Ramachandra Guha: Reading about Mussolini’s Italy in Modi’s India

I read a lot of biographies, these often set in other countries than my own. A book I have just finished is Benedetto Croce and Italian Fascism, by the Canadian scholar, Fabio Fernando Rizi. It uses the life of a great philosopher to tell a larger story of the times he passed through.

Reading Rizi’s book, I found uncanny parallels between the Italy of the 1920s and the India of the 2020s. The myth of Benito Mussolini, like the myth of Narenda Modi, was crafted by writers and propagandists “eager to sing paeans to the genius of the Duce”. These propagandists had begun to call the leader of fascism “the providential man”, “the man of massive faith”, or simply, “the Man of Providence”. Thus was created “the myth of the Duce, the chief who is always right, the leader who dares where others vacillate”…


Marzia Casolari – Hindutva’s Foreign Tie-up in the 1930s: Archival Evidence