Bhabani Shankar Nayak
After the rise of Mr Narendra Damodardas Modi led BJP, Indian media, capitalist classes and their liberal hunks have ostensively argued for him as the only alternative for a strong and developed India. Mr Narendra Modi was projected as a messiah of the masses. There is no alternative to the Modi’s model of development and economic growth. The Indian and global capitalist classes found their poster boy in India. For last seven years, Mr Modi enjoys absolute power within Indian parliamentary democracy. The BJP has won two general elections and many state elections under his undisputed leadership. The Indian billionaires continue to grow their wealth in massive scale which is not only unprecedented in India but also rare in world economy in past and present. The Hindutva crony capitalists are net beneficiaries of Modi led BJP regime even during COVID-19 lockdown period. Indian masses are suffering from the rising poverty, unemployment, hunger and homelessness. India is heading towards its worst recession, but it is an opportunity for crony capitalists to capture national resources with the help of Modi led BJP governments.
India under Modi is no more comfortable with its own constitution. The secular, liberal and democratic parliament in India is not comfortable with its democratic culture of debates and disagreements while dealing with big questions on the future of India and Indians. The deceptive street smartness of low-level criminal culture is replacing statecraft in defence of arbitrary power of unreason. The winter session of the parliament is suspended in the name of Coronavirus outbreak. This is revealing the hollowness of digital India promised by Mr Narendra Modi. In reality, Modi government does not want to have any discussion on agricultural reform policies opposed by all farmers in India. The farmers are opposing the agricultural reforms by Modi government because these policies will dismantle agricultural economy in India. It will destroy the life and livelihoods of small and marginal farmers. The agricultural reform policies are going to ruin the food security of majority of Indians. The marketisation and corporatisation of agriculture is dangerous for India and Indian economy, but Modi government does not care for people and the country. The Modi led BJP government is committed to corporates. The agri-capitalism is going to help large corporations in India.
The dismantling of constitutionally mandate institutions of planning, implementation of reactionary economic policies, weakening of the state and government, alignment with socially and politically regressive forces are not arrogance of ignorance. These steps are methodical design of Hindutva shock therapy necessary for the acceleration of capitalist consolidation and establishment of unquestionable Brahminical social hegemony. Politically speaking, Hindutva is a grassroot movement of cultural manipulation to consolidate Brahminical social order. It manipulates the masses in the name of Hindu religion, Ram temple and other bigoted campaigns like ‘cow protection’ and ‘love jihad’. It argues for Hindu nationalism but in intends to ensure higher caste and class consolidation in Indian society. Hindutva is an economic project of national and global capitalist classes. These projects are becoming clearer and successful as Modi continues to misgovern India in a disastrous direction.
The Hindutva forces and their capitalist cronies are seizing the moment of opportune to position themselves as sole caretakers of India and Indians under the conditions of mass miseries. The Modi led BJP government is guided by the RSS to implement its bigoted visions of social, political, cultural and economic governance in India that is concomitant with the requirements of global and national capitalist classes. The notion that Hindutva led Modi is an icon of economic growth and development, peddled consistently by the mainstream corporate media had largely exposed by realities of everyday life in India. The messiah called Modi is fading its colour as a strong and decisive leader. His half-baked policies and plans have yielded disastrous results. He is trying to hide all his failures with saffron ideological makeup and revealing himself as a Hindutva fascist and a true ideological warrior of the RSS.
Ultimately, the BJP and RSS are working in unison to take Hindu caste order and capitalism to its logical conclusion at any cost. Even the disintegration of the country or corporate occupation of India does not matter to these forces. The political, economic, cultural, religious and social crisis in India is an opportunity for these forces. Therefore, manufacturing of crisis is not accidental but a project of RSS and BJP to give shock therapy to Indian masses to normalise growing inequalities, exploitations and injustices. There is no point in expecting any articulation of creative politics and policies from diversionary forces. The Hindutva capitalism envisage an authoritarian social, political and economic order without democratic accountability. It can be seen the language of political discourses of Hindutva leadership of BJP and RSS. The suppression of individual freedom in social, political, economic and cultural life is central to Hindutva governance. From birth to death, Hindutva forces want to shape the life and narrative based on their bigoted whims devoid of science and progressive ideals. But the deceptive strategies of Hindutva politics are moving in supersonic speed by changing its narratives constantly. The diversionary strategies have destroyed peace and prosperity in India but worked well for BJP and RSS.
The big corporations are beginning to flex their muscles with both long term and short-term strategies to occupy and control national resources like their personal wallet. The internal corporate competition and rivalries are beginning to take shape but in a formative stage now. It is going to grow in a massive scale as capital consolidates its base. Unlike European capitalism, Indian capitalism is yet to develop internal collaborative mechanisms. The RSS and BJP are going to be the glue for capitalist collaboration in India for each other’s survival during this fourth industrial revolution. The modern capitalism and primitive Hindutva forces can work together. Ahmadabad, Bangalore and Mumbai are classic examples where modern capital and primitive Hindutva politics flourish together. It represents significant shift in Indian politics, society and economy in post-colonial India from democratic capitalism to authoritarian and fascist Hindutva capitalism. The consequences are disastrous for India and Indians both in short and long run.
In times of crisis and all unfavourable conditions, history comes to rescue and guide public imagination from desperation to alternative politics. The alternative politics can be only forged in resistance movements against caste and capitalism; the twin pillars of Hindutva politics. It is impossible to advance movement against Hindutva without fighting caste based social, religious and cultural order in India. The alternative politics need to ensure mechanisms to stand with the citizenship rights of religious minorities. Fear and freedom cannot move together. Therefore, the alternative politics needs to be free from fear and hierarchy. Solidarity, peace and prosperity can be three principles to fight Hindutva capitalism in India.
Bhabani Shankar Nayak, University of Glasgow, UK