Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Indian "Hindu Nazis" Join Forces With Western Neo-Nazis to Threaten World Peace

In an op ed titled "Hitler's Hindus: The Rise and Rise of India's Nazi-Loving Nationalists" published by leading Israeli newspaper Haaretz, author Shrenik Rao raises alarm bells about "large and growing community of Indian Hindu Nazis, who are digitally connected to neo-Nazi counterparts across the world".

Rao talks about Nagpur, a town he describes as the "epicenter of Hindu Nationalism", where he found  ‘Hitler’s Den’ pool parlor "that shocked me on a round-India trip 10 years ago was no outlier. Admiration for Nazism – often reframed with a genocidal hatred for Muslims – is rampant in the Hindu nationalist camp, which has never been as mainstream as it is now".

History of Hindu Nationalism:

Hindu nationalists in India have a long history of admiration for the Nazi leader, including his "Final Solution". In his book "We" (1939), Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, the leader of the Hindu Nationalist RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) 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 Hindusthan to learn and profit by."

Golwalkar, considered the founder of the Hindu Nationalist movement in India, saw Islam and Muslims as enemies. He said: “Ever since that evil day, when Moslems first landed in Hindusthan, right up to the present moment, the Hindu Nation has been gallantly fighting to shake off the despoilers".

There may have been mutual admiration between the upper caste Hindu Nationalists and the Nazis since the 1940s. After all, the Nazis adopted the Swastika, a symbol commonly used by Brahmans in India, because it was understood as an Aryan symbol indicating racial purity and superiority. The Nazis knew that the early Aryans of India were white invaders.

On the surface, it appears that Indians are schizophrenic. It is hard to reconcile the right-wing Hindus' growing admiration for the Nazis with their new-found love of Israel. But there is evidence to suggest that both trends are real. Along with rising sales of the Nazi merchandise, there have also been calls in India to "do Gaza" in Pakistan, and the Indian police discovered a conspiracy by a serving Indian Army officer to set up a radical Hindu government in exile in Israel. Both of these trends seem to be driven mainly by the rising hatred of minorities, particularly Muslims, in India.

Neo-Nazis and Hindu Nazis on Social Media:

The advent and growth of online social media have enabled a large and growing community of Indian Hindu Nazis connected to neo-Nazi counterparts in Europe and America.  This came to light a few years ago when the Norwegian white supremacist terrorist Anders Behring Breivik's manifesto against the "Islamization of Western Europe" was heavily influenced by the kind of anti-Muslim rhetoric which is typical of the Nazi-loving Hindu Nationalists like late Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar (1906-1973), and his present-day Sangh Parivar followers and sympathizers in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who currently rule several Indian states. This Hindutva rhetoric which infected Breivik has been spreading like a virus on the Internet, particularly on many of the well-known Islamophobic hate sites that have sprouted up in Europe and America in recent years. In fact, much of the Breivik manifesto is cut-and-pastes of anti-Muslim blog posts and columns that validated his worldview.

"It is essential that the European and Indian resistance movements learn from each other and cooperate as much as possible. Our goals are more or less identical," Breivick wrote in his manifesto. The Christian Science Monitor has reported that "in the case of India, there is significant overlap between Breivik’s rhetoric and strains of Hindu nationalism – or Hindutva – on the question of coexistence with Muslims. Human rights monitors have long decried such rhetoric in India for creating a milieu for communal violence, and the Norway incidents are prompting calls here to confront the issue."

Indian Textbooks Praise Nazis:

Adulation for for Hitler has found its way into Indian textbooks to influence young impressionable minds. Here's how Rao describes it:

In 2004, when now-Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, school textbooks published by the Gujarat State Board portrayed Hitler as a hero, and glorified fascism.

The tenth-grade social studies textbook had chapters entitled "Hitler, the Supremo," and "Internal Achievements of Nazism." The section on the "Ideology of Nazism" reads: "Hitler lent dignity and prestige to the German government. He adopted the policy of opposition towards the Jewish people and advocated the supremacy of the German race." The tenth-grade social studies textbook, published by the state of Tamil Nadu in 2011 (with multiple revised editions until 2017) includes chapters glorifying Hitler, praising his "inspiring leadership," "achievements" and how the Nazis "glorified the German state" so, "to maintain a German race with Nordic elements, [Hitler] ordered the Jews to be persecuted."

Mein Kampf has also gone mainstream, becoming a "must-read" management strategy book for India’s business school students. Professors teaching strategy lecture about how a short, depressed man in prison made a goal of taking over the world and built a strategy to achieve it.

Modi and Trump:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India has built his entire political career on the intense hatred of  Muslims. US President Donald Trump built his successful presidential campaign on Islamophobia and xenophobia. That's what the two men have in common.

Just as white racists form the core of Trump's support base in America, the Modi phenomenon in India has been fueled by Hindu Nationalists whose leaders have praised Adolph Hitler for his hatred of Jews.

M.S. Golwalkar, a Hindu Nationalist who Mr. Modi has described as "worthy of worship" wrote the following about Muslims in his book "We":

 "Ever since that evil day, when Moslems first landed in Hindustan, right up to the present moment, the Hindu Nation has been gallantly fighting on to take on these despoilers. The Race Spirit has been awakening.”

"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 Hindusthan to learn and profit by."

Summary:

The simultaneous rise of Neo Nazis in the West and the Hindu Nazis in India represents a very serious and growing threat to world peace. Their combined menace can lead to a devastating third world war with nuclear weapons if these trends are not halted and reversed soon. I hope good sense prevails among the voters in these countries to pull the world back from the brink of human catastrophe.

Here's a video of Indian author Arundhati Roy talking about the Fascist origins of the Hindu Nationalist movement in India:

https://youtu.be/s4l3T2FtdT0




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Hindu Nationalists Love Nazis

Lynchistan: India is the Lynching Capital of the World

Modi and Trump

Anders Breivik: Islamophobia in Europe and India

Hindu Nationalism Goes Global

Hindutva: The Legacy of the British Raj

30 comments:

Nizar L. said...

You seemed to have left out the wahabbists/salafists nazis who have killed thousands of muslims, destroyed several countries in the middle east and have targeted Ahmadis, Hazaras and other minorities in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Nizar: "You seemed to have left out the wahabbists/salafists nazis who have killed thousands of muslims, destroyed several countries in the middle east and have targeted Ahmadis, Hazaras and other minorities in Pakistan."


Nazis have killed tens of millions and have the capacity to destroy the world as we know it with nukes they posses. http://www.businessinsider.com/percentage-of-countries-who-died-during-wwii-2014-5

Nizar L. said...

Oh, I didn't know killings of thousands of muslims, destruction of several muslim countries, destroying the livelihood of millions and making them refugees is different than what the nazis did. Also, nazis did not use nuclear weapons. How do you even attempt to minimize the lives lost either by nuclear or conventional weapons or chemical weapons as used by wahabbists/salafists and Yemenis presently being killed by the "Zioudis" by aerial bombings, blockade of ports and siege of the country causing famine, disease and malnutrition of children?

Riaz Haq said...

Nizar: "Oh, I didn't know killings of thousands of muslims, destruction of several muslim countries, destroying the livelihood of millions and making them refugees is different than what the nazis did. Also, nazis did not use nuclear weapons. How do you even attempt to minimize the lives lost either by nuclear or conventional weapons or chemical weapons as used by wahabbists/salafists and Yemenis presently being killed by the "Zioudis" by aerial bombings, blockade of ports and siege of the country causing famine, disease and malnutrition of children?"

Huge difference: Unlike ISIS terrorists, Nazis (like Modi) and Nazi sympathizers (like Trump) are leaders of nuclear-armed nations with the capacity to completely annihilate all human existence. They pose an existential threat to mankind.

Nizar L. said...

You seemed to have a soft corner for ISIS or their "Zioudi" supporters as you see nothing wrong with the killings and destructions that they done on muslims. Let me remind you that KSA, UAE & the other wahabbist/salafists Gulf dictators have joined with Trump (Nazi sympathizer, your title) with Zionist Israel to shortchange the Palestinians and preparing to strike Iran or other muslim countries who do not kowtow to their demands.

Riaz Haq said...

Nizar: "You seemed to have a soft corner for ISIS or their "Zioudi" supporters..."

Nonsense! I absolutely detest ISIS and similar other groups and regimes. My point is that nuclear armed Nazis are far more dangerous than these groups

Nizar L. said...

They say the same thing about nuclear armed Pakistan, but I will end here as you are entitled to your opinion.

Riaz Haq said...

Nizar: "They say the same thing about nuclear armed Pakistan, but I will end here as you are entitled to your opinion."

“They” are the ones who have actually used nukes against civilians and continue to threaten pre-emotive nuclear strikes in future. “They” have no moral high ground here

Anonymous said...

Nizar,

Two wrongs don't make a right. No one elected ISIS or Wahabis and other fundamentalists groups in any Muslim country. Also, kindly enlighten us when in any Muslim country has events like that happened in India in 1984, 1992 and 2002 ever occurred?

G. Ali

Ravi K said...

Ali Sahib, 1984 and 1992 happened when 'secular' Congress was ruling India.

Anonymous said...

Ravi,

To me as an out sider that is totally irrelevant. Gujrat happened under BJP rule.

G. Ali

Ravi K said...

Well of course it is relevant when the post is about "Hindu Nazi Modi" and the so called threat to the world.

Riaz Haq said...

US military consider white supremacism greater threat than Isis, finds new poll
Military leaders have denounced racism and discrimination within the ranks

Andrew Buncombe New York @AndrewBuncombe Wednesday 25 October 2017 14:03 BST

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/us-military-army-white-supremacism-isis-racism-islamist-extremists-poll-soldiers-syria-iraq-a8019376.html

One-in-four serving US military personnel have seen examples of white supremacism within their ranks and consider it more of a threat to national security than Islamist extremists such as Isis they have been battling in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a new poll.

The poll, conducted by the Military Times, was carried out after a neo-Nazi-led protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, resulted in clashes with anti-fascist demonstrators and the death of a young woman. A young man from Ohio, said to be an admirer of Hitler, has been charged with her death.

Donald Trump was criticised for his slow, shifting response to the violence, seeking to claim there was blame on “many sides”. Yet senior leaders from all branches of the military spoke out to say that threats or discrimination against minorities, did not fit with the values of national service the military sought to espouse.

Concern about white supremacism was most pronounced among soldiers of colour, the survey found. Almost 42 per cent of non-white troops who responded to the survey said they had personally experienced examples of white nationalism or with supremacism, in the military. For white service members, the figure stood at 18 per cent.

When asked whether white nationalists posed a threat to national security, 30 per cent of respondents labelled it a significant danger, more than many war zones such as Syria (27 per cent), Pakistan (25 per cent), Afghanistan (22 per cent) and Iraq (17 per cent).

The newspaper said five per cent of those polled complained that groups such as Black Lives Matter, whose stated goal is to protest in a non-violent way to draw attention to discrimination and violence towards people of colour, were not included in the poll as a possible threat to national security.

While the poll include unspecified “US protest movements” and “civil disobedience”, respondents’ concerns about those issues fell well short of the perceived threat from white supremacism.

-----------

More than 60 per cent of troops who took the survey said they would support activating the National Guard or reserves to handle civil unrest arising from white nationalist events such as the clashes in Charlottesville in August

Riaz Haq said...

In #India, some fear lawmakers are stoking anti-#Muslim fervor. #Modi #BJP #RSS #Hindutva #Islamophobia

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/india-fear-lawmakers-stoking-anti-muslim-fervor-51943124

A lawmaker from India's ruling party called the Taj Mahal a blot on Indian culture, saying in October that the famous tourist site had been built by Muslim traitors. In November, another party member offered a bounty for the heads of two people involved in a movie featuring a Muslim sultan. Then, this month, a laborer was hacked to death and set afire while his alleged attacker ranted against Muslims.

The series of incidents this fall has reinforced fears that anti-Muslim sentiment has hardened in India in the three years since a Hindu nationalist party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi swept to power. Some say it has reached a point where Hindu extremists believe they can get away with murder. Others worry that hard-line Hindu leaders want to rewrite the country's rich Muslim history.

The shift in attitudes is happening in a democracy of 1.3 billion people that is often held up as a model for inclusion in the developing world. When former President Barack Obama visited New Delhi earlier this month, he said Muslims were integrated and consider themselves Indian.

Hindus account for 80 percent of the population, compared to Muslims' 14 percent. While there have long been religious tensions, there is a sense the stakes have risen under Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP maintained its hold on Modi's home state of Gujarat in election results tallied Monday, although with a reduced majority.

In a tweet this month, Muslim lawmaker Asaduddin Owaisi questioned whether Modi is a leader for all religions or just Hindus. "Remember that you have taken oath on Constitution," he wrote.

Muslims in India have had to deal with a certain level of discrimination for decades, historian and writer Mukul Kesavan said, noting they often find it difficult to buy or rent homes.

But Kesavan said Modi and his party have given Hindus a sense of permission to lash out against Muslims. He cited cases of mob violence against Muslims who buy or sell cows for slaughter, which is banned in most of the country because Hindus consider cows sacred.

The mobs have gone unpunished in some cases, while the victims or their families have been charged with illegally possessing beef, Kesavan said.

"There have always been two kinds of justice," he said. "But the notion that people now have a license to kill, that is new. This idea of impunity has taken hold so strongly."

The brutality of the laborer's death in the western state of Rajasthan shocked many. TV showed a video of the alleged attacker ranting while the victim lay on the ground behind him. Police have made an arrest.

But in other cases, investigations have dragged on or gone nowhere. Kesavan said police often await advice from the ruling party before acting.

Modi's BJP rejects the notion it is encouraging violence.

At an office in the Constitution Club of India, party spokesman and former lawmaker Bizay Sonkar Shastri said occasional flare-ups between Hindus and Muslims are a natural part of life and began long before his party came to power.

"Our political agenda is only to develop the nation," he said. "We never prefer to do politics on caste, color, religion, or any such sort of things."

He said that in two decades of power in Gujarat, the BJP has built an interconnected system of roads and ensured every village has electricity.

Yet party member Suraj Pal Amu last month offered 100 million rupees ($1.6 million) to anybody who would behead the lead actress and director of "Padmavati," a still-unreleased Bollywood movie that is rumored to depict a relationship between a Hindu queen and a Muslim ruler.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan reaffirms commitment to "full spectrum" #nuclear deterrence, rejects #US charges. #terrorism #India #nukes #missiles @AJENews

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/pakistan-reaffirms-commitment-nuclear-deterrence-171222075832470.html

Pakistan's military and civilian leadership has reaffirmed the country's commitment to maintaining "full spectrum" nuclear deterrence and reiterated the robustness of its nuclear safeguards.

Pakistan's National Command Authority (NCA), which oversees the country's nuclear weapons programme, met for the first time in almost two years in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

"While expressing full confidence in Pakistan's capability to address any form of aggression, the NCA reiterated Pakistan's policy of developing and maintaining Full Spectrum Deterrence, in line with the policy of Credible Minimum Deterrence and avoidance of arms race," said a joint statement from the country's military and the prime minister's office.

The meeting was the first held since Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi took over in August this year. Also in attendance were Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Zubair Hayat and other members of the country's top security leadership.

Full spectrum deterrence refers to a Pakistani nuclear policy where the country maintains nuclear weapons systems and warheads on the tactical, operational and strategic levels.

The policy was developed in response to a shift by regional rival India towards a more proactive conventional military stance, often dubbed "Cold Start". Pakistan, in turn, developed tactical nuclear weapons, which are smaller warheads that can be deployed at short range.

The doctrine envisages the use of tactical nuclear weapons by Pakistan as a deterrent against any possible conventional incursion into Pakistani territory by Indian forces.

The Pakistani leadership "noted with concern" a conventional arms build-up by India, its deployment of nuclear weapons capable systems to the Indian Ocean and its development of a Ballistic Missile Shield system.

The NCA also noted Pakistan's development of the Babur-III cruise missile and Ababeel ballistic missile, which is capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads.

Response to US allegations
The statement on Thursday also made apparent reference to US President Donald Trump's recently announced security strategy, where he called on Pakistan "to continue demonstrating that it is a responsible steward of its nuclear assets".

"The NCA took a detailed review of the Nuclear Security Regime and expressed full confidence in command and control systems and security measures in-place to ensure comprehensive stewardship and security of strategic assets and materials," said the Pakistani statement.

"It re-affirmed that, as a responsible nuclear State, Pakistan would continue to contribute meaningfully towards the global efforts to improve nuclear security and nuclear non-proliferation measures."

Riaz Haq said...

Strategic Insights by #India's Sunil Sharan : #Pakistan, a rising power
https://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/strategic-insights/pakistan-a-rising-power/ … via @TOIOpinion

Yet, one nation is a rising power, ready to take its rightful place in the comity of nations, while the other is deemed a global pariah, a jelly state if not a failed state. Huh? How did this happen?

The reality is different. The world pays lip service to India for its large middle class and its ability to buy arms on a large scale. India seems to consider this courting as its emergence on the world stage.

Scratch the surface, and you will find something else. The US is denying Indians H1-B visas. The US has delinked the Haqqanis, who they want, from Hafiz Saeed, who they couldn’t care less about, so that they can give dollops of aid to the Pakistanis.

Today the Yanks hector the Pakistanis, but that is empty bluster. The Pakistanis have trumped them; the Yanks’ wails appear like crocodile tears. The Yanks forgot when they invaded Afghanistan and enlisted the Pakistanis’ help by threatening to bomb them into the stone age that the Pakistanis had been there once before.

That time they trumped the Russians, with significant money and arms from the Americans and the Saudis. But the Americans never took to battle in Afghanistan the first time round. Sure they had read that Afghanistan was a graveyard for empires, from the British to the Soviet, but they believed, foolishly, that they themselves would win out.

They struck a Faustian bargain with the Pakistanis, without ever realizing that they were dealing with the devil. In the nineties, the Pakistanis used Afghanistan to hijack Indian planes and launch jihad in Kashmir. Afghanistan had become both strategic depth as well as a launching pad for them. How were they expected to give up this twin treat?

Once the Yanks entered Kabul, the Taliban vanished. Into thin air? Oh no, many of them disappeared into Pakistan. The Yanks forgot about Afghanistan, until first the Iraqis, and then the Taliban, started knocking their teeth out. One by one their Nato brethren fled Afghanistan, until the Yanks realized that they had to flee as well.

Go to Kabul today, and you will find disdain for Pakistan everywhere. But the Pakistanis don’t care. The real people who matter in Afghanistan are the Taliban, and you don’t find many of them in Kabul. The writ of the government of Afghanistan extends over only Kabul, much as the later-day Mughals were derided as the mayors of Delhi.

The Taliban control over sixty percent of the country. The Talibs don’t like the Pakistanis, referring to them often as blacklegs. But the Talibs need Pakistan to capture Kabul, much as the Pakistanis need the Taliban to capture Afghanistan.

The Pakistanis are disdainful of the threats emanating from the Yanks. The Yanks need Pakistani territory to transport supplies to their legionaries in Afghanistan. The Pakistanis blocked their land routes once, and all hell broke loose then. It’s almost impossible to transport goods from the west of Afghanistan.

---

Today Pakistan stands on the cusp of victory in Afghanistan. It spurns the Americans for the Chinese, and lo and behold, the Russians, the very people it had helped kick out of Afghanistan. Politics, or rather realpolitik, sure does make for strange bedfellows.

Pakistan is able to stymie India at every international forum, be it the UN or the nuclear suppliers group. There have even been strong rumours about the Obama administration offering the Pakistanis their own nuclear deal. Trump yells and curses at the Pakistanis, but is the first one to give it gobs of military aid.

Pakistan sure doesn’t seem like a loser. It appears to have come out of Afghanistan smelling of roses. It can blackmail America to its heart’s content, and what is more, happily get away with it. Does it seem like a failed state? A terrorist state? A terrorized state? At least not now. For now it seems that Pakistan’s star, that star in their beloved crescent, is rising. And rising.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan has already said "No More" to #America. #Trump’s ‘no more’ is not of any importance: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif. #Afghanistan

https://www.geo.tv/latest/174836-trumps-no-more-is-not-of-any-importance-asif

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, in response to a tweet by US President Donald Trump, said that Pakistan has already refused to ‘do more’ for the United States.

“We have already told the US that we will not do more, so Trump’s ‘no more’ does not hold any importance,” Asif said in an exclusive interview with Geo News.

“Pakistan is ready to publicly provide every detail of the US aid that it has received,” Asif said in a strongly worded statement, in response to Trump’s tweet that accused Pakistan of providing safe havens to terrorists that the US is hunting in Afghanistan.


Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!

4:12 AM - Jan 1, 2018
17,501 17,501 Replies 32,980 32,980 Retweets 87,780 87,780 likes
Twitter Ads info and privacy
“Trump is disappointed at the US defeat in Afghanistan and that is the only reason he is flinging accusations at Pakistan,” the foreign minister said.

“The US should try to negotiate with Taliban in Afghanistan instead of using military force,” he added.

Riaz Haq said...

Trump’s Threat to Democracy
Nicholas Kristof
Nicholas Kristof JAN. 10, 2018

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/10/opinion/trumps-how-democracies-die.html

Two political scientists specializing in how democracies decay and die have compiled four warning signs to determine if a political leader is a dangerous authoritarian:

1. The leader shows only a weak commitment to democratic rules. 2. He or she denies the legitimacy of opponents. 3. He or she tolerates violence. 4. He or she shows some willingness to curb civil liberties or the media.

“A politician who meets even one of these criteria is cause for concern,” Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, both professors at Harvard, write in their important new book, “How Democracies Die,” which will be released next week.

“With the exception of Richard Nixon, no major-party presidential candidate met even one of these four criteria over the last century,” they say, which sounds reassuring. Unfortunately, they have one update: “Donald Trump met them all.”

We tend to assume that the threat to democracies comes from coups or violent revolutions, but the authors say that in modern times, democracies are more likely to wither at the hands of insiders who gain power initially through elections. That’s what happened, to one degree or another, in Russia, the Philippines, Turkey, Venezuela, Ecuador, Hungary, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Poland and Peru.

Venezuela was a relatively prosperous democracy, for example, when the populist demagogue Hugo Chávez tapped the frustrations of ordinary citizens to be elected president in 1998.

A survey that year found that the Venezuelan public overwhelmingly believed that “democracy is always the best form of government,” with only one-quarter saying that authoritarianism is sometimes preferable. Yet against their will, Venezuelans slid into autocracy.

“This is how democracies now die,” Levitsky and Ziblatt write. “Democratic backsliding today begins at the ballot box.”

Likewise, the authors say, no more than 2 percent of Germans or Italians joined the Nazi or Fascist Parties before they gained power, and early on there doesn’t seem to have been clear majority support for authoritarianism in either Germany or Italy. But both Hitler and Mussolini were shrewd demagogues who benefited from the blindness of political insiders who accommodated them.

Let me say right here that I don’t for a moment think the United States will follow the path of Venezuela, Germany or Italy. Yes, I do see in Trump these authoritarian tendencies — plus a troubling fondness for other authoritarians, like Vladimir Putin in Russia and Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines — but I’m confident our institutions are stronger than Trump.

It’s true that he has tried to undermine institutions and referees of our political system: judges, the Justice Department, law enforcement agencies like the F.B.I., the intelligence community, the news media, the opposition party and Congress. But to his great frustration, American institutions have mostly passed the stress test with flying colors.

“President Trump followed the electoral authoritarian script during his first year,” Levitsky and Ziblatt conclude. “He made efforts to capture the referees, sideline the key players who might halt him, and tilt the playing field. But the president has talked more than he has acted, and his most notorious threats have not been realized. … Little actual backsliding occurred in 2017.”

Riaz Haq said...

Indian Children’s Book Lists Hitler as Leader ‘Who Will Inspire You’
By KAI SCHULTZMARCH 17, 2018

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/17/world/asia/india-hitler-childrens-book.html

An Indian publisher came under fire this week for 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, 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.

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. Also included on the cover is Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has recently come under sharp criticism for refusing to acknowledge atrocities committed by the country’s military against the Rohingya ethnic group.

Earlier this week, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is based in Los Angeles, called for the publisher to remove “Great Leaders” from circulation and its online store, where it is sold for about $2.

“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 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.

The publisher had not previously received any complaints about the book, the email said, including from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

In parts of Asia, atrocities committed in Nazi Germany are poorly understood 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, that spoke glowingly of Nazism and fascism.

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 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.’ ”

The statement from the Simon Wiesenthal Center said that “Great Leaders” had been sold this month at the Krithi International Book Fair in Kochi, a city with a long Jewish heritage. The 48-page book was originally published in 2016, according to the publisher’s website, and it was still available for sale online on Saturday. It is unclear who wrote it.

Riaz Haq said...

‘A battle between #Hindutva and #Hinduism is coming’. "The key question is: how do we keep our (RSS) organization intact if we (abandon #caste system) and move towards an egalitarian #Hindu society?" #India #Modi #BJP #Dalit

https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/books/a-battle-between-hindutva-and-hinduism-is-coming-walter-andersen-rss-5301109/lite/?__twitter_impression=true

Walter Andersen is, perhaps, the only scholar to have observed, or studied, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for nearly five decades. In intellectual circles, it is normally believed that as an organisation, the RSS is impervious and impenetrable.
---------

What is the RSS view of Modi’s economics, especially foreign economic policy, demonetisation and GST?

The RSS was undoubtedly responsible for Modi’s rise to the top. But it views Modi’s economics with scepticism. Modi is more open to FDI and foreign trade than the RSS would like. His demonetisation and GST directly hurt groups that are the original base of the organisations: the small traders. The RSS, of course, did not pass a resolution against demonetisation or GST. That is now how it works. But it sought to influence how these policies would be implemented – to ease the burden on small traders.

---------------------

Let us finally return to the relationship of the RSS and Muslims. Your book says that Golwalkar repeatedly used the term “ek hazaar saal ki ghulami” (one thousand years of servitude). Your also say that Deoras changed that, and in 1979, opened the RSS to Muslims. Narendra Modi has often used the term “barah sau saal ki ghulami” (twelve hundred years of servitude), which is more in the Golwalkar vein than in the Deoras mold. At any rate, the implication of the Golwalkar and Modi statements is that India’s colonisation began with the arrival of Muslim rulers either in the 8th century in Sindh or the 11th century in Delhi. This militates against the historian’s argument that it is the British who started colonising India in 1757. The Delhi Sultanate or the Mughal era was not a period of colonisation. However offensive Babur or Aurangzeb were, the other Mughal kings Indianised themselves, even married into Rajputs, and developed commitments to India. The British did not Indianise themselves. They were the real colonisers. How can one justify the term Mughal colonialism?

I don’t think many RSS activists, or even prachaaraks, would disagree with the distinction you are making between the British and Mughals. When Deoras invited Muslims to join the RSS, he did argue that Muslims were mostly India-born, and therefore Indian.

But despite that ideological development, PM Modi returned to the Golwalkar understanding.

There is clearly a generic problem, here. Even those RSS ideologues, who want Muslims to enter the RSS, would like them to accept India’s “historic culture”.

But India’s “historic culture” — the arts, the languages, the everyday manners, the poetry, the architecture, the music — have a lot of Muslim contributions.

----
But that implies that Urdu, which was widely spoken in North India, is not an Indian language, which is so hard to accept. Urdu was not born in the Middle East.

Yes.

------------------

Let us now turn to the recent lynchings. Your book says that the higher echelons of the RSS and BJP don’t approve of lynchings. But how does one align your claim with the following: ministers in Modi government have expressed sympathy for lynchers, even garlanded those convicted of lynching (though out on bail), but the Prime Minister has not taken them to task. Indeed, though the Prime Minister has spoken against lynchings, his most forceful denunciations came when Dalits were hit. When Muslims are attacked by lynch mobs, he, at best, makes perfunctory remarks, if at all.

I haven’t thought clearly about the Muslim-Dalit distinction you are drawing, nor does the book talk about it. I will think more systematically about it.

Riaz Haq said...

Tulsi Gabbard for President 2020 is rising progressive star, despite her support for #Hindu Nationalists. Her progressive domestic politics at odds with her support for #Modi, #Sisi, Bashar al-#Assad. #Islamophobia #India #Gabbard2020 #BJP https://interc.pt/2F7z1zv by @shankarmya

Modi’s ascent has normalized nationalist rhetoric, the silencing of dissent, and violence against religious minorities in India — and it’s also had global implications. Elected prime minister in 2014, he was one of the first of a class of populist autocrats who’ve risen to power in recent years. That group includes Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was elected in the same month as Modi; Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who’s been in office for more than a decade but has been increasingly consolidating power; Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, whose war on drugs has killed thousands of people; Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, who was elected in October despite his pro-military dictatorship stance; and, of course, America’s Donald Trump.

In the United States, Modi’s reputation has been helped by a group of Hindu-American supporters with links to the RSS and other Hindu nationalist organizations, who’ve been working in tandem with a peculiar congressional ally: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, the first Hindu in Congress.

Gabbard — a member of the House committees on Foreign Affairs and Armed Services, and co-chair of the India Caucus — is an oddity in American politics. Ever since her 2016 resignation from the Democratic National Committee to endorse Bernie Sanders for president, she has been a rising star in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Last year, she racked up endorsements from groups like Progressive Democrats of America and Our Revolution, and she sailed to re-election.

But she has also become a polarizing figure. Her progressive domestic politics are at odds with her support for authoritarians abroad, including Modi, Sisi, and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. As right-wing nationalism rises across the globe, it is beginning to be recognized as an existential threat to a world order rooted in liberal democratic values, and Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, is now being pushed to choose sides. (Gabbard did not respond to The Intercept’s multiple requests for comment.)

Gabbard was embraced early on by pro-Modi elements of the Hindu-American diaspora in the U.S., who have donated generously to her campaigns. But as she flirts with the idea of running for president, she has publicly cut ties with those fervent supporters on at least one occasion, while continuing to court them in private.

IN JUNE 2014, after Modi won the election, nearly 700 of his supporters gathered at a Hindu temple in Atlanta to celebrate and plan their path forward. To mobilize their community, the speakers laid out a plan that included a call for donations to Gabbard’s re-election campaign. They described the Hawaii Democrat as an “American Hindu” who “has fought against the anti-Modi resolution introduced recently by some members” of Congress.

The event was organized by the Overseas Friends of the BJP, the American chapter of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Gabbard had landed on the group’s radar as one of America’s few pro-Modi lawmakers. In December 2013, she had voiced her opposition to House Resolution 417, which chided India to protect “the rights and freedoms of religions minorities” and referred to incidents of mass violence against minority Muslims that had taken place under Modi’s watch. Gabbard later told the press that “there was a lot of misinformation that surrounded the event in 2002.”

Also in 2014, Gabbard attended an OFBJP event, where Vijay Jolly, a senior politician of Modi’s government, was present. He took to the stage and told Gabbard that “with the support of … non-resident Indians … your victory later this year is a foregone conclusion.” She cruised to re-election.

Riaz Haq said...

#NewZealand mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant described himself as “ordinary white man” who was inspired by #Norway mass killer Anders Behring Breivik and wanted to avenge “"thousands of deaths caused by foreign invaders”. #Islamophobia #christchurchshooting http://a.msn.com/01/en-ie/BBUNE9J?ocid=st

Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian who was a gunman in the New Zealand terror attacks, described himself as an “ordinary white man” who was inspired by Norway mass killer Anders Behring Breivik and wanted to avenge “"thousands of deaths caused by foreign invaders”.

Tarrant, who filmed himself attacking a Christchurch mosque in a Facebook Live video, posted a 74-page manifesto in which he claims to be from a “working class, low income family”.

He said he was of Scottish, Irish and English stock and moved to New Zealand temporarily to plan and train and then stayed there after deciding to conduct the attack.

“I have read the writings of Dylann Roof and many others, but only really took true inspiration from Knight Justiciar Breivik,” he wrote.

He said he wanted to avenge the death of Ebba Akerlund, an 11-year-old who was killed in a 2017 terror attack in Stockholm.

Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, confirmed that an Australian-born man participated in the attack but said the man was not previously known to Australian authorities.

“He is an Australian-born citizen,” Mr Morrison said. “That obviously leads to an Australian -based investigation and all of our inquiries here will be absolutely shared and communicated with New Zealand authorities.”

Tarrant is reportedly from Grafton, a town in New South Wales. He worked as a personal trainer at a local fitness centre in 2010 before reportedly travelling overseas.

Riaz Haq said...

#NewZealand mosques shooter Benton Tarrant praised #Trump in manifesto. Tarrant's manifesto also praised #AndersBreivik, the #Norwegian white supremacist who murdered 77 people in #Norway in 2011. #ChristchurchMosqueAttack #Islamophobia @AJENews https://aje.io/qgl4a

The Australian-born suspect who shot dead dozens of Muslim worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand, has published a manifesto praising US President Donald Trump and Anders Breivik, the Norwegian white supremacist who murdered 77 people in Norway in 2011.

The 74-page dossier, which has been described by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison as a "work of hate", hailed Trump as "a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose".

The 28-year-old, who is now in police custody, also claimed that he had "brief contact" with Breivik and had received a "blessing" for his actions from the mass murderer's acquaintances.

The dossier stated objections to immigration and multiculturalism, and decries the "decaying" culture of the white, European, Western world.

Earlier on Friday, at least 49 people were killed and 20 others seriously wounded in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch in the worst attack in the Pacific country's history.

The majority of the victims were shot at the Al Noor Mosque, while the rest were killed at another mosque in suburban Linwood.

The Muslim worshippers had congregated for Friday prayers, Islam's holy day of the week.

Trump, whose rhetoric is sometimes aligned with the far-right in the US, condemned the "horrible massacre" in a post on Twitter.

"My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The US stands by New Zealand for anything we can do," he wrote.

Moments before, his spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said: "We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate."

"The United States strongly condemns the attack in Christchurch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families," she added.

Jacinda Ardern, prime minister of New Zealand, described the shootings as a "well-planned terrorist attack", and said this is one of the country's "darkest days".

In addition to the Australian-born man, three other suspects, including a woman, have been arrested, according to Mike Bush, New Zealand's police commissioner.

Live stream
The main suspect also live broadcasted his rampage on social media.

The New Zealand government said it could be illegal to share the video, which showed the gunman repeatedly shooting at worshippers from close range.

The Facebook Live video, taken with a camera that appeared to be mounted on the gunman's body, shows a clean-shaven, Caucasian man with short hair driving to the Masjid al Noor mosque.

He enters the building and fires repeatedly at worshippers as he moves from room to room.

AFP determined the video was genuine through a digital investigation that included matching screenshots of the mosque taken from the gunman's footage with images available online showing the same areas.

In the video, the shooter parks his car next to the mosque and gets out of the vehicle with a rifle. He slowly goes to the boot of his car and retrieves another firearm.

Riaz Haq said...

#Islamabad confirms death of 6 #Pakistanis in #ChristchurchTERRORISTattack . Names of Shaheeds from #Pakistan: “Sohail Shahid, Syed Jahandad Ali, Syed Areeb Ahmed, Mahboob Haroon, Naeem Rashid and his son, Talha Naeem. #NewZealand https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2019/03/16/pakistan-releases-list-of-missing-citizens-after-nz-mosque-attacks/#.XI0TBvtdCnU.twitter

Out of 49 people who were killed in mass shootings in New Zealand’s Christchurch on Friday, at least six belonged to Pakistan, confirmed Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal on Saturday.

“Sohail Shahid, Syed Jahandad Ali, Syed Areeb Ahmed, Mahboob Haroon, Naeem Rashid and his son, Talha Naeem, have been pronounced dead by the authorities,” said Dr Faisal in a tweet.

On Friday, at least four Pakistani nationals were reportedly injured and five others had gone missing after violent gun attacks on two mosques in Christchurch. Three Pakistani however still remain missing and a search for them is underway.

The FO confirmed the death of six Pakistanis shortly after list issued earlier on Saturday. The list included: Zeeshan Raza; father of Zeeshan Raza; mother of Zeeshan Raza; Haroon Mahmood, son of Shahid Mehmood; Sohail Shahid, son of Muhammad Shabbir; Syed Areeb Ahmed, son of Ayaz Ahmed; Syed Jahanand Ali Talha Naeem; Naeem Rashid.

Naeem Rashid and his son Talha Naeem tried to intercept the shooter, but they were shot dead in their attempt. Naeem and Talha, who hailed from Abbottabad, was injured as he attempted to overpower the attacker and later succumbed to injuries.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi also spoke to the media about the terror attack on Saturday.

“We are waiting for identification of [missing] Pakistanis. Obviously I’m getting more worried with time as we have not been able to contact them [the missing Pakistanis] and I fear that they might be on the list of martyrs. But nothing has been communicated to us officially yet and to say anything before an official confirmation will be speculation,” he said while condemning the attack in strong words.

TERRORIST CHARGED WITH MURDER:

A right-wing extremist who filmed himself on a shooting rampage flashed a white power gesture as he appeared in a New Zealand court on Saturday and was charged with murder.

Australian-born 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant stood in the dock wearing handcuffs and a white prison smock, as the judge read a single murder charge against him. A raft of further charges is expected.

The former fitness instructor and self-professed fascist occasionally turned to look at media present in court during the brief hearing that the public were excluded from for security reasons.

Flanked by armed police he made an upside-down “okay” signal, a symbol used by white power groups across the globe. He did not request bail and was taken into custody until his next court appearance which is scheduled for April 5.

A short distance from the court, 39 people were being treated in hospital for gunshot wounds and other injuries inflicted in the massacre.

The wounded included a two-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl, who was in critical condition.

‘MUSLIMS STILL LOVE THIS COUNTRY:’

In a separate development, an imam who was leading prayers at one of the mosques said the Muslim community’s love for New Zealand would not be shaken by the massacre, reported The Telegraph.

“We still love this country,” said Ibrahim Abdul Halim, imam of Linwood Mosque, vowing that extremists would “never ever touch our confidence”.

Halim gave a harrowing account of the moment during Friday prayers when gunshots rang out in the mosque, replacing peaceful reflection with screaming, bloodshed and death.

“Everyone laid down on the floor, and some women started crying, some people died immediately,” he said.

But, he said, New Zealand Muslims still felt at home in the south Pacific nation.

“My children live here” he said, adding, “we are happy”.

Riaz Haq said...

#WhiteSupremacy Is a global Threat. #NZMosqueShooting perpetrator Tarrant celebrated #Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” and declared that “our lands will never be their lands as long as the white man still lives.”
https://newrepublic.com/article/153329/white-nationalism-international-threat
Tarrant’s manifesto heaped praise on Anders Breivik, the Norwegian mass murderer who slaughtered 77 people in 2011, and American white nationalist Dylann Roof, who gunned down churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina nearly four years ago. The rambling document included admiration for U.S. President Donald Trump, whom Tarrant celebrated as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” and declared that “our lands will never be their lands as long as the white man still lives.”

In Australia, whence the suspect hails, the rise in unabashed Islamophobia has buoyed far-right and ultra-nationalist movements in recent years. The country’s broad far-right category includes “several very different groups positioned on an ideological spectrum of extremism from conservative anti-immigration, anti-Islam groups to far-right neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic, generally racist, white supremacy groups,” a group of Griffith University criminologists wrote in 2016.

President Trump condemned the Christchurch attacks, but his administration has spent the last three years emboldening white nationalists and neo-Nazis, cracking down on left-wing activists, and mainstreaming anti-immigration conspiracy theories tinged with anti-Semitic undertones not dissimilar to those promulgated by Tarrant. In October, the president addressed an audience of supporters at a campaign rally in Houston, Texas. He prompted “USA!” chants from the crowd when he declared himself a “nationalist” fighting against “power-hungry globalists.”

During the 2018 midterm elections, Trump maligned a U.S.-bound caravan of refugees and migrants as an “invasion,” a conspiracy theory repeated by white nationalist Robert Bowers when he gunned down worshippers at a Pittsburg synagogue last November. The Christchurch shooter used eerily similar language in a blog post on Thursday: “I will carry out an attack against the invaders,” he wrote, apparently referring to Muslim immigrants.

The similarities are not going unnoticed. “In this case, a killer attacked Muslims worshiping at two mosques. In November, a killer massacred Jews at a synagogue in Pittsburgh,” Cohen said Friday. “Though the victims were different, and the attacks came in different parts of the world, the terrorists shared the same ideology of white supremacist hate.”

Perhaps even more disturbingly, however, far-right politicians from Australia to Europe responding to the attacks have doubled down on white nationalist rhetoric, shifting the blame from the killer to the Muslims targeted by the violence. Australia Senator Fraser Anning, who represents Queensland, condemned the attacks but used the opportunity to spread Islamophobic bile. “The real cause of bloodshed on the New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place,” Anning wrote.

Halfway across the world, Hungary’s far-right Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, on Friday celebrated Hungarians for supposedly stopping “at our southern borders, the migrant invasion directed at Europe.” Orban has spent the last several years blaming Jewish Hungarian-American billionaire philanthropist George Soros for Europe’s refugee crisis. “Without the protection of our Christian culture we will lose Europe, and Europe will no longer belong to the Europeans,” he added—an uncomfortably close echo of Tarrant’s death-struggle us-versus-them manifesto language.

In the U.S. as well, President Trump called the attacks a “horrible, horrible thing” before quickly pivoting to the topic of immigration. “People hate the word invasion, but that’s what it is,” he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Hindu Nationalism's roots in Fascism and Nazism:


https://www.newsclick.in/why-jaitley-needs-study-link-between-rss-and-fascism


Excerpts from Marzia Casolari’s article in the Economic & Political Weeklyillustrate the relationship between the RSS and the fascist regimes of Italy and Germany.

Casolari writes, “The first Hindu nationalist who came in contact with the fascist regime and its dictator was B.S. Moonje, a politician strictly related to the RSS… Between February and March 1931… Moonje made a tour of Europe, which included a long stop-over in Italy. There he visited some important military schools and educational institutions. The highlight of the visit was the meeting with Mussolini.”

“The idea of fascism vividly brings out the conception of unity amongst people...India and particularly Hindu India need some such institution for the military regeneration of the Hindus… Our institution of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh of Nagpur under Dr Hedgewar is of this kind, though quite independently conceived”, Moonje had written in his diary.

It is well known that M S Golwalkar, the second supreme leader of RSS, idolised the Holocaust and thought that it to be an effective way to deal with the minorities of India. In We or Our Nationhood Defined, 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… 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 to learn and profit by.”

Golwalkar’s treatment of minorities and foreigners in the ‘Hindu Rashtra’ bears striking resemblance to Hitler’s ways. The following paragraph from Golwalkar’s book highlights this resemblance. He writes, “It is worth bearing well in mind how these old Nations solve their minorities [sic] problem. They do not undertake to recognize any separate element in their polity. Emigrants have to get themselves naturally assimilated in the principal mass of the population, the National Race, by adopting its culture and language and sharing in its aspirations, by losing all consciousness of their separate existence, forgetting their foreign origin. If they do not do so, they live merely as outsiders, bound by all the codes and conventions of the Nation, at the sufferance of the Nation and deserving no special protection, far less any privilege or rights. 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. That is the only sound view on the minorities [sic] problem. That is the only logical and correct solution. That alone keeps the national life healthy and undisturbed. That alone keeps the nation safe from the danger of a cancer developing into its body politic of the creation of a state within a state.”

Riaz Haq said...

Moonje & Mussolini


https://frontline.thehindu.com/cover-story/moonje-amp-mussolini/article6756630.ece

The first Hindu nationalist who came in contact with the fascist regime and its dictator was B.S. Moonje, a politician strictly related to the RSS. In fact, Moonje had been Hedgewar’s mentor, the two men were related by an intimate friendship.


Moonje’s declared intention to strengthen the RSS and to extend it as a nationwide organisation is well known. Between February and March 1931, on his return from the round table conference, Moonje made a tour of Europe, which included a long stop-over in Italy. There he visited some important military schools and educational institutions. The highlight of the visit was the meeting with Mussolini. An interesting account of the trip and the meeting is given in Moonje’s diary, and takes 13 pages (Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML), Moonje papers, microfilm, rn 1).

The Indian leader was in Rome during March 15 to 24, 1931. On March 19, in Rome, he visited, among others, the Military College, the Central Military School of Physical Education, the Fascist Academy of Physical Education, and, most important, the Balilla and Avanguardisti organisations. These two organisations, which he describes in more than two pages of his diary, were the keystone of the fascist system of indoctrination—rather than education—of the youths. Their structure is strikingly similar to that of the RSS. They recruited boys from the age of six, up to 18: the youths had to attend weekly meetings, where they practised physical exercises, received paramilitary training and performed drills and parades.

According to the literature promoted by the RSS and other Hindu fundamentalist organisations and parties, the structure of the RSS was the result of Hedgewar’s vision and work. However Moonje played a crucial role in moulding the RSS along Italian (fascist) lines. The deep impression left on Moonje by the vision of the fascist organisation is confirmed by his diary:

“The Balilla institutions and the conception of the whole organisation have appealed to me most, though there is still not discipline and organisation of high order. The whole idea is conceived by Mussolini for the military regeneration of Italy. Italians, by nature, appear ease-loving and non-martial like the Indians generally. They have cultivated, like Indians, the work of peace and neglected the cultivation of the art of war. Mussolini saw the essential weakness of his country and conceived the idea of the Balilla organisation.... Nothing better could have been conceived for the military organisation of Italy.... The idea of fascism vividly brings out the conception of unity amongst people.... India and particularly Hindu India need some such institution for the military regeneration of the Hindus: so that the artificial distinction so much emphasised by the British of martial and non-martial classes amongst the Hindus may disappear. Our institution of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh of Nagpur under Dr Hedgewar is of this kind, though quite independently conceived. I will spend the rest of my life in developing and extending this Institution of Dr Hedgewar all throughout the Maharashtra and other provinces.”

Riaz Haq said...

Most famous #ingredients used to make typical '#Indian' #cuisine aren’t actually native to #India. chillies from #Mexico, potatoes from #SouthAmerica, tomatoes (introduced by the Portuguese) and the texture of its naan (from Central Asia) http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20190609-the-surprising-truth-about-indian-food

I was in a narrow kitchen in Mumbai, one of India’s most strikingly modern cities, watching an ancient Indian meal being cooked on vessels of baked clay. Utensils made from leaves, wood and metal were scattered across the kitchen. The food was being prepared using only ingredients native to the subcontinent, which meant that the sharpness of chillies (native to Mexico) and the starch of the potatoes (imported from South America) were missing.

“No cabbages, cauliflower, peas or carrots, either,” said Kasturirangan Ramanujam, one of the cooks preparing the meal. But that won’t stop him from making an elaborate feast for my family that will include rice, the mulligatawny-like saatramudu, protein-rich kuzhambu gravy and an astonishing array of vegetables and snacks.

This is the shraadha meal that is eaten by many Hindu families in southern India on the death anniversaries of close family members – in this case, the anniversary of my father-in-law’s passing. While the feast is believed to feed families’ departed ancestors, it has inadvertently created a living memory of the region’s culinary history, because it is made entirely from recipes and ingredients that have existed on the subcontinent for at least a millennium.


In a country famous for its rich red curries made from tomatoes (introduced by the Portuguese) and the texture of its naan (from Central Asia), many of the most famous ingredients that go into typical ‘Indian’ food aren’t actually native to India.

Potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots and peas, which are now staples in contemporary Indian cooking, arrived in the subcontinent relatively recently. Accounts from the late-18th Century report that the Dutch brought potatoes to India primarily to feed other Europeans. Now, however, potatoes are boiled, baked, roasted, stuffed and fried in nearly every kitchen in India.

The late Indian food historian K T Achaya believed that chillies probably arrived from Mexico via Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama and answered a deeply felt need for a pungent spice that could be grown in every part of the country without needing as much rain as pepper.


And according to Ruchi Srivastava, producer for Indian television show The Curries of India, “All cuisines in India have adopted the tomato.” The plant arrived in India through a circuitous route – from South America to southern Europe, then to England and finally to India in the 16th Century courtesy of the British. Srivastava argues that restaurants and hotels have popularised red curry sauce as ‘Indian’ in the last 100 years. “This has now started changing the palate of people,” she said. “For anyone who doesn’t know much about Indian food, the onion-tomato gravy has become a classic.”

Riaz Haq said...

#Israel Consulate in #Mumbai #India Organizes Event on #Hindutva and #Zionism. The poster of the event flaunts images of Zionist leader Theodor Herzl and RSS leader VD Savarkar. #Modi #Kashmir https://indianculturalforum.in/2019/08/22/israel-consulate-in-mumbai-organises-event-on-hindutva-and-zionism/?fbclid=IwAR3XeY1aKqR1YxJPaXMZ-xyJzHuVcU5bTc6xfT-a0jK_jxCH-oo6qIhdkwU

All masks are off and all veneers discarded- the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai along with one Indo-Israel Friendship Association is organising a public discussion on Hindutva and Zionism on August 26th, at the The Convocation Hall of University of Mumbai. The poster of the event flaunts images of Theodor Herzl and VD Savarkar, and the event has Subramanian Swamy and a professor from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Gadi Taub as speakers. So far, Israel’s mission in India spoke the language of bringing technology and building cultural ties. Israel’s agencies, as part of its Brand Israel, have tried to whitewash its occupation, apartheid and settler-colonialism against Palestinians by hosting events, film festivals, etc, in an attempt to deflect attention from its crimes.

However, this time the ruling dispensation in India gives the Israeli embassy the confidence to drop all pretenses. All along, it is the connivance of these ideologies that has brought India and Israel closer in the last half a decade, at the cost of Indian solidarity to Palestine. In this context, we are sharing an excerpt from Sukumar Muralidharan’s essay “The ideological common ground between Hindutva and Zionism”, from the collection From India to Palestine: Essays in Solidarity edited by Githa Hariharan.

As Hindu nationalist ideology moves into its more extreme fringes, its inherent paradoxes stand out with similar starkness. Early pioneers of the ideology articulated these in the confident belief that minor doctrinal inconsistencies would be of no consequence in the mission of facing down a common enemy in Islam. As India under colonial rule lurched from the bitter aftermath of the collapse of the Khilafat agitation into an extended phase of communal estrangement, the notion of a country inhabited by two nations became widely accepted, crystallised especially in two political vehicles: the Hindu Mahasabha and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). A text published in 1939 by M.S. Golwalkar, a year before he took over the leadership of the RSS, remains one of the most authoritative statements on Hindu nationalism, offering rich insights through its comments on contemporary world events into the ideological pantheon it drew sustenance from.

Golwalkar’s statements lauding Nazi Germany for its virulent manifestation of “race pride”, which led to the expulsion of the Jews despite the world recoiling in horror at the enormity of the deed, are widely cited. These offer eloquent testimony in themselves, but only tell the full story when juxtaposed with the observations on Zionism that the same text offers. Golwalkar identifies India as one among the early nations that afforded sanctuary to the Jews after their country passed into Roman tyranny. This was obviously a bond in his rather twisted historical imagination, which persisted into that moment in history when the greater dispersal of the Jews took place, with the “engines of destruction . . . under the name of Islam” being let loose in the land. Palestine, in Golwalkar’s sense, suffered much like India did, losing its culture and traditions on account of the intrusions of Islam “Palestine became Arab, a large number of Hebrews changed faith and culture and language and the Hebrew nation in Palestine died a natural death.” But hope was not lost, since “the attempt at rehabilitating Palestine with its ancient population of the Jews is nothing more than an effort to reconstruct the broken edifice and revitalise the practically dead Hebrew National life.”

Riaz Haq said...

Two new genetic studies upheld Indo-Aryan migration. So why did Indian media report the opposite?
Science is proving India's incredible diversity. But this clashes directly with Hindutva’s racially nativist understanding of the subcontinent.

https://scroll.in/article/936872/two-new-genetic-studies-upheld-aryan-migration-theory-so-why-did-indian-media-report-the-opposite?fbclid=IwAR16ToJRC150jsfNfIp5k4m5mEqDbxDAseV2X3RcFT7Tw8eDTxpC_vZj_0Q

“Can we now prove the historical existence of Bhagwan Ram?” rang out a question at a press conference in Delhi on Friday to explain the findings of two much-awaited studies on the genetic origin of modern South Asia.

On the podium to explain the two new papers of which they are among the co-authors were Vasant Shinde, an archaeologist and vice-chancellor of Deccan College, and Niraj Rai, head of the Ancient DNA lab at the Birbal Sahni Institute for Palaeosciences.

Taken together, the studies – one in Cell, the other in Science – painted a fascinating genetic picture of how groups as diverse as local hunter gatherers, Iranian farmers and pastoralists from the Pontic steppe grasslands in Eastern Europe mixed to form most of the modern South Asian population.

----

As a consequence, though the genetic studies themselves were rather clear, many in the media misrepresented the results to suit this political narrative. In fact, even the co-authors of the papers themselves seemed to disagree on the conclusions that can be drawn from the research.

Media confusion
The Economic Times reported that the research raises doubts over the “long-held theory of Aryan invasion or migration into South Asia”. Amar Ujala, one of India’s largest Hindi newspapers, was more emphatic: “The Aryan invasion theory proved completely false; India is the guru of South Asia.”

The theory of the Aryan invasion (or migration) was first put forward by Western scholars during the colonial age. It maintained that a race of European or Central Asian “Aryans” swept into the subcontinent displacing the indigenous Indus Valley Civilisation. These Aryans were said to have introduced key elements of Indian culture such as the Sanskrit language – which gave rise to the Indo-Aryan branch of languages spoken all across north, west and east India today – as well as the Vedas, the foundational texts of Hinduism.

This went against Hindutva’s own imagination of India, in which all significant cultural development was held to be indigenous.

Some of what the term “Aryan” once referred to has been proved to be scientifically inaccurate. The Nazis, for example, mistook what is a language grouping to be a racial one. However, much of the Indian media did not bother to explain that the new research actually upheld the theory that people with European Steppe ancestry had brought the Indo-Aryan language branch to India – not overturned it.

In contrast, the media in the West (with no political dog in this fight) communicated this fact rather well. People of Steppe-pastoralist ancestry likely “brought horses and the Indo-European languages now spoken on the subcontinent,” reported the Atlantic. The Smithsonian.com website of the American museum group wrote, “Indo-European languages may have reached South Asia via Central Asia and Eastern Europe during the first half of the 1000s BC.”

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To Reich’s cultural argument, there is also a political layer. India is today dominated by the politics of Hindutva or Hindu nationalism, an ideology which is fiercely nativist. Vinayak Savarkar, the founder of Hindutva and a foundational thinker for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, based his nationalism on nativism arguing that for a true Indian, India had to be both his pitribhumi (ancestral land) and punyabhumi (the land of his religion).

“A Hindu therefore could not be descended from alien invaders,” said historian Romila Thapar, explaining how Hindutva saw the world. “Since Hindus sought a lineal descent from the Aryans, and a cultural heritage, the Aryans had to be indigenous.”