While the handful of multi-millionaires rejoice an ominous gloom is being cast upon the multi-millions of common people: stealthily, but surely. While the sacred rule-book of the bourgeois democracy professes “of the people, by the people and for the people”, and while the sprawling imperialist world lauds India as among the largest of democracies to invade its huge market, the wide-eyed citizens of India, at least those who still bear the heart and head of human beings over and above the trunk, look around aghast to see how fathomless disparity is trying to eclipse equality, to what extent deprivation can throw common people into the dungeon of sub-human existence, what menacing proportions can intolerance and irrationality assume to shatter people’s life into disarray and disunity.
RSS emerged with anti-national communal bent
Needless to say, one single sunset could not bring in such a menacing gloom. It required years together through which people were dragged into more and more miseries and plight in every aspect of life. And over and above these, there were the activities of a deadly force of RSS, which with its doctrine of arch communal Hindutva had come into being when the entire country was fighting against the British imperialists for national independence. Based on the divisive idea of Savarkar, whom the RSS calls the Veer, that ‘Hindus alone had the right to be nationals of the country” and that “the Hindus and the Muslims …. two antagonistic nations … living side by side in India”, the RSS mentor M S Golwalkar clearly defined their stand. He explicitly called “ Anti-Britishism … equated with patriotism and nationalism” was “reactionary”, and said “The foreign races in Hindustan … must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of … the Hindu nation and must lose their separate existence …. or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, …. not even citizen’s rights.” He was not far from the Nazi supremo Hitler when he said “To keep up with the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country …. Race pride at its highest … a good lesson for use in Hindustan to learn and profit by”.
Wedded to such an anti-national, fascistic, communal doctrine, the RSS- Hindu Mahasabha and their other ancillaries did not take part in the national independence movement including the historic Quit India movement in 1942 that rocked the country and shook the British rule itself. Rather RSS fomented communal riots now and then and was banned after independence. Shortly after the ban was lifted by the then Congress government under Nehru, the RSS started campaigns against cow-slaughter, the Urdu language, etc., organizing anti-Muslim riots in regular course. While relentlessly giving shape to their vilifying activities and views, such a deadly fanatic, inhuman rabid communal force of RSS silently waited in the wings, . Through their political outfits, earlier the Jan Sangh and later the BJP, they tried all means to buoy up in the national politics. Finally, thanks to the peddling of so called soft Hindutva of the then Congress government, and totally spineless vote-based compromising social-democratic politics of the self-styled Marxists like the CPI- CPI(M), the BJP made it to reach power, first lining up in the medium of coalition politics with Atal Bihari Vajpayee heading the NDA government from 1998 to 2004 and then after 10 years of politics in the opposition space with the Modi-driven single-party majority in 2014.
Country made open to the RSS-BJP
With this event, the rise of BJP to power, the vast land that had been traditionally known for its multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual character and had, notwithstanding a host of limitations, come to be known as a democratic secular country, was thrown open to the RSS. Their agenda was no longer needed to be kept hidden. They had the power of the Union government as also some state governments, in essence the entire state apparatus, to protect and promote them and their agenda. They started to vigorously work on that agenda with the method that went as: Marginalize and alienate the target — normally the minority community — with threat and intimidation ranging ultimately to violence to any extent, including killing. However, after a point of time no active violence would be required. Perceived violence itself would aggravate marginalization and alienation, leading ultimately to complete submission or even exodus of a targeted community from an area or region.
With the first BJP-led government at the Centre, the agenda was given shape to in Gujarat with Narendra Modi, the present Prime Minister as the then Chief Minister of the state. There in 2002 a ghastly anti-Muslim Gujarat pogrom was carried out with meticulous planning and overt and covert support of the entire administration and governments of both Gujarat as well as at the Centre. Some of the high ranking police officers, even ministers of the then Gujarat government who could not approve of this carnage had revealed this later. Only after the targeted minority community was uprooted, ruthlessly murdered, made totally horror-stricken and immobilized, that the then Union BJP government and its helmsman, Vajpayee, meekly rebuked the state government reminding them of Rajdharma , that is, the rules of governance, seemingly to play to the gallery.
Finally at this abject crisis-hour of Indian capitalism, now with imperialist expansionist aspirations, the ruling monopolists finding their trusted Congress party thoroughly discredited because of prolonged misrule and sinking neck-deep in corruption, leaned towards the BJP, another trusted political face of theirs. A powerful section of the Indian monopolists and corporate entities, including imperialist lobbies took note of Modi’s potential and keenness to articulate and serve their class interest. They also took cognizance of Modi’s ability to hoodwink people with sweet-coated words and false promises, as well as to polarize people on deadly communal lines as per the venomous line of RSS thereby perpetuating permanent divide of the toiling masses. Carefully and cunningly they used their pliant media and publicity agencies to build up a haloed image of Modi as ‘strong administrator’ capable of acting as true ‘development man’ and a ‘visionary nation builder’. Needless to say, the objective had been to buttress their heinous class agenda without hindrance, bluff the poor and have-nots with pitched propaganda of “achhe din” and at the same time disrupt their unity by relentlessly fomenting communal sentiment. Alongside was chalked out plan to allure the upcoming middle class who could be gradually converted into accepting the Hindutva-oriented social hegemony theme. To this end, his initial modest background as a tea vendor was hyped to befool the poor accept him as their man, while rigorous grooming and allegiance as an ardent and aggressive RSS activist fitted perfectly to the plan. Thereafter was started a two-pronged effort in the interest of prolonging the crisis-ridden capitalist rule by more and more exploitation of the people. On the one side, the RSS, rather the Sangh Parivar started preaching their ideas of resolute pursuit of Hindutva politics through various means to assert an all-encompassing Hindutva hegemony over the country’s political and social space vitiating it with worst communal ambience. On the other side, Modi was projected as a development man to carry out measures in favour of the masses, which ultimately and really stood in the total interest of the ruling monopolists and the ruthlessly exploitative capitalist system.
RSS heyday meant destruction of democracy, secularism, rationality and fraternity
That it was their hey-day was soon very clear. Immediately before Modi’s rise to power, there was craftily designed and engineered gruelling communal riot in Muzaffarnagar in UP to terrorize the victim minority community and inject nasty communal venom into the majority community. It ravaged the victims, and made the BJP victorious. The check-dam had gone. So, there were incidents one after another, issues invented or manufactured to find out newer and newer means of minority bashing.
From this or that point of the country came the news of brute assaults even lynching of dalits as well as Muslims openly, on false allegations of beef eating or cow-slaughtering. Burqa-clad RSS men were also caught red-handed for throwing beef at the temples to ignite communal flare-up. On a freshly coined cry, ‘love jihad’, the Hindutvawadi outfits have been charging the minority community for helping Hindu girls to elope with Muslim boys. There have been unbridled, yet irrational, even fabricated blame on the Muslims for population explosion in the country and adding to the misery of the people. BJP MPs like Sakshi Maharaj is on record to have unleashed such anti-Muslim malicious campaign in an open meeting. Unfounded rumours are spread about protection given to alleged terrorists by Muslims living in a particular area. Perceived attacks on temples and other religious places or stories about alleged seizure of property from the Hindus by minority people are propagated regularly and under that pretext, properties of the Muslims or the Christians are vandalized. Ban has been clamped on the entry of non-Hindu individuals and organizations in certain villages. Even dalits notwithstanding being believers in Hinduism are ostracized cruelly in villages. Well-orchestrated hue and cry are raised, regardless of verifying those with facts, about forced conversion from Hindu to other religions. And then making that a plea, canvassing for shuddhikaran (purification ritual of expiation) of minorities, or sometimes called ghar wapasi (homecoming, return to the fold) are carried out, with or without issuing threats or doling out freebies. In schools, Hindu rituals are being made compulsory. In colleges, it is campaigned that Hindu students are not getting any employment because of the Muslims. University students, somewhere dalits, elsewhere leftists are harassed for holding critical views on the governments, by not only the BJP student wing but even the authorities, local RSS- BJP leaders as well as Union ministers. Provoking Rohit Vemula, a dalit student of Hyderabad University, to commit suicide because of persecution, harassment and discrimination, is a glaring example. Incident of ‘mysterious disappearance’ of a Muslim student of JNU is another example. One after another, free radical thinkers and social activists are singled out and murdered. Very recently, following the ideological premise set by their mentors like Savarkar or Golwalkar, the present RSS chief Mohan Bhagawat, without any modicum of restraint or decency, called for empowerment of Hindus all over the country towards achieving the goal of Hindu Rashtra. Unfortunately he suppressed the truth that the doctrine he is preaching is based on nothing but hatred and enmity towards the Muslims. In the education field, over and above rampant privatization and commercialization and a shameless discriminatory policy of snatching the right to education for students from poorer families, the RSS-BJP combine is nakedly curbing autonomy of educational and cultural institutions, distorting history and instilling communal ideas and thoughts in textbooks and curricula at the terrible cost of scientific secular and democratic education. Thus vigorous efforts are being made to set the country reeling with irrationality, intolerance and stinking communalism. Rational secular outlook, communal harmony, democratic norms and rights, freedom of expression, to whatever extent these were achieved through prolonged struggles have been and are being curbed more and more. People with a modicum of rational thinking have stood aghast. Common man were totally bewildered. After all, this was a land where people on a massive scale had come out in protest of injustice, discrimination and deprivation. Then what went wrong with the apparently powerful political forces that professed leftism and led people into huge often militant movements? It took some time, and may be that process is not yet concluded, for people to realize that those so-called big lefts were nothing but social democratic forces, which used to make use of people’s mounting resentment, stirred up agitations, put them into endless rallies, but all ending finally in battles over ballots. Their all fire-brands were quenched with the lust for power and pelf from the very parliamentary system, that had been dragging people into dark dungeons. And the more they ran for making a space for themselves in the parliamentary democracy at this hour of insurmountable crisis of capitalism, the more they became subservient to the system and the rulers. And the immediate outcome was their steadily pulling themselves out of the path of people’s movement against the rulers, the monopolists, and their system of capitalism. There was no dearth of arguments : repression, people’s apathy and so on. But the stark reality was that they had left the arena of mass movement with a view to not embarrassing or disturbing their masters. And so this vast country lay open for the arch reactionaries to rush onto it and play their own game. The RSS-BJP was thus blessed with the inaction and docility of the so-called big lefts.
Modi and his two years of rule
But for people it could not be the end. Ruthless capitalist exploitation was fleecing them to the skin. So resentment and wrath went on mounting, now and then trying to burst out. Over and above this, there was the fear and mistrust arising from the background of the sickening ambience of irrationality, intolerance and communalism, created by the prowling menace of the Hindutvawadi agenda of the RSS-BJP. So the Modi rule adopted clever strategy to hoodwink people. The very vocal Prime Minister either first keeps mum at the spurt of a communal incident or lets the wound go deep. Only then he and his band of party leaders plead for tolerance, while some others continued the trend. Along with that, they started harping on the tunes of development, riding on which Narendra Modi, the darling of monopolists, had risen to power. But the two years of BJP rule led by Modi were enough to show what lay beneath.
In every aspect this narration of development was based on untrue, fraudulent materials, facts and figures dished out cleverly in a theatrical tone or assumed assertion that were soon to give in. Modi had promised achche din, good days, for people. How good those were, people could know it from the gifts Modi had handed over to them during his two years of rule. His minister on minority affairs claimed a decline in the number of incidents of communal unrest during Modi rule. But the Union government’s own data in answer to a question in Parliament (24 February 2016) showed otherwise. It revealed a rise in communal disturbances ( by about 17 % in 2015 from 644 in 2014) , as well as in number of those killed and injured in communal clashes (respectively by about 2% from 95 in 2014 and by 18% from 1921 in 2014 during the same period). The red carpet welcome for Modi to Delhi was given through the incidence of more than 50 big or small communal riots, including the Muzaffarnagar riots in September 2013, where Jat Hindus and Muslims had lived in harmony for decades. Then on the economic side: There was rise in train fare and freight leading to all out rise in price of all commodities. The government withdrew price control of even essential drugs, sliced down the health budget, and declared medical facilities as commodities pushing people to distress and helping drug-corporate houses mint money. It clamped all-pervading service tax on people for receiving the services they had already paid for. It added Swatchchh Bharat tax to keep the country clean. But it reduced tax for investors from 30 to 25%. What a fine choice of the needy! In the industrial field, amending or introducing new acts, it manipulated the Labour Act to extend unfettered right to fire to the owners of nearly 90% establishments (with less than 300 workers) and the Factory Act to throw 71 % workers out of its purview and protection. It did away with obtaining farmers consent for land acquisition, and limited compensation to owners only, not other dependents like sharecroppers or agro-labours. It added more salt to the wounds of rural poor, as it tried to limit the 100 days employment project, already limping pathetically from the UPA government rule. Eviction from land, rural unemployment and concomitant plight became unlimited. The government liberalized Acts for acquisition of forest lands without approval of Gramsabha of the tribals endangering people of nearly 21.05% area of the country. But it did not hesitate to allow industrialists to keep the land allotted to them unused for any length of time. No recruitment and no creation of new posts at lower levels in government institutions added further to the unemployment scene.
Crusaders against corruption, Modi claims himself and his RSS-BJP combine to be! Alas! Just a few days back, a veteran RSS-BJP functionary planted as a pliant governor for two crucial north-east states of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, could not find any other option to resigning unceremoniously on allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct seriously compromising the dignity of Raj Bhaban. Modi, himself, cared least about Rs 7.5 lakh crore of bank loan, principally with big corporate houses and monopolists remaining locked as Non-Performing Assets with banks, though he boastfully claims to be unearthing black money and corruption. Rather he and his government liberalized FDI under government approval route for a score of sectors that include wholesale trade of small and medium industries’ products and single or retail trade, manufacturing industry, private banking, even defence etc.
The results were and are as expected. India is now ranked seventh in the list of top 10 wealthiest countries in the world. India’s richest 10 per cent are getting steadily richer since 2000, and now hold nearly three-quarters of total wealth and India’s 1 per cent – its super-rich – have been getting richer even faster.In glaring contrast India has the highest number of people in the world trapped in modern slavery, with 18.35 million victims of forced labour, ranging from prostitution and begging, 77% Indians languish below poverty line not earning even Rs 20 a day. Again, this causes in perfect sequel to what had been going on since independence. Only, with crisis of the system further deepened, fraudulence and corruption have taken deeper root and to conceal them from people’s sight and mind, ruthlessness and arrogance have only mounted to crush any protest.
Footfall of fascization at the doorstep
The scenario may be summarized as such.
In a field virtually without any real opposition, the obnoxious communal politics of the RSS-BJP combine being given effect to are overwhelming the mass-mind with hatred, enmity, irrationality, superstitions and obscurantism. On the other hand, using the media in full throttle masses are being hoodwinked with the alluring slogan of development taking place in the country, by a man for whom a larger than life image is being tried to be projected. But as said, this is a development for monopolists and their corporate houses with the masses being ceaselessly pushed to the brink of annihilation. The capitalist economy is becoming consolidated with total concentration of economic power in the hands of a few monopolists. The BJP government at the Centre leading the band of its counterparts of different shades in different states and all acting as subservient faithful political managers of their masters, that is the ruling monopolists, are arrogating to themselves, on behalf of the latter concentrated political power to crush any opposition. In summation, the footfall of fascization approaches our doorstep.
But the society has its own laws and processes. The more the despot rulers become arrogant, and become still more power-crazy for fear of protecting and preserving it, the more cunning and deceitful they become in self-defense. The Modi government, too, could not but follow this historical course. In two year’s time its posture of devotion to the sacred temple of democracy in Parliament has dried up. Losing foothold at each step, it is becoming frantic to take another still more controversial one. When surgical strike against a perceived enemy proved fruitless, it needed something else. When people were questioning about his pledge against corruption, his salvaging black money from foreign banks, or about 65% of his own party’s income from unknown sources, when all on the spur of the moment his party leaders were reported to have gotten busy with buying lands or sending money to safe destinations beyond the country, Modi , the helmsman, took to the small screen with his dramatic proclamation of demonetization. A demon was unleashed on the country. Entire small-middle business of the country was thrown asunder. No money, no buyer, no business, no payment of dues or even salaries, no work, no job. People queued in front of banks for the pittance for their household expenses. Totally perplexed and out of nervous exhaustion at least 100 of them died. Modi praised people’s patience. During all this period the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Reserve Bank of India led by its chief, hand-picked to stand for the government, assured people of quick relief and then to extend their test of patience, made 54 changes in rules in the first 42 days since pronouncement; almost equal to number of days that have passed since. Barring a few small fry among which notably came some BJP leaders with bundles of currency notes, not a single major black money or foreign account holder was named to have been nabbed. Rather the capitalist system which generates black money and corruption spontaneously and incessantly, immediately found out means to release stacks of fake notes of the newly introduced currency. Smelling rot with the failed move, Modi, again theatrically enough, jumped from corruption to cashless, digital, on-line transaction and so on. Cashless poor advised to go for cashless transaction, for each of which one would have to pay a fee to the corporate obliging him or her with the service. In a country, where electricity has not reached everywhere, where even the core-banking-system in metropolis repeatedly and any time suffers from disruption with ‘server down’, where cyber crime is unchecked and mounting, where even all the police stations do not have telephones, people must wait not for long to see what becomes of the digital-dream. Who cares? Now the PM-FM combination and the RSS-BJP combine are preparing for the GST, another surgical strike that would drag people into still greater agony with price of everything becoming limitless with however, beaming corporate houses and monopolists reaping their harvest in full. Even a section of the media, that had once played in full volume for Modi, along with a host of established economists and columnists are asking pointed questions as to the intent and efficacy of this move of the Modi government. They seem even to be raising voice that the arrogance which had once earned him the distinction of ‘strong man’ from his mentors and masters, is now proving to mark a power-crazy egocentrist alienated from the needs and demands of reality, leave aside the question of serving people on any count. The unwarranted footstep follows here too.
What is parliamentary democracy doing other than acting as a façade for fascism?
Narendra Modi makes use of the parliamentary democracy. He never fails to remind the world that India is the largest democracy and runs one of the biggest legislative houses, the Parliament. He enthusiastically takes part in elections and does not hesitate to play any cards as and when the situation demands; if his party wins, he boasts of people’s support, though the latter cannot fathom the extent of rigging with the help of money-media-mafia-administration that worked behind his win. At the same time it is coming out in reports, that Narendra Modi gives vent to Man ki baat on small screen, but does not get into discussion, more so with adversaries, on any policy issue; he decides and does it himself. He did not hold any press meet during these days of his rule and did not take part in any debate in the Parliament. What do these signify? Is not the Parliament then being used as a façade to hoodwink people, posed as a cover to give effect to the design towards fascization ? Once bourgeois parliamentary system worked on the principle that not a single penny be spent, a single decision taken without the sanction of parliament. It was held as sovereign. And now? All important decisions on policies, Acts and measures are adopted through ordinances, instead of doing it through the established parliamentary ways? Why is it that the Modi-raj is being termed ordinance –raj (going at par with the same type of ordinance raj under Indira Gandhi) in which an ordinance is proclaimed almost every month (8 ordinances in a span of 225 days) and on all kinds of issues from coal auction, allowing FDI in insurance, or on land acquisition to allow PIOs avail lifetime Indian visa. Then what are the Houses maintained for at the cost of a huge sum of people’s money? One can guess the answer from Modi and RSS-BJP combine: Why, go and ask the opposition, they are putting the sessions on hold, disrupting them to gain political mileage.
And such is the shape, the sacred bourgeois parliamentary democracy has assumed here in this country (it is basically not much different in other capitalist countries too). The ruling party or parties use the sessions to win consensus on this or that anti-people measure (for instance GST) through all sorts of over-board or underhand deals with opposition parties; or unable to garner support or apprehensive of strong opposition they avoid taking the detour of parliamentary processes and simply take to the route of ordinance, which, as said, has become almost a regularity of once a month. The opposition parties, not excluding the self-styled big lefts of the country, CPI- CPI(M), do not fall far behind. After all, they belong to the same flock of subservient agents of the ruling class, they all vie for power and pelf from the system. So all these parliamentary parties take the floor in the parliament not for any meaningful debate or discussion on issues related to people’s problems, on voices of people being raised in extra-parliamentary movements on streets. Rather they take up issues to beat about the bush that often go to the extent of mutual bickering; they stir up hue and cry on the floor, stall the sessions and, as the case may be, pose as champion of democracy by staging walk-out. The net result boils down to nothing substantial, pushing the ruling party to take to promulgation of another ordinance. The economy totters; the society shivers from the pain of gang-rape at any and every corner of the country, from trafficking of women and children in lots, unbelievable, frantic migratory labourers meaning the hapless unemployed youth run helter skelter around the country;the MPs merrily enjoying the parliamentary democracy, periodically cry hoarse for rise in their allowances. Lenin once called the Parliament a pig-sty; one may wonder in India if pigs would have ritualistically raised their voice for increasing their food!
Of course there are changes. The Congress has gone. The BJP has made its way. So! A careful look would not fail to note that these days even the elections are following what may be the mimicry of Modi’s digital India. The pattern is programmed. In the pre-election campaign the major parties which represent and serve the interests of the ruling monopolists are given wide coverage in the media. Even their mutual bickering are posed as debates, though those have least concern with people’s problems or their life and livelihood. People are made to believe that only these parties can help them. The Election Commission solemnly declares to make the election free and fair. There are opinion polls in the media, distribution of freebies and so many things alike or not. Ultimately the D-day of polling arrives. Soon one realizes that the hardware is ready; software may or may not remain the same; but the programme is complete. Only it remains for the counting date to come, when the final print out , as programmed by the master with the help of its machineries of money, media, mafia and administration comes out as planned. The most trusted representative of the masters at any prevailing moment has won.
Country needs people’s movement on correct line plus thorough exposure of RSS-BJP
So, we need a summary once more to conclude. On the surface the parliamentary democracy is run by whom the ruling class have chosen as their trusted political managers, groomed them to make acceptable to people and placed them in charge of governance. The sacred system, however, yields nothing substantial for the impoverished, bewildered, frustrated people. Rather day by day , they lose their livelihood, rights and even simple security to live. From behind this façade of parliamentary democracy, the entire economic and political power is concentrated with the ruling class, the monopolists. This is how stealthily it is creeping towards administrative fascization . It needs to be emphasized in this connection that fascism is not always military dictatorship. Even with façade of democracy, fascists amass people’s support behind their design, to pattern the mass mind in their favour. Here a two-edged weapon is working to serve these interests of the ruling class, the monopolists. On one side the RSS-BJP combine, rather the entire Sangh Parivar with all its wings and ancillaries are ceaselessly spreading out and impregnating the mass mind with venomous communal politics, that aims at patterning the mass mind with blind faith, irrational obscurantist ideas and thoughts, all sorts of fanaticism, creating an uncritical, apolitical mind. On the other end, the government headed by Modi is hoodwinking people with alluring , entirely fraudulent slogans of development frantically trying to build a larger than life image of the prime minister Modi and then alluring and mesmerizing them with that image, lead unquestioning masses on to the gallows the fascist rulers are cunningly trying to erect for them.
Hence it is incumbent for all democratic minded people to step out and help the masses realize the cunning design. The situation demands sustained organized people’s movement against the reigning capitalist system and every issue it generates to affect people’s life and livelihood, including their right to express, protest and live a decent life. Such a movement cannot be carried out without a leadership which is not mesmerized with the dazzle of parliamentary democracy, but looks ahead to free people from all exploitation and oppression, at the stroke of revolution. People need to realize that today it is the SUCI (Communist) that alone stands with such a mission. At the same time it is equally incumbent to correctly realize the venom behind the RSS- BJP combine’s heinous communal politics. Every aspect of it need be thoroughly exposed, for otherwise it would endanger not just life , but humanity. Here again it is the SUCI (Communist) which is constantly striving to expose the RSS-BJP danger. People of India thus face a tough time with two goals to reach at, recognizing the danger as also who stands really in their good stead.