During the Second World War, A.C.N Nambiar collaborated with the Nazis and persuaded Indian P.O.Ws in Europe to fight for Hitler as part of the Waffen SS- which was judged, at the Nuremberg trials, to be a criminal organization directly involved in crimes against humanity. The French had a particular hatred for this 'Indian Legion' because of the crimes it had committed. They massacred every single one of them they could lay their hands on. Nazi collaborators were not popular in the Fifties. This did not prevent Nehru from appointing Nambiar Ambassador to West Germany in 1955.
It seems Indo-German diplomatic ties have certain esoteric nuances and peculiarities. Nambiar was well received in Bonn. He was believed to be close to the Soviets and this gave him additional value. However, his mission was mainly economic in nature. The Rourkela Steel Plant was one tangible fruit of this sort of diplomacy.
Just recently, the German ambassador to India has visited the RSS headquarters. This has prompted Siddharta Bhatia, a Founding Editor of The Wire, to write-
Imagine Donald Trump’s ambassador meeting neo-Nazis in Germany and stating that this bunch of white supremacist thugs hold “some unconventional views”, or describing skinheads in Britain — where a large population of South Asian origin lives — as people who “occasionally express themselves with great force.”This seems strange. FDR's Ambassador to Germany met actual Nazis. In 1937, the State Department forced him to attend the Nuremberg Rally. The Nazis decided this humiliation was not enough and forced Roosevelt to sack him. The fact is, diplomats have to get along with the ruling party in the host country. The British Ambassador to the US has been forced to resign after some unflattering comments of his on Trump were leaked to the Press.
Trump himself might easily tweet support for Tommy Robinson or offer him asylum- if he thinks this will play well with his voters.
Audrey Trushke, the illiterate historian, has joined the Twitter war set off by the German ambassador's visit.
"There is something especially disturbing about the German ambassador, of all people, helping to cover-up the RSS's extreme bigotry (which was partly inspired by the Nazis),” she wrote.The RSS was set up in 1925. The motivation was the 1923 Nagpur riot. Its gaining wider salience had to do with its performance in the 1927 Nagpur riot. But such riots were happening all over India. What made the RSS different from a purely local self-defense body for Hindus was that it was as Nationalist as the Congress Seva Dal which had been set up by a Doctor in 1924.
Audrey, fool that she is, thinks that the RSS was inspired by the Nazis. How is this possible? In 1925, Hitler was unknown outside Germany. No doubt, by 1938, he was considered a man of destiny. That is why Gobind Vallabh Pant, presiding over a Congress meeting, described Mahatma Gandhi as the Il Duce and Fuhrer of India. The Mahatma himself had little sympathy for the German Jews and condemned Zionism out of hand despite the fact that some of his earliest helpers in South Africa were Jewish. The fact is, Indians believed that the German Jews were all Capitalists who were controlling the Economy to the detriment of the local people. During the Second World War, as Niradh Chaudhri recounts, Hitler was considered a great hero by the vast majority of Indian people. However, it was Mussolini, not Hitler, who first enthused young Indians.
The picture below shows Subhas Chandra Bose in military costume at the 1928 Congress session in Calcutta
During the Second World War, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, escaped from India and met with Hitler. This greatly increased his standing in India. Bose's ideology could be rightly called Fascist. The RSS has no similar ideology because its roots are in the provincial petty bourgeoisie- traders in particular. Its political ascent dates to the Nav Nirman agitation in Gujarat and then to its opposition to Indira Gandhi's Emergency. Thus its respectability derives from its opposition to One Party rule and to the excessive concentration of power in the Organs of the State. No doubt, it benefited from the upsurge in jihadi violence and Islamic terrorism because of its origins as a Hindu self-defense organisation. However, it is the fact that its cadres are not corrupt which has made it so greatly respected. Furthermore, unlike the Communist parties, it has not degenerated into a goon squad employing hoodlums. By contrast, Congress used goons to fight Communists in West Bengal. That is where Mamta got her start and her Trinamool Congress has shown its superiority in beating people- with the result that ex-Commies are now voting BJP.
Congress became dependent on the Communist parties to form a Government in 2004. This was a false 'Red Dawn' during which Leftist 'intellectuals' gained salience. However, their virulent anti-Hinduism created a backlash from which Modi benefited. It was absurd to pretend that Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul were angels while Menaka Gandhi and her son Varun were devils. If Modi, as C.M of Gujarat was satanic because of his RSS antecedents, how was Congress's candidate for C.M- Shankarsinh Vaghela- a saintly figure? He too was an RSS man.
Fascism, historically, was about beating up Communists in the streets while the Army and the bourgeoisie looks on approvingly. Congress was good at beating Communists. The RSS never did any such thing. Its cadres were ambivalent about Communism. On the one hand, they admired the achievements of Soviet Russia and Communist China. The indigenous small trader could scarcely hope to create big steel plants and high tech defense industries. Moreover, the RSS was patriotic. If the Soviet Union was kind enough to extend its nuclear umbrella to India at a time when Pakistan had twisted Nixon around its little finger, then the RSS supported the Indo-Soviet Defense pact wholeheartedly. Atal Behari Vajpayee was routinely castigated as a 'CIA agent' but his first act as External Affairs Minister was to rush over to the Kremlin and gulp down Vodka with the Comrades till their suspicions were dispelled.
The RSS started off as an imitator of the Congress Seva Dal. Unlike the latter, it remained free of corruption and gangsterism. However, till recently, it was seen as Provincial and vernacular in its outlook. The change in its status has to do with Indians coming to terms with the fact that growth and socio-economic progress can't be achieved in a top-down fashion. Western style ideologies are irrelevant. There can only be bottom-up development which directly tackles India's biggest handicap- viz. the caste system's hostility to meritocracy and socio-economic mobility. It is a great pity that a concern with ideological purity caused the politburos of the Communist parties to refuse to step up to the plate by taking office at the Center. They preferred to lord it over their regional bastions. But, in doing so, they grew complacent and corrupt. Their own goons would switch sides if they felt there was a danger of a popular revolt at the ballot box. Currently, the Left is at its lowest ebb since 1950. Babbling nonsense about Hitler or Mussolini won't help it. Few Indians know or care about either. One may as well talk of the Spanish Inquisition.