Hitler fascinates the Indians (high caste hindus to be more precise). His autobiography, “Mein kampf”, sells very well. Jaico, the first publishing house to print the book, sold 100.000 copies within the last 10 years. The book has been translated in various indian languages and is popular among students.
Hitler is perceived as a “success story”, someone who achieved his goals, someone who within few years allowed his country to regain its power, his people its confidence. It matters in a country like India which has been colonized by foreigners since the medieval times. In the 90’s, Indians had such a low esteem of their abilities to govern their own country, many of them were saying it would have been better if India had not become independant, if it had remained under the rule of Great Britain because they considered the country had achieved nothing, it was in a mess !
Since years, leaders of the hindu nationalists parties are taking Hitler for example. They present him as a great leader. “Hitler made Germany a super power. Even though his ideas were radical, he managed to convince an entire nation and that is such a great thing to do !” said a student. “He was a super-achiever, the greatest patriot who ever lived.” His dark side is understated, the shoah, concentration camps. Indians minimize it probably because they ignore who really were the nazis. After all, indian textbooks are not very talkative about WWII. Then, WWII and its tens of millions of deads is not as important for Indians as it is for westerners. Not as important as the partition of India in 1947 which caused about 1 million casualties.
Despite of regular communalist outbursts, Indians are not nazis… but they are germanophiles. Since the 19° century, there has been a love affair between the indian culture and the german culture. At this time, Europe has discovered the indian philosophy thanks to Schlegel and Schopenhauer. Goethe enjoyed reading Kalidasa, the greatest indian poet… Unfortunately, this rich dialogue has been cornered by nationalists groups who used the hindu symbol Swastika and the concept of aryanization to project their dreams of a purified Germany.