Friday, April 18, 2014

Meenakshi Lekhi links Sonia Gandhi with Mussolini. Will the RSS/BJP finally clarify their stance on fascism and Nazism?

(From MailToday/ India Today):
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi made the all important revelation that Congress president Sonia Gandhi's father was an important officer in Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's army and that he was "hand-in-glove with fascist leaders". Speaking to Mail Today soon after going public with her Mussolini bomb, Lekhi, the BJP candidate from the New Delhi constituency, said: "Sonia and Rahul Gandhi have fascism in their blood. Stefano Maino (Sonia Gandhi's father) fought against the Soviet military alongside Hitler's Wehrmacht on the eastern front in World War II. He also called himself a loyal supporter of Benito Mussolini and Italy's National Fascist Party. I don't understand on what grounds they call Modiji a fascist leader."

NB: The above report on the statement by the BJP national spokesperson should be read carefully by everyone interested in Indian politics. Democratic-minded persons the world over may kindly think about this - the top BJP leadership actually believes and proclaims that political ideas are inherited with a persons 'blood'. The logic employed is revealing. By Ms Lekhi's reasoning, Sonia Gandhi is bound to be a fascist because her father was an Italian soldier. Are political ideas inherited along with one's DNA? Do I become a bad person because my parent/s were or are bad? Conversely do I inherit goodness? It is perfectly true that all those who believe in and practice dynastic succession - Yadavs, Paswans, Thackerays, Badals and Gandhis are asking us to accept a completely unreasonable claim. (The AAP's campaign for Rajmohan Gandhi announced he was Mahatma Gandhi's grandson. This is equally irrelevant.)  But if we reject the claim that someone is automatically good because of his or her parentage, surely we cannot claim that they are automatically bad for the same reason? 

(As for the shamelessly partisan behaviour of some of our newspaper editors, I can do no better  than to cite the former governor of West Bengal, Gopalkrishna Gandhisections of the media have become trumpeters of what they see as the coming change. We had heard of paid news. But this is free advertising. The high noon of the free press in India makes its own eclipse-by-ink and through the small screen.”)


In fact this noxious argument - that the sins of the fathers are passed across the generations - is the hallmark of Christian anti-Semitism, which became a crucial ingredient of Hitlerism. Today, the doctrine of historically transmitted guilt is used by all communalists to justify their violence against innocent people. Is this not what lies behind slogans such as 'Babar ki aulaad'? Such dangerous thought processes have entered the minds even of our judiciary, as evidenced in the infamous Staines judgement, on which my comment may be read here: Terrifying implications of the Staines judgement

Now let us pursue the matter further. The BJP spokesperson informs us that Sonia Gandhi's father fought against the Soviet military alongside Hitler's Wehrmacht on the eastern front in World War II. Surely they are aware that Subhas Chandra Bose aligned himself with the same Hitler's Wehrmacht to found the Indian Foreign Legion (forerunner of the INA) in late 1941? That was the year Hitler attacked the USSR. In fact Bose even got the Indian prisoners of war (whom he was recruiting) to take an oath of allegiance to Hitler. (Hugh Toye, The Springing Tiger, Jaico Books, 1970, p 79) I do not admire Boses' decision, but many Indians do. If the BJP is condemning Mr Stefano Maino for fighting alongside the Nazi armies, will they please re-assess Boses' decision to align with the Axis Powers in the second World War? Here's some information on the kind of recruitment Bose was performing: 
More research about India in Axis strategy may be read here... and here
Subhas Chandra Bose In Nazi Germany: Politics, Intelligence, and Propaganda 1941-43

Since Ms Lekhi is announcing her awareness of the evil of Nazism and facism, may we expect the BJP leadership to finally make a public repudiation of Gowalkar's and V.D. Savarkar's sympathy for the Nazis and their racial hatred of Jews? There is ample evidence that the BJP's iconic figures, Golwalkar of the RSS and V.D. Savarkar, president of the Hindu Mahasabha, approved of Hitler’s murderous hatred of Jews. In 1938, Golwalkar 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...a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.” In 1939, the Mahasabha resolved that “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.” There is much documented evidence that the forerunners of RSS/Hindu Mahasabha were attracted to Hitler's politics as well as Italian fascism. Muslim communalists were similarly affected by Hitler’s anti-Semitism. Inayatullah Khan Mashriqi, founder of the fascist para-military called the Khaksars, visited Germany in 1926 to meet Hitler, and translated Mein Kampf into Urdu – probably the first Indian version of that book. Readers can find more on these and similar utterances in
Hindutva's foreign tie-up in the 1930's; and in The law of killing
http://dilipsimeon.blogspot.in/2013/07/the-law-of-killing-brief-history-of.html

Will the BJP and Modi fans also re-consider the mindless glorification of Hitler in Gujarat's textbooks? <In Modi's Gujarat, Hitler is a textbook hero> 'While a Class VIII student is taught 'negative aspects' of Gandhi's non-cooperation movement, the Class X social studies textbook has chapters on 'Hitler, the Supremo' and 'Internal Achievements of Nazism'. The Class X book presents a frighteningly uncritical picture of Fascism and Nazism. The strong national pride that both these phenomena generated... are detailed, but pogroms against Jews and atrocities against trade unionists, migrant labourers, and any section of people who did not fit into Mussolini or Hitler's definition of rightful citizen don't find any mention.."  

We Indians ought to know much more about Nazism than we actually do. Hitler and Mussolini represented the arrival of hooliganism in state power. Their regimes were outright criminal enterprises from beginning to end. That any Indian children are being taught that these men were 'great' in any respect whatsoever, is an outrage and a travesty of history. Along with the planned and systematic mass murder of millions of European Jews, Hitler also sent a large number of Romani's to the death camps. In case the BJP spokesperson doesn't know this, Romani's (also known as Gypsies) are of Indian origin. Read more:

Ms Lekhi, the argument about fascism has nothing to do with DNA, bloodline or inherited characteristics. It relates to ideas, violence & styles of leadership. It relates to genocide, ethnic cleansing and ghettofication. It is not a matter of Modi being a fascist. All - repeat all - political movements based on communal hatred and communal stereotyping are fascist in tendency.

Here is a historical essay I wrote on Indian fascism: <The law of killing - a brief history of Indian fascismand some introductory sentences from it: 

Historically, fascism has three aspects to it, viz., ideas, movements and regimes. I use “fascism/fascist” to refer to right-wing populist dictatorships marked by ultra-nationalist ideologies, the abolition of the rule of law (or its subjugation to ideology and/or the will of a supreme leader), and the destruction of democratic institutions. I also use it to refer to movements that aspire to such regimes, and the ideologies that propel and accompany such movements. In some ways the movement and its ideas count for more than the regime, because fascist activity depends upon overt or covert official support for its successes, and its complete or partial control of organs of state power only accentuates tendencies that were already present beforehand. These tendencies – dynamism, the substitution of ideas by propaganda, the constant deployment of violence, the worship of power and a capacity for self-destruction – can lead the state itself towards disintegration. Which political interests benefit from this? Why does society allow this to happen? How are these matters related to Indian political reality?..  The notion that fascism may be properly recognised only when it seizes absolute power is dangerously misleading. This is because its hold on power arises primarily from intimidation and ideological influence, and is exhibited at the very first moment that organs of state tolerate or enable illegal and violent activities of fanatical cadre or crowds. Fascism invades the public sphere with controlled mobs. It represents an assault on politics, a replacement of democratic dialogue by violent intimidation, spectacular acclamation and automatic behaviour patterns. It is a cult of struggle, violence and war; a perversion of democracy towards ‘directed’ and theatrical activism in which charismatic leadership, perpetual motion and myth are essential ingredients..

The RSS/BJP regularly display their disregard for historical truth. Facts and reasonable argument seem to have become totally dispensable. Here are some examples:
Assam government killing rhinos to make way for Bangladeshi immigrants: Narendra Modi
Modi says Congress committed 'sin' of partition/The Non-politics of the RSSAt this rate we shall soon be reduced to living in an Orwellian universe.  Those who still believe in intelligible discussion may kindly read some of these links: