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Herd mindset? Why is development theology of Hindutva politics resilient during crises

Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The well-crafted slogans of ‘Shining India’, ‘Achhe Din (good days)’ and ‘Sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas (solidarity with everyone, development for all)’ are designed to hide failures of BJP governments and camouflage the hate filled ideology of RSS. These slogans also summarise the deceptive narratives of development theology.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with his propaganda of development theology, behaves like an event manager whose entire motto is to increase the sale of RSS’ falsehood in every aspect of life.
The relationship between Hindutva politics, its dubious propaganda of development and false narratives on Indian nationalism are attempts to reconcile its history of betrayal during anticolonial struggles and postcolonial nation making in India. The art of dishonesty and spreading falsehood are twin projects inseparable from the history of Hindutva politics and its growth.
Hindutva politics evolved during mid-19th century to consolidate upper caste Hindus to transform India into a Hindu Rashtra with the help of British colonisers. The Hindu Mahasabha, the ideological forefathers of Hindutva politics in India, collaborated with British and did not participated in Indian freedom struggle. These forces were promoters of two-nation theory well in advance of the Muslim League.
The Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League were ideological twins; both believed in the concept of parochial ethnic and religious nationhood borrowed from Western Europe. Their politics is responsible for the partition of India. These original anti-nationals are trying to distribute certificates of nationalism and patriotism by destroying the idea of citizenship and secularism in India today.
The Hindutva politics and its populist cultural playbook is not well equipped to handle the economic, social and development crisis faced by India and Indians today. The policy response demands the spirit of scientific inquiry, peace, solidarity and cooperation.
Hindutva forces and their love affair with neoliberal capitalist development theology are an antithetical to everything that people need during a crisis. Hindutva forces manufacture and exuberate the crisis to sustain in power by spreading false economic, cultural and nationalistic narratives.
The development theology of Hindutva politics helps in the consolidation of capital. It also helps capitalism to integrate within its reactionary and right-wing social, cultural, religious and political practices in India.
The Hindutva forces opposed to everything that is foreign. They talked about nationalist economic politics during their early days but in reality, their ideology itself is western European in letter and spirit. It is opposed to Indian ethos of universal brotherhood and inclusive humanism.
Hindutva politics and its populist cultural playbook are not equipped to handle socio-economic crisis faced by India today
The arranged-cum-love marriage and reconciliation between Hindutva and capitalist forces in India reflects the inherent reactionary nature of capitalism as a system. ‘Hate, abandonment of science and reason, unity of Brahmanical forces, unquestionable authority, false propaganda’ are the five principles which animate all varieties and various incarnations of Hindutva politics of faith and its relationship with capitalism.
Ironically, the development theology of Hindutva politics is resilient during the times of crises. The genocide of Muslims in Gujarat 2002 to Delhi 2020, demonetisation and GST infused economic crisis reveals that Hindutva forces are resilient. The Hindutva political resilience is a product of ritualization of the idea of individual sacrifice for the Indian nation.
Sections of Indian media follow this norm and promote false narrative of positivity as outlined by Hindutva playbook. Such propaganda creates unwavering faith in the ruling regime and a citizenry with herd mindset.
The continuity of such a reactionary alliance between Hindutva politics and development theology of capitalism depends on political practice of resistance movements in every layers of Indian society. The resistance and opposition to Hindutva theology of development need to move beyond ritualistic habituations of fragile electoral democracy.
Meanwhile, street fights with Hindutva forces in India are becoming a reality. However, these street fights need to shape its sustainable and alternative ideological narratives that is acceptable to the masses. 
The ideological narrative needs to move away from narrow silo of Hindutva politics and advocate for a society based on peace, humanism, science, secularism, reason, prosperity, respect and solidarity. These principles are non-negotiable in the political and social practice of alternative politics. 
Indeed, the defeat of Hindutva politics and development theology is the necessity of our times and inevitable.
---
*Coventry University, UK

Comments

Unknown said…
What a load of tosh...
The author should kindly read his article first to judge its suitability. I don't think anyone can make either heads or tails of this word soup.
Anonymous said…
The only thing Hindutva can do is use religious bigotry to get Hindu fanatics to vote for them. Otherwise, Hindutva must rely on billions coming in from Indians in Muslim countries that won't end.
Anonymous said…
The author hates Hindus to the extreme. I hope and pray that India becomes Muslim free (Muslim mukht).

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