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Mainstream, VOL LX No 7, New Delhi, February 5, 2022

Hindutva is European Fascism at work in India | Bhabani Shankar Nayak

Friday 4 February 2022

by Bhabani Shankar Nayak *

The Hindutva draws its ideological inspiration from the European fascist organisations like the National Fascist Party/Republican Fascist Party in Italy and the Italian Social Republic under Benito Mussolini, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazi Party) in Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler, The Fatherland Front in Austria under Engelbert Dollfuss and Kurt Schuschnigg, the National Union in Portugal under António de Oliveira Salazar and Marcelo Caetano, the Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las JONS (’Traditionalist Spanish Phalanx of the Councils of the National Syndicalist Offensive’) in Spain under Francisco Franco. European fascism was riddled with many contradictions but there is no contradictions within Hindutva fascism in India. Ignorance, arrogance, irrationality and unquestionable power brings unity within Hindutva fascism in India. Catholic corporatism has played a major role in sustaining and expanding the plight of people and the power of European fascism. Similarly, the Indian capitalist classes are working as backbone of Hindutva fascism in the country. The Hindutva led government is working relentlessly for the corporate profit at the cost of Indian citizens. Hindutva fascism is the capitalist predators like their Catholic corporate brethren.

The Hindutva onslaught on free press, human rights, minority rights, women’s rights, science and reason, militarisation of minds of common people replicate European fascism at work during and after 19th century. The attack on Indian constitutional democracy, political opponents, journalists, intellectuals and universities are further steps to reinforce Hindutva fascism in India. Hindutva is the fascist response to normalise inequality, caste, class and gender-based exploitations. The construction of Muslims, Marxists and intellectuals as anti-nationals, criminalisation of dissent and demonisation of political opposition helps in the normalisation of Hindutva fascism. Hindutva constructs external enemies among India’s immediate neighbours as well. The creation of internal and external enemies are crucial for Hindutva fascist project to survive. The rise of interstate conflicts within India also helps Hindutva politics to thrive.

The Hindutva propaganda on national unity, Gandhian socialism, economic growth and development are false dawns in the national life of India. The Hindutva politics uses propaganda to divert everyday issues of people. Hindutva vigilante led large scale and targeted violence and spread of fear are used as twin weapons to normalise faith based immoral politics for the growth of capitalism. The Hindutva militias free from judicial prosecutions help in transforming Indian state and democracy that is concomitant with the requirements of Hindutva fascism and capitalism in India. Hindutva fascism enlarges the existing problems in Indian society. It does not have visions and missions to solve any of the problems faced by Indians. There is nothing indigenous about Hindutva fascism in India. These European ideals are implemented in India by Hindutva politics. Hindutva fascism is a project of global and national capitalism in India.

The Hindutva fascism faces the challenges of Indian diversities and its secular constitution. The struggle to protect Indian diversities and secularism is the first step towards the battle against Hindutva. The battle against Hindutva fascism and capitalism is a common battle. The success of such a mass movement can only decide the future of Indians and survival of India.

(Author: Bhabani Shankar Nayak is based at the University of Glasgow, UK)

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