How The Congress Manifesto Rattles Hindutva Monopoly Houses

congress manifesto 2004

Both Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party have released their 2024 parliament election manifestos. For the first time their approach to welfarism and democracy is expressed very clearly. The Congress manifesto has two fold welfare agendas: class and caste. In terms of standing by the poor (class) it promised one lakh rupees per year transfer to every woman’s account in a family that lives below the poverty line. All the eligible unemployed youth will get rupees one lakh per year as assistance with an apprentice placement in public and private sector companies.

For the first time it made social justice a serious issue of election by promising nationwide caste census and removal of 50 per cent Supreme Court cap on reservations. This will change the present mode of budget money expenditure. The BJP, on the other hand, retained the old policy of handing over huge contracts to monopoly capitalists, who transferred huge amounts of money to BJP through electoral bonds for getting big projects. The OBC Prime Minister has no single program for OBCs in the manifesto. But he included in Modi’s guarantee Uniform Civil Code and CAA and so on.


THE NEW DIRECTION OF CONGRESS

The 2024 Congress manifesto has the potential to change the course of the Indian election system and de-communalize capital by expanding the scope of welfare democracy. The RSS/BJP and the caste-communalized Western Indian capital are anti-welfare democracy. Though the economists and educationalists of Hindutva ideology pretend to follow the American private economy model they are not even ready for school education equality in the country. All monopoly companies are running completely English medium schools with a Western syllabus. The RSS/BJP nationalism is fine with this level of privatization. They gloss over the fact that the American school education is completely in the Government sector. But the Baniya-Brahmin monopoly houses run their own private schools. Dhirubhai Ambani International School, in Mumbai is a good example. Many such private schools are coming up now.

GUJARATI-MUMBAI CAPITAL AND CONGRESS

The Indian capital in Baniya-Brahmin monopoly houses of Western India has grown into its present form during the UPA regime under the leadership of Manmohan Singh. But at the same time the Gujarati-Mumbai based monopoly houses, like Ambani, Adani, Vedanta and so on began to slowly move into the Hindutva fold, particularly after 2002 communal carnage in Gujarat under the leadership of Narendra Modi. They found a strong Hindutva leader in him and they themselves projected him for Prime Ministership. Finally they saw to it that the RSS accepted his candidature and now he controls the party and RSS structures with full support of the Gujarat- Mumbai capital. The communalized capital not only discarded the Congress but turned against it.

However, for Shudra/OBC/Dalit/Adivasi forces this communalized capital control of the nation poses a threat. It wants a massive privatization of all industrial units and also the educational institutions. The Baniya-Brahmin monopoly capital expands itself into global markets by creating a totally English educated Dwija population. Since the Dwijas castes are against reservation they want to support the communalized politics, through the structures of RSS/BJP and de-secularised markets and capital . In the process the entire political system gets anti-poor. The poor masses of India mainly constitute the SC/ST/OBCs masses. When we say anti-poor we essentially mean essentially anti-SC/ST and OBCs. They also dictate ideological agendas to the RSS/BJP by controlling the narrative of nationalism. Though the Congress also depended on the Western capital for a long time, it never allowed its ideology to be controlled by the capital. But the RSS/BJP completely surrendered to them.

The 2024 manifesto of the Congress tries to change the course. But faces an internal Dwija revolt. Anand Sharma, a senior Congress Brahmin opposed caste census by writing a letter to the president of the party, Mallikarjun Kharge. If he were to be an OBC or Dalit or Adivasis he would not have written such a letter. He has shown his anti-OBC stance very openly. However, Rahul Gandhi is not deterred like Indira Gandhi in 1971. When she proposed Garibi Hatao, bank nationalization, abolition of Privy Purses, all senior upper caste leaders opposed her.

CASTE AND CONGRESS

For the first time Congress addresses the entire caste issue from a national perspective in the manifesto. When it is addressing the question of caste census, it is addressing the question of pushing the society towards castelessness in the long run. The classical Indian slave system turned into a caste conscious assertive system with the British collecting caste census till 1931. But the most gigantic task ahead of the party is communalized capital that now stands against the Congress. It supplies massive amounts of money to RSS/BJP forces. The communal capital that became a huge global capital now wants to weaken the agrarian kulaks and take over the agrarian markets. The educational capabilities of the rural masses are kept low because of unfurnished schools with regional language medium of teaching.

The productive masses in different states will be forced to remain in regional languages even in future if the RSS/BJP are in power in Delhi. The RSS allows this public private education to reinforce the varna dharma order so that no competition comes from the Shudra/OBC/Dalit/Adivasi forces to the Dwijas. They want to control the three pillars of power—political power, temple power and the power of capital. The Gujarat-Mumbai capital knows that Narendra Modi will play their game while claiming to be an OBC. This situation created deeper crisis to the Congress

ANTI-MUSLIM AGENDA OF GUJARATI CAPITAL

The anti-Muslim ideology of the Gujarati capital goes back to Gandhi-Jinnah conflict days. After all, both the leaders came from the upwardly mobile business Baniya families. The religious conversions of Western Indian Dwijas into Islam created a communally charged intellectual environment in the civil society also. The Muslim League headed by Baniya-Brahmin converted intellectuals like Jinnah and Allama Iqbal and conservative Hindu Brahmin forces like Tilak and others who later formed the Hindu Mahasabha.

Mahatma Gandhi had his own share of spiritualizing politics and capital. He mobilized the Birla, Goenka families into Hindu conservatism and also into the Congress fold. The Birla family built several temples and himself was using them for political prayers. Now Ambani and Adani capital is fully with RSS/BJP and Modi.

Though the pro-Gandhi Nehru capital sustained the Congress party with ups and downs till 2014, since then the Indian capital became totally communal and moved away from Congress. Rahul Gandhi had to work out alternate strategies to check this mighty communal capital and RSS/BJP combination.

The 2024 election manifesto shows the way.

Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd is a political theorist, social activist and author of many books.

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