By Joe Purakel : The Jews of Indian origin in Israel lately have lodged a strong protest against the film director Rakesh Ranjan Kumar’s grandiose plan of producing the film – hold your breath !titled -‘Dear Friend Hitler !! The lead role was to be played by none other than Anupam Kher, who has also played the role of Gandhi in an earlier film. Some belated sense has now prevailed upon him and he has pulled out of this ‘hallowed’ role
The Director whose debut historical film of a Western political leader, the first of its kind in India, purports to portray Hitler as a “dear friend” of India whose ‘contribution’ to the Indian freedom struggle is to be shown on celluloid !I am flummoxed ! Should I laugh or cry, wail or only flail my arms in despair. My humble knowledge of Indian history and World War II history, especially of Nazi history, have not revealed such a grotesque a piece of misinformation i.e. the Nazis and their love for India and their efforts towards our liberation from the shackles of British colonialism. Netaji did indeed meet Hitler many times but the Fuhrer embroiled in Russia and Europe was least interested in supporting the INA and Indian struggle for independence in material terms. Netaji hence turned towards Japan. The Free Indian Legion units raised in Berlin were used by the Germans in Europe for non combatant duties in Europe !!.
To set the records let me present a few facts. Firstly, The grand plan of the Axis was for Japan to sweep down from the East and the Nazis to sweep down from the North, post conquest of the USSR and carve up India a la Poland in 1939. Secondly, may I suggest Shri Ranjan to buy copy of the “Mein Kampf” (also available in Hindi) and read our “dear friend’s” opinion of our race !, his opinion of Gandhi voiced later and his putrid comments on our martial prowess in comparison to his racial theory. Has Shri Ranjan heard of a phrase “our dear friend” used for us – “Untermenschen ! (A German – English dictionary would be of help).As for Fraulien Eva , she was a nondescript figure in the court of Hitler. A bimbo in modern terms and a “field mattress” in those times of war. Hence I fail to perceive the reported excitement generated in the actor playing her role. Seems she is reading all that’s written of our friend’s paramour. Neither did Eva write nor any tomes written of this social climber. So let’s see hold our breath and wait whether our ‘desi’ Eva will follow Shri Kher’s footsteps? Who is the next ‘heir’ for this unenviable role ?
The title of the movie is reportedly taken from the two letters by Gandhi to Hitler who address him as “Dear Friend Hitler”, However this polite language used by the Father of the nation was to appeal for peace and begging the dictator to find a peaceful resolution to the European situation. Did Hitler reply? Well, even if did would he have signed off as – “ Your friend indeed and in deed .. your pen pal Adolf!!!. (fact is he could not reply, as the letters did not reach him due to war censorship!) Obviously the fact that Hitler did not send the Wehrmacht or the SS legions to learn “satyagraha” or “ahimsa” at the Gandhi Ashram, proves that he had no friendly intentions . Soon his deeds would appear in the smoke and stench of his concentration camps.
I hear that the film also in true “B” wood style is also interspersed with Hitler’s love for dear Eva. I suggest a scene of Hitler prancing (Shammi Kapoor style) with Eva among the pine trees in one of our hill stations, which probably depict Bavaria, while a remix version of “Parbaton ke pedon par…… echoes in the background. I doubt if the Germans would like this parody to be filmed in Germany. I love ‘B’ movies and my fertile imagination also suggest Shri Ranjan to include a scene of Hitler in brown khadi waving the tricolor at Connaught Place, shouting hoarsely ‘Quit India” (This friendly request of course would be applicable for the British and Indians too !!) and end with a grande finale of a dance led by “ the friendly couple” to the music of “Jai Ho”!! In fact I suggest in the next Independence Day parade could we should have a few retired Nazis extolling their contributions of ‘our friend’ towards our ‘Poorna Swaraj’ from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
While the spirits and hearts of our freedom fighters dead and living, souls of the victims of Nazism and the Holocaust and hearts of the survivors, will writhe in object horror at this venture, the ghosts of the likes of Hitler will “heil” future Shri Ranjan , who are bound to follow his pioneering venture and have releases like – “Saint Pol Pot”. “Stalin the Crusader”, “Dyer – friend of Punjab”, “Amin the Vegetarian”, “Baba Osama” , “Kasab the Sharpshooter”, “Warren Anderson – Gas King of Bhopal” etc etc.. A host of ‘B’- Wood wannabes and aspirants world be ready to perform these “friendly” roles ! We have a plethora of pathetic clones and parties resembling such nausea generating historical aberrations in India too, who are living and thriving in a fertile democracy, who can contribute their acting skills and followers for such ventures! A choral song by the mischievous trio in Mumbai in a future ‘friendly’ movie belting out their love for the ‘bhaiyas’ in a song like say –“ Bhaiya – Bhai Bhai”,( or is it Bhaiya ,Bye ,Bye ?) would be in order.
The banality of evil embodied in “our dear friend” is of such gargantuan proportions that the Land of his birth (Austria) and his rule (Germany) have erased away traces of his works life and memory. The film will be the ultimate insult to the nearly 40 million who perished due to the “friendly nature’ of this monster in the period 1929 to 1945. I wonder how many of the Indians know the darkest side of Hitler’s rule and its effects on the world. Many a denizen of the educated and illiterate mass only knows ‘our friend’ to be one who from humble origins launched a World War and nearly succeeded. When our own history books of today contain a mass of deceit, lies and obfuscation, can we hope for any enlightenment? Where have the intelligentsia of our nation gone ? For any other such issues a storm is raised by them in media and public. Have they gone into a trance? What about our political leaders ? Especially those who of a party which has ‘patented’ our Independence struggle as it’s own? And the ‘Left’ who claims to have always combated fascist forces seems to have ‘left’out this issue. Oh ! not to forget our religious leaders who churn out ther daily ‘fatwas’,or busy being caught in the wrong positions on TV. The Catholic Church , a few years ago went ballistic over the ‘Da Vinci Code’!. Guess is it busy now with a crisis of it’s own over a few truant priests.
My dear citizens of the world this film must not see the light a day. The scissor of the censor and your sense should snip this misbegotten film through and through. Well , our Censor Board’s acumen is suspect as obviously this ‘friendly’ film will not have any steamy Hitler-Eva scenes or any depictions of the ‘eco friendly concentration camps’- after all its the story of a ‘friendly” man who loved his siesta, strudels, dogs and Eva ! oh ! lest I forget his love pangs for pre 1947 oppressed Indians, and his ‘contributions’ to our freedom struggle !
Jago India Jago !