Skip to main content

Powerful troika's 'lawfare' against India's egalitarian, democratic, secular ethos

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Hindutva is seeking to replace seven decades of secular democratic traditions and liberal constitutional practices in India. Well-established decentralised institutions of governance are being destroyed by triggering processes of centralisation of power under the BJP government led by Narendra Modi. The civilizational traditions of inter-faith dialogue and religious harmony of Indian society are facing ruin by majoritarian politics of Hindutva forces.
The Indian economy today is in its worst crisis in history even before the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic. The growing Indian economy was stalled due to economic mismanagement, false economic priorities, irrelevant and arbitrary economic policies. The internal security, neighbourhood policies of India and its external relationships are tattered by the personality cult driven Modiplacy.
The economic, social and political crises in India are not isolated events. These are self-inflicted wounds by the ignorance and arrogance of the Modi government, which is driven by anti-democratic and obscurantist ideology of the RSS.
Where did India go wrong? What are the ideological factors that landed Indians in such a situation of desperation and despondency? How to characterise the Modi government? The answers to these questions are central to understand the predicaments of India and Indians today.
The ‘unbridled neoliberal capitalism’ in economy, ‘higher caste identity-based supremacist ideology in politics’, ‘authoritarianism in governance,’ ‘evangelical cultural and religious outlooks’, and ‘false propaganda’ are the five defining characters of the Modi-led BJP government in India.
These features are central to the forward march of Hindutva in India. These forces are transforming every democratic, judicial, educational, health and security establishments in India to kowtow before the RSS ideology, which derives its historical inspirations from the racist European Nazism and fascism.
These forces have historical twin targets. Their first ideological target is to consolidate higher caste Hindus by spreading the politics of fear and hate. It helps in creating the culture of otherness, where religious minorities are branded as enemies of the Indian nation. 
The second target is to attack political left, human right organisations and activists, progressive and democratic organisations and political parties. The objective is to destroy any form of opposition to the BJP-led governments in India.
The Supreme Court of India has given ideological breathing space to right-wing forces by defining it as 'Hindutva is not a religion, but a way of life and a state of mind' in its 1995 judgement. It helped the BJP to get greater social and political acceptance among politically naïve liberals in India.
The first part of the judgement is correct as Hindutva is not a religion. It has nothing to do with Hindu religion and spiritual Hindus. But second part is absolutely a biased conceptualisation. Hindutva is neither a way of life nor a state of mind. It is a political project of right-wing higher caste Hindu identity politics, which is against the democratic, secular and liberal ethos of Indian constitution and multicultural ethos of Indian society.
The interconnection between the Hindutva fascism, Indian judiciary and neoliberal capitalism, which is pushing India in a ruinous path of no return. This troika creates Indian form of lawfare, which is against egalitarian principles and promises of Indian Constitution and seven decades of judicial practices in independent India.
Hindutva is neither a way of life nor a state of mind. It is a political project of right-wing higher caste Hindu identity politics
The Supreme Court of India destroys universalistic appeal of the Indian Constitution by not halting the implementation of exclusionary laws of the BJP government. The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) are unnecessary and unjustified attempts to institutionalise exclusionary form of citizenship and governance, which is antithetical to the Indian society and Indian Constitutional practices.
Some of the existing legal and parliamentary traditions help the Hindutva-led government to make new laws in Indian legislatures to destroy democracy and deepen social, economic, cultural and religious crises in India. The lawfare is a weapon to pursue the politics of the ruling classes. It is used to destroy any form of political opposition to the reactionary government in India.
The lawfare in India provides legitimacy to right-wing political and economic forces by disciplining the masses. It enhances the power of regional, national and international capital and weakens the power of labour. The lawfare helps in socialising the policies and normalising the politics of Hindutva forces in India.
The lawfare creates both conditions, institutions and regimes of capitalist accumulation with the help of Hindutva forces. The social, economic and political crisis is an opportunity for the capitalist classes to capture the natural and other resources in the country. Modi’s successful bid to be the PM of India twice shows his media made popularity; read it as manipulation helps him to pretend to be the messiah of the masses.
He was successful in selling the false development narratives to the electorate by taking advantage of widespread anger against neoliberal economic mismanagement and corrupt practices of the United Progressive Alliance-led by the Indian National Congress. However, after defeating Congress party, Modi-led BJP is following the same neoliberal economic policies with letter and spirit.
The rules and regulations are made to facilitate the mobility of capitalism in India. It helps in the further consolidation of capitalism with the authoritarian governance and fascist politics of Modi led BJP. This is the reason for which Modi is considered to be the darling of capitalist oligarchs in their local, regional, national and international incarnations.
The Ayodhya verdict of the Supreme Court of India revealed that the lawfare in India is intertwined with so called popular narratives and nationalist sentiments. The so-called popular narratives and nationalist sentiments are shaped by the propaganda of the bourgeois media and reactionary political forces led by BJP and RSS.
It seems that historical facts and evidences are no longer sacred in Indian judicial practice. The cult of RSS and BJP is looming large on Indian republic and its future depends on our collective conscious to comprehend the seriousness of the crisis.
It would be hypocritical to be silent patriotic when Hindutva is destroying lives and livelihoods of millions of Indians by implementing disastrous economic and development policies. It is time for political struggles to expose the fake nationalism of RSS and BJP, and restore liberal, constitutional democracy in India. 
The progressive political struggle to defeat Hindutva fascism is the only alternative for the survival of India and its forward march towards a path of peace and prosperity.
---
*Coventry University, UK

Comments

Anonymous said…
It is the truth-nothing but the truth.You cannot be more true.It is a reality - the most bitter reality of life and the state of affairs in our Godless country today.Everything good,great and noble in our country is being trampled under the foot of the elephant called 'Hindutva forces'.It is beginning to run amuck and if this rogue elephant called Hindutva forces is not checked in time it will be very difficult to save our Constitutional,liberal democracy and our republic from the forces of fascism and neo-nsked Capitalism by Hindu Oligarchs controlling all the wealth,natural resources and institutions in our country.We,the people of India must act before it is too late.We,the people of India must rise in defence of the cherished values of secularism,democracy,egalitarianism and freedom of speech enshrined in the Constitution given to us by the founding fathers of our great nation.

TRENDING

North Gujarat gram panchayat bars villagers from dealing with Muslim hawkers, traders

By Our Representative  A gram panchayat in North Gujarat has barred its residents not to buy anything from Muslim traders and hawkers. An order of the Waghasan group gram panchayat of Tharad taluka of Banaskantha district dated June 30 states that the decision has been taken in the wake of beheading of a Hindu tailor after he posted a derogatory writeup on Prophet Mohammad in Udaipur. The gram panchayat resolution says, anyone seen buying or selling any commodity from a Muslim hawker or trader would be fined Rs 5,100. Bringing this to light, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee, in a letter to Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel, says, the state government should take legal action against the panchayat chief who has signed the “unjust” order. The letter says, the act of the sarpanch and other signatories is a violation of rule of law of the state and threat to peace, pointing out, the move is in violation of Article 15 of the Constitution, which says that none

Unlike Soviet Union, Russia is no friend to India: Ukrainian scholar tells 'Indian friends'

Counterview Desk In an open letter to "dear Indian friends", Anastasia Piliavsky, born in Odessa, Ukraine, studied at Boston and Oxford Universities (on a Rhodes Scholarship), and now teaches at King’s College, London, has said that she faces "deep moral dilemma", personally and professionally, over the "astonishingly unified Indian response to the war in Ukraine." Based on her interaction with a "number of thoughtful and caring Indian friends", in this letter, she says, she is "reeling at the ubiquitous silence at, justifications of or outright support for Putin’s terror, which now prevails in India, at the ubiquitous #IStandWithPutin and #istandwithrussia hashtags." She insists, India must understand, "Unlike the Soviet Union, Russia is no friend to India. Soviet leaders, beginning with (the Ukrainian) Nikita Khrushchev – who declared hindi rusi bhai bhai – built up deep political and cultural exchange with India." Text : I

PLFS data: Is rising employment good news? Deeper analysis suggests contrary results

By Ishwar Chandra Awasthi, Puneet Kumar Shrivastav*  Results of the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), 2020-21 , released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India (GoI) on June 14, 2022, show improvement in work force participation rate (WPR) and labour force participation rate (LFPR) and declining unemployment rate. Four rounds of data have been released from 2017-18 to 2020-21 based on PLFS. The general trend in the last four rounds clearly shows consistent increase in WPR and LFPR and falling unemployment rates by usual status (PS+SS). Though increase in WPR and LFPR is reported highest in 2019-20 over 2018-19, yet rising trend in these two key indicators continues throughout, and similarly fall in unemployment is registered highest in 2019-20 over 2018-19. Clearly, the recent results give some solace and relief after unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic that has entailed enormous loss of human lives and livelihoods and crippled economic activit

Technocratic globalism, tyranny? Health Ministry warned: bill to 'enslave' Indians

Sandeep Pandey, Tushar Gandhi By Rosamma Thomas*  Union of Concerned Citizens, a group comprising Magsaysay Award winner Prof Sandeep Pandey, human rights activist Tushar Gandhi, former judge of the Bombay High Court BG Kolse Patil, pediatrician Dr Jacob Puliyel and several renowned Indian citizens have written to the Union Health Minister cautioning him against tabling the draft Public Health Bill in the Monsoon Session of Parliament. “The Public Health (Prevention, Control And Management Of Epidemics, Bio-Terrorism And Disasters) Bill, 2017 and a Prospective Bill of 2022 as discussed in news articles, is straightforwardly violative of Fundamental Rights of the citizens of India and therefore, Ultra Vires of the Indian Constitution. It contravenes several International Treaties and Conventions including the Nuremberg Treaty of 1947 which was enacted to ensure that no country would repeat such inhuman medical atrocities on fellow human beings”, the 12-page letter reads. “Strangely, t

Chennai residents 'suffering': Faulty design, implementation of storm water project

By NS Venkataraman*  The Greater Chennai Corporation is now implementing storm water drainage project in 559 roads, covering a distance of 1033 kilometres, which cost around Rs 4,070 crore. For this massive project, which is targeted to be completed between April and September this year, huge loan has been availed from World Bank, Asian Development Bank and others. Several technocrats have pointed out that the project has been designed with outdated technology and quality of the implementation is so poor that the residents have been put to great hardships. As part of the project, digging of the road has been done to around 5 to 6 feet deep and width of around 4 to 5 feet. The drains are being constructed using steel reinforced cement concrete with two walls on either side with provisions for manhole, chute etc. This has been done in front of several houses leaving little space between the gate of the house and that of the drainage structure. As the work has been going on for mor

'Drop all falsed charges': 150 citizens demand early release of AltNews co-founder

Counterview Desk  About 150 concerned citizens have demanded the release of Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of the fact-checkng newsportal AltNews, arrested over a 2018 tweet which allegedly hurt religious sentiments, even as booking for criminal conspiracy and having received foreign funds in violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). Denied bail last weekend and sent to 14-day judicial custody, the concerned citizens, in a statement, regretted that while the Delhi High Court issued notice to the Delhi police on a petition filed on behalf of Zubair challenging the legality and propriety of his police remand and the seizure of his electronic devices, the “frivolous case” continues. Excerpts: The illegal arrest of Mr. Mohammed Zubair happened on June 27, 2022, by the Delhi Police for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity over a tweet from 2018. The IPC Sections included 153(a) (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race,

Prime Minister's 'affordable' housing policy fails to help Gujarat slum dwellers: Study

By Rajiv Shah  A new study on the implementation of one of the major policy initiatives for the urban poor by the Narendra Modi government after it came to power, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), has said that in Gujarat, which happens to be the Prime Minister’s home state, has quoted state officials as “confirming” that no progress towards tenure regularization, a key requirement for providing housing to the state’s slum dwellers. Stating that this particularly true of smaller town, the study, carried out by the non-profit Homes in the City (HIC), which is based in Bhuj, district headquarter of Kutch that saw a devastating earthquake in 2001, says, the failure to provide affordable housing is there despite the fact that there has been “significant demand” in all the 83 out of 153 Gujarat municipalities studied by experts involved in the study. According to the study, out f a total of 1.41 lakh demands for housing under the Beneficiary Led Construction (BLC) category, 94,232 (66.7%)

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

'Contractor-official nexus led to RTI activist's murder': Fact-finding team seeks probe

Courtyard inside of PWD office where Ranjeet Soni was killed Counterview Desk  A fact-finding team* visited Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh (MP) on June 19, 2022 to meet with the family of Ranjeet Soni, who was shot dead on June 2, 2022 inside the premises of the PWD office in Vidisha. The objective was to gather information about the circumstances surrounding the death of Ranjeet Soni and his work on exposing corruption through the use of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. A report prepared by the team members says that Ranjeet had been extensively using the RTI Act to access information from the government, and upon receiving documents showing misuse of public funds or corruption, he was filing complaints to various authorities including the Lokyukta, Publi Works Department (PWD) and the Chief Minister’s Office. It notes, Ranjeet used to work as a contractor and often undertook government works in collaboration with other contractors, including those being investigated for his murder. A f

Electricity Bill: Centre's reform measures contain 'carrot and stick package' for states

Counterview Desk  The Peoples’ Commission on Public Sector and Public Services (PCPSPS), claiming to be a network of eminent academics, jurists, erstwhile administrators, trade unionists and social activists, seeking consultations with stakeholders with those who are against the government’s decision to monetise, disinvest and privatise public assets/enterprises, has said that the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill-2022 will have far-reaching impacts on the finances of states. Insisting that the proposed Bill would lead to “assault on India’s federal structure”, in a statement, it says, it would weaken the finances of states’ power distribution companies, have adverse impact on utility employees, cripple the states' finances, impose a heavy cost burden on the smaller subsidized consumers (especially farmers), and benefit only corporate business houses. “States cannot afford to ignore the far-reaching implications of the Bill on their economy, finances, agricultural and industria