Of Shiv Sena and Violence

Tanmoy Ibrahim

The ruckus created due to the physical abuse of an Air India staff by Shiv Sena MP is uncalled for, because one cannot expect anything better from a mobocratic party, which is surviving for two reasons, firstly, due to the continuous pouring-in of corporate donations to help the outfit contain the "communist menace" in the factories and mills of Bombay and the suburbs, secondly, for its ability to carry out genocides, massacres, and unbridled violence with the overt support of a Brahminical Maharashtra administration, which provided this fascist outfit and its leaders complete exemption from legal hurdles, even during the rule of the so-called "secular" Congress Party.

The accused Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad has 19 cases registered against him according to MyNeta, which actually makes him an ideal MP of the Shiv Sena. A party, which survives extremely on the feudal Brahminical ideology and values, doesn't feel disturbed by the charges of murder, rioting, arson, or physical intimidation levelled against it. Rather it considers such charges as medals of gallantry that will help it in further inciting the communal passion among the politically backward and unconscious masses to execute nefarious plans.

The government of India always took punitive measures against any outfit that resorted to violence as its stated mean to achieve their political goals, and many of such organisations are banned and their members and sympathisers are regularly thrown behind the bars. However, the Brahminical Indian state, which is ruled by the bureaucrats from the orthodox upper-caste Hindus, always had a soft comer for the anti-people and corporate friendly Hindutva terror units like the RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP, Shiv Sena, Ram Sene, Hindu Yuva Vahini, Hindu Sanhati, etc. because they served the purpose of curbing the left-wing working class and peasant movements on one hand, and they also help in consolidating the domination of the Brahminical upper-caste Hindus over the Dalits, Tribals, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians throughout the country.

In order to restore the lost glory of the Brahminical system, which functioned in a covert way under the new republic and its constitution, the BJP and its allies affiliated to the RSS, kept spewing venom against the minority communities since ages. The bureaucracy of India and its political bosses were anything but opponents of the Brahminical fascist system. Hence, they kept patronising these zealot goons of the Hindutva camp and helped them to become larger-than-life icons on several occasions to ensure that the divide and rule policy introduced by the British colonial rulers sustain and undergo constant development.

The BJP, Shiv Sena and all other organisations that subscribe to the ideology of Hindutva, truly represents the vision and adheres to the outlook of the Indian ruling classes. They are, therefore, immune from prosecution; their terror plots are hence not called Hindu terror plots, but are concealed from public view and police officers who stood up with valour against the odd ideology and its conspiracy to create enmity among the people of India, were either thrown out of job, or were killed at different points of time. The administration is exclusively for those who can share the outlook of the ruling classes and call what the ruling classes call a spade.

After a few rounds of malted scotch, a liberal living in the posh locality of South Delhi or Bombay can scourge the RSS and the Modi government patronised by it for empowering people like Ravindra Gaikwad, Yogi Adityanath, Sakshi Maharaj, or people like T'ajinder Bagga to cany out their nefarious violent agenda with absolute impunity. However, those liberals and self-certified secular people won't question the trail of blood that preceded the installation of the Modi government; the history of unapologetic and relentless appeasement of Hindutva elements by the soft-core Hindutva forces represented by the non-RSS affiliated mainstream parliamentary parties like the Congress, SP, RJD, BSP, JD(U), NCP, BJD or TMC. Even the parliamentary left parties like the CPI or the CPM played a crucial role in bludgeoning the reminiscence of secularism and democracy in the country by siding with the killers of people and the Brahminical state machinery.

How many people today remembers the police atrocities unleashed on two young girls of Bombay who questioned the logic behind providing state funeral to the dead Shiv Sena founder cum Hindutva demagogue Bal Thackeray in 2012. It was the time when Bombay, Maharashtra, as well as the whole country was ruled by the dynastic Congress Party with a cunning World Bank planted, pro-US Prime Minister at the helm. It wasn't made clear why Bal Thackeray was praised for his strong leadership by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh? Was it a return favour from the Congress Party to the Shiv Sena that supported Indira Gandhi's draconian emergency? What the Congress government did to prevent an assault on free speech and individual freedom that came under attack in Mumbai?

That "secular" Congress rule didn't stop the state machinery to take punitive action against two college students and torture them and their parents for validly questioning the reason why a man who mastered a riot and incited mob to massacre thousands of Muslims in Bombay and elsewhere, a man who on one hand spoke about the importance of "being Indian" and on the other hand, unleashed violence against the same Indian men from other parts of the country residing in Bombay, a man who supported Hindutva terror openly and called for raising battalions of Hindu suicide bombers, should be treated like a national hero after his demise when all his name did was commanded terror among the people of Bombay and elsewhere?

Shiv Sena was accused of masterminding the ghastly Bhiwandi riots of 1984, the Bombay riots of 1992-93, which resulted in the death of thousands of innocent Muslims and led to the dreadful bomb blasts of March 1993 in Bombay resulting into the death of 257 people. The Shiv Sena created ruckus at several cultural programmes in Bombay and outside, it played a crucial role in anti-Tamil and anti-North Indian fratricide riots of Bombay in the 1960s and 1980s. It played a crucial anti-Dalit role during the anti-feudal Dalit uprising in the 1970s and it openly threatened the law, inquiry commissions, and elected governments with dire consequences if they tried to contain the fascist menace through legal means.

Since its inception, the Shiv Sena never adhered to any laws of the land; it never participated in any peaceful and democratic political process but resorted to violence whenever it suited its organisational and political goals. Throughout the history of its existence, the Shiv Sena worked religiously as a trusted lieutenant of big corporations owned by foreign monopoly and finance capital, the Indian comprador capitalists operating in Maharashtra, and moreover, the feudal landlords of Maharashtra. They unleashed violence on the poor workers and peasants, especially those from the Dalit, Muslim and Christian community, to ensure the unrestrained loot and plunder of Maharashtra is not challenged by any forces of the society.

The Shiv Sena set the first example in Indian politics that an organisation can turn into a ruling party or become a de facto ruler of a province using threat, intimidation, physical violence, and above all riots, as means to achieve the ends. The journey from being a far-right regional Brahminical riot-monger outfit to a strong partner of the RSS, made the Shiv Sena one of the foremost Hindutva outfits in Maharashtra and other states, with which the ruling classes and their state machinery happily connives to implement the nefarious agendas of the corporations and their puppet Indian capitalists.

Violence is an inalienable characteristic of fascism to which all outfits of the Hindutva camp swears their allegiance. The RSS was founded by the British agents to carry out violent acts through an army of incensed bigots, in order to save the British colonial rule from facing an imminent revolt led by any Bolshevik leaning forces.

The Shiv Sena too was founded by the Indian ruling classes at a time when the so-called "secular" and "liberal" Congress was their chief representative and the RSS was an apprentice of the Congress-led government in the cow belt. The Shiv Sena was created to drive a wedge between the working class and peasantry of Maharashtra, leaning leftwards during the volatile 1960s and 1970s; it was supported by the Indira Gandhi led Congress government because it could openly practice the Hindutva bigotry that the Congress couldn't officially endorse due to its compulsion of identifying itself as a secular and liberal outfit, which it never was.

Throughout the history of its existence, the Shiv Sena received immense patronisation from the very Congress with which the liberals and arm-chair left-wing seeks unity in the battle against the menace of Hindutva fascism. The Shiv Sena leaders and activists were always provided with complete immunity from legal prosecutions and state crackdown due to their close tie-ups with the ruling classes of India, whom the Congress Party represents. The Congress never cracked the whip on the hooliganism and fascist vandalism of the Shiv Sena during its tenure in Maharashtra or in the centre, rather the Congress connived with the Hindutva forces represented by the RSS and outfits like the Shiv Sena to intensify its own anti-Muslim, anti-Dalit, and anti-minority agenda at different periods of time since the 1960s.

Thus, the biggest challenge today is to organise the poor and downtrodden masses under a single united banner to take on the fascist thugs. Until there is a conscious and intensified effort to build up a united front against the fascist menace by including the progressive, democratic, patriotic and anti-fascist forces of India, it will be a regular affair for the Hindutva fascist thugs from all saffron organisations to walk away after committing ghastly crimes and after intimidating or physically abusing people from their opponent's camps. There is a dire urgency to build up such a broad patriotic and democratic bloc against Hindutva fascism throughout the country and if there is a delay in building such a front then it will bring more miseries and agony in the lives of the oppressed people of the country.

Vol. 49, No.42, April 23 - 29, 2017