Indian Lawmaker Dresses Up as Hitler to Protest Premier Modi

Actor-turned-politician says he wants to send a message to Prime Minister Modi not to follow Hitler

Indian film actor turned politician Naramalli Sivaprasad, arrives at parliament dressed as Adolf Hitler to press for government funding for his home state of Andhra Pradesh, in New Delhi on August 9, 2018
AFP

An Indian lawmaker appeared in Parliament Thursday dressed like Adolf Hitler, wearing a toothbrush moustache and a khaki coat with swastika symbols on his pocket and arm. His demand: More funds for the development of his state in southern India.

Naramalli Sivaprasa also raised his hand in a Nazi salute for the media. His appearance did not trigger any protests from legislators.

The actor-turned-lawmaker says he wants to send a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to follow Hitler. He complained that Modi had gone back on a promise to provide extra funds for his Andhra Pradesh state.

"He does not get the pulse of what people want and I want to urge him to not be like him (Hitler)," he said. Modi's government denies the charge.

>> The rise and rise of India's Nazi-loving nationalists

In protest, Sivaprasa's powerful regional group, The Telugu Desam Party, broke alliance with the Modi government in March. It also unsuccessfully tried to bring down the Modi government through a no-confidence motion last month in Parliament.

Sivaprasa is used to dressing up differently, like a farmer, a cattle herder, a Muslim cleric and a woman to press different issues.

Hitler remains a figure of fascination in India, where the Holocaust is not well known, and is widely seen more as a strong leader than a genocidal dictator. His book, "Mein Kampf," can be found in many bookstores, and bootleg copies are regularly sold in the streets of New Delhi and other large cities.