By Mohammad Aamir Husain
Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was enacted into a law on 12 December, 2019 and ever since the people of India has been holding mass protests against this anti-Muslims law. The Government has made a number of attempts in order to suppress the voices of people of the country. This in itself is not justified on the part of the government to suppress these voices in a democratic country. India, which is the world’s largest democracy and has forever bragged of its principles of ‘unity in diversity’, is turning into the proponents of hatred and discrimination toward religious minorities or a specific religious minority i.e. Muslims. These recent protests over the citizenship law are reflective of India’s rising tide of bigotry directed towards the minorities, particularly Muslims.
The unrest in the society is clearly visible in the form of mob lynching, communal insurgencies, hate crimes; executions in the name of ‘cow protection’ and the followers of a specific faith are found victimized by the self- proclaimed vigilantes. The recent incidence of communal violence in the Indian capital, New Delhi, is the worst seen in decades.
With the rise of right-wing ideologies in India and passing of certain draconian laws, India, internationally, is being defamed as a nation that does injustice to the minorities.
India is in a process of churning. The democracy of India started rotting in May, 2014, when Narendra Modi, then chief minister of Gujarat and a member of a right-wing Hindu organization, RSS, inspired by Fascist, was elected as the Prime Minister of India. Like any other fascist leader, Modi also emerges demonizing religious minorities and immigrants.
Mahua Moitra, the Member of Parliament, in her speech in the parliament on 25th June, 2019 took on Indian government and declared that all the signs of fascism are visible in India today.
With the strong-hold of right-wing organization on Indian legislature and Media, and all other visible and dreadful changes in Indian society shows that The World’s largest democracy is turning towards fascism.
What is Fascism?
“Fascism” is often related with fascists of the period between first world war and second world war like Benito Mussolini of Italy and Adolf Hitler of Germany and images like concentration camps, violence and racism. Fascism is based more on feelings than on any philosophical idea.
Fascism is a right wing political philosophy that promotes ultra nationalism, and interests of a specific race or religion. There are many definitions of fascism; some people even describe it as a mass movement or political philosophy. Though several countries of the world have experienced fascist regimes or elements, fascism is most commonly associated with Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
According to Prof. Ram Puniyani in his article “symptoms of fascism’,” fascism is crushing of democratic norms, targeting of minorities, projection of power of the nation, and ultra nationalism”.
In India, the seeds of fascism begin with the rise of Muslim and Hindu communal politics. M.S. Govalkar in his book ‘we or our Nationhood’ draws inspiration from the German Nazi regimes and upholds racial pride and treatment of other races as subordinates they even uphold the brutal methods of Nazis in Germany.
Fascist regimes excel at making use of grand gestures, such as parades and leaders heroism and demonizing other groups. Hiter’s regime in Germany was based on demonizing Jews and Mussolini demonized Bolsheviks in Italy. Though fascism can be difficult to define, all fascists movements and regimes share some common elements, actions and beliefs. These common elements are present in every country which is fascist in past or turning towards fascism in present. In Indian context, these elements and actions are as follows;
Remembrances of lost golden age
Mussolini and Hitler both believe in lost greatness and glorious past and commited to the notion of national rebirth. Donald Trump makes appeal that only he can make “America great again”. t
The leaders of ruling party in India are continuously make remarks about their glorious period and even the Prime Minister remarked various times about the regain of Hindu rule in India after Prithviraj Chauhan. In India, in fact there are many social, economic and political issues like economic crisis and unemployment which caused a lot of Indians to live a miserable life but the ruling uselessly reminding them of their lost golden age.
Suppression of freedom of expression and dissent.
Although, freedom of speech and expression forms parts of fundamental rights in part IV of The Constitution of India and an inseparable element of democratic system, the present government is continuously making its efforts towards suppression of it.
Anti-National probably is the most iconic word for some years in India. Dissent is considered as treason. Criticism of the government is taken as an attack on the nation and hence considered as treason. Section 124A of The Indian Penal Code, 1860 defines Sedition and this is an age old law and sometimes also not stands with the norms of democracy but this law in present government is of high usage as they can impose it on anyone tries to criticize the ruling party. Dissent is an inseparable element of democracy but has been reincarnated into sedition by present right wing government.
Corrupt mass media and entertainment agencies.
In India, or anywhere, mainstream cinema has been a powerful tool that shaped public opinion and narrative. Cinema can be very powerful. During WWII, both Hitler and Stalin used movies as propaganda and did so very successfully. Cinema can easily change people’s opinions and their outlook on life. There is no doubt about the fact that most of the news media agencies and channels are, directly or indirectly, under the control of the ruling party. Film industries and entertainment agencies also in order to make profits and to avoid any controversy with the majority of population engaged in the distortion of history and manufacturing a role for the right-wing organizations in the Indian struggle for independence.
It is a very common tendency among the fascists that they target or hate one specific minority and cinema in India, in recent years, is exactly doing the same. This is already mentioned that fascist used to glorify their past and lost-golden age and they have along with other instruments, cinema as a very strong source.
Islamophobia and Bigotry as very common in Bollywood movies now, which bears no pretence of being a faithful account of events in history. It is very interesting to note that they have disclaimer in the beginning that the film has nothing to do with historical correctness.
Protection of corporate power and suppression of labour power.
Organized labour power is the only real threat to any fascist movement, so fascists tends to suppress their voices or eliminate them entirely. While, the corporate and business houses are protected as industrial and aristocrats are the ones who put fascists to power so they have both have mutual interests in each others protection.
Capitalism is being heavily protected and promoted during the fascists regimes. In India, where students and common men is under the burden of paying taxes and even their transaction or withdrawals have under check political parties do not have any account on how much they are receiving and spending and politicians’ also seems to live a lavish lives.
Nationalism if crosses certain specified limits and sphere, may turn into Jingoism. Patriotism is often used in India as a tool to invoke the sentiments of the common people of the country. Patriotism and Nationalism is often seen combined with ruling party and criticism of rulers may be taken as an attack on the prestige of the nation. In this way, the fascist rulers turned the nationalism into jingoism and chauvinism. Theatrically, movies are based on armed forces and their struggle to protect the national security, dramas also portrays the leader of government as a supreme protector of nation interest. In this way issues of important character have been sidetracked with evoking of nationalist sentiments.
So these are some of the very common elements present in almost every fascist government around the globe historically or in present times. The fascists captured all the powers and use in order to further their aims. Whether India, is turning or already turned into fascist state is a question in itself left for every individuals own concern and intellect. What Indians need to do now is to recognize it as soon as possible and to oppose it, otherwise, it’s too late to oppose.
Husain is a law student at AMU.
33% population is not considered minority in any sense. Check UN law books. And your article here smells of bigotry, hypocrisy and double standards. Just to gain sympathy, you are including all minority which is itself a farce and speaks volume of this so call one-sided article. Yours is a community which is facing hate by and large but the whole world.
If you have guts, speak up about your Muslim brothers who are actually minorities in Xinjiang.
So much for your bravery. You are able to speak such hate, publish such articles in public forum nullifies your claim about fascism and all BS that you just coughed up.
Your article was very much entertaining and shows how much brain-washed you people are.
All the best in your attempt to continue to spread hate.
@Mango man aka Hindu goo boy,
Same old Hindutva style nonsense from you Modi monkey worshipping bigots.
Seems like your retarded ass failed math class, anything under 50% is a mathematical minority, you don’t need UN law books for that.
Hindus have weak minded liars and cowards who don’t like being held accountable for their crimes. You want to shift attention Xinjian but not your crimes against Muslims in India, The RSS/BJP are nothing less then terrorist organizations, you hindu extremists are being exposed the world over for the fascist scum that you are.
You brainwashed sadak chaap sanghi monkeys are gutless losers…behaving like rats when the light is turned on. You are the ones spreading hate and terror. This is why no one cares that you are dying like flies thanks to COVID. Good riddance to Hindu rubbish.
Keep lying and crying, goo boy