Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

News & Supplemental  

” . . . . Laying the Foundation of A Fascist Hindutva State . . . .”

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained HERE. The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by the fall of 2017. The new dri­ve (avail­able for a tax-deductible con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more.)

WFMU-FM is pod­cast­ing For The Record–You can sub­scribe to the pod­cast HERE.

You can sub­scribe to e‑mail alerts from Spitfirelist.com HERE.

You can sub­scribe to RSS feed from Spitfirelist.com HERE.

Please con­sid­er sup­port­ing THE WORK DAVE EMORY DOES.

COMMENT: The rela­tion­ship between polit­i­cal assas­si­na­tion and the rise of fas­cism is fun­da­men­tal and has been the focal point of much of Mr. Emory’s work over the decades. A recent devel­op­ment in India under­scored the con­ti­nu­ity between the Hin­dut­va fas­cist RSS’s pri­ma­ry role in engi­neer­ing the assas­si­na­tion of Mahat­ma Gand­hi and the dom­i­nance of Naren­dra Mod­i’s BJP in that nation. (The BJP is a polit­i­cal cat’s paw for the RSS.)

” . . . . On Thurs­day, Pragya Singh Thakur, a par­lia­men­tary can­di­date from India’s rul­ing Bharatiya Jana­ta Par­ty, or BJP, said in response to a ques­tion from a reporter that Godse ‘was, is and will remain a patri­ot.’  Thakur’s state­ment sparked a cho­rus of con­dem­na­tion, but it accu­rate­ly reflects the views of right-wing Hin­du extrem­ists. . . .”

As dis­cussed at length in FTR #‘s 988 and 989, Nathu­ram Godse was the RSS trig­ger man who mur­dered Gand­hi, and was the fall guy in what was a well-doc­u­ment­ed and mas­sive RSS con­spir­a­cy to elim­i­nate the Mahat­ma.

Expound­ing on the rise of Hin­dut­va fas­cism in India, an arti­cle in The Nation details the depra­da­tions that the Hin­dut­va forces have exe­cut­ed, with impuni­ty, under Mod­i’s reign.

” . . . . Thakur, like Modi, is a pro­po­nent of a far-right mil­i­tant ide­ol­o­gy called Hin­dut­va, which was invent­ed in the 1920s by an all-male vig­i­lante group called the Rashtriya Swayam­se­vak Sangh. Its founders cor­re­spond­ed with Adolf Hitler and met with Ben­i­to Mus­soli­ni in 1929 to mod­el their par­ty along fas­cist lines. A mem­ber of the group assas­si­nat­ed Mahat­ma Gand­hi in 1948. . . . Modi has . . .  shift­ed his rhetoric from fight­ing cor­rup­tion to gen­er­at­ing hate. . . Under Modi, India hit its high­est rate of unem­ploy­ment in 45 years. . . . A mas­sive stu­dent and farm­ers move­ment grew, and Modi’s gov­ern­ment retal­i­at­ed. Stu­dents and pro­fes­sors were false­ly arrest­ed, the press was muz­zled, and mem­bers of the oppo­si­tion were charged with cor­rup­tion. One jour­nal­ist, two writ­ers, and a dis­sent­ing judge were killed. . . . . The lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the fam­i­ly of an 8‑year-old Mus­lim girl, who was alleged­ly raped by the care­tak­er of a Hin­du tem­ple, was forced to with­draw after repeat­ed threats and intim­i­da­tion by BJP lead­ers. The father of a 17-year-old Dalit girl who says a BJP leader raped her was arrest­ed on false charges and died mys­te­ri­ous­ly in a police sta­tion. . . . the sim­ple truth: Modi is lay­ing the foun­da­tion of a fas­cist Hin­dut­va state, one which was first envi­sioned by the founders of the RSS. . . . For demo­c­ra­t­i­cal­ly mind­ed Indi­ans, the stakes couldn’t be high­er. On one side is the lega­cy of Gand­hi and on the oth­er is lit­er­al­ly the lega­cy of those who assas­si­nat­ed Gand­hi. . . .”

1.   “Indi­an Politi­cian Calls the Man Who Killed Mahat­ma Gand­hi a ‘Patri­ot’” by Joan­na Slater; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 05/16/2019

With just days remain­ing in India’s mam­moth nation­al elec­tions, the polit­i­cal debate has veered into an unlike­ly and inflam­ma­to­ry top­ic: the assas­si­na­tion of beloved inde­pen­dence leader Mahat­ma Gand­hi.

Gand­hi, who led a non­vi­o­lent strug­gle to free India from British colo­nial rule, was fatal­ly shot in 1947. His assas­sin was Nathu­ram Godse, a Hin­du extrem­ist who believed Gand­hi had betrayed Hin­dus in the nego­ti­a­tions over Indi­an inde­pen­dence and the cre­ation of Pak­istan.

On Thurs­day, Pragya Singh Thakur, a par­lia­men­tary can­di­date from India’s rul­ing Bharatiya Jana­ta Par­ty, or BJP, said in response to a ques­tion from a reporter that Godse “was, is and will remain a patri­ot.”

Thakur’s state­ment sparked a cho­rus of con­dem­na­tion, but it accu­rate­ly reflects the views of right-wing Hin­du extrem­ists. One fringe group cel­e­brat­ed the anniver­sary of Gandhi’s death ear­li­er this year.

Thakur is per­haps the most con­tro­ver­sial can­di­date con­test­ing the elec­tions. She is out on bail as she faces tri­al on ter­ror­ism charges relat­ed to a blast in 2008 that killed six peo­ple and injured more than 100. She has denied the charges.

Despite the charges, the BJP chose Thakur to run for a seat in Bhopal, the cap­i­tal of the state of Mad­hya Pradesh. Senior par­ty lead­ers have attend­ed her cam­paign events and endorsed her run for office, which appears to be the first time a major par­ty in India has field­ed a can­di­date accused of involve­ment in a ter­ror­ist con­spir­a­cy.

On Thurs­day, a spokesman for the par­ty dis­tanced the BJP from Thakur’s lion­iza­tion of Gandhi’s assas­sin. “We strong­ly con­demn this par­tic­u­lar state­ment,” G.V.L Narasimha Rao told reporters. Thakur, he said, should offer a “pub­lic apol­o­gy.”

Ran­deep Sur­je­w­ala, a spokesman for the oppo­si­tion Con­gress par­ty, said in a state­ment that Thakur’s com­ment “crossed all lim­its” and called for her with­draw­al from the race. “India’s soul is again under attack,” he said.

Godse, Gandhi’s assas­sin, was once a mem­ber of the Rashtriya Swayam­se­vak Sangh, or RSS, a stri­dent Hin­du nation­al­ist orga­ni­za­tion that is the par­ent of the BJP. After Gand­hi was killed, the group was briefly out­lawed. In recent decades, it has moved from the fringes of pub­lic debate in India to the main­stream. Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi spent most of his career as an RSS orga­niz­er.

Dur­ing the cam­paign, Modi has crit­i­cized mem­bers of the oppo­si­tion for using the term “Hin­du ter­ror” to describe alleged acts of vio­lence by Hin­du extrem­ists, say­ing there was not a sin­gle such inci­dent in thou­sands of years of his­to­ry. On Sun­day, Kamal Haasan, an oppo­si­tion politi­cian in the south­ern state of Tamil Nadu, retort­ed that inde­pen­dent India’s “first extrem­ist was a Hin­du: Nathu­ram Godse.”    . .  . .

2.    “A Modi Vic­to­ry Puts India’s 200 Mil­lion Mus­lims in Dan­ger” by Ruchi­ra Gup­ta; The Nation; 05/21/2019

On Thurs­day, India will announce elec­tion results that could put the country’s 200 mil­lion Mus­lims in dan­ger. Over the last five and a half weeks, more than 500 mil­lion Indi­ans vot­ed in an elec­tion that will deter­mine whether Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s ultra-nation­al­ist Bharatiya Jana­ta Par­ty will return to pow­er. If exit polls are to be believed, Modi and the BJP seem set to win a ter­ri­fy­ing man­date.

One can­di­date for Par­lia­ment in par­tic­u­lar illus­trates the grow­ing extrem­ism of the BJP. In Bhopal, a city of 1.8 mil­lion peo­ple, Modi per­son­al­ly endorsed Pragya Singh Thakur, who is out on bail after almost nine years in jail for alleged involve­ment in a ter­ror­ist bomb­ing that killed six Mus­lims.

She denies hav­ing any­thing to do with the 2008 attacks, but says a curse she placed on the inves­ti­gat­ing police offi­cer result­ed in his mur­der.

Thakur’s main elec­tion plank appears to be revenge against Indi­an Mus­lims for 400-year-old humil­i­a­tions. At her cam­paign launch, she boast­ed that 27 years ago she helped demol­ish a 16th-cen­tu­ry mosque in north­ern India: “I climbed atop the struc­ture and broke it, and I feel extreme­ly proud that God gave me this oppor­tu­ni­ty.”

Thakur, like Modi, is a pro­po­nent of a far-right mil­i­tant ide­ol­o­gy called Hin­dut­va, which was invent­ed in the 1920s by an all-male vig­i­lante group called the Rashtriya Swayam­se­vak Sangh. Its founders cor­re­spond­ed with Adolf Hitler and met with Ben­i­to Mus­soli­ni in 1929 to mod­el their par­ty along fas­cist lines. A mem­ber of the group assas­si­nat­ed Mahat­ma Gand­hi in 1948.

On the cam­paign trail, Thakur said Gandhi’s assas­sin “was a patri­ot, is a patri­ot, and will remain a patri­ot.” While the remark pro­voked out­rage even among the BJP mem­bers, many Indi­ans memed and mes­saged on social media endors­ing Thakur’s stand. Prais­ing Gandhi’s killer may have been a step too far for the par­ty, but if the BJP wins big, it will not be because they shied away from Hin­du nation­al­ism.

By nom­i­nat­ing an alleged ter­ror­ist as a law­mak­er, Modi has made his party’s agen­da clear. He’s shift­ed his rhetoric from fight­ing cor­rup­tion to gen­er­at­ing hate. Five years ago, the RSS helped lead the BJP to an out­right major­i­ty in Par­lia­ment as a “clean and prin­ci­pled” alter­na­tive to the “crim­i­nal” Con­gress par­ty. His promise to make India great again appealed to both big busi­ness and unem­ployed youth. Dur­ing his tenure, Modi pri­va­tized and sold state com­pa­nies to multi­na­tion­als, made it eas­i­er for con­glom­er­ates to acquire cheap land in indige­nous areas, cut tax­es for cor­po­ra­tions, can­celed edu­ca­tion and health sub­si­dies for mar­gin­al­ized groups, and signed near­ly 200 deals for the pur­chase of arms from dif­fer­ent coun­tries.

Many ordi­nary Indi­ans, how­ev­er, were plunged into an eco­nom­ic night­mare. Under Modi, India hit its high­est rate of unem­ploy­ment in 45 years. Self-employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties declined when Modi dig­i­tized India’s cash-based econ­o­my in an overnight move called “demon­e­ti­za­tion.” Between 2014 and 2016, 36,320 farm­ers killed themselves—an aver­age of 33 sui­cides per day.

A mas­sive stu­dent and farm­ers move­ment grew, and Modi’s gov­ern­ment retal­i­at­ed. Stu­dents and pro­fes­sors were false­ly arrest­ed, the press was muz­zled, and mem­bers of the oppo­si­tion were charged with cor­rup­tion. One jour­nal­ist, two writ­ers, and a dis­sent­ing judge were killed.

To jus­ti­fy the state ter­ror, Modi turned to Islam­o­pho­bia with dis­as­trous con­se­quences across soci­ety. Mobs marched into pri­vate res­i­dences in search of young peo­ple in inter-faith rela­tion­ships. These self-styled “anti-Romeo” squads ter­ror­ized Mus­lim and Dalit youth for befriend­ing Hin­du girls and detained hun­dreds of young men from minor­i­ty groups. In June, a mob in Kash­mir beat police offi­cer to death after an alter­ca­tion.

Vig­i­lantes raped Dalit, Mus­lim, and Adi­vasi girls with impuni­ty. The lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the fam­i­ly of an 8‑year-old Mus­lim girl, who was alleged­ly raped by the care­tak­er of a Hin­du tem­ple, was forced to with­draw after repeat­ed threats and intim­i­da­tion by BJP lead­ers. The father of a 17-year-old Dalit girl who says a BJP leader raped her was arrest­ed on false charges and died mys­te­ri­ous­ly in a police sta­tion.

Human Rights Watch reports that between May 2015 and Decem­ber 2018, cow vig­i­lantes lynched at least 44 people—including 36 Muslims—suspected of eat­ing beef or trad­ing in cat­tle. In one case in 2016, a group beat to death a Mus­lim cat­tle trad­er and a 12-year-old boy trav­el­ing to an ani­mal fair in Jhark­hand. Their bad­ly bruised bod­ies were found hang­ing from a tree with their hands tied behind them. Instead of try­ing to keep Mus­lims safe, the gov­ern­ment announced a nation­al com­mis­sion to pro­tect cows in Feb­ru­ary 2019. Police often stalled pros­e­cu­tions of the attack­ers, while sev­er­al BJP politi­cians pub­licly jus­ti­fied the attacks. Com­men­ta­tors accuse Modi of nor­mal­iz­ing big­otry by refus­ing to con­demn such acts. The Pew Research Cen­ter has ranked India the fourth-worst coun­try in the world for reli­gious intolerance—after Syr­ia, Nige­ria, and Iraq.

Modi estab­lished a mas­sive dig­i­tized iden­ti­ty-card sys­tem, which links the reti­na scans and fin­ger­prints of mil­lions of cit­i­zens to basic gov­ern­ment ser­vices. Fears that it could turn India into a sur­veil­lance state are under­stand­able. . . .

. . . . Much of the West­ern media still down­play Modi’s assault on civ­il lib­er­ties. They are reluc­tant to state the sim­ple truth: Modi is lay­ing the foun­da­tion of a fas­cist Hin­dut­va state, one which was first envi­sioned by the founders of the RSS. That shouldn’t be sur­pris­ing; The RSS recruit­ed Modi to their cause when he was just 8 years old.

RSS work­ers have been appoint­ed to high-rank­ing posi­tions in cru­cial gov­ern­ment insti­tu­tions like the Reserve Bank, the Supreme Court, and the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion. New text­books are replac­ing fac­tu­al his­to­ry and sci­ence with Hin­dut­va mythol­o­gy and sym­bols.

This elec­tion will decide whether India will con­tin­ue more steeply down the path of right-wing Hin­dut­va nation­al­ism or return to some of its past ideals of sec­u­lar­ism and eco­nom­ic poli­cies intend­ed to uplift the lives of poor and work­ing peo­ple.

For demo­c­ra­t­i­cal­ly mind­ed Indi­ans, the stakes couldn’t be high­er. On one side is the lega­cy of Gand­hi and on the oth­er is lit­er­al­ly the lega­cy of those who assas­si­nat­ed Gand­hi. India is turn­ing its back on non­vi­o­lence. In his final ral­ly, Modi told his audi­ence that when you vote for the BJP, “you are not push­ing a but­ton on a [vot­ing] machine, but press­ing a trig­ger to shoot ter­ror­ists in the chest.”

Yet opin­ion polls sug­gest Thakur, an actu­al accused ter­ror­ist, could win a seat in Par­lia­ment with the BJP. . . .

 

Discussion

No comments for “” . . . . Laying the Foundation of A Fascist Hindutva State . . . .””

Post a comment