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Diaspora event: Top fascism scholar alleges 'clear parallel' between Nazi, Modi rules

By Our Representative 

Yale University professor and top scholar on fascism Dr Jason Stanley has alleged that the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is mimicking the Nazi playbook. “Modi’s far-right supporters and other Hindu supremacists celebrate their connections with Nazis. The RSS explicitly says, ‘We want to do to Muslims what the Nazis did to Jews',” he said.
Dr Stanley made these remarks at a diaspora group Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) event held in Woodbridge, New Jersey, commemorating the 21st anniversary of communal riots in Gujarat. Modi was chief minister of Gujarat at that point of time. He is reported to have asked the police to stand down and give free rein to Hindu supremacists as they allegedly burned, raped, and murdered about 2,000 people, most of them Muslims.  The riots destroyed hundreds of mosques, razing more than 20,000 Muslim properties.
Participating at a panel discussion on “Hindu Far-Right in India and the US" at the event, Dr Stanley claimed that the recent Citizenship Amendment Act could be used to strip Muslims of Indian citizenship, "just as the Nuremberg laws were used by Nazis to strip German Jews of citizenship."
“Modi’s visions of a pure Hindu past also mirrors the idealized Aryan past envisioned by Adolf Hitler. I don’t need to uncover connections between Modi and prior fascist regimes. They are clear and explicit. Both RSS and BJP were central examples in my 2018 book ‘How Fascism Works,’” he said.
Imran Dawood, a British Muslim who was stabbed and left for dead during the Gujarat riots, echoed Dr Stanley’s condemnation of Modi’s policies. Two of Dawood’s uncles and a family friend were burned alive during the riots.
“This trauma will always be with me, but I won’t be defined by it. Going forward, we must denigrate the hateful ideology that allowed the pogrom to happen. We must oppose the BJP’s ongoing, destructive bulldozer policies. Bulldozers must be used constructively for humanity, not to destroy humanity,” Dawood said.
He recalled how in India, the Modi regime regularly sends bulldozers to illegally demolish Muslim homes. They have since become an international symbol for Modi and his BJP's Islamophobic policies. Last year a bulldozer decorated with pictures of Modi and UP chief ministers Yogi Adityanath was paraded through Edison, New Jersey, on Indian Independence Day.
Imran Dawood’s Uncle, Yusuf Dawood, recounted how excited his nephew had been to finally vacation in India, to taste its food, to see the Taj Mahal, and learn about the land his parents loved — only to find himself brutally stabbed and saddled with the shattering loss of two uncles and a friend.
“The police lied to us and told us our relatives were missing. They knew they were dead. Our vision of India was changed from one moment to the next,” Yusuf said. “We must not let Hindu supremacist's vision of hatred destroy our own values.” He also recounted how the police in Gujarat had failed to gather signatures to witness statements, effectively nullifying scores of eyewitness accounts.
Aakashi Bhatt, daughter of jailed whistleblower and former senior police officer Sanjiv Bhatt, recounted how the current regime had sentenced her father to life in prison for speaking out against Modi’s complicity in the "pogrom". Sanjiv spoke out after he personally witnessed Modi instruct police to stand down and “allow Hindus to vent their anger against Muslims.
“Justice has been systematically delayed and intentionally denied,” Bhatt said. “We live in Modi’s India now, where rapists and murderers walk free, but an honest officer must live in prison. In Modi’s India, a fair day in court is not afforded to the honest and upright. The Indian judiciary has been systematically dismantled to assure that Modi cannot face trial and whistleblowers go to jail.”
Numerous high-profile RSS members banned from India in 1970s came to US and started spreading their ideology here
Bhatt also pointed to the example of Haren Pandya, who was murdered shortly after speaking out about Modi’s complicity, and RB Sreekumar, who was also arrested for whistleblowing.
Activist and executive director of the non-profit Polis Project Suchitra Vijayan, who is also the author of the award-winning book “Midnight’s Borders,” said, “Modi’s Hindutva is based on an exclusionary idea of what it means to be Hindu. A Hindu is not a Muslim, is not a Christian. Hindu supremacy is foundational to the BJP and RSS.”
She explained how failures by previous governments to deal with communal violence in India cleared the ground for present Hindu supremacist violence. “What we saw in Gujarat was a continuation of previous attacks. But we must remember that what happened in Gujarat never ended. It goes on every day in India. Statistics prove attacks against Muslims continue to grow under Modi’s rule,” she said.
Azad Essa, a journalist at "Middle East Eye" and author of Hostile Homelands,” a recent book on Modi’s international religious nationalist influences, claimed that Hindu supremacists exported their agenda to the United States.
“We have to remember that numerous high-profile RSS members were banned from India in the 1970s. Then its members came to the US and started spreading their ideology here. So we see the Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, and later the Hindu America Foundation continuing to influence American politicians with a covert Hindu supremacist agenda,” he said, adding, these US-based Hindu supremacist organizations "weaponize the term Hinduphobia to denigrate anyone critical of Modi’s policies."
Meanwhile, a report "Nazification of India", has been released at a Congressional briefing in Washington DC organised by the non-profit Justice for All, alleging, under Modi, there have been increasing number of attacks against Muslims, Christians, Sikh and Dalits. 
Stating that Modi is a member of an ultra-nationalist group RSS, the report says, RSS "draws inspiration from Nazi Germany". It offers one-on-one parallel on twelve different mechanisms of hate and persecution from the Nazi playbook, and pointing out, how they are being implemented in the India of today. 
According the report, the fact that these parallels are seen is not a surprise since the early leaders of the RSS openly declared that the Nazi model was a good one for India to adopt. It claims, recently, Hitler’s popularity has grown widely in the country.

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