February 24, 2020

At first glance, one wouldn't consider India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi simply a more handsome and palatable version of Donald Trump. He's polite and polished, has more real hair, less orange make-up, and came to power in India in an actual landslide victory — not a pretend electoral college landslide like Trump likes to slursh about when he's gripping the lectern during his Nuremberg rallies in front of his paid actor audiences.

John Oliver takes a closer look, though, at PM Modi's actions (and inactions), and leaves the viewer with no choice but to draw some pretty stark similarities between the supremacist goals of the two men. Of course, Trump's supremacy favors the white man, and Modi's favors Hindu supremacy over Muslims. Oliver points to a rise in violence against Muslims since PM Modi's rise to power, with little to no condemnation of it from Modi. Furthermore, Modi refuses to acknowledge anti-Muslim violence he himself perpetrated before he rose to power.

Whereas Ghandi insisted upon religious pluralism, as does the Indian constitution, Modi's political party, the BJP "has acted as the political arm of a hard-core Hindu nationalist paramilitary group, the RSS." Oliver continued:

OLIVER: If there's one thing I'd really like you to know about the RSS, and by extension, Modi's party, it is this:

(video clip)
"The RSS was formed in 1925 by K.B. Hedgewar, with the purpose of creating a Hindu unity. Early leaders, such as M.S. Goldwalkar, admired Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement for steps taken to ensure, quote, 'the purity of its race and its culture.'"
(end video clip)

OLIVER: That is true. The founders of the RSS admired Hitler for ensuring the purity of the race, which is just not a chill thing to admire Hitler for.

There is one and only one thing that it is okay to admire Hitler for, and it's the fact that he killed Hitler.

Other frightening similarities ride parallel to our own democratic demise, including the editing of school textbooks to erase people who championed religious plurality out of the curriculum, and including stories and lessons that blatantly endorse Indian supremacy over Black (called "Negro" in the textbooks) and white people. Listen for the bread-baking story. It's a doozy.

(Little pro-tip from someone who has watched the video already...you're not safe drinking your coffee starting about 3:30 minutes in. And don't get lulled after that into resuming your morning cup. 14 minutes later you're again not safe. You're welcome.)

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