Modi represents contradictory character of Hindutva politics to hide its fascist character. The political history of so-called Hindu nationalism is neither consistency nor chaos. But it is a methodological contradiction in shaping the power of national and international capital in India with the help of state power. The people of India have been beguiled by the claim of Modi’s consistent false propaganda that country under his leadership is moving towards the resolution of all problems. The groundless optimism did not take much time to reveal hopelessness in the republic. All his promises and claims have been discredited by tragic realities of everyday life. All reasons and sensibilities have been assaulted by aggressive nationalism of false patriots. The agendas of people were put into dustbin of politics by regular headline grabbing cow vigilantes, terrorism, love jihad, cultural and moral policing of our young generation. The despairs have been reduced to the result of past failures of previous governments and it is impossible for the current Modi government to reverse the situation. This symbolises naive hope of people and meaninglessness of despair lies within the structure of Modi government, where corporates flourish and people face the death cult of hunger, joblessness, cultural police and their test of patriotism before their journeying to burial grounds.
India is in the brink of becoming the hotspot for the spread of COVID-19. The Modi government is planning to lift the lockdown when the Coronavirus spread is in its peak. The unavoidable lockdown was imposed when the Coronavirus spread was minimal. This reflects lack of reasonable planning and long-term vision in managing crisis. As a result of which the unplanned and authoritarian lockdown policy by Modi government failed miserably to control the spread of Coronavirus. It is contributing to the deaths and destitutions of majority of poor and marginalised migrant workers in India. It stripes away the citizenship and dignity of human lives in India. It is a Modi made and Modi led public health disaster in making. But the showman Mr Narendra Modi’s unfettered popularity, his false promises, and deceptive propaganda continue to rise while Indian states are combating COVID-19 pandemic. The directionless policy decisions of Modi government, explosion of misinformation combined with Hindutva hangover with pseudo-science creates challenges for India in its resolve against the pandemic. It undermines India’s credibility and international image.
The secular, multicultural democratic dividend can only help to shape India and the future of Indians during crisis. The future of India depends on its people irrespective of their religious, regional, cultural and social background. Empowering people and enlarging democratic space is central to transform India into a successful welfare state. Food security, public health, education, and sustainable development are some of the central issues Indians face today. It is within this context, India needs planned interventions by mobilising its own internal resources. India lacks infrastructure to mobilise its own natural and human resources. So, it is imperative for the policy makers to create sustainable infrastructure with a long-term vision that can generate mass employment and other sources of income for the people even during the pandemics. The success depends on sustainable leadership that empowers people with clear flow of progressive and scientific information. Therefore, digital revolution can be used as a tool to realise this goal. All these ideals are missing in Modi government as it follows a very narrow reactionary vision of RSS. It did not miss any opportunity to blame the religious minorities for the spread of the coronavirus. Modi government is an onslaught on the future of India and Indians. Death toll grows due to COVID-19 and Mod’s popularity grows due to propaganda.
The Modi led Government of India is creating massive tax regimes for the masses but gives huge tax relief to the corporations. The neoliberal economists in Modi government have failed to understand the objectives of taxation as a concept and an economic tool. Taxes are used to increase public investment to increase productive infrastructure for economic growth and development. Taxes are used to augment social welfare of the masses by controlling market mechanisms. It helps in creating economic stability by reducing, inequalities and inflationary pressures within an economic system. Modi government has failed to achieve the basic objectives of taxation. The corporates are beneficiaries of taxation policies of Modi government. It is economic illiteracy that defines this government, which puts masses in miseries.
Modi government did not provide any form of relief to the masses. It surrendered to the Indian industrial capitalist class by withdrawing the policy of mandatory wage pay during the lockdown period. While Modi led central government surrenders before the Chamber of Indian Industries (CII), the BJP led state governments in UP and MP have abolished important legal protection for the workers. In this way, Modi government enables conditions of bonded labour. The postcolonial Indian state as a political entity is a product of anti-colonial struggles of the working class. But the state in India today is taken over by the upper caste and class population in Indian society. It serves the purposes of industrial capitalist class and feudal landed elites. It does not represent the Indian working classes any longer. It is clear that Modi represents the political rule of the capitalist class, where the masses cannot decide the future of democracy with the perpetuation of misery. It is the farmers, youths, migrants, labourers, women, Dalits and tribals, who produce everything but suffer from misery in the midst of plenty. They produce food but die in hunger. The migrants build the cities, malls, hotels but live without a roof over their head. They build hospitals but die in illness without basic medical facilities. The lockdown period is a time for self-reflection and realisation for the working class, that they need to work for their own emancipation from the bondages of work within a system that does not give opportunities for a dignified life.
The Hindutva regime led by Modi is losing control over very objectives, it had promised to the people of India. It promised strong leadership, economic prosperity and national security. Mogi government has failed to achieve these three important promises, it has made in the election manifesto. Modi government is using the Coronavirus led lockdown to control the masses by putting student leaders, human rights activists and opposition leaders in prison. It is destroying Indian democracy by controlling the masses in the pretext of stopping the spread of coronavirus. In reality, the directionless lockdown has failed to achieve the objectives. The Modi regime began to turn against the people of India, accusing the non-existent opposition parties for the failure of the government. It ruined constitutionally approved well established norms and institutions of policy and governance in India, as a result of which people are facing a very uncertain future. The country is facing troubled neighbourhood.
The mass appeal of Modi and corporate character of his government reflects contradictory character of Hindutva forces in India. It expresses itself in the way in which it seeks to achieve its reactionary objectives at the cost of Indian republic. The contradictions are ways to hide the real objectives of Hindutva politics that is incompatible with modern India and its people. The propaganda has failed to hide the contradictions and ideological elusiveness of BJP and RSS. The people of India are frustrated and the government has betrayed their hopes and aspirations. The impoverish migrants, students, youths, farmers, women, rural and urban poor witness the paradox of plenty and so-called strongman Modi; the prophet failed them.
In such a context, Indian democracy is heading towards a street level chaos. The chaos needs political direction and leadership to covert itself into a revolution that can shook Modi regime and its medieval ideological apparatus led by RSS. The failure of Modi government reflects the ideological bankruptcy and irrelevance of the RSS and BJP. The alternative political forces cannot be repressed for ever. It is time to struggle together to save the idea of India from the ruinous path led by BJP and RSS. India can only revive its progressive and democratic path by mobilising its own resources with the help of its own people. It needs change of political leadership, direction and ideological revamp to ensure its multicultural ethos. The establishment of social harmony, devolution of power to people and economic decentralisation can only help India in a path of economic growth and development. It is important to realise that peace and prosperity moves together.
Bhabani Shankar Nayak, Coventry University, UK