Against ‘Communal Fascism’?

Indian National Democratic Inclusive Alliance [INDIA] concluded its third conclave in Mumbai after earlier two sittings in Patna and Bengaluru with the promise of a united face in the up-coming 2024 general elections. There are 28 political parties, mostly regional, who have come together to fight the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP]–the torch-bearer of ‘communal fascism’ in India. Many of these 28 parties are too small to be taken seriously. Maybe, they are being floated by some big regional parties with the aim of increasing their comparative bargaining power in INDIA. To make a consensus on logo is not that difficult. Nor is it very important. What remains difficult even after three rounds of parley is how to harmonise the diverse perceptions of unity at the central and state levels. In other words what matters most is the basis of seat sharing. Marxists, Socialists, Gandhians, Liberal Democrats, Mandalites–all are there and yet it is not certain whether they could agitate from a common platform i.e. INDIA on a common minimum programme. For the ministerial berth almost all parties seem to have realised the Congress reality barring AAP that controls two state governments–Delhi and Punjab–at the moment. But the bone of contention is seat adjustment and policy of accommodation. A target date has been fixed in October to complete seat-sharing which looks impossible. Given past experience it won’t be that easy to clinch a deal on an agreed formula. Here lies the strength of BJP that counts heavily on disunity in ‘unity drive’. The saffron brigade is out to create a wedge in INDIA camp following a caustic remark by a prominent DMK leader on ‘Sanatan Dharma’ [Hinduism]. The chief minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma warned that if Congress doesn’t sever ties with DMK, it could be perceived as being anti-Hindu by the public while senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad labelled INDIA as an anti-Hindu alliance’. It is one way to tell the voters that INDIA is against the majority community and a crude attempt to communalise the polity with the sole purpose of wooing minority voters even before poll campaign starts. They are united, no doubt, but this unity is yet to be reflected in action. The BJP is trying to create fissures in Opposition bloc by every possible means and DMK leader’s ‘Sanatan Dharma’ statement, otherwise a secondary issue has come as handy to aggravate communal polarisation by the saffronites. At the Mumbai meet they adopted three resolutions announcing INDIA was going ahead to fight the Modi-led BJP government together with a rider ‘as far as possible’. In plain language the doors for what they call ‘friendly contests’ in parliamentary culture are wide open. The end result: BJP may laugh the last laugh.

BJP stands for Indian version of fascism backed by India’s powerful corporate lobby. Fascism means war–war against people. The Congress Party’s strategy of inaction against the corporates, notwithstanding Rahul Gandhi’s murmur in highlighting Adani link with Modi, has no potential to galvanise voters to stand up against Modi’s party. Talking vaguely about unemployment makes little sense. Why do they not demand to fill up vacancies in government departments? Almost all government establishments including Postal Authority, Railways and Nationalised Banks are running with chronic shortage of staff, and consequences are tremendous degradation in public utility service. Not that this is a recent phenomenon. It all started during the Congress regime and Modi’s NDA government is maintaining that tradition faithfully. Automation is killing jobs like anything and opposition parties, not excluding left parties, have no alternative proposal to offer. People are eagerly waiting to see the common agenda INDIA is going to release any time soon.

Digitisation came late in India but the way it is spreading at neck-breaking speed is simply horrifying for job seekers, young and old. The days are not far when robots will drive vehicles making driving jobs scarce. Opposition has no answer. They just react to spontaneity.

Ex-facie BJP is posing itself as a powerful political entity with a goal to reach, having very little concern about what INDIA is saying---or not saying. But the sudden reduction of domestic and commercial prices of LPG answers many unanswered questions. They are really worried---the BJP leaders. Maybe more populist exercises are in the making because deadline for 2024 nightmare is approaching dangerously.


Back to Home Page

Vol 56, No. 12, Sep 17 - 23, 2023