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FTR #795 Fascism, Hindu Nationalism and Narendra Modi

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [1] (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

Lis­ten: MP3

Side 1 [2]  Side 2 [3]

Intro­duc­tion: 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.

In addi­tion to anti-colo­nial sen­ti­ment that pit­ted Indi­an nation­al­ists against the British Raj pri­or to World War II, Nazism and Hin­du phi­los­o­phy also found com­mon ground in ele­ments of “Aryan” mys­ti­cism [4]. Many ele­ments of the Brah­min caste also found affin­i­ty with the elit­ist and anti-demo­c­ra­t­ic phi­los­o­phy of Mus­solin­i’s fas­cism as well.

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

1. Naren­dra Mod­i’s affin­i­ty for the neo-lib­er­al, cor­po­ratist philoso­phies cur­rent­ly in ascen­dance was cov­ered in a recent New York­er arti­cle.

“Modi’s Role Mod­el: Mar­garet Thatch­er or Lee Kuan Yew” by John Cas­sidy; The New York­er; 5/19/2014. [9]

. . .  As sev­er­al com­men­ta­tors have [12] not­ed [13] 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. . . .

2. Set­ting forth some of the his­tor­i­cal gen­e­sis of the Nazi/Hindu nation­al­ist link, Kevin Coogan notes the phi­los­o­phy of Karl Haushofer, an ear­ly influ­ence on Hitler and Third Reich geo-pol­i­tics.

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. [14]

. . . . 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 [15] [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.’ . . . .

3. A sto­ry from the British Search­light mag­a­zine syn­op­sized the Hin­du nationalist/Nazi link, not­ing that a for­mer mem­ber of the RSS assas­si­nat­ed Gand­hi in 1948. The arti­cle also notes the evo­lu­tion of the BJP–Modi’s party–from the RSS.

 “Hin­du Fun­da­men­tal­ism: Why We Are Con­cerned” by Paul Crofts and Anjona Roy; Search­light Mag­a­zine; January/2003 [#331]; p. 20. [6]

. . . . 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. . . . .

4. Palash R. Ghosh presents a more detailed analy­sis of the evo­lu­tion of the fascist/Hindu nation­al­ist link. Note the affin­i­ty of RSS thinkers for the eth­nic chau­vin­ism man­i­fest­ed by Hitler.

“Hin­du Nationalist’s His­tor­i­cal Links to Fas­cism and Nazism” by Palash R. Ghosh; Inter­na­tion­al Busi­ness Times; 3/6/2012. [7]

. . . . 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.

5. In the run-up to the recent Indi­an cam­paign, a polit­i­cal oppo­nent com­pared Mod­i’s rhetor­i­cal attacks to those of Joseph Goebbels, a pro­po­nent of the Big Lie. Modi attacked Sonia Gand­hi for using pub­lic funds to trav­el abroad.

The trips were to seek treat­ment for seri­ous health prob­lems and, as such, were not scan­dalous at all.

“Naren­dra Modi Trained by RSS in ‘Nazi Tra­di­tion’: Digvi­jayah Singh”; Times of India; 10/2/2012.  [8]

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.

6a. Mod­i’s elec­tion was aid­ed by the head of Pierre Omid­yar’s “char­i­ta­ble” orga­ni­za­tion Omid­yar Net­works. In FTR #763 [16], we not­ed that Omid­yar is the finan­cial angel back­ing Nazi fel­low-trav­el­er Glenn Green­wald’s new jour­nal­is­tic ven­ture. Omid­yar has also backed some grind­ing­ly oppres­sive, cru­el projects in the Third World. His Indi­an micro-finance ven­tures [10] were par­tic­u­lar­ly hor­ri­ble.

Omid­yar [17] also helped to finance the covert oper­a­tion that brought the OUN/B suc­ces­sors to pow­er in Ukraine.

“REVEALED: The Head of Omid­yar Net­works in India Had a Secret Sec­ond Job… Help­ing Elect Naren­dra Modi” by Mark Ames; Pan­do Dai­ly; 5/26/2014. [18]

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. . . .

. . . 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” . . . .

6b. Omid­yar Net­work’s SKS under­tak­ing in India–a micro-finance company–was a bru­tal, cru­el effort.

“The Extra­or­di­nary Pierre Omid­yar” by Mark Ames and Yasha Levine; NSFW­Corp; 11/15/2013. [10]

. . . . In 2012, it emerged that while the SKS IPO was mak­ing mil­lions for its wealthy investors, hun­dreds of heav­ily indebt­ed res­i­dents of India’s Andhra Pradesh state were dri­ven to despair and sui­cide by the company’s cru­el and aggres­sive debt-col­lec­tion prac­tices. The rash of sui­cides soared right at the peak of a large micro-lend­ing bub­ble in Andhra Pradesh, in which many of the poor were tak­ing out mul­ti­ple micro-loans to cov­er pre­vi­ous loans that they could no longer pay. It was sub­prime lend­ing fraud tak­en to the poor­est regions of the world, strip­ping them of what lit­tle they had to live on. It got to the point where the Chief Min­is­ter of Andrah Pradesh pub­licly appealed [19] to the state’s youth and young women not to com­mit sui­cide, telling them, “Your lives are valu­able.”

The AP con­ducted a stun­ning in-depth inves­ti­ga­tion [20] of the SKS sui­cides, and their report­ing needs to be quot­ed at length to under­stand just how evil this pro­gram is. The arti­cle begins:

“First they were stripped of their uten­sils, fur­ni­ture, mobile phones, tele­vi­sions, ration cards and heir­loom gold jew­elry. Then, some of them drank pes­ti­cide. One woman threw her­self in a pond. Anoth­er jumped into a well with her chil­dren. 

“Some­times, the debt col­lec­tors watched near­by.”

What prompt­ed the AP inves­ti­ga­tion was the gulf between the report­ed rash of sui­cides linked to SKS debt col­lec­tors, and SKS’s pub­lic state­ments deny­ing it had knowl­edge of or any role in the preda­tory lend­ing abus­es. How­ever, the AP got a hold of inter­nal SKS doc­u­ments that con­tra­dicted their pub­lic denials:

“More than 200 poor, debt-rid­den res­i­dents of Andhra Pradesh killed them­selves in late 2010, accord­ing to media reports com­piled by the gov­ern­ment of the south Indi­an state. The state blamed micro­fi­nance com­pa­nies — which give small loans intend­ed to lift up the very poor — for fuel­ing a fren­zy of overindebt­ed­ness and then pres­sur­ing bor­row­ers so relent­lessly that some took their own lives. 

“The com­pa­nies, includ­ing mar­ket leader SKS Micro­fi­nance, denied it.

“How­ever, inter­nal doc­u­ments obtained by The Asso­ci­ated Press, as well as inter­views with more than a dozen cur­rent and for­mer employ­ees, inde­pen­dent researchers and video­taped tes­ti­mony from the fam­i­lies of the dead, show top SKS offi­cials had infor­ma­tion impli­cat­ing com­pany employ­ees in some of the sui­cides.”

The AP inves­ti­ga­tion and inter­nal reports showed just how bru­tal the SKS micro­fi­nanc­ing pro­gram was, how women were par­tic­u­larly tar­geted because of their height­ened sense of shame and com­mu­nity responsibility—here is the bru­tal real­ity of finan­cial cap­i­tal­ism com­pared to the utopi­an blath­er mouthed at Davos con­fer­ences, or in the slick pam­phlets issued by the Omid­yar Net­work:

“Both reports said SKS employ­ees had ver­bally harassed over-indebt­ed bor­row­ers, forced them to pawn valu­able items, incit­ed oth­er bor­row­ers to humil­i­ate them and orches­trated sit-ins out­side their homes to pub­licly shame them. In some cas­es, the SKS staff phys­i­cally harassed default­ers, accord­ing to the report com­mis­sioned by the com­pany. Only in death would the debts be for­given. 

“The videos and reports tell stark sto­ries: 

“One woman drank pes­ti­cide and died a day after an SKS loan agent told her to pros­ti­tute her daugh­ters to pay off her debt. She had been giv­en 150,000 rupees ($3,000) in loans but only made 600 rupees ($12) a week. 

“Anoth­er SKS debt col­lec­tor told a delin­quent bor­rower to drown her­self in a pond if she want­ed her loan waived. The next day, she did. She left behind four chil­dren.

“One agent blocked a woman from bring­ing her young son, weak with diar­rhea, to the hos­pi­tal, demand­ing pay­ment first. Oth­er bor­row­ers, who could not get any new loans until she paid, told her that if she want­ed to die, they would bring her pes­ti­cide. An SKS staff mem­ber was there when she drank the poi­son. She sur­vived. 

“An 18-year-old girl, pres­sured until she hand­ed over 150 rupees ($3)—meant for a school exam­i­na­tion fee—also drank pes­ti­cide. She left a sui­cide note: ‘Work hard and earn mon­ey. Do not take loans.’”

As a result of the bad press this scan­dal caused, the Omid­yar Net­work delet­ed its Uni­tus invest­ment from its website—nor does Omid­yar boast of its invest­ments in SKS Micro­fi­nance any longer. Mean­while, Uni­tus mys­te­ri­ously dis­solved itself and laid off all of its employ­ees right around the time of the IPO, under a cloud of sus­pi­cion that Uni­tus insid­ers made huge per­sonal prof­its from the ven­ture, prof­its that in the­ory were sup­posed to be rein­vested into expand­ing micro-lend­ing for the poor.

Thus spoke the prof­it motive.

Curi­ously, in the after­math of the SKS micro-lend­ing scan­dal, Omid­yar Net­work was dragged into anoth­er polit­i­cal scan­dal in India when it was revealed that Omid­yar and the Ford Foun­da­tion were plac­ing [21] their own paid researchers onto the staffs of India’s MPs. The pro­gram, called Leg­isla­tive Assis­tants to MPs (LAMPs), was fund­ed with $1 mil­lion from Omid­yar Net­work and $855,000 from the Ford Foun­da­tion. It was shut down last year after India’s Min­istry of Home Affairs com­plained about for­eign lob­by­ing influ­enc­ing Indi­an MPs, and promised to inves­ti­gate how Omid­yar-fund­ed research for India’s par­lia­ment may have been “col­ored” by an agen­da. . . .

7. Exem­pli­fy­ing the oper­a­tional polit­i­cal mythol­o­gy of the Aryan/Hindu syn­the­sis, Nazi icon Sav­it­ri Devi [4] has achieved con­sid­er­ably grav­i­tas in the con­tem­po­rary Nazi and fas­cist milieux. She has also achieved atten­tion and acclaim in cer­tain “New Age” cir­cles.

“The Bizarre Tale of Sav­it­ri Devi, the Hin­du Nazi” by Palash Ghosh; Inter­na­tion­al Busi­ness Times; 4/30/2011. [4]

Sav­it­ri Devi is large­ly an unknown (or for­got­ten) fig­ure from 20th cen­tu­ry his­to­ry; but she is well worth remem­ber­ing because she lived one of the strangest, most incom­pre­hen­si­ble lives that one could imag­ine. A life that defied and/or con­tra­dict­ed all con­ven­tion and stereo­types.

Sav­it­ri Devi was, for lack of a bet­ter descrip­tion, a “Hin­du Nazi.”

Her life tra­jec­to­ry fol­lowed a long and wind­ing path that took her to unex­pect­ed places, to say the least. (Try to imag­ine a tiny female Nazi stormtroop­er wear­ing a mod­est, plain Indi­an sari).

She was born in 1905 in Lyons, France as Max­imi­ani Por­tas, the daugh­ter of a Greek-Ital­ian father and an Eng­lish moth­er.

At some point in her young wom­an­hood, Max­imi­ani became enam­ored with Adolph Hitler and the Ger­man Nazi move­ment. Per­haps inspired by the Swasti­ka (which was orig­i­nal­ly a Hin­du sym­bol, but lat­er co-opt­ed by Hitler), she appar­ent­ly sought to com­bine the Nation­al Social­ist ide­ol­o­gy with the ancient Hin­du tales from the Bha­gavad-Gita.

No doubt, Max­imi­ani also devel­oped a vir­u­lent strain of anti-Semi­tism from an ear­ly age, which dove­tailed per­fect­ly with Hitler’s fanat­i­cal hatred of the Jews.

The “link” between Nazism and Hin­duism is an extreme­ly con­tro­ver­sial sub­ject, but suf­fice it to say, Maximiani’s unlike­ly syn­the­sis of these two very dis­parate philoso­phies led to her con­vic­tion that Hitler was a heav­en-sent avatar, much like Vish­nu, the Hin­du God.

What com­pli­cates (and con­founds) many peo­ple is the con­cept of the “Aryan” race. Hitler viewed him­self (and the Ger­man peo­ple) as “pure Aryans,” the descen­dants of a mys­te­ri­ous race of “super­hu­mans” who migrat­ed to north­ern Europe from some unknown locale in Cen­tral Asia (or per­haps they moved in the reverse direc­tion).

How­ev­er, the Aryans, or rather, the Indo-Aryans, the war­rior race that swept into India to sub­ju­gate the native Dra­vid­i­an peo­ples of the Indi­an sub­con­ti­nent thou­sands of years ago, like­ly had lit­tle con­nec­tion, if any, to the peo­ples of north­ern Europe.

His­to­ri­ans can’t seem to agree on who the Aryans exact­ly were, where they lived, where they came from, or what became of them. Some schol­ars (par­tic­u­lar­ly in India) debunk the “Aryan inva­sion of India” the­o­ry entire­ly.

But it should be not­ed that some con­sid­er Iran and the Iran­ian peo­ples as being the “true Aryans.” Indeed, one of the Shah of Iran’s many titles was “Light of the Aryans.”

More­over, the term “Indo-Aryan” is inti­mate­ly tied to “Indo-Euro­pean” (yet anoth­er con­tro­ver­sial top­ic).

The very idea of an Indo-Euro­pean lan­guage (and, by exten­sion, race) was pro­posed after Ger­man lin­guists and philol­o­gists, includ­ing August Schle­ich­er, dis­cov­ered that many words in San­skrit (the lan­guage of ancient India) were star­tling­ly sim­i­lar to words in Ger­man, Eng­lish and oth­er “west­ern” lan­guages.

Regard­less of the ten­u­ous link between the ancient Indi­ans and the Ger­mans (and the pseu­do-sci­ence relat­ed to the study of the Aryans), Max­imi­ani bought the dubi­ous the­o­ries whole­heart­ed­ly. She viewed Hin­duism and Nazism as one in the same, with no inher­ent con­tra­dic­tions.

Indeed, like Hitler (and the ancient Hin­dus), she espoused the beau­ty and val­ues of the nat­ur­al world, cham­pi­oning ecol­o­gy, veg­e­tar­i­an­ism, ani­mal rights and (above all) pagan mys­ti­cism.

She was high­ly learned – hav­ing earned two Mas­ters Degrees and a Ph.D. in phi­los­o­phy from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Lyon in France. In Greece, among the ancient ruins, she dis­cov­ered the swasti­ka – lead­ing to her belief that the ancient Greeks were Aryans.

Max­imi­ani trav­elled all over Europe and the Near East dur­ing her youth, includ­ing a vis­it to British Pales­tine in 1929, where she saw first-hand the con­flicts between Pales­tini­ans and Jew­ish set­tlers (an expe­ri­ence that like­ly deep­ened her anti-Semi­tism).

But it was not until she went to India (which she regard­ed as the ori­gin of pure Aryan civ­i­liza­tion) in 1932 that her life changed for­ev­er.

Her immer­sion in Indi­an Hin­du cul­ture was total. She stud­ied Ben­gali and Hin­di at Rabindranath Tagore’s pres­ti­gious Shan­ti Nike­tan school.

She changed her name to Sav­it­ri Devi (which rough­ly trans­lates to Sun god­dess in San­skrit); and she gave her full sup­port to the Indi­an Hin­du nationalist/independence move­ment against Britain. She also advo­cat­ed vehe­ment­ly against both Chris­tian­i­ty and Islam.

In 1940, liv­ing in Cal­cut­ta, she mar­ried Dr. Asit Krish­na Mukher­ji, a Ben­gali Brah­min who edit­ed the pro-Ger­man news­pa­per New Mer­cury and ful­ly embraced Nation­al Social­ism. (Although Mukher­ji appar­ent­ly mar­ried her only to pre­vent her from being deport­ed and remained chaste, Sav­it­ri report­ed­ly was sex­u­al­ly-lib­er­at­ed, hav­ing many affairs with both men and women).

Sav­it­ri was also in close touch Indi­an nation­al­ists, most notably Sub­hash Chan­dra Bose (also known as ‘Neta­ji’) who lat­er received help from Nazi Ger­many.

Dur­ing the 1930s and 1940s, Hitler was wide­ly admired in India – large­ly because he was viewed as anti-British – that is, before the full hor­rors of the Holo­caust were revealed.

After World War II. Savitri’s ado­ra­tion of Hitler and Nazism only increased – she con­tin­ued writ­ing essays and books; and trav­elled all over post-Third Reich Europe. In Ger­many, she was arrest­ed and briefly impris­oned for pub­lish­ing pro-Nazi leaflets.

She moved wide­ly across Europe, Mid­dle East, Britain and even the U.S., meet­ing with neo-Nazi adher­ents every­where and becom­ing sort of a ‘grand dame’ for unre­pen­tant Hitler-admir­ers. She might also have been one of the first Holo­caust deniers – the belief that the Nazi’s exter­mi­na­tion of the Jews was a lie.

She wrote many texts and books (most­ly dense, wordy and incom­pre­hen­si­ble tracts) which found an audi­ence with Nazi sym­pa­thiz­ers around the world after the fall of the Third Reich.

Although Sav­it­ri was clear­ly eccen­tric (and prob­a­bly a crack­pot) she had legions of admir­ers – includ­ing the Chilean diplo­mat Miguel Ser­ra­no, Ital­ian far-right winger Clau­dio Mut­ti; and Revilo Oliv­er, a noto­ri­ous Amer­i­can neo-Nazi, among oth­ers.

In the 1970s, she returned to India to live in New Del­hi on her deceased husband’s pen­sion. She died in 1982 in Eng­land.

The British author Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke wrote a high­ly acclaimed book about her enti­tled Hitler’s Priest­ess. Sav­it­ri Devi, the Hin­du-Aryan Myth, and Neo-Nazism.

8. The sec­ond side of the pro­gram fur­ther devel­ops the Nazi/Hindu/“Aryan” phi­los­o­phy, excerpt­ing FTR #172 [5], pro­vid­ing more infor­ma­tion about Sav­it­ri Devi.

A Nazi mys­tic and ide­o­logue named Sav­it­ri Devi [22] (nee Max­imi­ani Por­tas) is an icon to con­tem­po­rary Nazi ele­ments and her phi­los­o­phy over­laps, and has been accept­ed by, cer­tain ele­ments of both Green and New Age phi­los­o­phy. This broad­cast sets forth both the his­to­ry and the phi­los­o­phy of Sav­it­ri Devi.

Strong­ly influ­enced by Hin­du (and specif­i­cal­ly Brah­min) cul­ture, Sav­it­ri Devi saw the caste sys­tem of India and the mythol­o­gy of the Bha­gavad Gita as con­firm­ing the Nazi occult phi­los­o­phy of the so-called “Aryan” ori­gins of the Ger­man peo­ple. (The pro­gram does not detail her actu­al phi­los­o­phy which is, past a point, mys­ti­cal and fun­da­men­tal­ly irra­tional­ist in nature. The point of the broad­cast is to illus­trate the poten­tial appeal of Nazi occultism to New Agers and eco-activists.)

Begin­ning with analy­sis of the appeal of Hitler and Nazism for the upper castes of Hin­du soci­ety, the pro­gram under­scores the man­ner in which the Third Reich exploit­ed the anti-colo­nial sen­ti­ment of peo­ple in the Third World in an attempt to con­vert them to the Nazi cause. This anti-colo­nial sen­ti­ment, the racism of the caste sys­tem and the Nazis’ use of the swasti­ka (a holy Hin­du sym­bol) led many Hin­dus to view Hitler as an Avatar (a divine spir­it). This Hin­du sym­pa­thy for Hitler ulti­mate­ly led to the for­ma­tion of an Indi­an Legion that fought along­side the Wehrma­cht, as well as the RSS (an Indi­an fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion). The Indi­an Legion was the brain­child of a mil­i­tant Indi­an nation­al­ist turned Axis spy and fas­cist named Sub­has Chan­dra Bose, nick­named “The Duce of Ben­gal”.

The pro­gram high­lights the Third Reich’s use of anti-colo­nial sen­ti­ment and anti-Semi­tism to win Arabs over to the Nazi cause. (It should be not­ed that Hitler’s racism has engen­dered con­tempt on the part of his fol­low­ers toward both Indi­ans and Arabs, a fact often over­looked by Indi­an and Arab Nazi apol­o­gists, to their own detri­ment.) Devi’s pro­found con­nec­tions to post-war Nazi lumi­nar­ies Hans Ulrich Rudel and Otto Sko­rzeny led to her enshrine­ment as a major philo­soph­i­cal pil­lar of con­tem­po­rary Nazism. (Both Rudel and Sko­rzeny became lead­ers of what Mr. Emory calls “the Under­ground Reich”.)

Devi was con­nect­ed to both Amer­i­can Nazi Par­ty founder George Lin­coln Rock­well and William Pierce, the leader of the Nation­al Alliance and author of The Turn­er Diaries.