Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hitler as an avatar of Vishnu? WTF!?

Understanding this cosmos will be quite a challenge for me.

That realization did not result from any Sunday morning meditation.  Instead, it was from reading.  Let me explain--after all, you want to know whether the title of this post was merely to catch your attention or whether there is real content about it, right?

One of the sites in my newsfeed is "Secular Right."  Yes, it is exactly what it means--that site features news and commentaries from the right side of the political spectrum but without (and often against) religion.  The report did not interest me.  But, boy am I glad that scrolled down to read the comment that sounded sarcastic:
Good to know. As I worship Adolf Hitler as an avatar of Vishnu, I look forward to prosecuting those who blaspheme my lord and fuhrer.
A hyperlink in the comment.  I moved the mouse over the link to see what the URL was--often trolls leave comments with links that are nothing but malware and virus.  Not in this case--it was a redirect to Wikipedia. So, of course, I clicked on it, which is when I was shocked to read about Savitri Devi:
Born as Maximiani Julia Portas in 1905,[4] Savitri Devi was the daughter of Maxim Portas, a French citizen of Greek and Italian ancestry and an Englishwoman, Julia Portas (née Nash).
Say what?  Something new every single day; I don't know how people can ever feel like they are bored!

And that was merely the beginning of the path down the rabbit hole.
n 1932, she travelled to India in search of a living pagan Aryan culture. Formally adhering to Hinduism, she took the name Savitri Devi ("Sun-rays Goddess" in Sanskrit). She volunteered at the Hindu Mission as an advocate against Judeo-Christianity,[7] and wrote A Warning to the Hindus to offer her support for Hindu nationalism and independence, and to rally resistance to the spread of Christianity and Islam in India.[2] During the 1930s she distributed pro-Axis propaganda and engaged in intelligence gathering on the British in India.[4]In the late 1930s, through her personal contacts, she enabled Subhas Chandra Bose (leader during World War II of the Axis-affiliated Indian National Army), to make contact with representatives of the Empire of Japan.[11]
Are you kidding me?  What a crazy story!  And then she marries "Asit Krishna Mukherji, a Bengali Brahmin with National Socialist views who edited the pro-German newspaper New Mercury."  Truth is certainly stranger than fiction!

Of course, I wondered whether Wikipedia might have been hijacked in this by some troll.  So, the Doubting Thomas that I am, I Googled, which led me to this:
Regardless of the tenuous link between the ancient Indians and the Germans (and the pseudo-science related to the study of the Aryans), Maximiani bought the dubious theories wholeheartedly. She viewed Hinduism and Nazism as one in the same, with no inherent contradictions.
Indeed, like Hitler (and the ancient Hindus), she espoused the beauty and values of the natural world, championing ecology, vegetarianism, animal rights and (above all) pagan mysticism.
And then another reference.
A recently released biography, Hitler's Priestess: Savitri Devi, the Hindu-Aryan Myth and Neo Nazism by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, reveals how the lady adopted India as her home. Till her death in 1982, she used this base to propagate a Neo-Nazi cult and keep the torch of Nazism burning in Europe and the USA. She was even hailed as 'Hitler's guru' by neo-Nazi publishers, Samisdat.
Holy shit!
She left for India in 1932 to search for the roots of the Aryan civilisation. She regarded Hinduism as the only living Aryan heritage in the modern world and was convinced that only Hinduism could take on and oppose the Judaeo-Christian heritage. Soon, she adopted the name Savitri Devi which would make her famous in neo-Nazi circles.
... By the late 1930s, she was involved with Hindu nationalist movements like the Hindu Mahasabha and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh - then growing rapidly to counter Muslim ascendancy. 
OMG!  How did I not know about this bizarre story all these years?

I have noted before the creepy fascination in India for Hitler even after WW II--from books being sold on sidewalks, to politicians drawing inspiration from the mad man.  There is even Hitler ice cream in India!

Another article adds this:
This love of Hitler is further reinforced by a resistance to social progression. "There's the aspiring middle class, the bourgeoisie, the petit bourgeoisie," Ghosh explained, of which she estimates there are approximately 250 million. "And that group doesn't like the chaotic facets of Indian society. Things like lower [Hindu] castes demanding rights, gay parades, women campaigning for gender equality, things that are upsetting the traditional order of things." Indians resisting these changes have a profound desire for strong leadership, particularly of a kind which centers around conformity.
If even this small part of human behavior is so difficult to comprehend, forget understanding the cosmos!


Anne in Salem said...

Truth is way stranger than fiction.

There are several things in this post I don't understand but will ask about only two. I thought Hitler's Aryans were blond Caucasian Christians, looking far more Nordic than Indian. What is the relation between his and her Aryans?

"Particularly of a kind which centers around conformity." How can a country of almost a billion people with language, religion, economic status, education level, perspective, etc., varying not just region by region but also neighborhood by neighborhood, ever hope for conformity???

Ramesh said...

I hadn't heard of this either. That's a surprise. Usually we would have heard of a story like this long ago.

Monsters like Hitler mean absolutely nothing to the average Indian. Ditto Stalin - which is why we have a politician called Stalin. There must surely be many Maos. I have a friend called Ravanan. Names are strange indeed.

Sriram Khé said...

Anne, as for your question on the Hitler's (and the neo-Nazi's) aryans and the Indian aryans ... here is an old post on that ;)

Ramesh, it is not the average Indians and their bizarre approach to a Hitler or Stalin that worries me. Instead, it is the fascination for Hitler that the political leaders have that freaks me out. Shiv Sena's Thackeray never ever hid his Hitler admiration. The RSS functions in many ways thanks to the inspiration it drew from Hitler and his paramilitary youth brigade.

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