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The Saffron Swastika: The Nation of Hindu Fascism (In 2 Volumes)

Koenraad Elst (Author)
Synopsis One of the rare matters on which all known religions seem to agree, is the condemnation of calumny as an extremely grave evil. Calumny carries little risk to the perpetrator but can inflict enormous damage on the targeted individual or group, not through the calumniator's own hands but through those of all who lend credence to his words. It is both cowardly and destructive. In today's opinion climate, no calumny is worse than the allegation that someone is a "fascist", by which is meant a "Nazi". It is this gravest of calumnies which is nowadays routinely heaped upon Hinduism and its political vanguard. Originally launched by the Communists, the defamatory slogan of "Hindu fascism" has been adopted by Christian and Islamic Spokesmen as well as by many Western Indiawatchers. It is amazing that adherents of Christianity, Islam and Communism in this country should have the effrontery to hurl this slander on Hindus and Hinduism, in their speeches as well as writings. For it is precisely these ideologies which share with Nazism not only their own doctrines of racism, anti-Semitism, exclusivism, totalitarianism and terrorism, but also their own histories of imperialist expansion through crusades, Jihads, wars of liberation, genocides, mass slaughters, enslavements and cultural vandalism. They have succeeded in their diabolical game of blackening Hindus and Hinduism to a considerable extent, partly because they have come to dominate the academia and mass media due to the perversion of secularism in the post-Independence Nehruvian establishment but mainly because the Hindu intelligentsia by and large has remained ignorant of the their doctrines and histories and failed to understand the peril posed by the ideological wars they constantly wage on all fronts. On the other hand, there is nothing either in the time-honoured doctrines or the hoary history of Hinduism which resembles even remotely the ideology or history of Nazism, or for that matter, Christianity or Islam or Communism. Hinduism has always been and remains deep-rooted tradition of spiritual, cultural and social pluralism with ample provision for all sorts of scepticism and democratic debate. Far from creating any machinery for heresyhunting and persecution of dissent, Hindus have given shelter to the persecuted people from many lands and in all ages. But what is most important, they have always regarded their own homeland as the only playfield for their chakravartins, and never waged wars of conquest beyond the borders of Bharatavarsha. Hitler's National-Socialist regime had impressed many people in and outside India because of his real or apparent success in economics and in national reunification. Yet, the Hindutva ideologues never adopted those ideas of Hitler's which were to give his name the most monstrous connotations. Contrary to an assiduously propagated myth, RSS leader M. S. Golwalkar in his admittedly immature booklet, We: Our Nationhood Defined, did not hold Hitler up as a model for India. Far from it, he explicitly sought guidance from democratic political thinkers, and failed to mention even one of the authoritarian-nationalist leaders and thinkers of the West. In this book, Dr. Koenraad Elst has presented his wide-ranging study of Fascism, Nazism, Communism and the Hindutva movement. He has drawn the conclusion that "Hindu Fascism" like "Loch Ness monster" is merely a combination of words which may produce some sound and fury but which signify no observed reality.
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About the author

Koenraad Elst

Forty three year-old Belgiam author of more than 15 books on Indian nationalism, history, politics, religious conflict and such topics, Koenraad Elst was born in Leuven, Belgium, on 7 August 1959. He is a graduate of Indian and Chinese Studies and of Philosophy from the University of Leuven. His books include the massive, two-volume The Saffron Swastika: The Notion of 'Hindu Fascism', Decolonizing the Hindu Mind, Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society, Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate, and others. His works range from a discussion of multiculturalism and language policy issues to ancient Chinese history and philosophy, comparative religion, and the Aryan invasion debate.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Saffron Swastika: The Nation of Hindu Fascism (In 2 Volumes)
Author Koenraad Elst
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Voice of India
Language: English
isbn 8185990697
length x+vi+533+534-1070p., Bibliography; Index; 23cm.