Fortress Chautala. That’s what it feels like when entering through the imposing doors of this village, close to the Rajasthan border. INLD chief and former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala (74) derives his surname from this village and the place is truly his backyard. No one dares Chautala here except one man who shares his first name.
Om Prakash Hitler, who happens to be Chautala’s uncle but is two years younger, is a sworn adversary of the INLD chief. Come elections and Hitler is once again ready to drum up support for Chautala’s rivals.
“Main Om Prakash ka chacha hoon. Though he is older to me, I am elder to him in status,’’ he says.
Ask him about his running feud with Chautala and he says: “They try and browbeat us when in power. They registered over a dozen criminal cases against us most of which have been withdrawn by the present government. In 1987, they booked me under TADA. However, it was quashed by the Supreme Court.”
As soon as he finishes his election meeting in Chautala, Congress nominee from Sirsa Ashok Tanwar heads straight for Hitler’s house to seek his blessings. Hitler’s son Sanjay, who is accompanying Tanwar on his campaign, says: “No one knew Atma Singh Gill here. He won here last time because people voted against Chautala.”
But why he is he known as Hitler?
“It is not my title. My father used to call himself Hitler of Chautala village. During the Second World War, my father gave Rs 5,000 as war fund to the British. They came to know that my father is known as Hitler, so they started addressing him as Om Prakash Hitler. The surname has thus passed on. I am also a great fan Hitler; I have read his Mein Kampf.”
His other son Manoj Hitler chips in: “We are the ones who have always kept the Congress flag flying here. And we will always oppose Chautalas from wherever they contest.”
“Our fight is against their excesses. Why should we bow before them? We are in no way inferior to them,” concludes Hitler.