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The deepening of fascistic tendencies inside the world's largest democracy

Authors: Raju J Das*, York University, Toronto
Topics: Political Geography, Asia, Economic Geography
Keywords: Fascism, India, bourgeois project; Marx, crisis, politics of identity
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The election to India’s lower house of Parliament ended in May 2019 with the stunning success of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its return to power. BJP is a pro-business and Hindu-nationalist party. Its recent electoral successes (in 2014 and 2019) signify the strengthening of tendencies towards authoritarian religion-based-hyper-nationalism (or ‘fascistic tendencies’) in India. This is a part of the right-wing turn globally, indicative of ‘ethnonationalism and exclusion in the world’, a theme of the conference. To understand why this happens and with what implications requires a theoretical framework. At an abstract level, as Marx argued, the crisis-ridden production and reproduction of life within class relations, ultimately, determines political-cultural practices, which react back on the economic processes. In the context of a global economic crisis, tendencies towards fascism constitute a bourgeois project: right-wing forces use their control over the state to introduce blatantly pro-business policies to help the ruling class deal with economic slowdown, and they deploy cultural-politics (e.g. majoritarian identity-based hyper-nationalism) to weaken potential/actual resistance from the toiling people.

The paper will briefly deal with the objective and subjective conditions for the BJP’s re-election. It will then discuss its implications: a boost to pro-capitalist ideas and policies in a poverty-stricken country; deepening of undemocratic conduct inside and outside of the state; strengthening of the strategic relationship with the imperialist US against China and against Pakistan, and deeper connections with Israel; and unabashed war on religious minorities. These implications lead to the question of ‘what is to be done?’

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