Narendra Modi and the rise of his party have many similarities with Adolf Hitler and rise of Nazis in Germany. Modi’s victory bodes ill for this nation.

In a state where Mahatma Gandhi was born, we have a leader now who confesses his targeting of Muslims, and yet, people vote him back into power. Hitler used to openly confess his contempt for Jews and yet people backed him. Modi is a bachelor, like Hitler. He is (supposedly) not corrupt (like Hitler). He is vegetarian (like Hitler) and has contempt for meat-eaters. He goes after his agenda which he makes it clear right in the beginning (like Hitler) and it involves targeting certain sections blaming them for all ills of the society. The economic prosperity in the land is high (like under Hitler), and his goons are ready to target and kill one community (like under Hitler) with protection from the state apparatus. Like Hitler, Modi practices and spends lot of time on mastering his oratory. Like Hitler, he creates an image and persona that is much more than the party and the ideology.

Modi is in-your-face candid about his wrongdoings (like Hitler) which people see as a sign of honesty in comparison to other weak and corrupt leaders who push the same agenda but are not honest about it. Congress and Left have no better track record when it comes to protecting the interests of minority religions in this country. Their record is same or even worse compared to that of Mr. Narendra Modi. The difference is that Narendra Modi just accepts what he does. A known, strong and honest criminal is better than a hypocrite, weak and dishonest criminal – that seems to be the attitude of Indian people.

It’s unfortunate that we have come to this. It’s unfortunate that our leaders could not set right examples. The examples of Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Ambedkar, Shastri, Patel, Radhakrishnan, etc, are long gone. We are bereft of good examples. When everyone is a criminal, an honest and strong one is most preferred. Hence, Narendra Modi!

Adolf Hitler came to power riding similar sympathies. When accused of bringing a government down, he honestly said, yes, and was even convicted. He did not lie. He did not falter (like what Modi did to Sohrabuddin). That brought him more public support. When Hitler spoke he did not hide his contempt for Jews, and neither did he hide his agenda on how he is going to take care of Jewish Problem. Still, the people of Germany who were surrounded by weak-hearted and corrupt leaders who would collude and make marriages of convenience just to be in power, voted this man to power because they thought he would at least tell them what he does and what he intends to do, honestly.

While some observers of the early twentieth century spelt doom on the rise of Nazis in Germany, many other politicians (in Germany and outside), weak at heart, diffident, and completely involved in their petty politics underestimated the rise of Hitler (read, Congress and the Left). They thought he was a tiny figure who will be swept away very soon. That never happened. They kept giving into his demands. He fed on that support and mass hysteria and became a megalomaniac who plunged the whole world into its greatest war which ended up killing more than 50 million people in less than ten years.

Modi is on the rise in India. It is not a good sign. It bolsters and gives support to other elements that harbor similar thoughts in India. Hindutva forces already talk about emulating and replicating Gujarat in other states of India. People explain his win as a mandate of people. That’s a sorry state of affairs. What if a majority of Indians vote to kill all the minorities in one stroke, will we accept that mandate? Is law of the land and our constitution subservient to people’s mandate? We have a skewed and distorted view of what it means to be a democracy.

Indians have not learned to draw the line between what is acceptable and what is not. Here, in Gujarat, we have blurred those lines. We have legitimized crime that targets certain people based on their identity. The future is bleak. All this economic prosperity is not going to save us. Instead, this prosperity will only fuel such hatred to take it to the next level, where state participates in marginalizing, demonizing and then targeting of certain identities