Hitler goes to Bollywood


by Rumbold
13th June, 2010 at 4:16 pm    

Alex von Tunzelmann reports on the news that an Indian film director is planning to make a film about Hitler, with Anupam Kher (best known to Western audiences as the dad from ‘Bend it Like Beckham’) as Adolf. It is billed as a serious film (which, given the possibilities of song and dance numbers, is quite a shame), and is titled ‘Dear Friend Hitler’. The director chose the title because of Hitler’s alleged fondness for India and his role in helping to end British rule of India. That Hitler was a friend of India is historically illiterate. As Alex points out:

Hitler never supported Indian self-rule. He advised British politicians to shoot Gandhi and hundreds of other leaders of the freedom struggle. Repeatedly, he expressed support for British imperialism. He only regretted that it was not harsh enough. “If we took India,” he once threatened, the Indian people would soon long for “the good old days of English rule”.

The second world war did fatally weaken Britain’s grip on her empire, but it was America who pressed the moral case for it to be dismembered, not Germany. The director was also swayed by Hitler’s alliance with Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army, which worked with the Japanese forces in an attempt to invade the then British-ruled India:

In fact, the Nazi regime’s disgust when Bose became romantically involved with a German woman revealed its true feelings. Hitler was happy to let Bose’s recruits die fighting the British. But he never stopped believing that Indian people were racially inferior to white Europeans, and that any attempt at Indian independence would inevitably lead to reconquest by a “superior” race.


(Hat-Tip: KJB)


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Culture,History,India






62 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Akai MPC - Dave YAWA – Captain Planet Drum and Bass MPC1000 Mashup live video

    [...] Pickled Politics » Hitler goes t&#959 Bollywood [...]


  2. Peter Cannon

    There is going to be a Bollywood film about Hitler!
    http://bit.ly/cbIEGr http://bit.ly/aowu7P http://bit.ly/aF4VkJ




  1. boyo — on 13th June, 2010 at 5:40 pm  

    “it was America who pressed the moral case for it to be dismembered, not Germany”

    That’s one way to put it, the other was they had a deliberate strategy to bleed us dry and thereby eliminate their chief trading competitor.

    The Americans may not have liked our empire, but money not morality drove them to undermine it.

    The only thing special about the “special relationship” is that the British delude themselves that there is one.

  2. Rumbold — on 13th June, 2010 at 7:33 pm  

    There was a commercial aspect as well, but there was a genuine dislike of European imperialism amongst the American public, mainly because their history had been shaped by being on the receiving end (though not with the same severity).

  3. boyo — on 13th June, 2010 at 9:16 pm  

    Hm. Well, that was certainly their creation myth, albeit the reality was somewhat different.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Manituana-Wu-Ming/dp/1844673421/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1276460074&sr=8-1

  4. Ravi Naik — on 13th June, 2010 at 9:19 pm  

    But he never stopped believing that Indian people were racially inferior to white Europeans

    A belief, one should say, was shared in equal measure by the British.

  5. kenni — on 13th June, 2010 at 9:35 pm  

    They can screen it as a double bill feature with the upcoming movie on Indira Gandhi, seeing as it’ll draw the same type of crowd in India….”Our mother India and our best friend Hitler”

  6. douglas clark — on 13th June, 2010 at 10:15 pm  

    I was hoping that, notwithstanding the moustachioed one, we might have got around to talking about the Battle of Kohima, or as we cogniescenties know it, as Kohima – Imphal. Known as the ‘Stalingrad of the East’

    The point being this.

    Huge numbers of Indians faught against the Nazi ideas of Chandra Bose. There was less than a percent on the side of the Japanese. These were Chandra Boses boys, and they died.

    I am sorry they died, I am not sorry you won!

    __________________________

    It seems seems to me that America has it’s Pacific campaign. It seems to me that the Brits have the Battle of Britain. It seems to me that both Indians and Pakistanis have no love for their own victory over the fascists.

    It was a genuinely world turning event.

    It strikes me, at least, that ignoring it is to, what, pretend that Indian and Pakistani folk shouldn’t have taken up arms? Pretend that the folk that saved you from the Japanese were any less admirable you are?

    I don’t think so.

    The folk that died as:

    They did in their thousands and quite frankly they are scorned for having done so by a generation that doesn’t appear to respect it’s parents. These people saved the possibility of Indian democracy. That is how fucking important they were.

    Lots of Indians died at Kohima – Imphal and they ought to be hero’s to you. And you should realise that that incuded Pakistanis back then.

    They are all hero’s to me.

  7. KJB — on 13th June, 2010 at 10:31 pm  

    For anyone trying to imply that Alex is somehow casting the British in a favourable light, or apologising for them: she’s not. Nehru is one of her political heroes, and he was about as staunchly anti-Nazi and anti-fascist as you could get at the time; indeed if you read The Discovery of India, he points out the sneaking admiration many British officials had of Mussolini and the reluctance behind official British condemnation of Hitler.

    In fact, I seem to remember she ended her post with a reference to the great man himself.

    “Hitler and Japan must go to hell,” said independence leader Jawaharlal Nehru, later India’s first prime minister. “I shall fight them to the end.” If Kumar and his producers believe they are honouring the cause of Indian freedom by associating it with Hitler, they are profoundly mistaken.

    The tragedy for me is that there are such admirable figures out there that could have films made about them – Nehru, or maybe someone could do a proper film on Gandhi (wishful thinking, I know). Apparently a film based on Alex’s own book was shelved in 2009!

    It appears that there was a film made about Dr. Ambedkar some time back – why not Sarojini Naidu? Kasturba Gandhi? Kamala Nehru? I would LOVE to see a film on Pandita Ramabai, fantastic woman that she was. It would be beyond fantastic to have a documentary or realist film on Mother India and Uncle Sham. At the very least, Indians need to stop sanitising/being completely ignorant of the core beliefs of their greatest nationalist leaders. How many actually understand Gandhi’s philosophy? How many know that Nehru was an atheist? People just soak in religious sectarianism and don’t get an idea of the facts.

  8. douglas clark — on 13th June, 2010 at 10:46 pm  

    Does Rumbold do that? Well no, he doesn’t. If he did, you, might have a point. As he doesn’t and you don’t have a fact, nor a point, you are wasting our time.

  9. douglas clark — on 13th June, 2010 at 10:52 pm  

    KJB,

    I’d quite like you to address the point I was making @ 6.

  10. donald — on 13th June, 2010 at 10:58 pm  
  11. Kulvinder — on 13th June, 2010 at 11:28 pm  

    Its impossible to comment on this meaningfully as the movie hasn’t been made yet. It may well end up as kitsch fascist fantasicing, but until its been made i think those behind the creative process deserve the benefit of the doubt.

    Regardless Hitler has been ‘done’ to death; even the best depiction of him to date has become little more than an viral video.

    If people are going to make films about genocidal dictators frankly i, for one, want to know why such a pretty boy with exquisite hair had to kill so many people.

  12. Kulvinder — on 13th June, 2010 at 11:36 pm  

    nb was anyone else’s eyebrow raised by germany’s fourth goal being scored by someone who was, er, significantly less than white? I was in a pub with some germans at the time, and after having one of these moments, i had to bite my lip to avoid saying ‘so erm black german footballers eh!!!?, good on you for not gassing them’

  13. earwicga — on 13th June, 2010 at 11:39 pm  

    Donald, also for the Japanese.

  14. KJB — on 14th June, 2010 at 12:41 am  

    Kulvinder:

    i, for one, want to know why such a pretty boy with exquisite hair had to kill so many people.

    Pretty boy? *coughs* Specsavers. As for your other point, did you miss this bit?

    Dear Friend Hitler stars Indian actors Anupam Kher and Neha Dhupia as Hitler and Eva Braun, and will focus on what the director claims was “Hitler’s love for India and how he indirectly contributed to Indian independence”.

    Benefit of the doubt aside, the director is basing it on a lie. Not a contentious point – not an exaggeration – a LIE. Whether Hitler's been done to death or not is beside the point; showing a historically-illiterate film to a population that includes many illiterates isn't a great way of giving them the facts of what is a very serious matter.

    I wonder how well it would go down if someone were to make a film about India's 'indirect contribution to terrorism' because Pakistan was once a part of India… Even then there would still be more factual basis than this film is likely to have! I hope the director gets himself a clue.

    Douglas – With all due respect, I'm none too sure what your point at 6 actually was.

  15. Sofia — on 14th June, 2010 at 9:59 am  

    wish they would do a proper one on jinnah

  16. Jai — on 14th June, 2010 at 11:05 am  

    It would probably be worthwhile for Jewish organisations in India to contact the film-makers and raise their concerns with them. I remember this approach successfully working with the idiots who briefly opened that “Hitler’s Cross” restaurant in Mumbai a few years ago; the name was changed once the full extent of Hitler’s atrocities was brought to the relevant people’s attention.

    As mentioned in the original Guardian article, the basic problem is that awareness of the Holocaust is not necessarily as widespread in India as it should be. They also don’t necessarily know about the scale of Hitler’s admiration for the British colonial subjugation of India, something which he explicitly claimed to be directly inspired by and which he intended to emulate if the Nazis successfully defeated and annexed Russia in particular.

    It’s obviously something that definitely needs to be rectified, but to draw an analogy, it’s similar to the way that many modern-day people here in Britain aren’t necessarily aware of the details of the actions of Robert Clive (“Clive of India”) or the consequences in the aftermath, beyond knowing that he was an instrumental figure involved in “the founding of the British Raj”. His rapacious actions also resulted in the famine-related deaths of an estimated 10-15 million Indians during the years immediately afterwards (wiping out 1/3 of Bengal’s population), completely impoverished Bengal which had been one of the wealthiest regions in the world until then (and still hasn’t recovered), and when details of Clive’s excesses and their impact finally reached Britain, people here would shudder when walking past his house. Clive himself was completely unapologetic about his actions or their catastrophic effects when he was formally investigated by the British authorities.

    Yet these days, the average person here in the UK knows very little about all this; you can buy books in Waterstones which glorify Clive, and he’s even explicitly presented as a heroic figure to admire and emulate in books for children like “The Dangerous Book for Boys” and “The Dangerous Book of Heroes”, both of which completely whitewash the full scale of his psychopathic behaviour and the genocidal scale of the deaths which resulted.

    A relatively more recent example along similar lines and affecting the same region occurred in 1943. The British civil administration’s incompetence and indifference resulted in 3 million deaths in Bengal during the famine of 1943. From Wikipedia:

    Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of the time, his involvement in the disaster and indeed his knowledge of it remains a mystery. When in response to an urgent request by the Secretary of State for India, Leo Amery, and Wavell to release food stocks for India, Churchill responded with a telegram to Wavell asking, if food was so scarce, “why Gandhi hadn’t died yet.” Initially during the famine he was more concerned with the civilians of Greece (who were also suffering from a famine) compared with the Bengalis. In the end Churchill did ask for US assistance, writing to Roosevelt that he was “no longer justified in not asking for aid” but the American response was negative.

    Unfortunately, unless someone has an active interest in global history or has learned about such things to a sufficient degree as part of their school or university education, people don’t necessarily know everything they should ideally know when it comes to historical atrocities and mass deaths which occurred in distant countries thousands of miles away. Regardless of whether you live in Europe or India, and this applies to the respective histories of both parts of the world.

    but significant numbers of Indians served and fought for the Nazis.

    “Significant” is a relative term.

    A total of 2.54 million Indians fought in WW2. Out of that total number, 40,000 joined the Axis powers under Bose. That comes to just 1.6%.

    1.6% is not a “significant number” when 98.4% — a colossal 2.5 million Indians — volunteered to serve with and fight for the Allies, forming the largest volunteer army in recorded history.

  17. Shamit — on 14th June, 2010 at 12:36 pm  

    I agree with what Jai has said @16.

    I want to add one more thing – I would be really surprised if anyone in the Azad Hind Fauj including SC Bose actually agreed with the Nazi philosophy or the Japanese doctrine. Their entire objective was to get independence and my enemy’s enemy is my friend philosophy.

    And SC Bose went on record saying should the Japanese try to subjugate Indians like they have in SE Asia, the Azad Hind Fauj would turn its weapons on the Japanese.

    *********************************

    Churchill was also against giving India independence and he fought tooth and nail when Atlee decided to do so.

    However, why would anyone want to do a movie on one of the worst tyrants and criminals in the history of mankind – he, like many others have laid out, was no friend of India or Indians and he was a racist, fascist thug.

    ***********************************************

  18. Sofia — on 14th June, 2010 at 12:41 pm  

    Jai – how true!

  19. Kulvinder — on 14th June, 2010 at 1:30 pm  

    Pretty boy? *coughs* Specsavers.

    Young stalin was, as that link says, a mixture of Keanu Reeves and Johnny Depp.

    He was totally hot man.

    Yes i did read the bit; Alex von Tunzelmann is a lovely author and unfortunately as with most cif threads after about 50 replies the commentators become as coherent as a stadium of vuvuzelas. I accept her, and everyones, questioning of the concept but on principle im against calling for any piece of art to be changed or even not made based on interviews with those behind the creative process.

    I think bad art is more useful than no art.

    The movie may well end up as a cringeworthy glorification of hitler, but as a work of art it’ll be more effective in shining a light at indian social attitudes to hitler than an interview with the director.

    Even art that glorifies repugnant people should be ‘allowed’ to be made as criticism of that art is a more effective way of dealing with underlying issues than simply criticising the director.

    Infact i completely disagree with jai, the last thing the indian jewish ‘community’ should do is call for the film to be stopped; that just leads to the usual ‘jews controlling the media’ stereotypes.

    The movie should be made, as the director intends, it can then be examined with legitimacy about certain indian sentiments to hitler.

    I accept simply saying ‘the benefit of the doubt’ was a poor way of expressing all that.

  20. boyo — on 14th June, 2010 at 2:08 pm  

    As much as I hate to burst the grievance balloon, it’s a bit irritating to talk about the Bengal famine as if it was some kind of British war crime – at worse it arose out of incompetence.

    “Overall, as Sen shows, the authorities failed to understand that the famine was not caused by an overall food shortage, and that the distribution of food was not just a matter of railway capacity, but of providing free famine relief on a massive scale: “The Raj was, in fact, fairly right in its estimation of overall food availability, but disastrously wrong in its theory of Famines”. The famine ended when the government in London agreed to import 1,000,000 tons of grain to Bengal, reducing food price.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengal_famine_of_1943

    It’s also irritating to talk about Indian support for Hitler, etc. The Indian army made a tremendous contribution to winning the war, not just in the Far East but here in Italy too (alongside the Poles, it liberated the city in which i live). Hell, Indian pilots even flew in the RAF .

    http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/History/1940s/PilotsRAF.html

  21. Saj — on 14th June, 2010 at 3:13 pm  

    Hitler also appears to have gone to Israel

    Book about killing gentile children becomes bestseller in Israel

    http://www.eutimes.net/2009/11/book-about-killing-gentile-children-becomes-bestseller-in-israel/

  22. Rumbold — on 14th June, 2010 at 3:24 pm  

    Jai:

    The Bengal famine was horrific, but, as P.J. Marshall and others have shown, Bengal’s wealth was not drained by the British in the 18th century- that is a bit of an urban myth.

  23. Donald — on 14th June, 2010 at 3:34 pm  

    “Significant” is a relative term.”

    Indeed. 40,000 is half of the strength of the British Army and is significant.

    “Out of that total number, 40,000 joined the Axis powers under Bose.”

    Besides the Nazi Indian legions, 60,000 Indians fought with the Japanese. Again, a significant number.

    “forming the largest volunteer army in recorded history.”

    Large is a relative term.

    There were around 330000000 Indians in 1942 and so 2.5 million comes to just 0.825% of a country that was under attack and fighting for its life.

    Not many really.

  24. Jai — on 14th June, 2010 at 4:18 pm  

    Indeed. 40,000 is half of the strength of the British Army and is significant.

    Not really. The vast majority of them weren’t even involved in any active combat.

    Besides the Nazi Indian legions, 60,000 Indians fought with the Japanese. Again, a significant number.

    Wrong again. 40,000 Indians in total joined the Axis militaries, predominantly the Japanese. The number which directly joined the Nazi armed forces comprised a paltry several hundred soldiers, and the vast majority of those weren’t involved in any combat either.

    So, once again, not a significant number. Far from it, in fact.

    Large is a relative term.

    There were around 330000000 Indians in 1942 and so 2.5 million comes to just 0.825% of a country that was under attack and fighting for its life.

    If the full strength of the British Army is 80,000, then 2.5 million Indian soldiers is more than 31 times as large.

    So, quite a huge number. In fact, using your own logic quoted at the top of this comment, it’s a very significant number indeed.

    But the very fact that you would attempt to downplay the millions of Indian soldiers who joined the Allied war effort (and their contribution to the Allied victory), whilst simultaneously attempting to grossly inflate the extent to which Indians joined the Axis powers, speaks volumes.

  25. Donald — on 14th June, 2010 at 5:37 pm  

    “Not really. The vast majority of them weren’t even involved in any active combat.”

    Evidence?

    This picture shows some in action in France, what have you got?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-263-1580-05,_Atlantikwall,_Soldaten_der_Legion_%22Freies_Indien%22.jpg

    “Wrong again. 40,000 Indians in total joined the Axis militaries”

    Wrong again. It was at least 60,000.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3684288.stm

    “The number which directly joined the Nazi armed forces comprised a paltry several hundred soldiers”

    Wrong again. It was at least 3,000.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3684288.stm

    “If the full strength of the British Army is 80,000, then 2.5 million Indian soldiers is more than 31 times as large.”

    That is the approximate strength of the British Army now (in fact it is 150000); by during WW2 far more British soldiers served then Indian soldiers.

    3.5 million in fact compared to the 2.5 million Indians.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/timeline/factfiles/nonflash/a6648078.shtml?sectionId=0&articleId=6648078

    The population of India was 378000000 and the UK was 47760000 which means that the British contributed 7.4% of its total population to the fight whereas India contributed a paltry 0.66%.

    The losses of the British as a percentage of its population were 0.94% whereas India was half as much.

    So you are right on thing. It is all ‘subjective.’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties#Human_losses_by_country

    “But the very fact that you would attempt to downplay the millions of Indian soldiers who joined the Allied war effort”

    I have done not such thing.

    “whilst simultaneously attempting to grossly inflate the extent to which Indians joined the Axis powers”

    I have done no such thing.

    “speaks volumes”

    Ahh, that old rhetoric. Why not tell us a little of this ‘volume’ then?

  26. Donald — on 14th June, 2010 at 5:42 pm  

    Following on..

    “Not really. The vast majority of them weren’t even involved in any active combat.”

    Evidence?

    This picture shows some in action in France, what have you got?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-263-1580-05,_Atlantikwall,_Soldaten_der_Legion_%22Freies_Indien%22.jpg

    “Wrong again. 40,000 Indians in total joined the Axis militaries”

    Wrong again. It was at least 60,000.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3684288.stm

    “The number which directly joined the Nazi armed forces comprised a paltry several hundred soldiers”

    Wrong again. It was at least 3,000.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3684288.stm

  27. Donald — on 14th June, 2010 at 5:44 pm  

    “If the full strength of the British Army is 80,000, then 2.5 million Indian soldiers is more than 31 times as large.”

    That is the approximate strength of the British Army now (in fact it is 150000); by during WW2 far more British soldiers served then Indian soldiers.

    3.5 million in fact compared to the 2.5 million Indians.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/timeline/factfiles/nonflash/a6648078.shtml?sectionId=0&articleId=6648078

    The population of India was 378000000 and the UK was 47760000 which means that the British contributed 7.4% of its total population to the fight whereas India contributed a paltry 0.66%.

    The losses of the British as a percentage of its population were 0.94% whereas India was half as much.

    So you are right on thing. It is all ‘subjective.’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties#Human_losses_by_country

    “But the very fact that you would attempt to downplay the millions of Indian soldiers who joined the Allied war effort”

    I have done not such thing.

    “whilst simultaneously attempting to grossly inflate the extent to which Indians joined the Axis powers”

    I have done no such thing.

    “speaks volumes”

    Ahh, that old rhetoric. Why not tell us a little of this ‘volume’ then?

  28. Jai — on 14th June, 2010 at 6:31 pm  

    This picture shows some in action in France, what have you got?

    So the only evidence you can present is a picture of “some in action in France”. Not exactly a smoking gun showing that the alleged majority of the relatively small number of Indian soldiers who’d joined the Axis powers were involved in active combat, as you’ve repeatedly attempted to claim.

    Never mind. Let me educate you:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India_in_World_War_II

    Extracts:

    The financial, industrial and military support of India formed a crucial component of the British campaign against the Axis powers. India’s strategic location at the tip of the Indian Ocean, its massive production of armaments, and its huge armed forces contributed decisively in halting the progress of Imperial Japan in the South-East Asian theatre.

    The Indian Army during World War II was one of the largest Allied forces contingents which took part in the North and East African Campaign, Western Desert Campaign and the Italian Campaign. At the height of the World War, more than 2.5 million Indian troops were fighting Axis forces around the globe.

    …..The Indian National Army, formed first by Mohan Singh Deb consisted initially of prisoners taken by the Japanese in Malaya and at Singapore who were offered the choice of serving the INA by Japan. Later, after it was reorganized under Subhas Chandra Bose, it drew a large number of civilian volunteers from Malaya and Burma. Ultimately, a force of under 40,000 was formed, although only two divisions ever participated in battle.

    And from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indische_Legion

    Extract:

    Raised initially as an assault group that would form a pathfinder to a German/Indian invasion of the western frontiers of British India, only a small contingent was ever put to its original intended purpose when a hundred of the Legionnaires were parachuted into eastern Iran to infiltrate into India through Baluchistan and commence sabotage operations against the British in preparation for the anticipated national revolt.

    A majority of the troops of the Free India Legion were only ever stationed in Europe – mostly in non-combat duties – from the Netherlands, to Atlantic Wall duties in France till the Allied invasion of France.

    Regarding the following:

    Wrong again. It was at least 60,000.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3684288.stm

    Still wrong. The article states that Bose went to Japan so that he could acquire assistance in raising 60,000 men to march on India.

    In reality, he was eventually able to secure only 40,000. This isn’t speculation, it’s historically documented fact.

    “But the very fact that you would attempt to downplay the millions of Indian soldiers who joined the Allied war effort”

    I have done not such thing.

    “whilst simultaneously attempting to grossly inflate the extent to which Indians joined the Axis powers”

    I have done no such thing.

    Your own comments on this thread continue to confirm this pattern of behaviour, however much you seek to deny it.

    Why not tell us a little of this ‘volume’ then?

    Self-evident.

  29. Kulvinder — on 14th June, 2010 at 6:42 pm  

    Yes yes thousands of ‘horrible horrible’ indians fought for the nazis and japanese in the vain hope that the reward for getting rid of one set of colonial occupiers wouldn’t be occupation by the people they fought for.

    Obviously we should all now tut at their desperate and misguided attempts at self-determination.

  30. KJB — on 14th June, 2010 at 6:51 pm  

    As much as I hate to burst the grievance balloon, it’s a bit irritating to talk about the Bengal famine as if it was some kind of British war crime – at worse it arose out of incompetence.

    So that makes it OK, then? The Bengal famine infuriated so many because the British justified their dominion of India repeatedly on the grounds of racial superiority. Even J.S. Mill didn’t think Indians deserved a liberal democracy. The fact is that the economic exploitation of India – which led partly to the famine being handled the way it was – was predicated on the myth of racial superiority and bringing ‘progress’ to the darkies.

    Also, ‘incompetence’ doesn’t really capture the behaviour of men like Lord Lytton adequately in my view:

    Lytton vehemently opposed efforts by the British governor of Madras, the Duke of Buckingham, and some of his district officers to stockpile grain or otherwise interfere with market forces. Buckingham was not a free trade fundamentalist and was appalled by the speed with which modern markets accelerated rather than relieved the famine.20 Lytton lectured his officers, however, that high prices, by stimulating imports and limiting consumption, were the “natural saviours of the situation”. He issued strict orders that “there is to be no interference of any kind on the part of the Government with the object of reducing the price of food”, and denounced “humanitarian hysterics”. “Let the British public foot the bill for its ‘cheap sentiment’, if it wished to save life at a cost that would bankrupt India.”21

    Oh, and *one* post mentioning the famine does not a ‘grievance balloon’ make. You might not want to mansplain to others in future if you’re that easily aggrieved.

    Kulvinder – I don’t think anyone is calling for censorship. It’s just embarrassing that this director is so utterly clueless, especially as India is becoming more prominent. I hope there’s a lot of protests if it gets made, because Hitler is not, and cannot conceivably be seen as, a friend of India.

    The movie may well end up as a cringeworthy glorification of hitler, but as a work of art it’ll be more effective in shining a light at indian social attitudes to hitler than an interview with the director.

    Eh, maybe. Though I’m not sure that ‘knowing little/nothing about X’ counts as ‘having a particular social attitude about X.’ All this just reinforces my feeling that India needs to be careful not to neglect history and other humanities as it tries to charge ahead and become a global superpower.

  31. KJB — on 14th June, 2010 at 6:58 pm  

    I think Stalin reminds me too much of various Punjabi men of my dad’s age group in their youth for me to find him attractive *shudder*.

  32. Jai — on 14th June, 2010 at 7:07 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    the last thing the indian jewish ‘community’ should do is call for the film to be stopped; that just leads to the usual ‘jews controlling the media’ stereotypes.

    I understand your point, and it’s a valid one, but in the context of India itself it’s not necessarily applicable — India isn’t exactly an antisemitic country, and the ‘Jews controlling the media’ caricatures are non-existent there. Having said that, there are of course various groups outside the subcontinent (including the far-Right here in the West) who would jump on the chance to level the aforementioned allegation against Jews, so your argument does have some merit on that front.

    Perhaps the best approach (and I’m aware that this may be wishful thinking) would be to show “Schindler’s List” and “Downfall” alongside the proposed Hitler film, so that audiences in India can get a better idea of the full picture.

    Appropriate reading material such as “Third Reich” trilogy by the historian Richard J. Evans (who was a key witness in a trial in 2000 involving the Holocaust-denier David Irving and completely demolished his claims) would also be constructive; his meticulously-detailed books have been described as amongst the most comprehensive academic analyses on the rise & fall of the Nazis ever written, and the extent of antisemitic persecution discussed in his books makes for truly shocking reading.

  33. Donald — on 14th June, 2010 at 7:17 pm  

    Following on, now that you have completely overlooked two other points you were shown the true way on…

    “Never mind. Let me educate you:”

    Actually allow me to educate you once again, even it is via your wikipedia:

    “Order of Battle:

    The 1st Division was under Mohammed Zaman Kiyani….

    The 2nd Division under Aziz Ahmed…

    An additional 3rd Division of the INA was composed chiefly of local volunteers in Malaya and Singapore…”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_National_Army#Order_of_Battle

    And compare this information to the part where you think you are educating me:

    “…only two divisions ever participated in battle…”

    And we can see that there were only ever 3 divisions in the first place, so in actual fact at least two thirds did serve in combat, and that is most!! Doh!

    “Still wrong. The article states that Bose went to Japan so that he could acquire assistance in raising 60,000 men to march on India.”

    Still wrong. What it actually says is:

    “There, with Japanese help, he was to raise a force of 60,000 men to march on India.”

    Very clear English really, It uses past tense to explain that he did in fact raise a force of 60000 men to march on India in the service of the enemy.

    “in reality, he was eventually able to secure only 40,000. This isn’t speculation, it’s historically documented fact.”

    Rubbish. Even your own source says that is rubbish.

    It actually says:

    “The exact organisation of the INA and its troop strength is not known, as Fay notes, since its records were destroyed…”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_National_Army#Order_of_Battle

    Double Doh!

    And I would take the BBC over Wikipedia any day.

    “Your own comments on this thread continue to confirm this pattern of behaviour, however much you seek to deny it.”

    Rubbish. You made that up. I have done no such thing.

    “Self-evident.”

    Then you should have no problems detailing just a few pieces of these ‘volumes’ you make claims of…

    I wonder how many points you will now have to overlook, never to mention again.

  34. Don — on 14th June, 2010 at 8:07 pm  

    Very clear English really, It uses past tense to explain that he did in fact raise a force of 60000 men to march on India in the service of the enemy.

    Not really, the use of the auxilliary (‘was’) with the infinitive (‘to raise’) generally denotes expectation or obligation. As in, ‘He was to appear in the play, but broke his collar-bone.’ It does not necessarily denote that this expectation/obligation was met.

    It’s actually quite ambiguous. You could equally say, ‘However, he was to go on to appear in a further four plays before his tragically early death.’

    ‘He raised’ would have been a clear statement that he did raise that number.
    ‘He was to have raised’ would have been a clear statement that he did not raise that number.

    As it stands it is not clear at all. The article says that the maximum known to have been raised was 40,000 at any given time.

  35. Donald — on 14th June, 2010 at 8:43 pm  

    “It’s actually quite ambiguous”

    You are wrong Don. That is not how it works at all. But thanks for your interpretation, however wrong.

    The meaning is all quite clear to those of us who count English as our native tongue.

    “The article says that the maximum known to have been raised was 40,000 at any given time.”

    And we don’t know the numbers Don, according to the source of the guy above. And that article doesn’t even mention the figure of 40,000, let alone it being the ‘maximum known to have been raised’ so quite where you pulled that one from is beyond me. I won’t make such suggestions!

    But any thoughts on the entirety of our exchange and where I have educated him, rather then just one small area where you thought you have had a breakthrough and failed?

  36. Don — on 14th June, 2010 at 9:12 pm  

    And we don’t know the numbers

    No, we don’t. That’s why ‘was to raise’ implies obligation or intention. Not established fact.

    But any thoughts on the entirety…

    Yes. That on a post about Hitler you have found denigrating the contribution of Indian servicemen to his defeat to be the best use of your time.

  37. Rumbold — on 14th June, 2010 at 9:23 pm  

    I suspect I would have been tempted to join the INA had the alternative (which it was) been spending the remainder of the war in a Japanese camp, where prisoners could be expected to literally be worked to death, whilst others (i.e. millions of Chinese) were used as lab rats.

    The numbers speak from themselves. Even at the inflated figure of 60,000, the British still raised over 20 times the number of Indians (and without the threat of being tortured to death).

  38. Donald — on 14th June, 2010 at 9:25 pm  

    Following on:

    No, we don’t.

    Sorry, wrong again Don. You made the claim that 40000 was the ‘maximum’, but you now concede you were wrong? Is that what I am to understand?

    “Yes. That on a post about Hitler you have found denigrating the contribution of Indian servicemen to his defeat to be the best use of your time.”

    So that is a no then! Just the one fail for you! Very wise!

    And Sorry Don, but wrong again in any case. I was responding to Douglas Clark above and then Jai decided to take it further with his version, which I just had to point out was wrong. That’s what’s happened here. Not any “denigration” of Indian servicemen who fought on the right side so it’s all rather somewhat deceitful for you to say it is.

    What better use could you be putting your time to rather then making failed interventions and inventions eh Don?

  39. Donald — on 14th June, 2010 at 9:33 pm  

    Well Rumbold, certainly the volunteers of the Indische Legion were no press gangers.

    Nor were the Battaglione Azad Hindoustan, yet more Indian volunteers against the Allies, this lot fighting for Fascist Italy.

    And the conduct of Indische Legion were far from noble:

    “It was during this time that they gained a wild and loathsome reputation amongst the civilian population.

    The former French Resistance fighter, Henri Gendreaux, remembers the Legion passing through his home town of Ruffec: “I do remember several cases of rape. A lady and her two daughters were raped and in another case they even shot dead a little two-year-old girl.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3684288.stm

  40. Saj — on 14th June, 2010 at 9:41 pm  

    Didnt the Nazis adopt some of their symbols and ideas from Hinduism such as the Swastika and the concept of the Aryan race?

  41. persephone — on 14th June, 2010 at 10:22 pm  

    From the following it reads that some were not recruited voluntarily – anyone know any more?

    ” These men now constituted the Legion Freies Indien of the German Army and took their oath of allegiance in a ceremony on 26th August 1942.

    The ranks of the new Legion were swelled by hundreds of new members some of whose participation was far from voluntary until by mid-1943 it boasted approximately 2,000 members and was also referred to as Indisches Infanterie Regiment 950.[21] “

  42. zak — on 14th June, 2010 at 10:41 pm  

    Comments & Questions

    - Didn’t Gandhi help recruitment to the British Indian army in the first world war or did i just make that up?

    - the British indian army was widely used in holding on to the Britsih Empires territory ..the occupation of Iran, Palestine, Iraq ..so using casualties or numbers of soldiers is not an accurate reflection of how much of a role united India played in shoring up the British Empire

    - Also geo-strategically Indias role in providing supply lines to Chian Kai Sheks army was significant

  43. persephone — on 14th June, 2010 at 11:02 pm  

    Here is a real life account of how Indians were recruited ‘voluntarily’ by the Germans:

    The Imperial War Museum has just made public the remarkable story of Dr BN Mazumdar who was captured by the Nazis during his service in World War II. Mazumdar recalls the events of 1939 to 1945.

    In those turbulent war years, he was made a prisoner of war by the Germans in Colditz, tortured, kept in solitary confinement for defying the Nazis, wooed by the Germans to join Subhas Bose’s Indian Legion, threatened with execution for not doing so and accused of being a spy.

    In 1940 he was made a POW and was told by the commandant: ‘There are a lot of your countrymen in my country who would like you to join them.’ It was the first invitation to join Subhas Bose’s forces. He refused.

    His defiance led him to be moved from camp and he covered 17 in all. The last camp was at Marienberg. Again the Germans told him, ‘You can have a good life if you join us and join your countrymen.’ He again refused.

    In 1943, his defiance cost him a move to Colditz, the dreaded high-security castle. It was while at Coditz that Mazumdar was called to Berlin. Once there, he was brought face to face with Subhas Bose.

    Mazumdar remembers: “We talked in Bengali about various things. Eventually he came to the point. ‘You know why you are here,’ he said. ‘We are forming a Legion, won’t you come and join us?’

    “I said, ‘I cannot and I would not.’

    “Subhas Bose was disappointed. He said, ‘I don’t think we shall meet again.’ He asked me one last time before he left. I refused once again. “I returned to Colditz where everybody had heard that I had been to see Bose.”

    One day when they were being moved to another camp by train, Mazumdar escaped but was captured by the Germans, flogged, called ‘coloured buggers’ and put in a smelly dump. The Gestapo then asked the doctor again if he would like to take the last chance to join Bose. He refused and was flogged again.

    Eventually Mazumdar escaped. By then the war was over and one day he was called upon by MI5 and MI6 who wanted to ask him about Bose.

    “They questioned me for two days. When I had nothing to say, they told me, ‘You are ruining your chances of getting a medal.’ I burst out laughing. Do you think I escaped and went through all this to get a medal?”

    Finally, Mazumdar was asked to proceed to Gaya with the troops. Here again he stood up to the racial taunts of the British and once even disciplined an English officer who had asked his brother, Samar, a naval officer to get off the first class compartment.

    Mazumdar returned to England in 1946 carrying memories of his war days with him. Many of them were painful, of not just physical abuse by the Germans, but the ingratitude, racism and selfishness of the British. He got no decorations and lived on his army pension. It was only recently that he joined the Colditz Association, who alerted the Imperial War Museum of his story.

    The University of Leeds has requested his widow, Joan Mazumdar, to give his memories for their war archives. The remarkable story of Dr Mazumdar can then join the legends of other heroes of the war.

  44. Javid — on 15th June, 2010 at 2:07 am  

    This story is ironic because the Nazis took alot of ideas from Hinduism: the swastika (an ancient Hindu symbol) and the concept of the Aryan race.

  45. Vikrant — on 15th June, 2010 at 3:47 am  

    Yes Javid… Hindus == Nazis… come to think of it flipping mufti of Jerusalem was Hitler’s man. Nazi ideology sprung from 19th century racialist pseudo-science more than anything else.

  46. Vikrant — on 15th June, 2010 at 3:51 am  

    As for Donald’s views they are hardly surprising. While I can’t judge his political affiliations, one of the talking points of BNP has been “Our grandfathers fought and died for this land in WW2, only for these immigrants to come and invade our shores”. Obviously 2.5 million Pakis serving in North Africa, Italy and Burma is an inconvenient truth, which they’d go to any lengths to discredit.

    Anyhow, you guys should see this BBC documentary about British Indian army http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPB1SWFnSZc

  47. douglas clark — on 15th June, 2010 at 4:15 am  

    Donald @ 39,

    I think everyone knows that a few Indians were forced by the likes of Chandra Bose to fight for the Axis.

    This is not exactly news around here.

    What I will admit is that I was unaware of the Italian connection.

    Would you like to play a numbers game Donald?

    How many Indians fought on the Allied side, and how many fought on the Axis side?

    Would you like to tell me the outcome of the Battle of Kohima?

    I think we should be told, Donald.

    For that was the Stalingrad of the East and many brave Indians (which included Pakistanis, at the time), died to defeat the Axis. Which is yet another battle against the Axis that is not represented properly in current history.

    Though, I think I am right in saying that three VC’s were presented.

  48. douglas clark — on 15th June, 2010 at 4:25 am  

    Oh! And Donald, what do you make of the tank battle in Russia’s homeland?

    Kursk.

    Check it out.

    It took all of us to defeat that ridiculous upstart.

    Just saying…..

  49. douglas clark — on 15th June, 2010 at 4:39 am  

    Well,

    We seem, as a race, to have ridiculously backward views on the likes of anyone that fought for us. Our contempt for the likes of Gurkhas’ says it all. I’d have thought we should be treating folk like that as hero’s. For they certainly are.

    And we should be spending quite a chunk of our international aid in their homeland.

    Sometimes, I think we are stupid.

  50. Rumbold — on 15th June, 2010 at 8:22 am  

    Donald:

    Yes- some Indians did want to fight agianst the British. But plenty more fought to defend their counry against the Nazis and Japanese. Some Britons too wanted to fight for the Nazis.

  51. douglas clark — on 15th June, 2010 at 9:29 am  

    Yup,

    As Rumbold says, it wasn’t down to race. It was down to a political belief. It is a glad and welcome thought that there were only a few idiots that thought that the Axis had a point. Most sensible human beings that were around at that time fought and died to stop that particular world view. It is a shame, perhaps, that that common purpose appears to have been lost….

  52. cjcjc — on 15th June, 2010 at 9:47 am  

    Oh for goodness sake Douglas.

    The plural of hero is heroes, not hero’s.

    Shall we talk about IRA support for the Nazis while were about it?

  53. douglas clark — on 15th June, 2010 at 10:14 am  

    cjcjc,

    Well spotted. The idea that that matters says more about you than it does about me :-(

    As I have pointed out, certain insane folk that were nominally on the Allied side, chose the Axis. What is remarkable about that?. It is certainly not a question of black, brown or white. Apart from the fact that they all made fools of themselves.

    You will be aware of the case of the Norwegian quisling, ‘Quisling’?

  54. Ravi Naik — on 15th June, 2010 at 10:47 am  

    Many of them were painful, of not just physical abuse by the Germans, but the ingratitude, racism and selfishness of the British.

    Yes- some Indians did want to fight agianst the British. But plenty more fought to defend their counry against the Nazis and Japanese. Some Britons too wanted to fight for the Nazis.

    Rumbold, the British that sided with the Nazis were anti-Semites and believed in the Germanic supremacist ideology. The Indians who sided with the Nazis were none of those things. They wanted Independence from the British regime. So let’s not compare Mosley with Bose.

    Bose didn’t see much difference between the British and the Nazis in terms of how they viewed Indians: a childish race. He did believe that the Nazis would liberate their country with the help of Japan, who at the time had a campaign to get rid of the European colonizers in Asia.

    I guess I can’t think of anything that can bring more ridicule to Hitler and his Reich than being portrayed by Bollywood actors in a “serious film”. That can’t be a bad thing.

  55. Javid — on 15th June, 2010 at 12:59 pm  

    Isnt the presence of Nazi ideaology in India NOW under the BJP/RSS/VHP (whose leaders have expressed admiration for Hitler) more of a concern than what happened 60 years ago?

    Minorities in India are under threat now from these Nazis as the genocide of Muslims in Gujurat and attacks on Christians in Orissa have shown.

    Bal Thackeray
    I am a great admirer of Hitler, and I am not ashamed to say so! I do not say that I agree with all the methods he employed, but he was a wonderful organizer and orator, and I feel that he and I have several things in common…. What India really needs is a dictator who will rule benevolently, but with an iron hand.” [2]

    He is on record as having told the Navakal: “Yes, I am a dictator. It is a Hitler that is needed in India today.” He was once asked in a television programme whether he wanted to be the Hitler of Mumbai. “Do not underestimate me,” he is reported to have retorted. “I am (the Hitler) of the whole of Maharashtra and want to be of whole of India.”

  56. Donald — on 15th June, 2010 at 1:51 pm  

    Well Douglas Clark, it was more then a ‘few’ now wasn’t it? And the numbers have clearly been defined above so I am not sure what your point is; certainly despite the vastly smaller population, Britain fielded a million more troops then India.

    And as Rumbold pointed out, India too was under attack, being attackable by land it was much more vulnerable then Britain and yet out of such a huge population far less fought to defend their homeland.

    Many did fight for the Allies. That is true. A considerable amount did not, or fought against us. That is also true. What is the issue here?

    Why are you and others trying to say that Indians are beyond criticism and say that I am ‘denigrating’ Indians who fought for the Allies when I have done no such thing? I am quite clearly denigrating those who fought against us.

    That ‘we as a race’ comment too is most curious. You’re making racial stereotypes about the British. Are you saying the British are a distinct race? Are you saying that this distinct race has genetic dispositions (some ‘backward’) that others do not? What other traits do other races have that you could identify? What other stereotypes do you hold?

    Just saying…

    I would just add that in a time that we are being told we need to cut 15000 British troops because we cannot afford them (along with all the other massive cuts we face) why the hell are we giving huge sums of cash to the worlds 11th biggest economy who even have a space programme we don’t?

    I have been to India many times and I can see that our money will not be helping the poor in any way as the caste system ensures that the majority of Indians will remain poor and unhelped by most fellow Indians.

  57. soru — on 15th June, 2010 at 2:17 pm  

    He did believe that the Nazis would liberate their country with the help of Japan

    Actually, by most accounts, Bose was pretty much a sincere believer in a variant of Fascism. His chief concern was that, post-war, India would be saddled with a weak (i.e. democratic) government, instead of being properly lead by a man of action (i.e. him).

    There was a lot of that around at the time.

  58. Vikrant — on 17th June, 2010 at 1:44 am  

    Javid,

    Bal Thackeray isn’t a member of BJP or even the RSS.

  59. Ismaeel — on 18th June, 2010 at 9:01 pm  
  60. Girish — on 23rd June, 2010 at 9:42 am  

    First the brownsters need to win more than 1 gold medal in Olympics then they can nurse ubermenschen fantasies.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.