Hindutva’s fascist connection


Book: In the Shade of the Swastika

Publishers: I Libri di Emil, Bologna, Italy


ISBN: 978-88-96026-96-0

Pages: 220

Year: 2011


Marzia Casolari’s book “In the Shade of the Swastika - The Ambiguous Relationship between Indian Nationalism and Fascism” examines the connections between the fascist regime and Hindu radical nationalism. These contacts developed within the frame of the Italian foreign policy, which was essentially anti-British and became more anti-British approaching the Abyssinian war and the Second World War.

The most remarkable contacts were established with the Bengali political milieu. Consuls and intellectuals played an important role in developing such contacts. Tagore’s visits to Italy in the 1920s and the much more relevant liaison with Subhash Chandra Bose and the INA were the results of these contacts.

While representatives and emissaries of the fascist regime worked actively to create a consensus among Bengali political circles, fascist Italy obtained a remarkable popularity among Marathi radical nationalism (from which evolved modern Hindutva forces) without doing the same efforts made in Bengal.

Marathi nationalists examined the fascist political literature and analyzed fascism as both an ideology and a political system.

The scope of this book is not to prove that Hindutva forces are fascist, but that they borrowed many elements and features from fascism as an ideology and a political practice.

Author of the book is Marzia Casolari, lecturer of Asian History at the University of Perugia. She carries out research on India, South and South East Asia. She wrote several papers of the relationships between Indian nationalism and fascism, Hindu political radicalism, Islam in India. Since 2010 Marzia Casolari is chairperson of Asia Maior, an association of Italian scholars working and writing on Asia.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 September 2014 on page no. 21

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