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Contents: India’s Response to the Holocaust and its Perception of Hitler (Issue 31)

Contents: India’s Response to the Holocaust and its Perception of Hitler (Issue 31)

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Contents - India’s Response to the Holocaust and its Perception of Hitler (Issue 31)

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India’s Response to the Holocaust and its Perception of Hitler: An Introduction

By Navras Jaat Aafreedi
It is quite well known that Adolf Hitler enjoys immense popularity in India as evident from his omnipresent autobiography, Mein Kamf, and memorabilia. Much has already been written to find an explanation for it. What has never been done is a whole collection of articles focused on it and tracing his popularity to India’s response to the Holocaust as it happened and ever since. Even if Hitler’s popularity in India cannot be attributed to Nazism in the country yet, it cannot be dismissed simply as an obsession with and a craving for strong leadership.

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“Can the Jews resist this organized and shameless persecution?”: Gandhi’s Response to the Holocaust

By Shimon Lev
Gandhi presented his demanding suggestion to the European Jews to adopt his Satyagraha strategy in order to resist the Nazi type of racist violence. This harsh demand raised a variety of responses. The most known critics were the philosopher, Martin Buber, and the American Jewish leader, Judea Magnes. Both argued that the conditions and circumstances in Nazi Germany were so extreme that there was no possibility of implementing Satyagraha against Hitler’s regime.

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Man against Time: Savitri Devi and the Hitler Avatar

By Jyotika Mansata
Savitri Devi first decided to come to India in 1932, while writing her doctoral thesis. Having been influenced by National Socialist ideas since the Putsch of 1923, Savitri Devi saw India as the only land whose religion proclaimed Aryans to be the foremost race. Hinduism as a religion was, in her view, perfectly compatible with the weltanschauung of National Socialism, and she hoped to preach National Socialism to the Indians (or at least the Aryan Indians).

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What India Learns about Hitler and the Holocaust

By Anubhav Roy
In 1988, the most familiar Indian edition of the Mein Kampf was first pushed into circulation by Delhi’s Jaico Publishing House. By 2010, it sold its 100,000th copy. Today, of the eleven country-specific branches of Amazon.com, only India’s sub-portal features the Nazi bible amongst its list of top ten bestselling biographies. The trend, notably, is not exclusively elitist. Translated vernacular renditions of the Mein Kampf command their own readership.

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Holocaust in the Indian Urdu Press

By Md. Muddassir Quamar
Exclusive coverage of Holocaust in the Urdu press is not frequent and largely comes within the context of Israeli-Palestinian conflict whereby Israel is portrayed as a usurper and occupying state that was illegitimately imposed on Palestinians by the colonial powers. Significantly, criticism of Israel is colored in religious undertone so much so that Jews are at times referred to as the divinely ‘condemned’ community. Prolonged Palestinian statelessness and sense of victimhood evoke emotional reaction in the Urdu press.

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Indian Muslim Denial of the Holocaust: Who are these Muslims?

By Ambreen Agha
While we discuss anti-Semitism found in the Christian world, it is equally important to address the issue of Holocaust denial in the Muslim world that appears to be more a result of political frustration that theological. Based on an ethnographic account, the Muslim responses presented in this paper highlight that the class factor has a major role to play in analysing responses to the Holocaust.

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Hitler in Hindi Press: International political cartoon in a Hindi periodical

By Prabhat Kumar
In this essay, I have selected some cartoons, featuring Hitler and his Nazi Germany, which were reproduced from different international magazines in Vishvamitra (1933), a Hindi literary-political monthly, published from Calcutta. Literally, it means friend of the world. The journal’s circulation figure was around 2,500. Vishvamitra, in comparison with other contemporary Hindi literary journals, devoted more number of pages to cover international politics.

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Holocaust and Hitler in Hindi

By Navras Jaat Aafreedi
The very fact that the Delhi-based Hindi publishing house, Hindi Sahitya Sadan, published a biography of Hitler in 2013 as part of the same series, under which it brought out biographies of Bhagat Singh, Prithviraj Chauhan, Haqeeqat Rai, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Krishna, Ram Prasad Bismil, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Swami Dyananda Saraswati, Maharana Pratap, Shivaji, Chandrasekhar Azad, Madanlal Dhingra and Udham Singh, hints at how it sees him in line with them and perhaps perceives him as a great leader.

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An Ambivalent Attraction: Some Thoughts on the Hitler Phenomenon in India

By Ryan Perks
In India today, Adolf Hitler’s likeness circulates with a sort of nonchalance unknown in the West since the 1930s. There are Hitler ice cream cones, Hitler hair products, Hitler cigarettes, Hitler cologne. There are menswear stores, pool halls, and restaurants. There are films and television shows with Hitler in the title, often used as a synonym for their loveable, if authoritarian, main characters.

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Indian Films named after Hitler

By Sarah Siddiqui
This use of Hitler to describe a stern, aggressive alpha male is somewhat indicative of the distorted and minimal facts regarding Adolph Hitler that are a part of popular culture in India. Also to be kept in mind is the fact that this discussion is in regards to cinema in India, which in itself has primarily been reduced to a means of escapist, flashy entertainment. So, the expectations of a proper representation that would do justice to and educate the consumers about the subject matter are futile for the most part.

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Hitler in Bangla Literature: Vox Pop and the Case of Sailesh Dey’s Ami Subhash Bolchi (1968)

By Somshankar Ray
The Bengali traveller had accepted the hospitality of a German Professor and over the evening coffee the German host complained to the Bengali guest that the Jews were monopolizing all the services and businesses. In fact, the Jews occupied a number of public offices totally disproportionate to their meagre population. This anti-Jewish feeling was shared by many German citizens. Interestingly, Dey approved of Hitler’s initial anti-Jewish measures as the Jewish traders had ruthlessly exploited the common Germans in the miserable post-Versailles days.

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Is Hitler loved in India?

By Puja Awasthi
The Indian attitude to Hitler is on display every time the name is used for one, who is a little more than a strict disciplinarian – a popular case in point being comparisons of one’s mother-in-law to the mass murderer. At worse, it signifies a dictator and could thus be used as an adjective for that particularly harsh college principal.

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The Advent of Hitler in India

By Jacob Shamsian
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.

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The Attitudes of Lucknow’s Muslims towards Jews, Israel, and Zionism

By Navras Jaat Aafreedi
While a Holocaust film retrospective, the first ever in South Asia, was in progress at two universities in Lucknow - the Bābāsāhéb Bhīmrāo Ambédkar University and the University of Lucknow - in September – October 2009, the two most popular Urdu daily newspapers there, Rāshtriya Sahāra and Aag, published stories denying the Holocaust. The articles were largely based on the arguments made by the well-known Holocaust deniers, viz., David Irving, Harry Elmer Barnes, David Hoggan, Paul Ressinier, and Arthur R. Butz.

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