The Advent of Hitler in India
Hitler is considered historically heinous by most of humanity, but in the last few years India has been witness to the advent in his popularity.
Last month, Dr. Navras Jaat Aafreedi, an Assistant Professor at the Department of History & Civilization at Gautam Buddha University in India, and scholar of the history of the Jewish communities in India, concluded a lecture tour in Israel. During the trip, he gave a talk titled “The Rise of Hitler’s Popularity in India” at Tel Aviv University. He notes that “India is the only country in the world where Jews have lived with their non-Jewish neighbours in complete harmony for more than two millennia. Jews are India’s smallest religious minority and Muslims its biggest, and the two have produced beautiful examples of amity, unlike anywhere else in the world.”
The phenomenon of Hitler’s growing popularity in India is a paradox because of the absence of Anti-Semitism in India.
Yet, though the country has hardly known Jew hatred, sales of Hitler’s Mein Kampf have risen over 15% in the last decade. The name “Aryan” is becoming a popular first name in India, and “Hitler” is the name of the protagonist in many a Bollywood production.
Dr. Aafreedi offered a few explanations. Unlike modern-day neo-Nazis who idealize Hitler for the racist ideology he espoused and for his persecution of the Jews, Indians who respect Hitler do so as a result of misinformation. “It can be ascribed to the absence of Jewish Studies in India, where Islamic Studies are available at almost all major Indian universities.