I have seen many people in India speak of Hitler in “good terms”. And mostly, Hitler’s love is associated to the “HIndutva” parties. However, most of the outsiders completely miss the real reason behind this “liking” for Hitler amongst the Indians. (remember the restaurant “Hitler’s Cross“?)
Indians are attracted to Hitler’s ability to galvanize a ravaged nation…not Nazism!
I read a very interesting letter to editor in a Pakistani newspaper daily, Dawn, written by an Indian. I think he explains this Indian liking for Hitler in the best and clearest possible terms…
Hitler is, if at all he is, idolised in India not because of his anti-Semitic and racist ideas but because of his abilities to galvanise a ravaged nation forced on its knees by an unjust treaty imposed upon it by victors who fancied themselves as the people chosen by Providence to plunder the so-called under-developed societies in the Orient and in other non-European lands.
The point to be noted is that India was under the colonial yoke when “Mein Kampf” first appeared in bookshops. Till that time, Britain had succeeded in perpetuating its image as an unbeatable international power whose empire was here to stay.
What attracted Indians to Hitler was not his hatred for the Jews and the horrific crimes that he committed against them but his abilities to convince the Germans that they were the best in the world and that the British power could be successfully challenged and that it deserved to be torn apart.
The way Germany rose from the ashes of the First World War, the way it successfully broke free from the Treaty of Versailles and the way it managed to resurrect a totally destroyed economy, while struggling to pay astronomical sums of money as war reparations, were nothing short of awe-inspiring when seen from the eyes of Indians suffocating under the British colonial rule.
To put things in perspective, it is important to recollect that in 1933 when Hitler came to power, Germany, like the rest of the world, was struggling to come to terms with the devastation caused by the Great economic depression of the late 20s and early 30s, besides it was straddled with the numerous other penalties imposed upon it by the allied powers.
In such an atmosphere, Hitler not only managed to revive the German economy but he also gave it enough strength to be able to stand up once again and within six years challenge the combined, formidable might of the British and French colonial empires.
And, who should be given credit for all that Germany achieved during those years? If Hitler is blamed for the evils associated with Nazism, then he must be credited for all the above-mentioned things.
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