Monday, 20 April 2009

Record Sales of Mein Kampf in India


by Kathryn Hadley


An article published today, on the anniversary of Hitler’s birthday on April 20th 1889, on the website of The Daily Telegraph, reported rising sales of Hitler’s Mein Kampf in India. Over the past six months, over 10,000 copies were sold in New Delhi alone. Business students in particular are increasingly reading Hitler’s autobiography for advice on business management and booksellers allegedly told the newspaper that the book is considered in India as a management guide similar to Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese, rather than merely as an apologia for Hitler’s anti-semitism.

The Indian Jaico Publishing House told The Telegraph that it reprints a new edition of the book at least twice a year to meet growing demand. In the words of R H Sharma, Jaico’s chief editor:

‘We were the first company to publish the book in India and there are now six
other Indian publishers of the book, although we were first to take a chance on
it […] The initial print run of 2,000 copies in 2003 sold out immediately and we
knew we had a best-seller on our hands. Since then the numbers have increased
every year to around 15,000 copies until last year when we sold 10,000 copies
over a six-month period in our Delhi shops’.

According to academics in India, India and Hitler’s Nazis exerted mutual influence over one another. Mahatma Gandhi corresponded with the Fuhrer, pro-independence leader Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army allied with Hitler’s Germany and Japan during the Second World War and the Nazis drew on Hindu symbolism for their Swastika motif.

India is moreover not the only country where Mein Kampf is popular. In Turkey it sold 100,000 copies in just two months in 2005 and in Russia it has been reprinted three times since the de facto ban on the book was overturned in 1992.

6 comments:

Deep said...

Please issue a clarification about the content of the letters. The article as it stands insinuates a kinship between Gandhi and Hitler which is blatantly false. Please refer to http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/articles/fascism/gandhihitler.html and do other research.

History Today magazine said...

Thank you for the link to the Koenraad Elst Site.
Other than mentioning the correspondence between Hitler and Gandhi, the article on The Telegraph did not provide any information about the nature of their relationship.
I posted a second article the following day questioning this kinship suggested by the original article. I agree that it is highly unlikely that there was any form of kinship between the two men.

History Today magazine said...

Here is the link to the article on The Telegraph

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