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Hitler as management guru?

world Updated: May 05, 2009 21:50 IST
PTI
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Adolf Hitler is seen as a management guru by business students who are lapping up the Nazi dictator's autobiography Mein Kampf for inspiration, a news report has said.

The Nazi leader's autobiography is flying off the shelves at Indian book stores as some students regard the former dictator as a business strategy role model, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Booksellers told the British daily that while it is looked upon in most countries as a 'Nazi Bible', in India it is considered a management guide in the mould of Spencer Johnson's "Who Moved My Cheese".

Sales of the book over the last six months topped 10,000 in the Indian capital alone, according to leading stores, who said it appeared to be becoming more popular with every year, the report said.

According to some book sellers, the surge in sales was from students who see it as a self-improvement and management strategy guide for aspiring business leaders, and who were happy to cite it as an inspiration.

"Students are increasingly coming in asking for it and we're happy to sell it to them," said Sohin Lakhani, owner of Mumbai-based Embassy books who reprints Mein Kampf every quarter and shrugs off any moral issues in publishing the book.

"They see it as a kind of success story where one man can have a vision, work out a plan on how to implement it and then successfully complete it," Lakhani was quoted as saying in the report.

Indian students see the book as a self-improvement and management strategy guide, sources told the British paper. According to Indian company Jaico Publishing House, the surge in sales has forced him to go in for reprints of the book at least twice a year.

"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," said Jaico's chief editor, RH Sharma, who dismissed any moral issues in publishing Mein Kampf.

"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," he added.

Dr J Kuruvachira, Professor of Philosophy of Salesian College in Nagaland and who has cited Mein Kampf as a source of inspiration to the Hindu nationalist movement, said he believed the book's popularity was due to political reasons.

Senior academics cite the mutual influence of India and Hitler's Nazis on one another. The Nazis drew on Hindu symbolism for their Swastika motif and ideas of Aryan supremacy.

While Mahatma Gandhi corresponded with the Fuhrer, Subhas Chandra Bose's Indian National Army allied with Hitler's Germany and Japan during the Second World War to end British rule in the country.

Mein Kampf has been a best-seller in Croatia since it was first published while in Turkey it sold 100,000 in just two months in 2005. In Russia it has been reprinted three times since the de facto ban on the book was overturned in 1992, the report said.

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