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Fascists prefer red to saffron

Fascists prefer red to saffron

Author: Priyadarshi Dutta
Publication: The Daily Pioneer
Date: December 4, 2001

In June 1940, the Soviet Red Army marched into the Baltic state of Latvia and bullied this independent democracy into the fold of Communist USSR. The move was part of a secret treaty between the Communist Russians and the Nazi Germans to divide up militarily inferior Eastern Europe as a plume cake. But the Third Reich reneged from the Ribbentrop-Molotov No-War Pact of 1939 to launch an attack on Russia on June 22, 1941.

They were able to wrest much of Eastern Europe allotted to the Soviet share but the Russians were able to recapture the territory by 1944. Latvia has one of the oldest languages in Europe that is closer to Sanskrit. Under Soviet rule, Latvian was banned, their national anthem prohibited and national flag proscribed. Large-scale Russian immigration threatened to make Letts (Latvians) a minority in their own country. The demographic share of Letts declined from 75 per cent at the time of Soviet takeover to 52 per cent within 50 years. Latvia was not a unique instance of invasion; its sister states in the Baltic, namely Estonia and Lithuania, endured the same fate. They were the frontrunners in leaving the USSR in August 1991. Their glowering hatred for the Russians prevented them from joining the Russian federation formed in December that year.

It is deplorable that the above instance is never held up as a mirror before the Communist fraternity in India to exorcise the myth that Communism is anti-Imperialist, anti-Fascist or anti-invasionist. Subhas Chandra Bose in his book Indian Struggle (1920-34), written during his Europe sojourn after much interaction with European politicians of all hues, was the first to dwell on the parallels between Communism and Fascism, till then portrayed as two exclusive world views. Communism and Fascism display pathological hatred towards democracy and favour of one-party rule; they favour cult figure worship; they both believe in rapid development of the economy, military prowess and industry, and they tolerate no voice of dissent. Let's not forget that Communism succeeded in Russia for 34 years after Marx's died-his last words were "Tut, I am not a Communist"-as a reaction against the Czarist Empire. Fascism and its virulent version Nazism succeeded in relatively forward looking inter-war Western Europe where even Socialism and Communism had failed. Communism violated the principles of democracy, the hallmark of liberal west with as much impunity as Fascism. But why Hitler's example turned glaring is that he tried to expand the Reich in an incredibly short span of time and that too in Western and Central Europe. In the case of the Soviets, the mission dangerous was slow and protracted-unadventurous outside its territory since 1945. The final figure of Hitler's holocaust stood at 6 millions Jews, Serbs and Gypsies. But let's take a look at the figures for Communist Russia. At least 17 million people were sent to Gulag Archipelago in the Soviet Union from 1928 to 1953. More than 12 million prisoners perished at a Soviet camp called Perm-36 in the Ural Mountains.

The Reich wanted to turn its territory into Juderenin (or Jew-free) but did the liberal Western bloc really back up the desolate Jews till they established Israel? Jews had been equally marginalised in the Soviet Union (glaring example was the assassination of Lev Davidovich Bronstein better known as Leon Trotsky) so that their Israel-ward exodus continued till the concluding days of Soviet Union.

The Communist fraternity of India, notoriously known for its shady role in the Quit India Movement and Partition, changed its version of World War II from anti-people to pro-people as soon as USSR joined it. If the Taliban are living in the medieval age, the Communists haven't progressed beyond the mid-20th Century. So before they malign the Sangh Parivar the next time, let's remind them that the best camouflage for Fascists is red not saffron.

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