In recent years, the Hindutva politics has caused long term damage to India and Indians. The so called 56-inch macho PM, the propaganda master manufactures and survives all political crisis including the current mismanagement of the Coronavirus pandemic in India. In spite of deaths and destitutions, the social, cultural, economic and religious base of Hindutva is intact. There are only few scratches in the electoral fortune of the BJP in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is time to move away from the analysis based on the personalities of the leaders like Modi and Amit Shah. It is time to blame both the faulty products like Modi and Shah and expose their bigoted manufacturing firm called the RSS. The rule of BJP led by Modi is based on the ideological frameworks of the RSS, developed from 1920s to 2021 provides conclusive proof that the primitive ideology of Hindutva has destroyed the social fabric, economic foundations, religious harmony and multicultural outlooks of India and Indians. During the Modi led BJP regime, India contributed nearly 60% to the rise of global poverty. It speaks volumes about the failure of BJP government in India. Hindutva politics is neither an option nor an alternative for a modern, progressive, democratic, developed and peaceful India. There is no ambiguity about it.
However, BJP’s victory in recently concluded Assam state election, and securing a very large percentage of votes in both Assembly and parliamentary bypolls in different parts of India is a worrying sign for Indians. The Hindutva politics continue to be a dominant force in Indian politics. Therefore, there are two fundamental questions needs serious discussion. 1. How did Hindutva politics and its myopic leadership managed to convince the electorate to vote for them? 2. How Hindutva works? These two questions needs to critically reflect on the core ideological foundations and social base of Hindutva politics.
The riots and assaults on reasons led by Hindutva from Gujarat to New Delhi, ruinous economic and agricultural policies from demonetisation, GST to firm bills, the anti-constitutional citizenship amendment act, the demolition project called ‘Central Vista’ and the utter failure to manage the Coronavirus crisis are some of the milestones in the Hindutva misgovernance. These avoidable and annihilating crises did not disturb the ideological, social and political base of Hindutva forces in India. The pathology of the toxic Hindutva politics and its violent projects based illusory capitalist economic growth and development can be defeated only by defeating its reactionary ideological foundations in society, politics, economy and culture. The political oppositions and its fatigue of electoral defeats are only strengthening the Hindutva politics. It is time to change the direction against Hindutva politics and fight its core ideological roots.
The Brahminical social and cultural order, majoritarian dominance, anti-Muslim and religious minorities, anti-Dalit, anti-women cultural propaganda, anti-working class politics and capitalist corporate command economic system are seven pillars of Hindutva politics in India. The pandemic and all other crises did not disturb these core ideological foundations of Hindutva politics. The struggle for a secular, progressive, egalitarian, liberal and democratic India depends on people’s ability to defeat caste, religious bigotry and market fundamentalism promoted by capitalism. Hindutva politics works by using these three core value systems which are disastrous for India and Indians. The Hindutva politics is not an illusory project. It is a serious project of national, international and regional capitalist classes.
The Hindutva politics has penetrated into every step of social, cultural, religious, economic and political walks of lives in India with its organisational networks the RSS supported by Indian and global corporates. All constitutional institutions are captured by people with the RSS networks. Most of the schools, colleges, universities, cultural and social organisations are directly or indirectly controlled by the RSS today. The majority of media organisations have surrendered their professional ethics and sold their freedom to the Hindutva advertisement revenue. The power of money, media, political marketing and organisational electoral machine makes Hindutva politics as one of the most formidable and dominant force in India. These combined forces make every Hindutva abnormality and inhuman activities as natural and normal. Social depression, political despondency and acute economic crises are the tree net outcomes of Hindutva politics, which create foundation for Hindutva fascism in India. Deaths and destitutions don’t disturb Hindutva ideology. Therefore, morality is alien to Hindutva ideology.
In this difficult terrain, India and Indians need radical politics addressing everyday social, cultural, economic and spiritual needs of people. The need based political struggle intertwined with desires and unwavering commitment to re-establish values enshrined in Indian constitution can revive Indian path to peace and progress by defeating Hindutva core ideology, which is based on caste and capitalism. The struggle against Hindutva is a struggle against caste and capitalism. It is impossible to defeat Hindutva without defeating caste and capitalism. The caste system and capitalism are twin source of oxygen for Hindutva forces. India needs a radical mass movement to end caste and gender based on economic exploitation, and social, cultural and spiritual oppression.
There is no capitalism, caste and Hindutva with a human face. These forces and their ideology can never be reformed and recycled. The vulgar reality show of Hindutva fascism and its caste-based capitalism is neither conducive for human lives nor for the planet. India and Indians need global support and solidarity movements to re-establish liberal, secular and constitutional democracy in India. The mass movement for social and political transformation is an urgent need of the hour for the survival of India and Indians. The Coronavirus pandemic is an occasion to end the pandemic of Hindutva and all its ideological and institutional infrastructure in India to safeguard its present and future.
Bhabani Shankar Nayak, University of Glasgow, UK