Narendra Modi: Lethal Mix of Communal and Corporate Fascism

The BJP has predictably completed the formality of anointing Narendra Modi the party’s PM candidate for 2014 and once again LK Advani has gone through the motions of sulking and falling in line. However much the love-hate display of this special Guru-Shishya relationship may amuse the public, it does not have the potential of triggering any major rift within the BJP at this stage.

The poll strategists of the Sangh Parivar have deliberately chosen to name Modi as the PM nominee even at the risk of angering Advani and alienating an old ally like Nitish Kumar. The BJP wants to reduce the contest among parties to a personality-based one, much like the pattern of the American presidential contest. It is aware that the BJP has little to distinguish itself from the Congress in terms of either policies or performance. But in general public perception, Modi easily scores over the likes of Manmohan Singh or Rahul Gandhi in a personality-based contest. And the non-BJP non-Congress camp remains rather faceless as it cannot possibly project a commonly accepted face despite the presence of several powerful regional leaders.

Within the BJP, Modi is of course regarded as the most organic, authentic and aggressive leader of the Sangh stable in current reckoning. Following his projection at the helm of the BJP’s campaign for grabbing power at the Centre in 2014, the Sangh brigade has already begun to bare its venomous communal fangs and the result can be seen most glaringly in the ongoing violence in UP. When the brigade could not have its way with the Ayodhya parikrama, it unleashed the worst communal violence in the state in the post-1992 phase. Uma Bharti daring the UP police right in front of the state Assembly in Lucknow to arrest the BJP leaders accused of instigating and choreographing the violence in Muzaffarnagar brought back memories of 6 December 1992 when she had gleefully cheered on the mob of vandals demolishing the Babri Masjid.

The Indian state has been seen to be pathologically weak in dealing with rabid communal violence. From the managers of the November 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom to the architects of Babri Masjid demolition and the accompanying communal bloodbath and the cold-blooded executioners of the genocide and fake encounters in Gujarat, the state has failed to punish any major communal killer. It is this impunity which has emboldened the Sangh brigade. Had the state been not so glaringly devoid of political will in dealing with communal violence, today Modi would have been rotting behind the bars and not bidding for power. The Congress-BJP collusion in Parliament ensures easy passage for anti-peasant anti-worker legislations like the recent ones to promote land acquisition and opening up of pension funds for foreign investment, but the bill to stop and punish communal violence remains permanently consigned to cold storage.

As we have already noted, the rise of Modi has not happened overnight, or just along the trajectory of aggressive and violent communalism. Modi has endeared himself to the ruling classes and the corporate world with his policy of fetters for the people and unfettered freedom for capital. Look at the way he is being daily glamourised by the same corporate media, sections of which had exposed and questioned him quite seriously in the wake of the carnage of 2002. Look at how the US and UK are changing their own stance to reach out to India’s provincial Hitler who is now desperately aspiring for national status and global recognition. If Modi has overtaken Advani in terms of communal and administrative mischief and unscrupulousness, he has also left behind the likes of Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram in terms of advocacy and implementation of pro-corporate governance. The strands of communal and corporate fascism have found their most lethal fusion in today’s Narendra Modi.

Having lent all kinds of strength and legitimacy to Modi for all these years, the likes of Nitish Kumar today rely on Advani and the presumed anti-Modi faultline within the BJP to take on Narendra Modi. And the Congress relies on Nitish Kumar to check Modi. Instead of pursuing the bankrupt idea of collaborating with the Congress and the likes of Nitish Kumar in the name of fighting against the danger of a rising Modi, the Left must intensify its own battle against the BJP-led campaign of communal venom and corporate appeasement. The encouraging results of student union elections in Delhi and the initial signs of mass response to the CPI(ML)’s call for the October 30 ‘Khabardar Rally’ in Patna - close on the heels of the BJP’s October 27 ‘Hunkar rally’ scheduled to be addressed by Narendra Modi - clearly show that the democratic people of India will not be misled by the pre-poll Modi hype and communal frenzy.

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