The 30th January this year was the 75th anniversary of the assainsation of Mohandas “Mahatma” Ghandi. He was shot dead by Nathuram Godse, a right wing Hindu nationalist. Ghandi was a Hindu and made no secret of it, dressing in the saffron robes and shaven head of a Hindu holy man. However Ghandi’s vision was for a multi-faith India, where no religion would dominate, which put him at odds with Hindu supremacists.
Some in India today still revere Godse, and the extreme Hindu nationalist group, All India Hindu Mahasabha havre built a temple to venerate him:
Gose belonged to a long lived Hindu organisation called the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which has campaign for Hindu supremacy for over a century. In the 1920s it supported Hitler for his views on racial purity. It still exists today.
In public Nahendra Modi pays tribute to Ghandi
However Modi from a young age was a long standing member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and his BJP administration are still very close to the RSS.
Modi may pay tribute to the great Mahatma, but his Governments ideology is that of his assassin.
Sharp eyed viewers would have noticed that the final song in the Netflix Tamil blockbuster RRR, nominated for an Oscar next month, pays tribute in it’s final musical number “Sholay” to the leaders of the independence struggle. Ghandi is left out, replaced instead by Subhas Chandra Bose, who rejected Ghandi’s pacifism in favour of armed struggle
Bose was a hardline leftist, who would have loathed Modi, but his own role in the armed struggle against Empire is co-opted in support of a violent authoritarian nationalism that has come to define Modi’s politics.
No wonder people like wannabe authoritarians like Trump were so keen to seek his blessing
As well as an emerging economic superpower India is becoming a cultural power too, with it’s huge diaspora around the world carrying with it Indian cinema and music. Some of Modi’s most hardline supporters are in the UK and the US, and Indian nationalist politicians play a big role on the right of both countries politics.
Nimarata Rhandawa has just announced that she will be seeking the Republican nomination for President of the United States, under her married name of Nikki Haley. The toxic rhetoric of Priti Patel is straight from Modi’s tactics.
For those who haven’t seen RRR yet it is one of the best Indian movies of recent years, and deserves it’s Oscar nomination.
Yes… but do you know Desi Nach?
And the greatest dusan dusan fight scene of all time
If you want to know more this is the BBC docuentary on Modi that has been banned in India