Congress party spokesperson Manish Tewari on Friday compared Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to German dictator Adolf Hitler, stating that intelligentsia 'stood up' against both leaders. 

Tewari was referring to the recent acts of protest by writers, historians and scientists who have returned their national awards claiming that the Modi government was allowing a climate of intolerance in the country. 

"Intelligentsia in Germany were first to stand up against Hitler. In 2015 the first people who've stood up against Modi are intelligentsia in India," the Congress leader said, according to ANI.

"BJP must understand that this country realises that great evil hangs over this land in the form of their government, and this is now being contested," he added. 

In recent weeks, writers such as Nayantara Sahgal and Shashi Deshpande were among 30 writers who returned their Sahitya Akademi awards, while renowned scientist PM Bhargava has said he will return his Padma Bhushan in protest against "the government's attack on rationalism, reasoning and science". 

As many as 50 historians, including the noted Romila Thapar, have criticised the Modi government for the "highly vitiated atmosphere prevailing in the country, characterised by various forms of intolerance".

While Tewari's remark is likely to draw ire from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, this is not the first time Narendra Modi has been compared to Adolf Hitler. 

Earlier this week, former Union minister A K Antony had reportedly said that the Modi government was 'doing a Hitler'. 

"While dividing the people in the name of caste and religion and dictating what to eat, wear and write, the Modi government is trying to do what Hitler had tried long ago," Antony had said, according to The New Indian Express, following the incident of the Delhi police raid on the Kerala House over beef rumours. 

Earlier this year, Aam Aadmi Party legislators had referred to the Indian prime minister as 'Hitler' during a Delhi assembly session.