Has India turned into a Fascist country?
Narendra Modi led NDA government came to power at centre in May 2014. The election witnessed NDA coming to power after 10 years with a huge majority seen only after a period of 30 years in India. Since then the goverment has been projected by opposition as fascist and intolerant.
Fascism as a word has been used with liberty without any reservations. A careful study of the term is necessary to develop an opinion on the same.
The term fascism in modern world became popular between the period of two world wars during the rise of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Germany and Italy respectively. The model of governance established by these two leaders in their respective countries came to be known as fascist governance. Over a period of years, historians and social scientists have identified and outlined various characterists of fascist governments.
Has India turned into a Fascist country? – Single Person cult
The first and foremost character of a fascist government is that it is centred around a single person who is a powerful leader. It can be said that NDA is centred around Narendra Modi but this classification does not hold true for BJP only. India has a history of leaders becoming larger than their parties. Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi are examples from Congress while in state politics same can be said for leaders like J.Jayalalitha, Nitish Kumar,Farooq Abdullah, Lalu Yadav etc. Similarly, in previous UPA government the centre of power was Sonia Gandhi.
Has India turned into a Fascist country? – Extreme Nationalism
The second trait of a fascist government is Extreme Nationalism. The NDA government has been focusing lately more on Nationalism. While NDA government is keen on nationalism but is it jingoistic enough to qualify as extreme nationalism? Political rhetoric made by few members of BJP would help it qualify for the same. Open threats to send people to Pakistan for having a different opinion puts BJP on the far right of the scale of political thought. However NDA government has been an advocate of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakkam” which considers entire world as one family. Thus one has to meticulously see through the fine line separating nationalism and jingoism; separating political rhetoric meant for consumption of masses and correcting political mistakes.
Has India turned into a Fascist country? – Anti-Individualism
The third characteristic of fascism is Anti-Individualism and Anti-Democracy. The present government has fostered individual identity and democracy in our country by being more citizen centric, transparent and responsive.Digital India, mygov.in and twitter ready rail ministry exemplifies it best. However, at the cabinet level the the government has become more centralised. But that was the mandate to which the country voted in 2014. Accountability was missing and was to be immediately restored. Centre of power had to be restored where it belongs.
Has India turned into a Fascist country? Pro-Capitalism
The fourth trait of a fascist government is Anti-Socialism and Pro-Capitalism. There is no doubt NDA government scores higher on promoting market led growth in India as compared to UPA because it has been a proponent of Gujarat Model of development which is market centric. However, the second generation economic reforms which the present government is trying to bring in are logical extension of the Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation reforms of Indian Economy brought in by Dr. Manmohan Singh in early Nineties. These LPG reforms were not temporary arrangements but permanent ones. UPA justified their shift from pro socialism model to pro capitalism by highlighting the increasing revenues which these reforms will bring. Then why not to have more revenues under Gujarat model of governance. Moreover, NDA is market centric and not crony centric as was witnessed in various scams under UPA.
Indians need to carefully choose what they want to call themselves. Whether we have turned into a fascist nation in last 2 years or not needs to be meticulously debated and put to vote.
Picture Credits: http://www.countercurrents.org/kelly090116.htm
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