Snake in the grass

Manikranth Ch

The take of Parliamentary Left on the Muslim Political organizations will only help in spreading Islamophobia among the people which directly helps the fascists.

The Anti CAA-NRC-NPR protests resulted in a broad unity among the vast sections of our society. For the very first time after the anti-colonial struggle, the minority sections of our society including Muslims, Sikhs and Christians took to the streets to protest against the fascist act bought by the Brahmanical Hindutva Fascists. We already knew that the Citizenship Amendment Act followed by NRC and NPR were formulated to fulfill the dream of Sangh Parivar to create a Hindu Rashtra by ethnic cleansing of Muslims, Dalits, Adivasis and other minority sections of our society.

The struggle against CAA-NRC-NPR was followed by a crackdown on student activists, intellectuals, journalists and other progressive sections. The Delhi Pogrom of February 2020 was targeted at the Muslims. The RSS and its affiliates like the Bajrang Dal wreaked havoc in North East Delhi. There has been no action taken against the perpetrators of the pogrom. Instead, innocent Muslim youth, student activists, mainly Muslim students were targeted and charged under draconian acts like Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, commonly known as UAPA. The student activists are being arrested during a dire situation when the COVID-19 pandemic is in full swing. This shows the fascist nature of the Indian ruling class and how eagerly it wants to suppress the dissent of the marginalized sections of our society.

It is to be noted that a vast range of political organizations having varied political understanding protested against the Brahmanical Hindutva Fascism. There are various organizations ranging from Parliamentary to Non-Parliamentary which also includes Political Organizations representing Muslims. The leaders and activists of these organizations were targeted by the Indian state which looks them through the lens of Brahmanism and characterizes them as the ‘Muslim Other’. Brahmanical Hindutva Fascism portrays Muslim men as ‘Radical’, ‘Dangerous’ and ‘Barbaric’ whereas the onus of ‘uplifting’ Muslim women is considered as a ‘duty’ of Hindutva Fascists. The taking up of Uniform Civil Code by Hindutva Fascists is a good example for this. The feudal Brahmanical ideology explicitly targets the Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis by denying the property rights to the vast sections of our society.

It is indeed not very surprising that parliamentary left parties and their so-called progressive student organizations wait for an opportunity to slander the Muslim Political Organizations as fundamentalist and completely disregard the Muslim political question just as the Brahmanical Hindutva Fascists. Brahmanical Hindutva Fascism very well puts the tag of Fundamentalism on Muslim organizations which are active in their struggle against its fascist diktats. Historically, this has been the practice of organizations espousing the Hindutva. There are incidents like AIMIM, a parliamentary party, was targeted and tagged as Fundamentalist by the Hindutva Fascists.

This understanding of left student organizations leads nowhere. Instead, this shows its lack of understanding regarding the question of Fundamentalism. As Anuradha Ghandy pointed out to us that, “Islamic fundamentalism is a more complex phenomenon. Initially, in the post second world war period, it was propped up and sustained by US imperialism in the face of democratic and socialist movements of people, like in the Arab countries. But with the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and especially China, and the betrayal of the democratic national liberation movements by their compromising leadership, anti-imperialism has been expressed in traditional and often religious ways. Islam has also become an ideological force adopted by movements against the US imperialists like in Iran, or become the expression of resistance as in Palestine today (due to the betrayal of the older more secular and ‘left’ leadership).”

The Political role of fundamentalism determines the manner in which we struggle against it. All democratic and progressive forces should protest against the reactionary values propagated by Religious Fundamentalism. But it is also important to analyze the nature and role it plays. Comrade Anuradha says, “First, fundamentalism of the Christians in the US, the Hindutva brigade of India, etc. is part of the growing fascist policies of the State and ruling classes, and has to be seen and attacked in that context. On the other hand, Muslim fundamentalism today, is growing in reaction to the US’s aggressive war-mongering and in reaction to the Hindu fascist offensive in the country, and so plays a different political role vis-a-vis the State. So, with respect to the former it is necessary to attack it thoroughly on all fronts; while regarding the latter, there is need to see its anti-US/anti-Hindutva role, while at the same time exposing its retrograde patriarchal and feudal thinking” (Ghandy, 2001).

It is also to be noted that the question of Dalits and Adivasis is always neglected by these organizations. There are instances of taking up the question of caste quite ‘seriously’ only when some activist belonging to these marginalized sections get killed. It is very unfortunate to see how Adivasi and Dalit dead bodies are used to capitalize. Their identities only get important when they get killed. It is idiotic to blame them for their stand on caste question. It is always clear to us regarding the parliamentary left parties understanding on the caste question. They always had a reformist agenda to save Brahmanism.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) resolution on the ‘The Problem of Dalits’ starting with a title named “A Marxist Perspective on Caste Oppression” regards that the issue of caste came into being in India and exists only in India. It also says that the Vedic scriptures and Hindu religion sanctified the Varna and caste system. Then, Comrade Ajith, rights ask the question regarding the presence of caste in Buddhist Sri Lanka and Islamic Pakistan. He further elaborates that, “while we must look to the external intervention of colonialism to get a satisfactory answer, it is equally important to examine a unique internal feature of the caste social order. Caste was not only a division of labor. It was also a hierarchical division of laborers. A division closed by birth and legitimized through religious belief. This was that particular feature that endeared it to the exploiters over the ages. This was the material substance that promoted an incorporation of caste division in one or another form, into their rule despite having diverse religious beliefs, be it Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity or Sikhism. Though the CPM pays formal tribute to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in its resolution, it has hardly bothered to grasp his pioneering recognition of the role of caste as a division of laborer's. Marxist theoretical work on caste must necessarily synthesize this contribution. It is of great importance even in such a basic task like forging working class consciousness.”

Caste as a social organization cut across religious faith which demands us to go beyond Hindu religion or even religion itself. We must address the central issue of Brahmanism. This ultra-reactionary ideology has repeatedly succeeded in persisting under adverse conditions and adapting to new socio-economic relations. (Ajith)

The student organizations of parliamentary left parties who claim to be struggling against Caste and Hindutva Fascism did not utter a word when innocent Adivasis were harassed by the Anti-Maoist Combing force – The Thunderbolt in Kerala state where ‘Communists’ are ruling. It is not so easy to forget the way Kerala Police using brutal force to silence the Adivasi Peasant Organizations under the pretext that they are under CPI Maoist Influence. In all major universities they protest against draconian laws like UAPA, but when their parent party led Government charges the same, they remain mum. Some of them even justified by stating it as ‘the police charged it and the government has nothing to do with it’. This came as an instant reaction as if the police work in vacuum or they might have just forgot the fact that Police, Armed Forces and Bureaucracy are the chief instruments of state power (Lenin, State and Revolution). 

Coming to the Muslim Political question, it is easy to draw parallels between the ‘criticisms’ raised by Parliamentary left organizations and Hindutva Fascists on the Muslim organizations. The slandering of these organizations by the so called ‘left’ will only bring the broad masses closer to Brahmanical Hindutva Fascism which lives on stagnant pool of feudal ideas as these student organizations use the same language as the Hindutva Fascists without analyzing the material condition for the rise of such organizations and the context they are in and the political role they have to play in a country like India.

There are incidents among university spaces where such ‘progressive and forward thinking’ organizations did not agree for joining protest gatherings in which Muslim organizations are a part of. This act in a dire situation when the ruling class unleashing a crackdown on students shows how much they are committed to student politics. Indeed, they are committed to their politics. This is their politics of exclusion. Exclusion of Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis. They also claim that they oppose all kinds of religious fundamentalism be it Hindu or Muslim. Putting Brahmanical Hindutva Fascism and Muslim Organizations and Islamic Fundamentalist groups (from parliamentary to non-parliamentary) on the same plane is just showing the ignorance of these organizations in understanding the question of Fundamentalism. But whenever they had joined with Muslim organizations, they made ‘exceptions.’

There is vicious online propaganda campaign is unleashed on the Muslim organizations by the parliamentary left student organizations to vilify them as Fundamentalist/Backward thinking with a politically bankrupt understanding of Fundamentalism. It is not very surprising to see these organizations preaching about ‘violence’. When the victim of such violence is on the other side it will be justified by any means. Instead, if it was on their side, all these organizations portray themselves as Gandhians by either denying their presence in the ‘violence’ occurred or solely blame the other party saying that ‘they attacked first’. This was also evident in the recent clash between Sangh Parivar’s ABVP and radical SFS. Every parliamentary left student organization condemned SFS for promoting ‘violence’ in the campus and asked for a ‘impartial and neutral’ enquiry. This has been the modus operandi of such organizations in states such as Bengal and now Kerala where alternate political dialogue is prohibited in University campuses either by hook or crook.

Coming to the Political struggle front on student issues, these parliamentary left parties and their student organizations have a dual role to play. It was very much evident how fake their struggles can be. The activists of SFI/DYFI, and other youth organizations of CPI(M) were martyred in Kerala while opposing the commercialization of education. Whereas, in West Bengal, those policies were implemented by the CPI(M) led government under the garb of ‘liberalization’. There was rampant privatization of education in West Bengal to serve the interests of Imperialists, as Big Industries and Imperialists need such an education that serves their unhindered production to maximize the profits. This obviously led to the fee hike. This also helps in imperialist penetration into social and cultural fronts. In this context, the CPI(M) worked on two fronts. First, welcoming the commercialization of education and on the other through its student wing, the SFI, fabricated a story to manufacture the consent of students in favor of fee hike as ‘compulsion’. It is very much evident where that compulsion came from and whose interests that ‘compulsion’ wanted to serve. SFI in Himachal Pradesh was protesting against the fee hike and the same SFI in West Bengal physically attacked students opposing the fee hike in the Universities and colleges of West Bengal. Such is the political bankruptcy of this party and its student organization. No surprise, this revisionist political position will indeed have a dual role and wear the mask of being ‘progressive’. The day is not far away where the vast masses unmask their ‘progressive’ tag.

Who forgets the role of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) during Naxalbari struggle?  It is very well known how they used brutal force to suppress the peasant struggle. Who forgets Marichjhapi? Who forgets Nandigram and Singur? Who forgets the recent extra judicial murders or better called as ‘Fake encounters’ of Maoist Revolutionaries in Kerala? This ugly tradition of using state repression to suppress genuine progressive and democratic movements which are revolutionary in nature comes from the bankrupt revisionist and neo-revisionist ideology espoused this party. This tradition shows how this reactionary ideology of revisionism directly serves Brahmanism and its allies.

The broad masses of India who are in contradiction with feudalism will easily fall in the trap of the stagnant pool of ideas lying in this semi-feudal and semi-colonial country which are explicitly anti-Muslim, anti-Dalit and anti-Adivasi. If the parliamentary left uses the same tactics of Brahmanism to counter genuine democratic and progressive movements against the fascist Indian state then it will alienate itself from the vast sections of our society.

It is to be noted that there are some genuine revolutionary activists in these organizations who are open to debate and discussion and might have joined them to bring revolutionary change. Such platforms will end up making a genuine social activist to justify whatever the crimes their parent organizations commit under the name of ‘communism’. All the genuine progressive and democratic sections should struggle against the Brahmanical Hindutva Fascists by aligning with broad sections of our society by forming a United Front. Revolutionary change cannot be bought by class collaboration by serving the interests of Comprador Bureaucratic Bourgeoisie and the Imperialists. A revolutionary change in India can only possible by a new democratic revolution destroying feudalism and clear the path for socialist construction and cultural revolution which eventually march towards communism.

1) Fascism, Fundamentalism and Patriarchy – Anuradha Ghandy
2) CPM on Caste Question – Ajith

Manikranth Ch is a student of History and Political Science at Delhi University. 

Jul 7, 2020

 Manikranth Ch

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