Ram Guha: Reading about Mussolini’s Italy in Modi’s India - ALL Jobs News

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Sunday, 13 September 2020

Ram 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”.

In December 1925, the Italian State passed a new law, which came down hard on the press and its freedoms. The consequences of this law were that “within a few months, the most important papers came under Fascist control, one by one. Some owners were compelled to sell under economic or political pressure. All the liberal editors had to resign and were...

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from Scroll.in https://scroll.in/article/972934/ram-guha-reading-about-mussolinis-italy-in-modis-india?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=public

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