With Modi coming to power in the 2014 elections various analysts have been arguing about the shape of things to come in very diverse ways. Modi himself is being compared to the likes of Nixon, Margret Thatcher, Reagan on one side and Hitler on the other. His being compared to Hitler has met with severe criticism by many other commentators (‘Comparing Hitler’s Germany with India 2014 is odious’, Marcus Pindur and Padma Rao Sunderji, HT 23rd may 2014) have strongly come out saying that Modi is no Hitler and India of 2014 is very different from Germany of 1930s. The authors argue that after the defeat of Germany in the First World War, Germany was going through a rough patch which was worsened by the great depression of late 1920s and this created a situation of the rise of Hitler and his genocidal politics. The second factor which they assert is about the weakness of German Democracy where the Nazi’s with just 30% of the votes could come to power.
When a German delegation visited Gujarat (April 2010), one of the members of the delegation pointed out that he was shocked by parallels between Germany under Hitler and Gujarat under Modi. Incidentally in Gujarat school books Hitler has been glorified as a great nationalist. ( http://deshgujarat.com/2010/
04/10/german-mps-mind-your- own-business/). I had the privilege of interviewing (Modi)…it left
me in no doubt that here was a classic, clinical case of a fascist. I never use
the term ‘fascist’ as a term of abuse; to me it is a diagnostic category comprising not only one’s ideological posture
but also the personality traits and motivational patterns contextualizing the
t17216-ashis-nandy-narendra- modi-is-a-classical-clinical- case-of-a-fascist )
While Germany of 1930 and India of 2014 are different there are many similarities also. The context of Hitler and Modi is different but the underlying politics (sectarian nationalism) is similar, demonization of the ‘other’ is similar, charisma created around them is similar. The fate of the ‘largest democracy’ is in doldrums, the only thing which can help it is the rule of law, morality laced justice, revival of movements for democratic and human rights, to work for the platform of social movements which is inclusive and stands for the values of Liberty, Equality and fraternity in a substantive way.