Hitler and India – A history divided!

“The world needs heroes and it’s better they be harmless men like me than villains like Hitler.” ~ Albert Einstein

Hitler, the evil dictator was responsible for the death of millions of innocent people, just because they did not fit his distorted and evil vision of so called ‘pure race’. Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf (in English: My Struggle), is selling like hot cakes in India as reported by London Telegraph. The book commonly branded as ‘Nazi Bible’ is banned in many countries. However, students in India are using it as a self-guide for business studies.

1947: 100's of miles long caravans of uprooted Indians leaving behind everything and moving to the new country based on their religion; Photo: wanabehuman.blogspot
1947:100s of miles long caravans of Indians leaving behind everything & moving to the new country based on their religion; Photo:wanabehuman.blogspot

There are all kinds of global opinion for and against this subject – should we be using this book as a guide for business studies?
The simple answer is: it depends. It depends where you live in the world; how much you know about Hitler; and how you feel about it. Hitler is not a commonly discussed figure in India or Indian society. Growing up, we did not know much about him. Hitler and Stalin were often mentioned in the same sentence. In the the schools’ history books, Hitler is mentioned mainly as a apart of the World War II studies. It is quite possible that many Indians, who don’t know as much about Hitler, are just in awe of his atrocities; they might be reading the book just out of curiosity. And lately, many more may be reading because of the media coverage and the story being reported all over the globe. Many may read Hitler’s biography because they  just want to know more about him and what made him the monster and evil that he is known to be.
As the Indian continent was not directly impacted by Hitler and his crimes, many of us are indifferent to the gravity of the damage he did in Europe. If it was something or someone we hated as much (as they hate Hitler in Europe and America), we probably would find different books for self guides. There is no shortage of self-help books on the topics of business studies.
To compare the relative importance of issues like this and to bring it home, we may want to consider something that relates to India and is more appropriate to the Indian dark history around the same time frame of 1940s. Would you buy a self-help book on any related topic written by the political leaders of Muslim League and British Empire who were responsible for Indian partition in 1947? The partition created some very deep wounds for the nation as a whole, and triggered racial genocide to the magnitude of estimated one million dead (a conservative estimate) and many-many more homeless. The ultimate result was a deep division and hostility between two communities that once co-exited in peace. The 1947 partition and genocide was responsible for the seeds of hatred that affects the region to this day.
Most of you won’t buy any self help book written by those leaders responsible for the 1947 division of India.
However, if there is a self-help guide on how to avoid partition of a nation, a book on how to avoid division of a family or a community,or  how to minimize hatred among races….now, that is a self-help guide worth buying!

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2 Replies to “Hitler and India – A history divided!”

  1. In relation to the 1947 partition and Indo-Pak politics since, Ken Stier has a great 2 part article on Pakistan. Please feel free to link to both of these articles. Ken was recently on the Jack Rice Show (Air America) discussing his Miller-McCune story about mineral extraction in West Africa.

    Re-Arranging Pakistan’s Deck Chairs: As U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits India, we look at its neighbor and enemy Pakistan, America’s oldest friend in the Subcontinent. The United States has dumped billions of dollars into Pakistan as it has sailed closer than ever to becoming a nuclear-armed failed state. Where does it go from here, our Ken Stier asks in the first of a two-part analysis. http://www.miller-mccune.com/politics/re-arranging-pakistans-deck-chairs-1352
    Pakistan, Captain America’s On the Phone: The United States has dumped billions of dollars into Pakistan as it has sailed closer than ever to becoming a nuclear-armed failed state. Where do both nations go from here? http://www.miller-mccune.com/politics/capitan-america-pakistans-on-the-phone-1354

  2. Dear author, I was born in 80s in India when India wasn’t really well connected in terms of internet or any other forms of communication, but one thing for sure that, it didn’t stop me from being aware of Hitler’s ideology. As a matter of fact, Hitler was almost always part of normal day to day conversation. ‘Hitler ki aulaad’ or ‘Hitler’ is much used terms. Only thing that has changed is that India was indifferent earlier but with globalization, concept of HITLER AS AN EVIL ENTITY is slowly catching up in India. There is at most a shift in how people thought of him, not in whether people thought of him or not.

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