Barbarism is Back With a Bang
November 29, 2017
The UP CM Adityanath says criminals will be killed, that no power in the world can stop building of a temple at Ayodhya even though there is an established judicial process to try and sentence criminals and the Ram temple issue is sub-judice. Aadhar is being forced down the throats of citizens despite SC orders to the contrary. The RSS Chief says the sentiments of people are higher than the rulings of the Supreme Court in clear defiance of the Constitution of India.
At the same time, for Babulal Gaur rape is sometimes right. Another BJP leader thrashes Dalits and makes them drink dirty pond water. Yet another BJP leader says the fingers of those criticizing PM Modi should be cut off. An Umar gets shot on mere suspicion of cattle smuggling by criminal vigilantes. A Kshatriya pulls out a sword in a live TV debate. The Karni Sena offers 10 Crores for the rape, beheading and cutting off of Deepika Padukone’s nose. Open inflammatory statements against minorities are regularly made by BJP and saffron leaders despite laws to the contrary.
There is no end to the instances wherein complete disregard to the rule of law and of the Constitution is exhibited. Not a week goes by without the judiciary being openly defied, the Constitution trampled upon and law and order being reduced to a notion that applies to opponents of Hindutva and the BJP and not the rest.
Clearly, barbarism is back with a bang. Breakdown of law and order is widespread. Anarchy is rampant. Today, if you want to get your way in anything criminal all that you have to do is color it with tinges of Hindu nationalism and the consonant rhetoric and presto you have the support of the government to your hegemonic or criminal goal as evident from its inaction and silence on such rampant crimes. This is precisely what has happened with Padmavati and the ensuing public threats by Kshatriya leaders, with the increasing consensus among observers being that that the issue is being allowed to escalate to garner political benefit for the BJP in ensuing elections in Gujarat in which the BJP is on shaky ground.
Matters were not always the same in India. This is a phenomenon that is being seen occurring with increasing repetition post the right-wing BJP’s ascendance to power in 2014. India has earlier seen sporadic communal rhetoric, riots and violence, but never such a sustained and continuous four year period of it, that too without the ruling dispensation even raising a little finger to curtail it.
Essentially, all of this has got to do with primary agenda of the BJP-RSS combine. Though the people voted the BJP into power, buying into PM Modi’s rhetoric about development, employment and ‘achhe din’, after gaining power, development, jobs and national growth are nowhere the agenda nor the competence of the BJP. At best the government has shown that it is incompetent to rule a panchayat, leave alone rule a nation, as seen in the disastrous demonetization misadventure that benefited only the crony capitalists and the haphazard implementation of GST. Because of its continuous hate speech, the social environment across the country too has been vitiated with communalism, particularly in BJP ruled states where rule of law is an illusion and criminal fascist organizations are ruling the roost.
India has also never seen the kind of blatant corruption as is being presently witnessed, an example being the recent dubious Rafael deal in which we have paid three times the original cost. It goes without saying that the BJP is doing no charity for Reliance. The slump in GDP, increasing farmer suicides, continuing poverty and poor healthcare, lack of schools, high external debt, reducing exports, labor unrest, among other examples, are proof of the government’s incompetence. Even most of the government’s so called ‘original’ Abhiyan’s are nothing but repackaged Congress initiatives that were already afoot. There are very few examples of misappropriated achievement that the BJP can lay a claim to.
Consequently, not only do all the problems faced by the people pre-2014 continue, but they also now have new social, political and economic ones to deal with. Fundamentally this has occurred because rather than focus on developing the nation, the BJP has been primarily preoccupied with achieving its goal of creating a Hindu Rashtra. This has been amply demonstrated by its unending anti-Muslim campaign, to rename roads with Muslim names, permeating the government with officials bearing allegiance to RSS’ fascist, continuous efforts to rewrite history, to promote counterfeit scientific claims, to alter school curricula to suit Hindutva lies and ideology and sidelining of the minorities, among other fascist supremacist moves. It has also been demonstrated in utterances of BJP leaders – utterances such as India is for Hindus, and calling anti-nationals all those who oppose Hindutva. Bhagwat has even gone on to affirm that India is a Hindu Rashtra though the Constitution says it is a Democracy with fundamental principles of justice, equality, fraternity and liberty as its main pillar.
If India has to be converted into a Hindu Rashtra ruled by a Manusmriti inspired theocratic Constitution, it cannot happen without scrapping the existing Constitution of India. However, the Constitution, which is a secular political document, cannot be scrapped and replaced with a theocratic Constitution without a two-third majority in both houses along with ratification by half of the states. That these are the intentions of the right wing was made clear when Bhagwat, following the Supreme Court upholding privacy as a fundamental right, made the frustrated statement that the judiciary should reflect the ethos of the people, namely the ethos of Hindu fascism being promoted by the BJP-RSS combine. The court ruling put the clock back on various fascist initiatives made by the BJP government since 2014. He wanted a verdict that suited enabled the creation Hindu Rashtra through taking away critical rights of citizens.
The BJP, however, can never expect to get such majority the democratic way. Its massive losses in Delhi, Punjab and Bihar and its ginger footing in Gujarat have demonstrated this adequately. The only way it can achieve such majority is by gaining power in all the states through violence, crime and intimidation of the populace in any way it can and presently it is being attempted by riding the wagon of Hindu Nationalism.
The government’s tacit silence and inaction on all the anarchy and lawlessness only proves that it quietly supports it all because it suits its agenda of gaining power through any means. Contrary to public perception, it is not merely the minorities and Dalits who are being terrorized through violence and terror. Through administrative violence, the entire Indian population is being terrorized as well. Aadhar is a good example. The government is pushing Aadhar the way it is so that it can control the people, and silence all dissent. Another example is the PM stating in Gujarat that states that if people do not vote for vikas – a reference to the BJP- will not get Central funds, which is an open threat to the voters in Gujarat.
The problem, however, is that the age of such fascism is long over worldwide, and in India, it is truly over because of the very structure of Indian society and the liberties and freedom experienced by the people under Democracy. We have over 3500 castes and numerous other sub-castes who are perennially at loggerheads with each other, along with multiple other faiths. What keeps them, and therefore the nation, together is their identity as Indians and not any religious or caste identity. In addition, unlike the age of fascism, the early and middle part of the 19th century, technology and scientific progress has made it impossible to get away with lies, crime and hegemonic thought. The regular rebuttal on social media of all fascist action indicates how difficult it is to get away with deceiving people for a prolonged period of time.
The problem, however, is that by patronizing the ongoing anarchy, the government is creating an ethos among a sizeable number of the population that, long after it has lost power will continue on the path of anarchy to achieve their political, ideological, social, religious or economic goals. The vested interests are injecting poison into Indian society that will last for decades long after the proponents have gone. This is too heavy a price for India to pay.
The solution, though, is not in the hands of the political class because it is one ruling political class that is patronizing it all, while another through its acts of omission and commission has enabled the rise of the fascist and anarchists. Instead, it is the common citizens who have to stand up to the anarchy and reassert their fundamental rights and the Constitution of India.
Alternately, our future generation can be expected to live in a tattered Banana Republic of India struggling to survive economically and as a united nation. We have already seen how Hindu Rashtra operates first during the UP assembly elections, and subsequently by the saffronization of the Sate by CM Yogi, even as Gujarat stands out as testimony to the failure of Hindutva as a governance model because the so called ‘Gujarat Model’ has been shown to be a model of survival, crony capitalism, intimidation and fascism rather than one of economic development and social welfare.
First published in Counter Currents.Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the writer's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Indian Writers' Forum.
Donate to the Indian Writers' Forum, a public trust that belongs to all of us.