Fascistic Politics in India and the Left

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1589 ... April 16, 2018

Fascistic Politics in India and the Left

Raju Das

India is experiencing something like a national emergency. This is in the form of persistent, nation-wide attacks on the basic democratic rights of ordinary citizens, by hyper-nationalist and communal forces which are supporting, and which are supported by, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). They are especially targeting religious minorities, secularists, Leftists, as well as dalits.

No political project hangs in the air. It must be rooted in material conditions and class relations. Indeed, fundamental to the worldview of the forces playing the politics of religion, is the idolization of free-market economics, and of authoritarian politics supported by a mass movement. Authoritarian politics is necessary to implement free-market economics in the interest of property-owning classes. This is... especially so in an unequal, poverty-stricken, relatively backward society like India where millions of people are not only suffering but are also fighting against their conditions, and who therefore have to be suppressed/managed through authoritarian means, if the businesses have to be kept happy.

The ideology and practices of free-market economics and authoritarian politics are dressed up by Right-wing demagogic political leaders, as development (vikas) and as good governance, respectively, and sold to voters in the election market. ‘Development’ and ‘Governance’ are also used, along with hyper-nationalism based in the idea of the supremacy of Hindu religion over other religions, to help produce a mass movement. So, free-market economic ideas/policies, rabid religious nationalist ideology rousing a mass movement, and authoritarian intolerance toward dissent: all these come together and support each other. One term to describe it all is: growing fascistic tendency.

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