Opinion | The Legacy of Hard Socialism and the Nazi Origins of the Emergency in India

During the emergency, how many Indians were killed by the government? You should be curious as to why you have never heard of this question before. Two thousand guys is the solution. They were taken at random, from fields, from trains, or from anywhere. Occasionally, during the night, government agents would barge into their houses and remove them to be sterilized. At least two thousand of them lost their lives in mishandled surgeries.

To the majority of Indians, the emergency is only a tale. The narrative is presented out of context. We are aware that press freedom was restricted and opposition leaders were jailed. But not any more. This makes it easy for others to dismiss it as an isolated incident. These days, even Congress adopts that stance. Granted, we erred fifty years ago, but really—who cares? Go ahead and forget about it.

They are able to do this because we are ignorant of the emergency’s ideological foundations, which include the politics of foreign assistance, the failure of hard-left socialism, and Nazi conceptions of racial science. The involvement of evil foreign funders, like the Ford Foundation or the Rockefeller Foundation, is not something we discuss. The circumstances leading up to the emergency are unknown to us, including the participation of individuals in official positions as recently as a few years ago, like Dr. Manmohan Singh, to name one. Even worse, it enables them to draw flimsy parallels with everything that occurs in the modern day.

The Congress party and its network have successfully flipped the situation around, claiming that what is occurring now constitutes an “undeclared emergency.”

Let us now recount the whole tale. The economic backdrop comes first.

In 1966, Indira Gandhi was appointed prime minister. Nearly 20 years have passed since independence. The socialist paradigm was not working. Everything was in limited supply, including milk, bread, and rice. Bengali police had already put down demonstrators who were demanding rice in 1959. Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh were now experiencing a near-famine. To preserve milk, Bengal had to outlaw the sale of rosogolla. The Congress felt the pinch of these economic realities. They were barely able to secure a majority in the 1967 national elections.

Indira Gandhi now resorted to even more ideological, hard-left socialism in an attempt to salvage the Congress party. Naturally, it never works as a solution. So it was only a question of finding someone to put the blame on. Initially, the private banks were at fault. Thus, in 1969, the government of Indira Gandhi nationalized the banks. Then, as now, it was the fault of the wealthy. Thus, they increased the highest income tax rate to more than 97%. After then, it was the turn of the middle class. Under the terms of the “compulsory deposit scheme,” they were compelled to deposit a percentage of their income with the government. Then, foreign businesses were at fault; in 1973, they were driven out of India. Ultimately, grain traffickers were held accountable for their alleged deceptive price increases. Thus, in 1974, the government assumed control of the wheat distribution. It was unsuccessful. The price of wheat shot up much further.

Chaos was engulfing the nation. In 1971, the Indian Army triumphed spectacularly against Pakistan. However, in just four years, the typical Pakistani was once again wealthier than the average Indian. That demonstrates the severity of India’s then-current economic policy. India’s GDP growth had dropped to below 1% by 1974. The rate of inflation increased to a startling 29%. Protests were everywhere, of course. This is the actual cause of the 1975 emergency.

And throughout these years of devastation, who served as the Indian government’s Chief Economic Advisor? That’s the doctor, Manmohan Singh.

Let’s now discuss the ideological backdrop. Fears that large-scale African and Indian breeding will take over the planet and leave little for the “superior” white race started to circulate in the early 1900s. Therefore, they and everyone else deemed unsuitable to procreate would need to be sterilized. Margaret Sanger, a modern American leftist icon, plays a pivotal role in this story. In the 1920s and 1930s, she made a lot of trips around the country, advocating for the government to raise the “quality” of the populace. She gave speeches at KKK rallies, which are home to the most notorious white supremacist group in history. As a consequence, a number of laws were passed that permitted the forced sterilization of individuals for the benefit of the state.

Unexpectedly, this lasted longer than you may have expected. Certain US states continued to forcefully sterilize black individuals who did not pass an IQ test as late as 1964. This narrative is recounted so seldom for a reason. Because it highlights the uncomfortable fact that the Nazis’ racial science beliefs originated in the United States and spread to Germany. In fact, American medical literature was used as support by Nazi scientists during their cruel human experimentation trial in the late 1940s.

Margaret Sanger had applauded the Nazis in the 1930s for their compulsory sterilization program, which was meant to protect the “master race.” The Nazis sterilized Romani and Gypsies, as well as Afro-Germans, and outlawed intercourse between Jews and Germans. Born to French colonial soldiers from Africa who had been transferred to the Rhineland following the First World War, the Afro-Germans had been the target of a moral outcry by the Church in the 1920s. By the way, Eugenio Pacelli, a top Italian priest, was the guy spearheading these demonstrations. Pacelli signed an agreement with Hitler in 1933 while serving as a Vatican official. In 1939, he was elected Pope. Upon the arrival of Allied forces (including British Indian and African soldiers) in 1943–1944 to free Italy from fascism, the Pope made a last-ditch effort to prevent soldiers of color from entering Rome.

Race-science ideas had a negative reputation in the West after World War II as a result of their affiliation with the Nazi movement. However, the concern about the “inferior races” spreading persisted. Rather, attention turned to China and India. However, the West was cut off from Communist China. India was now the primary focus.

In 1959, Margaret Sanger went to India and showed up with Nehru arm in arm. Former All India Women’s Conference president Lady Dhanvanthi Rama Rau recounts the event this way: “He ran up the steps like a schoolboy on hearing my news, put his arms around Margaret in greeting, and gently led her into the hall where the great gathering was waiting for him.” The Prime Minister eschewing all formalities, Mrs. Sanger beaming with pride, and the large crowd getting up and yelling and clapping made for a very moving and memorable spectacle.

The politics of international assistance, therefore, got underway. India would need more and more assistance as its economy failed under the weight of strict socialism in the 1960s and worsened in the 1970s. American organizations like the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation provided help to India. These organizations and their members ingrained themselves firmly in the political system. At what point did India get aid? $10 billion or more from the US alone. India is now the country that receives the most help from the US as a result. By contrast, the Marshall Plan, the United States’ post-World War II assistance to Europe, cost around $13 billion. That much money was enough to rebuild all of Europe. However, India’s poverty level increased and its need for assistance increased. In 1945, nations like Germany and Japan had been completely destroyed by bombs. Fifteen years later, both nations were supporting India. This is what severe socialism looks like.

Furthermore, you must obey others’ commands if you desire their assistance. That is precisely what took place in the emergency. India needs careful family planning, of course. but not in accordance with Nazi conceptions of racial science that see us as lesser beings. And most certainly not as a demand for foreign help, based on blackmail from the West.

The emergency was not an isolated incident. It represented the apex of all the problems with Nehruvian socialism. Indeed, under identical circumstances, it may occur once again. There are still American foundations and their adherents in “civil society.” Every time someone handles their overseas funds, they invariably let out the biggest yell. Even the worst socialist concepts, like wealth redistribution, are returning. Unfortunately, racial stereotypes will most likely never go away. It would be prudent of us to guard our democracy.

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