Hinduism, one of the oldest religions of mankind has influenced many other religion of the world including Buddhism and new age thought such as Multikulti. Nazism was just one more in the long line of its adaptation. The reason – Well, the Nazi fascination towards the glory of ancient India!
The connection however, was not directly between Hinduism and Adolf Hitler unlike the common perception but through his senior commander, “Heinrich Himmler” who was a firm believer of Hinduism. Enthralled with ancient texts including Rig Veda and Upanishadas, the general even carried Bhagwad Gita in his pocket.
There are claims put forward by the world that Heinrich’s belief in the Hindu text is a reason for the Nazi massacre? Well here’s my take –
First and foremost, the Nazis were extremely racists who considered themselves superior and killed the ones, who according to them were inferiors especially the Romas – Gypsies. Wasn’t this caste system peculiar in India from ages? Wasn’t the Aryans, the fair-skinned and considered superior from the Dravidians, the black skinned? Further, didn’t we follow the practice of dejecting the Chandala – The Untouchables from ages? The Nazis followed the cultures of India and racism in Hinduism could be one of the reasons for the brutality towards Jews and non Germans which the Nazis learnt from our negativity. However, if the westerners believe that this thought of Racism came in the Nazi mind all because of us, then it’s not at all true – The Western world too from a long period of time followed racial discrimination intensely. Then why blame us and only us?
Next, while Hinduism is all about non violence and brotherhood, there are portions which portray martial aspects in our ancient text when it comes to kshatriya clan, the ancient Indian warrior caste. And it is quite obvious, going by the Nazi ideology that if they ever followed anything from the Hindus, it was the Kshatriya ideology. But, how are we to be blame when they misunderstood the entire concept given by us?
In his famous speech of Posener, Heinrich pressured that if the fortune of the country calls, then it is the duty of every associate of the SS to carry out extreme measures harshly, without pity and without considering the friendship or blood relationships. This was again influenced by the spirit of Bhagavad Gita where Krishna instructs Arjuna to attack his kin and kill them.
Further, Himmler assured his addressees – “The deeds do not impose any harm on our souls, inner selves, or our characters.” He mentioned just the way Krishna assured Arjuna that his acts would not poison his higher self by carrying out his deadly duty. Thus, Himmler, the general could encourage the SS members to conduct their brutal acts, coldly in an unemotionally detached manner in the same manner as Krishna coached the charioteer Arjuna. Well, the westerners here seem to be blaming Krishna for Himmler’s cruel act, however, I fail to understand why the goras ignore the fact that Krishna was talking about victory of justice and truth, which Himmler probably misunderstood or used the good concept for his evil deeds.
Besides, there was Professor Walter Wust for whom; Hitler was like “Chakravartin” – Aryan-Indo world emperor. He also tried to support his claim through verses from classical Indian scriptures. He in one of his emotion driven speeches, even compared Hitler with the great Buddha. The validation behind his comparison is not known, perhaps it might be his personal opinion, but then why blame our religion for their misconceptions?
My final question to these westerners who are blaming Hinduism for the cruelty of Nazi leaders, my neighbor is a stern believer of Christianity and reads verses from the Bible every week. However, he is a hooligan, and a nuisance to everybody – Now who is to be blamed, my neighbor or the bible that he reads?
By Deepti Verma
Popularity of Mein Kampf in India