Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s speech at the meet of the Bharatiya Janata Party‘s (BJP) newly elected Members of Parliament along with their allies, where he stressed on assuring the minorities to make them feel secure, a gang of cow vigilante (Gau Rakshak) thugs, affiliated with a progeny organisation of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), attacked three Muslims in Madhya Pradesh‘s Seoni.
These Gau Rakshak thugs thrashed a Muslim man and his wife in full public view accusing them of carrying a cow for slaughter. They forced the couple to chant the RSS’s slogan — “Jai Shri Ram” — and made the husband beat his wife with a shoe in public. The crime was committed in broad daylight displaying the impunity with which these criminals are operating even in a state ruled by the Congress party.
Very soon report of a Muslim youth being forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” in Gurgaon of Haryana, followed by the news of a Muslim youth shot in Begusarai of Bihar, surfaced. A Dalit youth was beaten by upper-caste Hindutva thugs in Uttar Pradesh and a Bhil tribal woman, who was studying post-graduation in medicine in Maharashtra, was forced to commit suicide due to casteist slurs hurled at her by upper-caste students.
A tribal teacher was arrested in Jharkhand due to his two-year-old Facebook post, which questioned the RSS-BJP’s agenda of Hindufying the tribal people and forcing the north Indian Hindu food habit on the tribals. He had questioned the beef ban imposed by the BJP citing the tribal culture of consuming beef, which resulted in a series of charges levelled against him by the police.
Political opponents of the BJP in Tripura and West Bengal face a barrage of violence unleashed by the ruling party. Modi’s tall claim of peace, prosperity, etc, are washed away by the rumbustious waves of Hindutva-incensed bigotry and rage. The targeting of political opponents and the marginalised communities throughout India is emboldened by the fact that there will be no more parliamentary election in the present format in 2024 when the term of the present government was supposed to end.
As political pundits are busy analysing what are the implications of Modi’s thumping victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the Muslims, Dalits and tribal people started facing the heat; they are welcomed into the future Hindu Rashtra by the ruling classes and their lackeys with macabre atrocities. It won’t take too much expertise to gauge how the future journey would be if this is the beginning.
With this election, for the first time in the history of India, the BJP usurped power by stimulating the bigoted upper-caste Hindu minds in favour of a militaristic, undemocratic and tyrannical Hindu Rashtra. The election campaign was not driven by talks of development, employment or economic prosperity, but by Hindu chauvinism and fascist rhetoric. The RSS garnered support from the upper-caste Hindu elites and middle class by legitimising gory atrocities from the bludgeoning of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri’s Bisada village four years ago to the recent incidents of lynching. The dominant section of the upper-caste Hindus has endorsed Hindutva fascism and its violent riders without much inhibition this time. Hence, as the economy deteriorates, the country will be gripped with bigotry, violence and pogroms.
India’s balance of payment is in a pathetic shape, the economic liberalisation and privatisation drive that Modi promised during his first tenure couldn’t shape up due to a severe crisis in which the international monopoly-financial capital is presently quagmired in. To save itself and preserve its domination on the world, the Wall Street-based corporations are scripting the rise of fascism throughout the world riding on intense racism, bigotry and Islamophobia.
To support the big comprador capitalists and foreign corporations, the Modi regime will continue to increase prices of petroleum products, food items, and other items of daily need. Higher taxes will be imposed on the public very soon to recover the amount Modi and his coterie spent on election campaigns and in bedazzling the susceptible middle class with theatrics. Military expenditure and corporate loot and plunder will reach extremes as well.
With an increase in such taxes and the burden of exploitation, the incidents of communal violence will be on the rise to distract the people’s attention; also, the dissenting voices will be curbed with more brutality than ever because the Hindutva fascist camp will be feral at present and will give no consideration to any democratic norms or ethos. It’s only a matter of time that they send the so-called democratic system to the grave.
As the parliamentary opposition is disarrayed and virtually destroyed by Modi’s juggernaut, therefore, it will be too much to expect resistance from them against the Hindutva fascist feral mobs rampaging on the streets. The liberal democrats have resigned after blaming the people for the mayhem, and the parliamentary left has aligned with the BJP in a state like West Bengal. Thus, the onus of resistance falls on the democratic, progressive and anti-fascist left outside the parliamentary periphery.
To build up a resistance struggle, the most important thing that the forces of resistance must understand is that the people are genuinely angered with the system and in Modi, they see a man who can change the system. Hence, unlike the liberal democrats, it won’t be worthy to try building a movement on the agenda of “protecting the Constitution” as the common people want to usher in a new era, a new system and that system can’t be realistically provided by the fascists.
What is the alternative system, outside the Constitutional provisions, that the anti-fascist progressive block can offer to the common people? What can be the real alternative? It’s important to introduce an alternative and not ask the people’s support merely to reinstate the very old system, which they identified as a reactionary and exploitative one.
Within a short period, the contradiction in the corporate world, the antagonism between big corporate entities, the bitterness between big landlords of different clan and castes will widen the fissures of the ruling classes, amid their own severe crisis, and open up a vulnerable spot for the anti-fascists to breach. It won’t be merely an Indian affair, but also a global affair. Thus, it’s imperative to make Indian anti-Hindutva fascist struggle a part of the global crusade against fascism.
History has demonstrated that though crisis-ridden capitalism tries to seek salvation through the establishment of fascist regimes and by promoting war through the propagation of ultranationalism and xenophobia, the resistance struggle of the people successfully dismantles and destroys such fascist enterprises, however burly they may appear. The experience in India won’t be different, provided the anti-fascist forces can exhibit perseverance and they don’t capitulate to traps or pressure exerted by the Hindutva fascist camp. The victory of the people and the defeat of the fascist forces are both inevitable if the attempt is made from now onwards. Modi’s nemesis is the poor people, whom he may have cajoled to vote for the BJP this time, however, the conflict of class interests between Modi’s masters and the broad masses will soon put the people at their right place — the driver’s seat of history undoing injustice.