India is arising against the Modi regime but now it needs a conscious leadership for victory

Sunday, December 22, 2019

India rose in rebellion all over. Not once, not twice, but it’s regularly waking up to a rebellion. A plethora of political beliefs, a wide range of dissenting thoughts, a large stockpile of democratic gunpowder, and people of all walks of life are converging at the intersection of India’s peculiar political praxis. What nothing could do, the hubris and absolute hegemonic adamancy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s regime has done — it has united the common people, the oppressed people of India to a large extent. The soul of secularism is out on the streets opposing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its agenda to turn millions of people, especially India’s 200-million-strong Muslim community, the second-largest in world, into stateless beings, living on the mercy of the state in concentration camps and working as rightless free slaves of corporate houses.

The implementation of the NRC conforms with the long-term plan of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) — the BJP’s parent body — which has always wanted to turn the Muslims into second-class citizens in India and exploit their labour and appropriate their properties. The people’s resentment against the NRC and the CAA isn’t dying down, it has epidemically spread all over India, building a rock-solid unity of people from different walks of life against the Hindutva fascist Modi regime, the RSS and the BJP. There is no dearth of people’s participation in mass movements despite extreme brutality exhibited by the state machinery controlled by the BJP in different states. Rather than being cowed down, the macabre atrocities are uniting the people, especially the Muslims, against the regime.

As the situation is slipping out of Modi’s and his closest aide-cum-heir apparent Amit Shah’s grip, as a large number of Muslims are joining the movement throughout the country and their movement is receiving support from different marginalised quarters, including the Dalits, the Sikhs, the tribal masses, and even a large number of Hindus, there is a desperate bid by the RSS leadership to step in directly to shield the Modi regime from the ignominy. A large number of RSS cadres, policemen and petty criminals are infiltrating the movements by impersonating as Muslims. A large number of cadres are mobilised by the RSS in all states ruled by the BJP to incite violence. Social unrest and vilification of Muslims are two goals of the RSS-BJP.

Soon after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee divulged about an intelligence report about the RSS-BJP men buying skullcaps to impersonate as Muslims, six BJP men were caught by the West Bengal Police when they were about to pelt stones at trains in Murshidabad district by wearing lungis and skullcaps, the attire of common Bengali Muslims. In Delhi’s Seelampur, Jama Masjid agitations, in the agitations across Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka, these men are stoking tension and creating a narrative to demonise the Muslims and project the movement as a communal one so that its optics can be used to spread xenophobia and justify any future pogroms targeting the Muslims.

In such a situation, spontaneous movements like these, in which the Muslims are participating en masse, the movements that aren’t organised by professional politicians but community members, students, youth and common people, utilising their own resources, can be easily hijacked, diverted or vilified as a foe of the nation in which the RSS and the Modi regime have successfully turned the Muslims into the isolated “other”, who need to prove their loyalty in return of a right to life. There is an ardent need to increase vigil, unite with more friends, isolate the enemies and use the available communication channels to create and spread the narrative of the oppressed, voiceless and marginalised people, who will suffer the most under the NRC and the CAA, if these two are applied. The biggest need of the hour is to shield the Muslim community from communal violence, pogroms and conspiracies that aim at blaming the community. To prevent such things proactive campaigning is necessary to expose the Modi regime’s conspiracy to flare up a pogrom using Islamophobic narrative and by blaming the Muslims for any mishap or violence that take place in the country.

A BJP minister from Karnataka threatened the Muslims with dire consequences, citing the 2002 post-Godhara violence if the protests don’t stop. Army chief General Bipin Rawat, a certified Modi sycophant, has already raised the toast to a border skirmish with Pakistan citing escalating tensions at the Line of Control that divides Indian and Pakistani-occupied Kashmir valley. Shah’s toady press is publishing egregious trite of “terrorists trying to kill Modi”, concealing the fact that Modi is strongly supported by the terrorism-exporting states like the US, Wahhabi Saudi Arabia and Zionist Israel. Modi is organising a counter-rally at Ram Lila Maidan of Delhi to instigate his hardcore support base and footsoldiers to unleash violence on the Muslims protesting on the streets. There is a total silence reigning on the economic front, which has severely deteriorated in the last few days as the protests over the NRC and the CAA have taken centre stage. This silence is allowing Modi to lie about the Indian economy at different forums, including his infamous claim that he corrected the course of the economy and recovered it!

It’s impossible to shield the movements and immunise them from such attacks, as the state machinery, the ruling classes and the ruling party have united with a common resolve to suppress the people with brute force. Therefore, the only way out right now is to organise and give a conscious format to the plethora of movements, which have multiple shades and political tonality. It will be a muddle-headed attempt, an egregious error if one tries to forcefully evangelise these movements to follow a uniform political tonality, as these movements are desperate bids by the Muslim community to hold back to its identity and live with dignity in the country it calls home. A forceful political conversion can backfire and even strengthen the hands of the RSS-BJP; the democratic and anti-fascist forces shouldn’t use any adventurist method to try it.

The only path, therefore, is to politically educate the people about the immense danger posed by Hindutva fascism, which goes beyond the CAA or the NRC. There is also a need to proactively inform the people about the conspiracies hatched by the Modi regime; from another version of Pulwama attack, Balakote surgical strike to another version of 2002 Gujarat, any template can be re-implemented by the RSS and the BJP. Thus, if the same is propagated proactively as a possibility, then the attempts can be blunted and the BJP won’t be in a position to capitalise on jingoism and use the hysteria to divert attention from the people’s movement.

India is going through an unprecedented phase after the massive anti-Indira Gandhi struggle of 1974-77, which forced the tyrant to impose emergency. At present, there is a far more dangerous phase of an emergency, which is undeclared and a press that’s unapologetically servile, stooping before the regime to appease it. In such a situation, as the common people dare the regime when the opposition parties have given up the concept of resisting the utmost fascist policies of the Modi regime, fearing loss of Hindu votes, is itself a commendable act.

As mainstream political parties failed to lead the people, it’s the people’s heroic uprising that the state is facing a severe crisis, a crisis of which it can’t get out of even by locking all protesters because there are no prisons or even stadiums that can lock everyone. Not all protesters can be killed; not all protesters can be maimed, blinded or tortured brutally. If the Indian state couldn’t stop seven million Kashmiris in three decades from protesting and demanding their Azadi (freedom) from India, then how could the Modi regime could dare to think that it will be able to stop India’s 700m poor and downtrodden masses from protesting for their rights that it wants to snatch through the draconian NRC and the CAA?

There will be no end to the massive demonstrations, people’s movements and the protests on the streets, especially by the Muslims, who are at the verge of an abyss of non-existence, where the Modi regime wants to push them. In their bid to reclaim their land, their existence and their identity as equal citizens of a constitutional republic, the Muslims will stay ahead of all other communities and despite the Islamophobic rantings, propaganda and vilification, the community will unapologetically fight for its rights as itself, raising its own religious slogans, praying to its own God, following its own culture (or a plethora of them), wearing its own clothes, etc.

If the Modi regime’s conspiracies are exposed before the world before they are executed, if the fascist agenda is repeatedly exposed and the Muslim community can win friends from the working class, the peasantry and the toiling people, weaning them over and a massive people’s struggle, backed by a strong trade union movement, takes place, then it will become the invincible catalyst that will bring down the sclerotic Hindutva fascist empire. By remaining vigilant and by shielding itself from the injuries the Modi regime or the RSS-BJP can inflict upon them, the Muslim community, along with the working class, peasantry, the toiling masses, students and youth from all other communities, will be able to defeat the Hindutva fascist state. The events of the past few days have been inspiring and they must be rightly protected from all Hindutva fascist aggression and garlanded to take the movements to the next level.

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