What next? Stalin.…well no that is actually a live politician in India, and he only wants to finish off his elder brother…so that would make him an Aurangzeb…. no wait, Stalin’s father himself abandoned his eldest son and gave Stalin the throne…which implies Stalin is actually Bharat….
Mao.…well there are many live blood-red Maoists in India (only fake Maos in his own home-land) and strong words will not break their bones…for that you need AK-47s (actual not metaphorical guns).
Fun fact (#1): The actual Hitler collaborator Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (see below) founded the Forward Block which is a partner in the current Left Front coalition in Bengal.
The Nehru-Gandhi family does not like Bose (he could have upstaged Nehru but for the intervention of Gandhi). As befits the party of (supposed) nationalists BJP (and Arun Jaitley) should take this opportunity and claim Bose as their own (as they have claimed Sardar Patel). That may win them a few extra votes in Bengal.
Fun fact (#2): The Emergency that Arun Jaitley describes was led by Mrs Gandhi and supported by the Communists (CPI) on direct instructions from Moscow.
So here you have an example of a (worse than) Hitler collaborator working for a foreign pay-master.
This may well be the worst possible political gaali. Please mail in the check, Mr Jaitley.
What is it about Adolf Hitler and India? I thought it was the British who were uniquely persistent in their post-war
obsession with the Nazi dictator.
(Humourist Alan Coren entitled one of his
books Golfing for Cats and put a Nazi flag on the cover because he had learned
that golf, cats and Nazis were the three topics that sold well.)
Modi’s opponents on the left relish the comparison with the man responsible
for the murder of 6m Jews because it hints at the darkest moment in the BJP
leader’s past: the days in 2002 when hundreds of members of the Muslim minority
were killed by Hindu rioters in Gujarat, soon after Modi became the state’s
chief minister. Sitaram Yechury, a politburo member of the Communist Party of India
(Marxist), told the FT last year
that Modi’s popularity was “chillingly reminiscent of the appeal that Hitler
had among the German youth”.
Yet it is not only right-wingers in the BJP that are the targets of Hitler
jibes. Arun Jaitley, one of the most senior BJP leaders and a likely cabinet
minister in any Modi government, said it was Rahul Gandhi’s grandmother Indira
Gandhi who was the real Hitler in India’s post-independence history.
“The comparison between Hitler and her was startling,” he said on his blog in a bitter
response to Rahul Gandhi’s comments in Gujarat. Jaitley reminded his readers
that he had spent 19 months in jail during the emergency and authoritarian rule
imposed by Indira Gandhi in 1975 and read William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of
the Third Reich in prison.
“Suspension of democracy, abrogation of civil liberties, detention of
political opponents, suspension of democratic activity, abandonment of free
press, absence of judicial independence and [vesting] of power in one person
were features of Hitler’s regime. Each step had inspired Indira-ji’s internal
Emergency. There was one basic difference between the two. Hitler did not promote
a dynasty because he did not have one to promote.”
…But Subhas Chandra Bose, a radical
Congress leader, cooperated with Nazi Germany and with Japan during the second
world war and raised an army of liberation that was eventually defeated along
with the Japanese.
I can add a personal footnote: When I first met our doctor in Delhi, I was
surprised by his unusual first name and asked him whether his father had
opposed colonial rule in the days of the British Raj. He said he had. The
doctor’s name is Rommel.