In the past year, things around the world have decidedly taken a turn for the right and hence, for the worse. The right being, in this case, the politically conservative and economically lassiez-faire groups around the world.
Firstly, lessons are being learnt slower in the U.S than in a class filled with clan members of George W Bush. The debts are still increasing, conscience-less companies are still wallowing in payouts and the taxpayer continues to get screwed. As the President stands helpless, with his pleas going unheard, loss-making corporates are in a race with each other to give out the most bonuses in one of the worst financial years. Amidst all this chaos, you still hear the slow-witted Republicans clamouring for tax breaks for the rich and corporates as their simplistic mantra. The conservative Republicans continue to advocate scant government intervention, even as thousands in U.S and elsewhere lose their jobs every day. It almost is relieving to note that we have stuck to strong (but sometimes inefficient) regulations, ensuring no runaway disasters like the one unfolding in the capitalist world.
But, the relief lasts only for a moment. The right-wing polity in India works much differently than the right polity in other countries, albeit much more dangerously. Though economically, they still operate (or try to, in any case) as a populist leftist party (e.g. loans at 4%, advocacy of ‘swadeshi’ indigenous goods), they occupy the fanatical right-wing space in the political spectrum. In a country that has more languages, religions and castes than you can care to remember, any occupation of this space by anyone is a sure-shot recipe towards disaster. In the last decade, we have witnessed a surge of support for communalistic parties, aided by increased prevalence of terror attacks. There have been a number of incidents that have left no doubt in my head at least on the path we will be led to if we are to have a rule under the “protective and strong” iron-hand of a communal party. The few shards of hypocrisy that were clad earlier in the guise of a promise of a secular country are being shed unashamedly to reveal the naked and ugly underbelly of religious right in India. What the underbelly shows is this – a fascist society with dubious promises of “protecting the culture” wherein protection = giving a free-hand to goons to clam up whatever they disagree with and culture = everyone has to live under a code of conduct as specified by the government. It also goes on to further promise that only certain classes of the population are to knighted as the saviours of the country, with rest of the populace subservient to these benighted few. Whatever questions may one have had in the past about the true and long-term intentions of communalistic parties, behind the foggy promises of a secure and safe nation, those have now been unequivocally answered. The path down this road is an unending one. It is so because once a particular community has achieved monopolistic dominance, the right-wingers will need to create a new space to fill in the void and will create a new villian to once again “launch a war” to protect the “culture and the nation”. Cylce repeats Ad nauseum.
The right-wing polity is surely a confused and misled group in India. With contradictory objectives, one is not sure where exactly to place them. While the right-wing in the West is actually ultra-liberal and Ayn Randian when it comes to individual liberties, in India it is the opposite. Likewise, the right-wing in the West is decidely pro-big-corporates and will wish for them to run even the country, the right in India is confused about privatization.
It is one thing to sit back and watch confused fools hit into each other but it is a whole lot serious when they start talking and walking about managing the country in the same way. Quite simply, it should not happen.
I am strongly opposed to the power, if not the existence, of right-wingers in the political space. The unfortunate truth is that I can never wish them away because they successfully continue to feed on individual insecurities to create a space for themselves world-wide. I can only advocate strongly against their rise to power and not vote for their presence in my government. May be you should too.