United Popular Front of Movements, Activists & Academics Needed to Fight Indian Brand of Fascism, the Hindu Rashtra

Fascism and Nazism are both of European origin. Benito Mussolini was founder of Fascism in Italy who rose to power in 1922 and Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazism in Germany rose to power there in 1933. Fascism in Italy and National Socialism in Germany have never been coherent bodies of thought. Both have a cynical indifference to intellectual honesty and truth. But both  had broad emotional appeals to the people.

Fascism is recognised as an open terrorist dictatorship of corporate- political rule. It glorifies the Race and Nation and represents chauvinistic nationalism. While constantly making a leftist oriented 'appeal to the people', it serves only the interest of corporate and imperialist elements of finance capital. It nurtures a corporate economy and actually destroys the economy of petty producers.

Fascism in Europe tried to secure a mass base for monopoly capital among the lower classes, petty producers, peasantry, artisan, office employees, civil servants etc. Fascism in Europe also neglected the entire heritage of the 18th Century Enlightenment. It rejected not only Marx but Voltaire and John Stuart Mill too. It rejected not only communism but all forms of liberalism. A Popular Front of liberals, socialist, communists, academicians, individuals fought back this fascism. The Soviet Union and Western Allies gave a crushing defeat to the fascists, though documents recently released from the United Nations archives holds that there was a systematic collusion between American and British governments on the one hand and the Nazis during second world war. After his defeat in the war, Hitler committed suicide and Mussolini was executed by partisans.

In India from RSS to a section of indigenist social scientist view fascism as a phenomenon of western origin, arguing that there is no scope of fascist political rule in India. Recently among communists circles a debate has surfaced on whether in India, authoritarian political rule or fascism is creeping and capturing the state.

Miliband has been quoted as saying that after the universal revulsion caused by the horrors of fascism in Nazi Germany, it is difficult for the bourgeoisie to consider fascism as an option even in a situation of extreme crisis. Hence, authoritarianism thrust emanating out of the neo-liberal process has found expression in the demand to change the features of the political system by amending the Constitution.
‘Stability and strong government’ have become major pre occupations of the bourgeoise. The example of Turkey is quoted, where to further political Islam an executive presidency has taken over the parliamentary system. According to holders of this view, therefore in India too, it is not fascism but authoritarianism that has us in it's grip. It is said that Rastriya Swayam Sevak Sangh(RSS) believes in an authoritarian Hindu Rashtra.

I n actual fact, as the recent history of India reveals, the very political idea and goal of Hindutva arose out of the wider inclusive national movement in India (against the colonial British). To this date, since 1925, the RSS openly aspires and has been working continually towards the creation (formation) of a Hindu rashtra which is nothing else but the Indian version of fascism.

Fascism is much more than politics. Political ideology no doubt operates on the terrain of economy but also has its own autonomy. Aijaz Ahmad has rightly said that experience of Itlay, the classic home of fascism, shows that big bourgeoisie neither created fascism nor played any significant role in its capture or consolidation of power meant that Musolini regime remained relatively autonomous of the bourgeoisie even after it made common cause with it.

Hindutva got theoretical clarification by Savarkar in his book, ‘‘Hindutva or who is Hindu’’, Sarvarkar coined the term ‘Hindutva’ with certain specific purposes. He said ‘‘ The Aryans who settled in India at the dawn of the history already formed a nation, now embodied in the Hindus.’’ To further this theoretization, the ‘Two Nation theory’ was propounded by Sarvarkar. Hindutva has always been the guiding principle of RSS. This fundamental vision of the RSS is based on the superiority and predominance of the Aryan Race. MS Golwalkar, the RSS ideologue and second Sarsangh sanchalak of the RSS makes distinction between cultural nationalism and the territorial nationalism of the Congress led by Gandhi.

Golwalkar wrote in ‘We or nationhood defined’ ‘from this stand point sanctioned by shrewd old Nations(Nazi Germany and Fascist Itlay). The foreign races in Hindustan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language must learn to respect and hold reverence to Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of glorification of Hindu race and culture i.e, of Hindu Nation, must loose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu Race or may stay in the country wholly subordinated to Hindu Nation clamming nothing, deserving no privileges, for less any preferential treatment not even citizen’s rights’. He advanced the theory of PITRIBHUMI (father land), PUNYA BHUMI (spiritual land). For him only members of the Hindu Race are the only ones entitled to be Indian because India for them is both PITRIBHUMI and PUNYA BHUMI.
The BJP take over of the national government has allowed the Sangh Pariwar to entrench itself in all institutions of state power. The institution is being defined while  difference and dissent is treated as anti national. Street violence is being organized against minorities, Dalits and Adivasis. Any one who speaks against the government and it's corruption faces violence.

Like Sarvarkar and Golwalkar, Mohan Bhagvat openly affirmed that ‘India is a Hindu state and citizens of Hindustan shoud be known as Hindu.’ Modi has so far succeeded in projecting himself as pro-poor, and a strong leader of world stature. This manufactured image of him has percolated to the grass root level.

In absence of any credible political opposition and no national movement, the Modi influence is spreading. It is in this political vacuum that he exists when otherwise there is nothing concrete which his (Modi's) government has given to the people of the country in the past three years of his governance. Neo-liberal and post modernist prescriptions of opposition are making space for the forces of Hindutva to flourish.

In actual fact, the informal sector of the economy is suffering badly, unemployment is rising, instances of suicide among the peasantry are also growing. Kashmir and other border issues are still unresolved.

Any objective assessment of the Indian polity indicates that the ruling establishment is in serious crisis; the crisis is not only economic and political, it is moral too. A vibrant policy and program is needed to combat this march of India towards the Hindu Rashtra.

To meet the challenge posed by the Modi government, a possible coalition of the forces of movements, ideas, sectors, individuals, should be realised. A popular front is the need of the hour.

This united front will not only meet challenge of impending majoritarian corporate fascism but will also work for a complete democratization of Indian society and polity.
This Front should arouse patriotism of 1857 nationalism and will then show up parochial nature of nationalism of Hindutva.

Apart from the clarity and commitment of the secularism of the atheist Bhagat Singh, Gandhi ji was a also great secularist while even being an orthodox Hindu.

This Front should concentrate to expose the Modi government-corporate nexus and should link itself with movements like ‘Bhrastachar se Azadi’ which is going on. This Front should also intervene in the day to day problems of the youth, peasant and on issues of the informal sector. To meet the street violence of Sangh Parivar goons, criminals and lumpens, the Front needs a;sp to develop militant mass resistance at all level. This should be most important ingredient part of movement.

The relation of such a United Front to the ruling opposition is a matter of strategy and tactics. In response to the needs of the situation, we can then decide which party can and cannot be part of such a Front. This is a tactical question and it should be dealt with at the tactical level.

(The author is former President of the Allahabad University Student Union and also member of the National Working Committee of the Swaraj Abhiyan; this is an edited version of a paper presented at a workshop organised by the Swaraj Abhiyan in New Delhi recently)




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