LOIS Sophia, a 28-year-old student of the University of Montreal, Canada, was arrested for raising ‘Fascist BJP’ slogans against the BJP Tamil Nadu President Thamilisai Soundararajan on a flight to Thoothukudi and at Thoothukudi airport. The BJP Government at the Centre and its puppet, the current Tamilnadu Government, together conducted a massacre of unarmed protesters against Vedanta’s Sterlite copper smelting plant. Lois Sophia was arrested and remanded to 14 days of judicial custody based on a complaint by the BJP President who took offence at her party being called “fascist”. Soundararajan claimed that the slogan made her feel “insecure.” The incident is a metaphor for India today - where a police massacre and an environmentally destructive project are not termed a ‘threat to security’, but dissent against a Government run by fascists is criminalised and branded a threat to security!
Sophia’s arrest is not the only such instance. The Pune public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar argued in Court that the arrests of five human rights lawyers and activists under a draconian anti-terror law was justified because they were part of an ‘anti-fascist’ front organising against the current Government! This allegation is revealing. It seems that the Prosecutor is admitting that the Modi Government is indeed fascist, since ‘anti-fascism’ is equated by her with a conspiracy against the Government. It is only a Government which approves of fascism, that would seek to criminalise ‘anti-fascist’ activities and equate them with ‘terrorism’.
Professor Sanjay Kumar of Mahatma Gandhi Central University, Motihari, was attacked by a lynch mob for posting a comment in response to a post on former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, describing the latter’s demise as the “end of one era of fascism.” Once again, referring to a BJP leader as fascist resulted in a murderous attack by a fascist mob. What better confirmation of the fascist nature of BJP can there be?
Investigations have found that Gauri Lankesh’s killers were radicalised and trained by the Sanatan Sanstha, which conducts training camps for assassins and terrorists, encouraging them to kill critics of Sanghi fascist politics by branding the latter as ‘anti-Hindu.’ It is significant that while organising or even expressing non-violent resistance to fascism is equated to “terrorism” by the Modi Government, the same Government refuses to term organisations like the Sanatan Sanstha terrorist.
The Sanstha conducts assassinations, amasses bombs, and spreads terror with the openly stated intent of getting rid of the Indian Constitution and achieving a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ (Hindu Nation). A representative of the Sanatan Sanstha openly declared on television recently that his organisation wants to “change the Indian Constitution and bring Hindu Rashtra.” Yet, such an organisation is not banned. On the contrary, Narendra Modi who is today the Prime Minister of India, had sent a letter to a Hindu Conference organised by the Sanstha in Goa in June 2013, in his official capacity as the then Gujarat Chief Minister, describing the Sanstha and similar organisations as ‘nationalist.’ This indicates that Modi, like the Sanstha, recognises only the fascist ‘Hindu Nation’ of the Sangh’s dreams - and not the existing Indian nation based on a secular democratic Constitution. This is perhaps why his Government is unwilling to speak, let alone act, against the Sanatan Sanstha terror network.
The BJP is the political wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). It is a matter of record that RSS founders, writing in the 1930s and 1940s, modelled their concept of “Hindu Nation” on fascist Germany and Italy. RSS founding father Golwalkar for instance praised the Nazi purge of Jews in his book We or Our Nationhood Defined, terming it “German race pride” and hailing it as “a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.” VD Savarkar, ideologue of Hindu nationalism, in his Presidential address to the 22nd Session of the Hindu Mahasabha in 1940 expressed admiration for the “touch of Nazi or Fascist magical wand” which had transformed Germany and Italy, proving “that those political ‘isms’ were the most congenial tonics their health demanded.” Nor is such admiration of fascism a thing of the past for the Sangh and BJP. High-school textbooks in Modi-ruled Gujarat in 2004 said that Hitler had “lent dignity and prestige to the German government,” “made untiring efforts to make Germany self-reliant” and “instilled the spirit of adventure in the common people.”
Today, the Modi Government’s claims of making India self-reliant, and of being a ‘magical wand’ that would transform India’s economy have come spectacularly undone. The Note Ban claims of purging the economy of black money has proved a huge lie, with RBI admitting that more than 93% of the demonetised notes came back. Joblessness is at an eight-year low in India today, while fuel prices are an all-time high. The Rupee has plummeted and NPAs have shot up. Agrarian distress is acute and farmers are on the warpath. Mob lynchings and arrests and assassinations of rights activists and journalists are all that the Modi government has to show for itself.
At this juncture, the slogan raised by the student in Tamil Nadu must resound all over the country, on the lips of every citizen of India who is concerned about democracy. Fascist BJP Down Down!