A form of fascism reminiscent of Nazi Germany is being enacted in India today. While the analogy is only partial it is nonetheless highly suggestive. Of course there are bound to be many differences between two countries a century and a continent apart. But if one recalls the praise showered on the racial policies of the Nazis by none other than Guru Golwalkar, one of the founders of the RSS, the similarities become clearer.


(1) The use of street thugs under the broad control of the parent organization, the Nazi Party or the RSS, to harass, intimidate, and physically assault those regarded as the Other; Jews, racial minorities, and communists in 1930s Germany, and Muslims, Christians, Dalits and other marginalized communities, communists, other leftists, liberals, and their sympathizers in today’s India.


(2) The selective use of state forces to harass, arrest, and prosecute political opponents; however, the police are instructed to passively watch, without interference, the violence inflicted by right-wing thugs.


(3) The arrogation to the ruling clique of the right to define the terms “nation” and “nationalism” and deny this right to those who politically oppose the regime. Nazi Germany is notorious in this regard for its Aryan race concept of nation; but the RSS and Sangh Parivar versions based on Savarkar’s notion of pitrabhumi (fatherland) and punyabhumi (holy land) are not essentially different.


The recent events of the last few months beginning with the expulsion of Dalit students from Hyderabad Central University and Rohith Vemula’s death followed by the arrest of JNU student union leader Kanhaiya Kumar and two other JNU students on the utterly specious and grotesque charge of “sedition” based on false and doctored videos show all of the above features in clear detail that establish the trajectory that the Indian state under the rule of the BJP is now embarked upon. The Hindutva goon squads assaulted Kumar inside a courtroom while the police looked on and did nothing. Kumar’s and the other JNU students’ arrest is itself a complete travesty based on what has been shown to be falsified evidence while the charge of sedition in this case violates the most elementary principles of the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution. This act was compounded by the shameful lies uttered by the HRD Minister Irani in her speech to the Rajya Sabha. It illustrates graphically the depths to which the regime has sunk in attempting to silence those opposed to its philosophy and policies.


Followers of the Sangh Parivar, like the so-called lawyers who physically assaulted Kumar in court and instead of being hauled off to jail were garlanded and felicitated in full public view, are the stormtroopers of this generation in India. Although India has laws against hate speech, they are obviously not enforced when Hindutva ideologues openly threaten to maim and kill people opposed to their concept of nation and nationalism.

Top - Home