is now a member of parliament. Sinha garlanded (adorned with flowers) eight men convicted of killing a meat trader last year as part of a far right Hindu national “cow vigilantism” campaign. The killing was caught on video. One of the killers was a local BJP leader.

“Minister Jayant Sinha Garlands 8 Men Who Killed Meat Trader In Jharkhand” by Manish Kumar; NDTV; 07/06/2018 [26].

Jayant Sinha, the union minister from Jharkhand has landed himself in the middle of a rowafter the minister felicitated eight men convicted for killing a meat trader last year.

The controversy erupted after photographs emerged showing the minister welcoming them at his residence. In some, the union minister of state for civil aviation is also seen garlanding the eight convicts at his residence on the outskirts of Hazaribagh.

“This is despicable,” Jharkhand’s leader of opposition Hemant Soren tweeted in a stinging swipe at the union minister, tagging the minister’s alma mater, the prestigious Harvard University of the US.

“Your alumnus @jayantsinha felicitating the accused in cow related lynching death in India. Is this what @Harvard stands for?” Mr Soren tweeted about Mr Sinha, the BJP’s Lok Sabha member from Hazaribagh. Ramgarh town is also a part of his constituency.

A total of 11 men, including a local BJP leader, were sentenced to a life term for beating Alimuddin to death on 30 June last year.

The meat trader in Jharkhand was dragged out of his car and beaten to death by a mob that suspected he was carrying beef. As Alimuddin Ansari, 55, lay dying on a road in Ramgarh town, his car was also set on fire.

The deadly attack by the self-styled cow vigilantes had come just a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called “killing people in the name of cow protection unacceptable”. . . .

The Raghubar Das government in Jharkhand decided to send a strong message, ordered the police to quickly probe the case and sent it to a fast track court.

The court verdict came nine months later, in March this year.

They were convicted on the basis of a statement by Alimuddin’s wife Mariam Khatoon.

The police also came across a video that it said showed Nityanand Mahto, 45, the district BJP’s media in-charge dragging Alimuddin Ansari out of the car that a group of cow vigilantes had forced to stop near Ranchi. The mob took over from there and mercilessly thrashed him.

Ajoy Kumar of the Congress too expressed his shock at Mr Sinha, who he said was considered “among the most educated minister in PM Modi’s cabinet, “openly” supporting people convicted for killing an innocent. “Do they have no work to show except playing politics on dead bodies and dividing society?” he said in an attack on the BJP. . . .

5.The killing  of Alimuddin Ansari took place a day after Modi belatedly proclaimed that “killing people in the name of cow protection unacceptable.”

Prior to Modi’s statement, cow vigilantism had been going on for years with a muted response from Modi’s government.

As a result of Modi’s statement, the eleven people involved with the killing were sent to a fast track court and given life sentences in March, making it the FIRST successful conviction over an act of cow vigilantism.

Sinha protested that conviction, claiming that he was convinced that justice was not done. He then demanded that the case be probed again, but by the Central Bureau of Investigation this time.

Fast forward to today: eight of the convicted were released on bail, [25] while they appeal their conviction. They then traveled to Sinha’s residence where they were feted [26].

“Jayant Sinha Wants CBI Probe in Ramgarh Lynching Case in Which 11 Were Convicted” by Vishal Kant; Hindustan Times; 04/07/2018. [53]

On March 21, the court had awarded life imprisonment to 11 cow vigilantes, including a local BJP leader, for lynching 55-year old Alimuddin alias Asgar Ali for carrying what they claimed was beef in his vehicle last year.

Union minister Jayant Sinha on Saturday demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the Ramgarh lynching case of a Muslim trader, raising doubts over the police investigation, in which a local court convicted and awarded life sentence to 11 people last month. . . .

. . . . “We respect the judicial process. But from whatever I have gathered after consultations and studying the various facets (of the case), I firmly believe that complete justice has not been done. I am not a police officer, and I have not done a detailed inquiry, but as per my understanding, complete justice has not been done. I consulted senior lawyers and also took advice from the party (BJP) on the matter. I have decided to write to the (Jharkhand) chief minister (Raghubar Das), requesting him to recommend a CBI probe,” the minister said.

The court of additional district judge Om Prakash held guilty all the accused under Section 302 (murder) and other offences of the IPC, making it the first case in the country in connection with cow vigilantism and related violence in which the accused were convicted. The BJP-ruled Jharkhand witnessed a series of lynching of Muslim cattle traders in the months of May and June in 2017. . . .

6. The symbolic importance of cow vigilantism isn’t simply a demonstration of the BJP’s willingness to cater to Hindutva fascist ideology. The focus on the cow is part of the atavistic, anti-modernist, anti-pluralist narrative the BJP and its ideological RSS parent have been promoting.

Cow vigilantism is central to a narrative that exalts a mythical time of Brahmanic purity that allegedly existed before the arrival of the British and Muslims on the Indian subcontinent.

Because lower caste Hindus and Muslims who consume beef in India, the cow vigilantism provides a convenient proxy issue to excuse attacks on those seen as ‘other’ by the Hindu nationalists.

As the article puts it, a crucial ingredient to Modi’s political success has been tapping into a nostalgic impulse for a purer past. [27] The sacredness of the cow has come to symbolize that Hindu nationalist drive for national renewal.

In our discussions with Peter Levenda [28], we have set forth the manner in which fascism mobilizes xenophobic [29], eugenicist longing for a mythical “purer past” [30] to gain and rally adherents.

In past programs, we have noted that former Trump campaign manager and aide Steve Bannon was a big supporter of Modi [54]. Key Trump business partners [54] in India are members of the BJP which, again, is a political front for the Hindutva fascist party RSS.

“How “Cow Vigilantes” Launched India’s Lynching Epidemic” by Amar Diwakar; The New Republic; 07/26/2017. [27]

India has been beset by a wave of gruesome lynchings. And at the epicenter of the country’s violent upheaval is the indolent cow. Emboldened by an ascendant Hindu nationalist movement, coupled with a controversial government ban [55] on cattle slaughter, so-called cow-vigilante groups have been carrying out a ruthless form of mob justice, summarily executing those suspected of killing, trading, or consuming beef. India’s embattled minorities, particularly Muslims, have borne the brunt of the violence, confirming the worst suspicions about what Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his brand of Hindu chauvinism would unleash on the country.

The atrocities have steadily been mounting. In September 2015, Mohammad Akhlaq [56] was hanged over rumors that he killed a cow and refrigerated its meat. A month later, 16-year-old Zahid Rasool Bhaat [57] was slain by vigilante groups. In March of this year, suspected cattle traders Muhammed Majloom and Azad Khan [58] were lynched. In April, 55-year old dairy farmer Pehlu Khan [59] was accused of smuggling cows and was brutally beaten to death. In May, traders [60] were assaulted for alleged beef storage, and Abu Hanifa and Riazuddin Ali [61] were killed for purportedly stealing cattle. In June, Ainul Ansari [62] was attacked on suspicion of transporting beef, while 15-year-old Junaid Khan [63] was stabbed to death by a mob after being branded a beef eater.

Since September of last year, there have been more than a dozen lynchings across the country. Modi, who was feted by Donald Trump at the White House in June, has been ominously quiet on the issue. 

Two cases in particular—of Pehlu Khan and Junaid Khan—offer the starkest evidence to date that an indelible rot is growing in the Indian Republic. Pehlu Khan’s death at the hands of cow vigilantes in Rajasthan occurred with the complicity of the crowd, who collectively bayed for his execution. It was also captured on camera, and subsequently watched by millions on social media. Just as chilling was the muted response that followed, as Aatish Taseer argued [64] in a column for The New York Times:

Like all forms of theater, a lynching depends on what is left unsaid; it creates a mood, an atmosphere. The silence that settles in after the euphoric act of violence, which all have witnessed, tells a minority group that it has been forsaken. It is this element of a suggestive and creeping threat, in which the state apparatus and a silent majority are complicit, that has the power to demoralize a community as much as the physical acts of violence.

In the case of Junaid Khan, police were unable to produce a witness for the grim spectacle of his stabbing death, despite the fact that some 200 people had been assembled on the railway platform in Haryana where the killing took place. This kind of “unseeing” has become common—as Aarti Sethi writes [65], lynchings are a “social non-event in contemporary India.” This is an extreme form of alienation, in which Hindus have chosen to disregard the dead body of a Muslim child. In doing so, they symbolically withdrew Junaid’s membership from the socio-political order.

The country’s ruling right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), under the stewardship of Modi and his openly Hindutva (“Hindu-first”) platform, have done little to stem the rise in communal tensions. They have not denounced this barbarism with conviction, only paying reluctant lip service in the face of incessant public pressure [66].

In fact, much of the hysteria over the cow, a sacred animal in Hinduism, was shrewdly engineered. During Modi’s election campaign in 2014, he railed against a “pink revolution [67],” a euphemism for India’s $5 billion-a-year meat export industry (the color pink is a reference to the color of beef), which was flourishing under Congress Party rule. The industry is concentrated in Uttar Pradesh, providing direct or indirect employment to around 2.5 million people. The sector is dominated by Muslims but also provides work to low-caste Hindus, which means the surge in cow protectionism has had a disproportionate impact on those communities. [Yogi Adyinath was appointed chief minister of the province by Modi–D.E.]

“Do you want to support people who want to bring about a Pink Revolution?” Modi bellowed [68] on the campaign trail.

It should come as no surprise that, in the three years since the BJP took the reins of power, India has witnessed a growing climate of intolerance [69] against minorities. Whipping up communal strife is a necessary part of the Hindu nationalist playbook. But the roots of the current crisis, in which the life of a cow is considered more sacred than that of a teenaged boy, go much deeper than Modi, reaching into the fundamental battle for modern India’s soul, between illiberal Hindutva forces and a pluralistic tradition that has rarely looked so vulnerable.

This is why Modi’s adherents have constructed a grand monolithic narrative to justify their actions, one that proclaims cultural continuity of tradition and that pivots upon a retrograde Brahmanical core. The complex history of the priestly caste is papered over with strident assertions of Brahmanical purity, of which vegetarianism and the sanctity of the cow are indispensable components.

Under this worldview, the golden age of Hindu rule in the Vedic period, subsequently sullied by foreign pollutants—the British, yes, but the rapacious Muslim in particular—is to be channeled into twenty-first-century renewal, piloted by an arbitrary set of “Hindu values.” And foremost among these is the inviolability of the cow.

However, this schema suffers from a significant flaw: A pristine and contiguous Hindu civilization in which the cow’s sanctity was upheld is disputed by the historical record [70]. It is little more than embellished mythmaking. Much like other appeals to a bygone era of civilizational supremacy and homogeneity, it is thoroughly a product of modernity. . . .

. . . . The BJP, as well as its ideological parent organization the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, peddle a version of nationalism that prioritizes exclusivity, in which Indians are rigidly defined by ethnicity and religion. The trope of the cow is thus a convenient instrument, measuring the allegiance to the nation along gastronomical—and thereby spiritual—lines. Non-Hindus are deemed a surplus population, and violence against them is sanctioned in an attempt to cleanse the true body politic.

We have seen versions of this story play out across the world, in response to the failures of technocratic elites and the supposed champions of pluralistic democracy. In India’s case, the Congress Party became mired in corruption scandals, paving the way for Modi and the BJP to present themselves as pragmatic reformers. And indeed, that is how Modi is generally conveyed in the international press, with a focus on his attempts to overhaul India’s sclerotic tax system and to root out endemic corruption.

But the crucial ingredient is the way Modi has tapped into the nostalgic impulse. Svetlana Boym, a Russian-American philologist, has described this as the “historical emotion” of modernity, and argued that attempts to create a “phantom homeland” through ahistorical restoration would only breed monstrous consequences. As she writes in The Future of Nostalgia [31], it is a “restorative nostalgia” that “is at the core of recent national and religious revivals. It knows two main plots—the return to origins and the conspiracy.”

And so we inhabit a landscape where MAGA caps, Little England, the Hindu Rashtra, and the Islamic Caliphate have arrested the imagination of millions. These are all overtures to an Edenic past, promising an order that preserves tradition by purifying society of contagion. . . .

Modi’s two central agendas—economic development and Hindu cultural revival— compete with one another for headlines. Yet his commitment to pandering to the far right has never truly been in question. The creation of communal discord crystallizes the BJP’s ambition to alter history and hegemonize “Indian values” as exclusively Hindu values. The party has eagerly deployed Hindu symbols and myths to convert nostalgia into electoral support. So far this approach has been extremely successful: Close to half of Indians [71] now dwell in BJP-controlled states, devoid of an effective opposition.

7. Yogi Adityanath is the Modi-appointed RSS governor of Uttar Praddesh [9], known for encouraging vigilante death squads against Muslims. A week of riots broke out in the city of Kasganj in the state of Uttar Pradesh on Jan. 26, India’s Republic Day. The accounts of how the riots started are in dispute.

It is clear is that Modi’s appointment of Adityanath as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh greatly exacerbated the Hindu-Muslim tensions in that city.

“After Religious Clash in India, Rumors Create a False ‘Martyr’” by Suhasini Raj and Kai Schultz; The New York Times; 02/05/2018. [72]

Rahul Upadhyay, a wiry journalist with a shock of black hair, was at home when he received news of his death.

During celebrations on India’s Republic Day, Jan. 26, a clash broke out between Hindus and Muslims in the city of Kasganj. Schools, shops and a mosque were damaged. One person was killed; another nearly had his eye gouged out.

Mr. Upadhyay, 24, stayed away from the violence, bunkering down inside his home in a nearby village. But the following evening, a friend called to share a peculiar bit of news: “You have been elevated to being a martyr.”

In the span of a few hours, messages on WhatsApp and Facebook mourning “martyr Rahul,” and saying he had been killed in clashes, went viral across Uttar Pradesh State, which includes Kasganj.

Candlelight vigils paying respect to Mr. Upadhyay, who is Hindu, lit up the streets of seven districts, some with the participation of local politicians.

By the time Mr. Upadhyay found out, there was little he could do: The riots had become so bad in Kasganj that the authorities shut down the internet.

“No media house or politician bothered to visit my place or call me first to confirm that I was indeed dead,” he said. “The marketplace of rumors had heated up beyond control.”

Kasganj was not always like this. For much of its history, Muslims and Hindus coexisted peacefully in this dusty city about 100 miles east of New Delhi. As the price of land shot up in the area, the city prospered. Now, rows of mustard-colored crops, markers of the region’s agrarian roots, frame Honda dealerships catering to a population eager to trade bicycles for motorbikes.

In the years since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party rose to power in 2014, violent outbreaks between Hindus and Muslims have become more common in some pockets of India.

But locals said the energy did not change in Kasganj until last year, when Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand politician with ties to far-right Hindu nationalist groups, was chosen as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, home to over 200 million people.

The clashes began with a flag. On Jan. 26, a group of Muslims gathered in an open square in Kasganj, unstacking rows of red plastic chairs and preparing to hoist a flag into the air to celebrate Republic Day, which marks the enactment of India’s constitution in 1950.

Around the same time, dozens of men on motorbikes affiliated with a far-right Hindu student group approached the assembly, asking that the Muslims move the chairs so they could pass. Accounts of what happened next vary.

According to a police report filed by Sushil Gupta, the father of Abhishek Gupta, the man who was actually killed, a group of Muslims began taunting the Hindus, shouting “Long Live Pakistan,” and telling them that they would have to chant “Hail Pakistan” if they wanted to pass.

Shamsul Arafeen, 70, a Muslim tailor who was part of the crowd, remembered the encounter differently, describing a “big mob” of Hindus who demanded that the Muslims move the chairs before boiling the argument down to religion. Others said the Hindus told the Muslims to go back to Pakistan.

“They started abusing us, saying, ‘If you want to live in Hindustan, you must chant ‘Hail Sita and Ram,’” Mr. Arafeen said, using another name for India and referring to two Hindu gods.

The confrontation became physical soon afterward, with rioters from both sides throwing stones at each other and burning shops to the ground. Videos of the confrontations spread rapidly. The authorities shut down internet service in the area for hours.

By the end of the clashes, which stretched over a week, over 100 people had been arrested, both Hindu and Muslim. Mohar Singh Tomar, an investigating officer with Kasganj’s police force, said it was unclear who started the clashes, brushing aside suggestions that either religious group had received unfair treatment.

Purnendra Pratap Singh Solanki, the district president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, took a harder line, characterizing the confrontation as a “preplanned conspiracy” by a growing Muslim population to target Hindus.

“What is very problematic for us is that Muslims are ruled by their religion first,” he said. “They consider themselves Muslims before Indians, whereas the Hindus consider themselves Indians first and then Hindus.”

“The solution to such problems is to control their population,” Mr. Solanki added. “Their religious education at the madrassas must be combined with nationalism, peppered with nationalism. The problem is they don’t want to get educated at all.”

Reacting to the violence in Kasganj, R. V. Singh, the district magistrate in Bareilly, also in Uttar Pradesh, described a recent episode involving a Hindu march in a village in his district.

“A strange trend has started of carrying out processions through Muslim localities and raising anti-Pakistan slogans,” he wrote in a Facebook post that was subsequently deleted after he faced pressure from the state government. “Why? Are these people from Pakistan?”

At the same time, the always rocky relationship between Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan has notably worsened in recent months.

Around Kasganj, many people said they were terrified to leave their homes and return to work. . . .

. . . . As for Mr. Upadhyay, he still has not figured out who first reported his death or why he had been singled out. Over the last weekend in January, he fielded over 400 calls from people asking if he had died. “My mother had to serve endless cups of tea to visitors and convince them that I was alive,” he said.

Eventually, Mr. Upadhyay figured that if he could not control social media, he might as well participate.

“I am Rahul Upadhyay,” he said in a recorded message sent out into cyberspace. “I am well and I have not even received a scratch.”

Still, he said, the damage was done. Hundreds of miles away, in the city of Gorakhpur, posters with his photograph had already been distributed.

Near his face was a warning: “We will take revenge for the death of martyr Rahul Upadhyay.”

Around the same time, dozens of men on motorbikes affiliated with a far-right Hindu student group approached the assembly, asking that the Muslims move the chairs so they could pass. Accounts of what happened next vary.

According to a police report filed by Sushil Gupta, the father of Abhishek Gupta, the man who was actually killed, a group of Muslims began taunting the Hindus, shouting “Long Live Pakistan,” and telling them that they would have to chant “Hail Pakistan” if they wanted to pass.

Shamsul Arafeen, 70, a Muslim tailor who was part of the crowd, remembered the encounter differently, describing a “big mob” of Hindus who demanded that the Muslims move the chairs before boiling the argument down to religion. Others said the Hindus told the Muslims to go back to Pakistan.

“They started abusing us, saying, ‘If you want to live in Hindustan, you must chant ‘Hail Sita and Ram,’” Mr. Arafeen said, using another name for India and referring to two Hindu gods.

The confrontation became physical soon afterward, with rioters from both sides throwing stones at each other and burning shops to the ground. Videos of the confrontations spread rapidly. The authorities shut down internet service in the area for hours. . . .

8. With 2017 now in the rear view mirror, we cap our revulsion at the Bay Area’s 50th anniversary celebrations of the Summer of Love (1967.) In FTR #991 [10], we detailed the Hindutva fascist/Nazi philosophy of Hare Krishna cult founder and head guru A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

On 1/29/1967, Prabhupada and his cult were the beneficiaries of monies generated by a concert and dance featuring the leading San Francisco psychedelic-era rock bands. The event also featured participation by LSD guru Timothy Leary, whose activities and career are inextricably linked with the CIA.

We discussed this at length in AFA #28 [73]:

AFA 28: The CIA, the Military & Drugs, Pt. 5
The CIA & LSD
Part 5a
46:15 | Part 5b [74] 45:52 | Part 5c [75] 42:56 | Part 5d [76] 45:11 | Part 5e [77] 11:25
(Recorded April 26, 1987)

 It is so very, very tragic that idealistic young people were led astray in such a fashion. It is outrageous that the process was effected by elements of CIA, employing a chemical–LSD–developed by the Nazi SS during World War II as a disabling agent. It works very well.

It is grotesque that so many of the people who lived through those events have failed to come to terms with what was done to them and the implications of that experience. The ramifications of those events are still very much with us.

   “Mantra Rock;” The Hare Krishna Movement. [78]

Mantra Rock Concert

Sunday, January 29, 1967 marked the major spiritual event of the San Francisco hippie era, and Srila Prabhupada, who was ready to go anywhere to spread Krishna Consciousness, was there.

The Grateful Dead, Moby Grape, Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service — all the new-wave San Francisco bands — had agreed to appear with Srila Prabhupada at the Avalon Ballroom’s Mantra-Rock Dance, proceeds from which would go to the local Hare Krishna temple.

Thousands of hippies, anticipating an exciting evening, packed the hall.

At about 10 p.m., Srila Prabhupada and a small entourage of devotees arrived amid uprorious applause and cheering by a crowd that had waited weeks in great anticipation for this moment. Srila Prabhupada was given a seat of honor onstage and was introduced by Allen Ginsberg, who explained his own realizations about the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and how it had spread from the small storefront in New York to San Francisco.

The chanting started slowly but ryhthmically, and little by little it spread throughout the ballroom, enveloping everyone. Hippies got to their feet, held hands, and began to dance as enormous, pulsing pictures of Krishna were projected around the walls of the ballroom in perfect sync with the beat of the mantra.

By the time Srila Prabhupada stood and began to dance with his arms raised, the crowd was completely absorbed in chanting, dancing and playing musical instruments they had brought for the occasion.

As the tempo speeded up, the chanting and dancing became more and more intense, spurred on by a stageful of top rock musicians, who were as charmed by the magic of the maha-mantra as the amateur musicians had been at the Tompkins Square kirtanas only a few weeks before.

The chant rose; it seemed to surge and swell without limit. When it seemed it could go no further, the chanting stopped. Srila Prabhupada offered prayers to his spiritual master into the microphone and ended-by saying three times, “All glories to the assembled devotees!” The Haight-Ashbury neighborhood buzzed with talk of the mantra-Rock Dance for weeks afterward.

Allen Ginsberg later recalled, “We sang Hare Krishna all evening. It was absolutely great — an open thing. It was the height of the Haight-Ashbury spiritual enthusiasm.”

9. Timothy Leary was present at the “Mantra Rock” event.

“Mantra-Rock Dance;” Wikipedia.com. [79]

. . . . The participation of countercultural leaders considerably boosted the event’s popularity; among them were the poet Allen Ginsberg [80], who led the singing of the Hare Krishna mantra [81] onstage along with Prabhupada, and LSD [82] promoters Timothy Leary [83] and Augustus Owsley Stanley III [84].[3] [85][10] [86]

10. Excerpted from the description for FTR #991 [10]: