Subscribe to South Asia Citizens Wire | feeds from | @sacw
Home > Communalism Repository > India: BJP spokewoman links Sonia with Mussolini. Will the RSS/BJP finally (...)

India: BJP spokewoman links Sonia with Mussolini. Will the RSS/BJP finally clarify their stance on fascism and Nazism?

by Dilip, 18 April 2014

print version of this article print version

(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: This article should be read carefully by everyone interested in Indian politics. The logic employed by the BJP leadership is revealing. By her 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? 

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 such 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, 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: 
Here's some on how the Axis powers (in this case Japan) used Boses' INA. (I cannot vouch for this research, but present it in order for readers to examine it). More research about India in Axis strategy may be read here.

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 Italian fascism. Readers can find more on these and similar utterances in 'Hindutva's foreign tie-up in the 1930's'

Will the BJP and Modi fans also re-consider the mindless glorification of Hitler as a 'patriot' 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, the efficiency in the bureaucracy and the administration and other 'achievements' 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, because along with the mass murder of Europe's Jews, Hitlers also sent a proportionately larger number of Romani's to the death camps. In case the BJP spokesperson doesn't know, Romani's (also known as Gypsies) are of Indian origin. Read more here:

Ms Lekhi, the argument about fascism has nothing to do with DNA, bloodline or inherited characteristics. It relates to ideas, violence & styles of leadership. 

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..

Those still interested in reasonable discussion can read about it here - and of course many other places.

View online : Dilip Simeon’s Blog