Reluctance of the state to introduce Holocaust/Genocide Studies

It seems that the state on its part would always be reluctant to introduce Genocide or Mass Violence Studies in academia as a discipline for it would have the potential of opening Pandora's box. It can be well explained with an example from Israel:

In 1953, Yad Vashem was established as Israel's official memorial for the commemoration of the Holocaust through education, research, documentation, and remembrance. But while the Holocaust was commemorated publicly, in reality the difficulties of the 1950s obscured the survivors’ suffering, they were encouraged to adopt the national ethos and forget the past. Little historical material or literary fiction was written about the Holocaust, survivors were minor characters in the nascent film industry, and psychological sendees were minimal. This changed in 1960 when Mossad agents in Argentina captured Adolph Eichmann (1906-1962) and brought him back to Israel to stand trial. Though he would be found guilty and sentenced to be hanged (Israel's only death sentence), the significance of Iris trial extended far beyond the discussion of his complicity. Rather, it opened the way for public conversations about survivor suffering, the Zionist leadership’s activities during the Holocaust, and the treatment of survivors in post-war Israel.3

India has never witnessed any figure as prominent in Indian politics as Eichmann was in Nazi Germany being found guilty of perpetrating mass violence and being sentenced to any rigorous punishment, let alone life imprisonment or death. Hence, cases of mass violence, mob violence, and pogroms do not last long in national memory.

The challenges to raising Holocaust awareness: Holocaust denial and trivialization

Muslim Holocaust deniers apparently believe, according to Meir Litvak, “that the memory of the Holocaust was the foundation of Western support for the establishment of the State of Israel. Therefore, refuting it would severely undermine Israel’s legitimacy in the West and help in its eradication”.6 For them, “it never happened or else was hugely exaggerated”.7 As the eminent scholar of antisemitism, the late Robert Wistrich pointed out: “The denial of the Holocaust - whether in Britain, France (where it first originated), America or other Western countries - has become an integral part of the revamped antisemitic mythology of a world Jewish conspiracy.”8

The fact is that it was not the Holocaust but the Yishuv that founded the State of Israel. Had there not been a thriving self-governing community or 600,000-strong Yishuv (the Zionist Jewish entity residing in pre-State Israel) built over years since the first settlement in 1860, the 360,000 survivors would not have found a shelter. "And the UN November 1947 partition resolution, voting for the establishment of a Jewish State”, as the eminent Holocaust scholar Dina Porat points out,

came indeed after the Holocaust but not as its direct result. Political considerations, such as the Soviet interest in replacing Britain in the Middle East and in preventing American future influence in the area, were much more instrumental than belated empathy.9

She reports:

Since early 2005, a working definition of antisemitism, agreed upon by the twenty-seven EU countries, states clearly that "denying the fact, scope,

Holocaust education in India and its challenges 141 mechanisms (e.g., gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during WW-II (the Holocaust), [and that] accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust” are considered acts of antisemitism. A more recent working definition of Holocaust denial, reached by the ITF member states in 2010, which draws on the EU decision, also defines denial as a form of antisemitism. Antisemitism is by now punishable by laws and other forms of regulations in some twenty countries.10

Alan Johnson has identified four forms of Holocaust inversion that emanate out of "the unhinged portrayal of Israel as a genocidist state”:

First, the depiction of Israelis as the new Nazis and the Palestinians as the new Jews; an inversion of reality. ... Second, the Zionist ideology and movement is made to appear in the Anti-Zionist Ideology as akin to Nazism, or is considered alongside of, or in comparison to, or even collaborating with Nazism.... Third, the Holocaust is turned into "moral lesson” for, or a "moral indictment” of the Jews - an inversion of morality. ... Fourth, Holocaust memory appears within the Anti-Zionist ideology only as a politicized and manipulated thing, a club wielded instrumentally, with malice aforethought, by bullying Jews, for Jewish ends.11

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