"Hindutva Shock Therapy"

Bhabani Shankar Nayak

The resurgence of neoliberalism from 1980s led to the acceleration of further marginalisation of the masses and consolidation of capitalist class's grip over Indian economy and politics, which led to rise of Modi led Hindutva politics. The political disenchantment combined with depoliti-cisation has made India a fertile ground for Hindutva shock therapy to normalise structural exploitation supported by caste-based capitalist order.

The rise of neoliberal markets in India have transformed the diversity of culture of consumption and established the monolithic culture of consumerism. The diversity of consumption was promoting diversity of local production and helping local producers in India which was dismantled with the rise of consumerism. The culture of consumerism disciplines small producer and promotes its monolithic culture of mass production of goods and services. This transformation helps the consolidation of corporates in the production and distribution of goods and services. This is the foundation of Modi government's agricultural reforms. It is a shock therapy for both consumers and producers in India. It disciplines both Indian agricultural economy and society in the interests of corporations.

From demonetisation, GST, banking reforms, labour law reforms, citizenship amendments to agricultural reforms are different stages of Hindutva shock therapy to actively destroy established democratic norms and disregard institutional traditions. The authoritarian Hindutva shock therapy is a process of lasting structural transformation of Indian society, politics and economy for the deepening capitalism. The religious attacks on minorities, farmers, students, women, Dalits and tribals  and other forms of violent crises in India today are products of coordinated efforts led by Hindutva forces and their crony capitalists. These shocks are essential components to establish authoritarian control and dominance over the masses.

The Hindutva ideology derives its justification from European fascism and Nazism whereas its economic policies are products of the Washington consensus driven by liberalisation of economy and laws, privatisation of national resources and capitalist globalisation. The idea of minimum government and maximum governance by Modi is a product of such a political, economic ideological praxis. The Rashtriyaswayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)are twin Hindutva organisations which claimed and propagated economic nationalism in their manifesto for last five decades but implemented neoliberal projects in the name of economic growth and development. Hypocrisy is the only defining feature of religious, neoliberal and right-wing forces.

The Hindutva anarchy in India today is not an accident for a systematic design to destroy every tenets of democratic culture to establish authoritarian Hindutva capitalism, its state and government apparatus. The Hindutva shock doctrine helps in creating a trust- less, fearful and subservient society, which is essential for authoritarian politics concomitant with capitalist economy. In truth the crisis and failure of law and order are not accidental in India. These are part and parcel of Hindutva ideology, which produces social and economic conflicts and crises to control the masses to pursue the political and economic agendas of the RSS, BJP and corporations. The Hindutva shock therapy is dismantling democracy, dispossessing the masses and destroying citizenship rights to uphold the interests of capitalism.

The outcomes of Hindutva shock therapy are visible. The major economic indicators are looking gloomy in India. The unemployment and poverty rates are all time high. The industrial production is low. Modi's propaganda has failed to hide declining trade and investment in India. Modi government has failed miserably and accelerated health crisis led by the Corona virus pandemic. The directionless lockdown has drastically  destroyed production, distribution, demand and supply in Indian economy, but the corporations continue to amass their wealth even during these times of crises. Modi and his Hindutva politics is sacrificing India and Indians to save and sustain  corporates in India, where misery for millions and prosperity for few is a norm.

However, the rise of struggles against caste, capitalism and Hindutva by the farmers, students, religious minorities and workers in the streets of Delhi and different parts of the country are illuminating new hopes for the restoration of secular and liberal society and constitutional democracy in India.

Vol. 53, No. 30, Jan 24 - 30, 2021