Mumbai Mayor and Shiv Sena leader, Snehal Ambekar has compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rule to former German dictator Adolf Hitler.

Ambekar said in an interview, ” I admire Narendra Modi for his self-reliant way of working. But at some level, I feel his rule is quite like Hitler… This is bound to happen when power is concentrated in the hands of one man,” as quoted by Mid-Day.

This news has been doing the rounds through the day on July 20, however, it is important to note this is not the first time someone has referred to Modi’s rule as Hitler-esque. Although it is definitely the first time that a BJP ally has referred to Modi as anything but the messiah of India’s development. The BJP and Shiv Sena are strong allies in Maharashtra, and therefore this news does come as quite a shock.

Indian Express

What is it about Modi that have led people to compare him to Hitler?

First, there is the obvious connection of the Hindutva agenda and Hitler’s obsession with the Aryan race. It will be no surprise to anyone who knows anything about Indian politics that the BJP which is the brainchild of the RSS, believes India should be a Hindu state. This automatically undermines the constitution of the country, which clearly states India is secular and therefore has no State religion.

The RSS, of which Modi is almost the perfect poster boy, has a clear Hindutva agenda. The second “Supreme Leader” of RSS and ideological mentor of Narendra Modi, M S Golwalkar wrote in his book ( We or Our Nationhood Defined ) :

“To keep up the purity of nation and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of Semitic races-The Jews. National pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how neigh 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 Hindustan to learn and profit by.”

The second important comparison between the two leaders is their use of propaganda. One of the biggest tools Modi used to get into power was propaganda, this was also the most important method Hitler used during his rise to power and subsequent pogrom of Jews.

Modi’s propaganda was usually anti-Congress or some sort of hyperbole of his own achievements – especially in Gujarat. Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels was considered one of the most evil and dangerous men in the entire Nazi party. Drawing a comparison with him is none other than Modi henchman Amit Shah – who is currently fighting court cases for murder charges.

Even though there is no substantial proof that Modi was involved during the 2002 pogrom of Muslims in his home state of Gujarat, enough evidence suggests he did not do enough to stop them.

In some way comparing PM Modi to Hitler is ridiculous, and in many ways undermines the heinous crimes committed by one of the most evil dictators in world history. And yet it is hard to overlook the evident similarities between the two.

Hitler too had humble beginnings, he was a nationalist who believed the might and power of Germany was ridiculed by the ruling party – the Weimar Republic. Hitler believed in a highly centralised government, and did not devolve much power to the rest of his cabinet – something Modi has been criticised of doing as well.

Hitler believed in the indoctrination of the youth through education. He employed Nazi cronies in many high positions of educational institutes, and even went so far as to change German history in text books. This is something the BJP and Modi have been deeply criticised for. The recent appointments of heads of institutions and their relation to the ruling party has led many to suggest that the BJP is trying to control how the youth is educated and what they learn. The BJP has also been criticised for altering history in some textbooks during their first period of power from 1999-2004 under Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

There are a number of comparisons that can be made between the two leaders. However, until the day comes that Modi orders the Hindus of this country to orchestrate a State-wide obliteration of Muslims and other minorities, it is unreasonable to compare the two leaders.