Marzia Casolari is an associate professor of Asian History at the University of Turin, Italy. Her book, In the Shadow of the Swastika: The Relationships Between Indian Radical Nationalism, Italian Fascism and Nazism, keeps resurfacing in social media and messaging platforms in India in the wake of arguments over foreign influences of political parties and religions. Whenever there is talk of Islamic revivalism and its Middle Eastern roots, or of the European origins of ideologies such as Marxism, her book is brandished by political opponents of Hindu right-wing organisations to assert the influence of the destructive European fascism and Nazism on their founders.
Now, with a section of right-wing Hindutva scholars in India alleging that the Dravidian movement had its origins in Christian evangelism and therefore was an outcome of foreign influence, Casolari’s book, which provides evidence linking extreme Hindu nationalism to Italian fascists, is in the news yet again.
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