Arun Jaitley may think the former Indian PM belongs here but the Fuhrer has other ideas.
It’s 2018 and Adolf Hitler is sitting in a circle with his friends. Having managed to evade the death penalty for his crimes during World War II, the disgruntled former tyrant finds himself in a Rehabilition Centre for Failed Dictators — a space for totalitarian leaders to share their experiences, build a sense of community, and recover from their addiction to power.
Hitler finds a seat with Stalin and Mao for the day’s group therapy session. This is where dictators on the mend are usually encouraged to share their feelings.
However, today is no ordinary day at the centre because, for the first time in many years, a worthy contender for a place in this elite clinic of recovering dictators has been nominated by a third party.
Please welcome, Mrs Indira Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India, who somehow managed to get re-elected to power fairly after imposing draconian laws through a 21-month-long politically motivated Emergency in her country. She has been nominated for membership by union minister Arun Jaitley.
As Jaitley leads Indira to the doors of the centre, Hitler, not exactly known for his ability to patiently await instructions, decides to scan the session moderator’s desk for more information about the identity of this mysterious new member. In the absence of direct supervision, the dictators regress to doing what they know best — waging wars with each other.
With the deaths of six million Jews, and five million non-Jews, including 1.5 million children, to his name, Hitler considers Gandhi’s credentials to be dubious at best.
Jaitley begs to differ. So much so, that in a bid to attack the Congress on the anniversary of the Emergency on 25 June, the minister compared Indira Gandhi to Adolf Hitler.
His 2,500-word blog post on Facebook, titled The Emergency Revisited – Part-2 (There were three parts to the series): The Tyranny of Emergency, goes on to deconstruct a theme-by-theme, event-by-event comparison between the Nazi regime and the Emergency of 1975.
Left to Hitler, Indira Gandhi may not stand a chance of making it to his elite club. But that does not mean there is a shortage of muscular leaders around the world who seek total control.