A strange visitor to Israel’s Holocaust Memorial

A narrative is being built that RSS is the best friend of Israel as Hindus & Jews are both ancient civilisation. But how can the emotional bond which RSS shares with Hitler be overlooked

PTI Photo
PTI Photo

Soroor Ahmed

Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial had a very strange guest On July 4, 2017 ––Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Though media has been highlighting it as the first trip by Indian Prime Minister to the Jewish state, what escaped the attention is the fact that Modi is associated to Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangh, whose allegiance to Adolf Hitler, the man responsible for the massacre of six million Jews all over Europe between 1933 and 1945, is well-known.

Even years after Hitler’s end, Sangh Parivar was the greatest champion of his ideology and symbol (Swastik). RSS ideologues used to take inspiration from his book Mein Kampf.

So, when India, under Jawaharlal Nehru, recognised Israel in 1950, the Sangh Parivar was still in a dilemma. It was much later that the saffron brigade’s love for Israel blossomed. Experts attribute this to the presence of common enemy, Muslims.

Though the Sangh Parivar took a U-turn over its stand on Israel, in private there is no dearth of people in saffron brigade who look at Hitler with reverence.

The credit for slow and gradual improvement of ties with Israel––and that too without making too much noise––actually goes to the past governments. Though no Indian PM had visited the Jewish Homeland, President Pranab Mukherjee had. Israeli leaders, including PMs, have been making trips to India, even before Narasimha Rao established diplomatic ties with that country a quarter century back.

India’s position was always cautious, consistent and correct as most of the Soviet Bloc and Third World countries then used to maintain distance from it, especially after the 1967 War.

Thus, India started opening up with Israel only after some Arab countries recognised it and Egypt went to the extent of signing Camp David agreement in 1979. The relationship improved and the two countries cooperated closely in the field of defence, science and technology, agriculture and counter-terrorism. During the Kargil War of 1999 Israel came to the rescue of India by supplying ammunition for its howitzers.

Of late, a narrative is being built that the RSS people are the best friend and natural ally of Israel as Hindus and Jews are both ancient civilisation. But how can the emotional bond which Sangh Parivar shares with Hitler be overlooked. It is really difficult for saffron think-tamk to choose between the concept of Chosen People, as claimed by Jews, and the racial superiority of Aryans, the philosophy propagated by Hitler.

No doubt today the two countries are great friends and Israel has emerged as the top most arms supplier to India. But now that Saudi Arabia, the country which first used oil as a weapon in 1973, is among Israel’s best friends in the region, a visit by Indian PM is no big deal. After all, the entire geo-political equation has changed, especially in the last couple of decades.

At this moment one needs to pay tribute to those who helped bring ties with Israel to such a level. Usually media do not go beyond handshake, hugging and photo-ops. Many Sangh Parivar apologists simply want to wish away the affection for Hitler they used to nurse in the past. But Jews are very well versed in history. Yet PM Benjamin Netanyahu rolled out red carpet welcome to his Indian counterpart for obvious common goal and interest.

Anyway, a visit to Holocaust Memorial near Jerusalem might prompt Modi to realise how wrong his ideological patrons were in the past. The following passage of MS Golwalkar’s book, We or Our Nationhood Defined might have been haunting him there:

“To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races––the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.”

Soroor Ahmed is the author of the book The Jewish Obsession.

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