From ML Update


Malegaon episode has revealed that the Sangh Parivar represents a lethal convergence of both communalism and terrorism. Custodial torture and fake encounters are invested by the Sangh Parivar and its political wing Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) with a halo of gallantry as long as the victims are Muslim. The same forces, however, begin to cry foul the moment some ‘swami’ or ‘sadhvi’ or some army official comes under the scanner.


Recent revelations following investigation into the Malegaon blasts have given a serious jolt to our complacent and commonsensical political notions. Contrary to the commonsense impression that the Sangh Parivar specialises only in communalism leaving the business of terrorism to other ideological schools, we now know that the Sangh represents a lethal convergence of both communalism and terrorism. Similarly, if we thought that the business of governance would steadily take the BJP away from its fascist ideological roots, we have once again been proved wrong. The way the BJP has jumped to the rescue of the Malegaon blast accused makes it clear that however much the BJP may speak the language of ‘development’ and ‘governance’, the power and legitimacy it earns in the process will always be employed to the hilt to advance its ideological agenda.


The BJP had already chosen terrorism as its key election agenda for 2009. Now that investigation has begun revealing a different face of terrorism and the Sangh has come under the scanner for its dangerous role, the BJP has started twisting the agenda. It has started crying foul that Hindus are being framed in India. This is yet another glaring example of the characteristic hypocrisy of the BJP and the Sangh. To question the conduct of the police or investigative agencies in case a Muslim is arrested amounts to sedition in their book. Custodial torture and fake encounters are invested by the Sangh and BJP with a halo of gallantry as long as the victims are Muslim. The same forces, however, begin to cry foul the moment some ‘swami’ or ‘sadhvi’ or some army official comes under the scanner.


The expression ‘Hindu terrorism’ is a vintage RSS coinage. ‘Hindu terrorism’ is as much a misnomer as is ‘Islamic terrorism’ or ‘Muslim terrorism’. We should call a spade a spade and give the Malegaon blasts and similar terrorist acts the name they deserve: ‘Sanghi’ terrorism. And instead of remaining confined to, and content with, the official trajectory of investigation and trial, the democratic opinion of the country must resolve to become more active and vigilant to thwart the fascist danger that underlies the Sangh-sponsored or Sangh-inspired terrorist network.


The Malegaon investigations have refreshed the public memory on some nearly forgotten names of the ‘Hindutva pantheon’. We thought Savarkar and Munje were merely early 20th century characters who had not left behind any active legacy. How sorely mistaken we were! We now know that Abhinav Bharat formed originally by Savarkar has been resurrected a hundred years later and its president Himani Savarkar, daughter-in-law of the Savarkar family and daughter of Gopal Godse, brother of Nathuram Godse, boldly advocates the blasts-for-blasts principle on the lines of the bullets-for-bullets principle propounded by Maharashtra’s Congress Home Minister.


We knew that Munje, political guru of RSS founder Hedgewar, was greatly fond of Mussolini and Hitler and took pride in ‘independently conceiving’ in India what Mussolini did in fascist Italy or Hitler in Nazi Germany. But we thought Munje’s legacy was also buried with Mussolini and Hitler. Yet now we know that the Bhonsala Military Academy set up by Munje in Nashik to promote ‘military regeneration’ of Hindus way back in 1937 is very much alive and kicking. A new branch called Bhonsala Military School was opened in 1996 in Nagpur and the BMA-BMS network has been systematically schooling people for admission into NDA and the armed forces. Lt-Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit, a key blast accused and a serving Intelligence Corps officer of the Indian Army is a product of the BMS and the NDA. The implications of this systematic penetration of the armed forces by deeply indoctrinated elements belonging to the Sangh and the wider network of ‘Hindutva’ are not difficult to imagine.


The Savarkar-Munje-Hedgewar-Golwalkar school of Hindutva was unabashed in its open praise of fascism and the ideals of “militarisation of Hinduism” and “Hinduisation of India”. Those were the days when fascism had begun baring its fangs in Europe and had yet to be completely exposed. Today fascism remains widely discredited and hated across the world and fascists in India can no longer afford to speak the direct language that a Munje or Golwalkar could use so openly. Fascism in contemporary India has to perforce hide itself behind the discourse of ‘governance’ and a majoritarian interpretation of nationalism.


Countries like Italy and Germany that had to bear the brunt of full-blown fascism in the first half of the 20th century have succeeded in purging fascism out of their system, but in India fascism continues to draw its sustenance right from within the system. Even as the saffron camp makes a relentless clamour for a hard state to curtail whatever democratic space exists within the system, fascism’s parasitical spread depends very much on the generosity and patronage showered by the state. From the demolition of Babri Masjid and the subsequent anti-Muslim carnage to the 2002 genocide in Gujarat, the Indian state has always treated communal fascist campaigns with kid gloves.


Apart from the umbrella of the state, we must also reckon that the Sangh brigade and other saffron forces have over the years built up a massive propaganda network, employing the most diverse and modern means and methods to run systematic hate campaigns against all their chosen targets ranging from the minorities and socially weaker sections to the whole spectrum of progressive and consistent secular democratic forces. Depending on the context and convenience, the targets may vary in different regions – it may be migrant youth and workers in Maharashtra, Christians in Orissa and Karnataka, Muslim youth in UP and the rural poor in Bihar.


There can be no mistaking the fact that the present juncture of deepening economic crisis and uncertainty is particularly conducive for the spread of fascist forces. Everywhere they can be seen trying to channelize mass discontent along sectarian lines. The convergence of aggressive communalism, sectarian regional frenzy and terrorism makes for a potent fascist arsenal. The modules of Sanghi terror are nothing but embryonic modules of fascism. Instead of relying on the state and the political will of the so-called saner elements within the ruling classes, progressive democratic forces must meet every instance of fascist assault by unleashing the widest possible popular initiative and mass struggles and holding the state accountable in every possible way.


CPI ML-Liberation, Nov 25, 2008

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