From persistent efforts to cut the judiciary’s independence to size, to the manner in which RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan was targeted through a sleazy media campaign, not to mention an attack on free thought and Indian institutions, the signs are clearly there for all to see. We ignore these at our peril
Fascism is an ideology with typical characteristics and fanatic follower’s .Its chief characteristic is to make every organ of the State subservient to the Leader and to totally regulate the life of every citizen.
Hitler and Mussolini were its incarnations in the last century .Their inhuman acts and the end to which they brought their nations are well known facts of history.
Though the 21st century is very different from 1930s, and fascism in its 1930's form may not flourish, a fascist State in its modified form is still possible. India is under its serious threat.
For example, Narendra Modi is now the only leader of the BJP and its government .All other leaders of the party who devoted their whole life to the party have been reduced to non-entities. L.K.Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and the rest are nursing their humiliating wounds in silence. Rajnath Singh, a former president of the BJP has been reduced to nothingness as India's Home Minister. Nitin Gadkari, another ex-president of the BJP counts for nothing in the current dispensation. Sushma Swaraj, once an aspirant for the post of prime minister, is doing, at best, a house keeping job in the Ministry of External Affairs while it is Modi that performs as the de facto Minister of External Affairs for India.
Like a hyena feeding on the kill of bigger animals, Arun Jaitley is feeding off on Modi's kill. Like an archetypical fascist leader, Modi has surrounded himself by non-entities like Smriti Irani to project himself as a giant among the pigmies.
Like all fascists , he is systematically engaged in destroying the autonomy of all constitutional bodies and autonomous institutions .When two names were recommended by the Collegium for appointment as judges of the Supreme Court, he notified the name of one (Mr Nariman ) and withheld Mr Gopal Subramanian’s name. Such selective action was unprecedented. Mr Subramaniam withdrew his name out of disgust because --in typical fascist style -- a campaign for his character assassination was launched.
Through this, one independent judge was prevented from reaching the apex court. Later, the Constitution was amended to give the power to appoint judges of higher courts to a National Judicial Appointment Commission with the Union Law Minister as one of its members .It was so formed as to make sure that nobody could be appointed as a High Court or Supreme Court judge who did not find favour with the government .
The sinister design is implicit; fill the higher judiciary with pliant and servile judges. Now that the National Judicial Appointment Commission was declared unconstitutional by the apex court, Modi is still trying to have the last word on appointments through unconstitutional provisions in the memorandum of procedure, which are being resisted by the judiciary leading to a confrontation with the Executive. Other political parties, too, are sympathetic to his move because they, too, have skeletons in their cupboards and want an amenable and manageable judiciary.
Universities and free students' organisations have been under a two pronged attack .The motive is to foist persons loyal to the Sangh's ideology ready to toe their line on the educational institutions and the other is to suppress freedom of thought of students and academia, on the campus.
A student organisation loyal to Ambedkar's ideology was banned in MIT, Madras, students at Hyderabad Central University were suppressed and victimised and almost a war was declared on JNU. A typically fascist tactic is employed to suppress students’s organisations and their activities. A conflict is engineered on the campus by employing the services of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (AVBP).
The technique is simple, the ABVP, a student’s wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), lodges a complaint with the authorities who then use their administrative power to suppress other students' organizations using police force, and their goons, if necessary. These fascist practices have been in evidence almost everywhere where there has been trouble on the campus (es).
Fascists perceive every independent person and institution as a thorn in their flesh. The RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan was a thorn which hurt Jaitley's ego more than his flesh. He is intellectually far superior to Jaitley, the lawyer and Modi, the Pracharak, whose small egoes were bruised by his intellectual superiority.
The government had the power to remove him and they would have been within their right to sack him or to let him complete his term and part gracefully, but they chose to set Subramaniam Swamy to heap insults on him through the media to satisfy their meanness. Rajan has now declared that he would be returning to the academics in the US after completing his term.
Fascists create an enemy to attack, viscerally, to divert people's attention from their continued and daily exploitation, suppression and misery and to, insidiously, justify their inhuman acts. Hitler projected German citizens of Jewish origin as the enemies of the fatherland (motherland, Bharatmata, here) and targeted and destroyed them. Modi has chosen the minorities, especially the Muslims, for this purpose.
While he himself keeps mum, his Ministers and members of parliament (MPS) act as the shameful firing squads, brazenly public in their minority bashing. Muslims are potrayed as disloyal Indians without any basis. They are projected as a threat to Hindus, who constitute 80% of
India's population, which is ridiculous.
This anti-Muslim tirade in different forms continues to be pursued with venom, rancour and a sinister design .The unfounded fear of a rising Muslim population, ordering Muslims to go to Pakistan at the drop of a hat, exhorting Hindu women to produce at least four children each, declaration of dates by which India would not have a single Muslim or Christian and other anti-minority acts are being used to keep the enemy image of the Muslims alive to pursue their fascist agenda.
The tell tale evidence of fascism knocking at our door is there for all to see and can be ignored only at the cost of our democracy and a free society; at our collective peril.