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19 Apr, 2010 04:26

Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” on India’s best sellers list

The book that outlined the political ideology of Nazi Germany has found an audience in India. Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is banned in countries that suffered from fascism, but New Delhi booksellers are enjoying strong sales.

In India, which escaped many of the horrors of the Second World War, Adolf Hitler's “Mein Kampf” is consistently on the best-seller list. Jaico Publishing House first published the book twelve years ago, and has since sold over 100,000 copies.

“People from abroad wrote to us and said, ‘Why did you publish this book? You could have done many other things, and you are a reputed publishing house.’ But we gave our side of the story, saying it is in no way propaganda or eulogizing Hitler. But the man wrote this book, and let the world be the judge. Today we are in a different era, a different time, where people can judge and take a call on that,” Jaico Publishing House’s Chief Editor Rayasam Sharma said.

Sales of Mein Kampf are regular throughout the year, with copies prominently displayed at all leading bookstores. Students that RT spoke to said the book offers certain lessons – something that would strike many as odd, if not offensive.

“In our country we need more pride and self-confidence. Hitler developed his country in a very short time through industrialization. Yes, he definitely had some bad qualities, but we can learn from his management style and leadership skills,” reader Ram Kumar believes.

Mein Kampf is banned in Germany and has recently been banned in Russia. To provide a counter-balance to it in India, Jaico has published another German book, “Sein Kampf”, written by Irene Harand in 1935.

“She debunked the whole theory of Hitler, saying that this man who claimed to have a democratic vision, but was actually a megalomaniac dictator. And all his lies, that Germany was ruined, was a pack of lies, just for his personal gain,” Sharma explains.

As outrageous as it may seem to the rest of the world that Mein Kampf is so popular in India, it should be noted that it is largely due to the population’s curiosity about someone who is so reviled in the West.