India is the world’s largest democracy where elections are freely conducted and contested and where the rule of law reins supreme. To call it a 'Natzified' state is absurd.
(Hitler, Göring, Goebbels and Rudolf Hess during a military parade in 1933)
By Arnab Chakrabarty
The common refrain in university circles right since 16 May 2014 has been ‘demise of democracy in India’ and ‘the rise of a new fascist regime’ with the unprecedented victory of the BJP. Indeed, for the Left, that has been seceding political and electoral ground over the years, the victory of the BJP in 2014 coupled with another sensational repetition in 2019 was a big jolt. It’s response has therefore been that the nation has been overtaken by fascist forces. The discussion in most university circles, dominated by Left leaning academics, commonly spans how the BJP hoodwinked people, militarised the state, used ‘undemocratic’ force in ‘occupied Kashmir’ and ‘Nazified’ India.
It is nothing short of an academic murder to call India a 'Nazified' state. Lest we forget, this is the world’s largest democracy where elections are freely conducted and contested and where the rule of law reins supreme.
To begin with, the Left chooses to forget, that prior to the start of World War II, the former Soviet Union signed a treaty of Non-Aggression with the then Nazi regime of Germany, and far worse even when the war commenced the Soviet Red Army systematically aggressed upon a hapless Poland in collaboration with the Nazis and established their rule over the eastern half of Poland. So much for their hate towards Nazism. It will be also interesting to note, that during the heydays of Nazi-Soviet friendship both the regimes conducted military and civilian exchanges including a robust trade and mutual admiration for each other. Only when the Nazis violated the Non-Aggression Pact did the Soviets realise that Nazism was inherently evil. The bottom-line of this event should highlight that for the Left, morality and righteousness are non-existent and expendable as long as it serves their purpose.
The effort of the Left to compare India under BJP to Nazi Germany should normally be dismissed as low-IQ propaganda. However, for the sake of academic inquiry let us step beyond the monikers.
To begin with the BJP is a political party that works within the ambit of the Constitution. The current Prime Minister Narendra Modi works according to the rules established by the Constitution and conducts the business of the State according to the established precedents and practices. Debates are held in Parliament, laws are passed after following all the rules and regulations and the application of the same are also subjected to the supreme authority of the Constitution.
In Nazi Germany, after the complete dismantling of the Nazi state, it was the Fuehrerprinzip or the principles of Adolf Hitler that guided the Nazi State in the absence of a functioning Constitution, indeed the Führer was the final authority.
The false comparison of the BJP as the Nazi Party, the RSS as the Nazi SS (Schutzstaffel), and Muslims as the Jews is outrageous to say the least.
Clearly, the tremendous rise of the BJP and the massive outpouring of support for the Prime Minister has rendered the left obsolete and out of ideas. Unlike the racist and hateful Nazi party of Germany, the BJP is founded on the principles of social and economic justice with special focus on the upliftment of the downtrodden. The party stands against racism or mistreatment of any particular class of people. Nationalist to the core, the party believes in peaceful solution to disputes instead of aggressive posturing. The RSS on the other hand is believed to be the world’s largest voluntary social organisation that has quietly worked in every nook and cranny of the nation for decades. Similar to the BJP it believes in social justice and, of course, focuses on the rights of the Hindus who after the Partition were rendered voiceless in their own state.
The discipline training that is offered in the RSS Shakhas is certainly not a military training. It is a training offered to the cadres to make them physically and mentally strong, to foster a spirit of brotherhood and to inculcate in them a fighting spirit for justice and service towards the others. The shakhas foster a spirit of service towards the nation and towards all citizens. It is this training that helps the cadre spring into action in times of calamities and organise relief work. In comparison, the SS was an elite military unit that was composed of soldiers and Nazi party officials who were trained to fight a war (which they did on many fronts). They were trained in the usage of sophisticated weapons and vehicles and were at the forefront of the atrocities on the Jews and other classes. To be a member of the SS one had to be a proper ‘Aryan German’ and pure of blood and had to swear an oath of loyalty to Adolf Hitler. To be a member of the RSS you don’t even have to be an Indian!
Then comes the facetious comparison of Muslims in India with Jews in Nazi Germany. Hatred for Jews was the primary principle of the Nazi party that lost no time in executing its vision and ridding the earth of the Jewish question. Right from the passing of the Nuremberg Laws that disenfranchised Jews and prohibited them from conducting business, marrying non-Jews, holding public offices to the outright liquidation of the Jews by means of the Final Solution (Endlösung), Jews were always at the receiving end of the Nazis wherever they went.
In India, the formation of an independent Pakistan was the brainchild of a divisive and parochial Mohammed Ali Jinnah who expressed that Muslims would not be safe in an independent Hindu dominated India as they are separate nations.
Pandering to his absurd demands the Partition came into effect and with it came the spate of violence that left millions of Hindus homeless. Whereas Pakistan became a Muslim state India chose to remain a secular one. Ever since the formation of the BJP government at the Centre in 2014, not a single law has been passed that affects Muslims negatively. Not a single concentration camp has been opened with the aim of deporting or liquidating Muslims, as claimed. Muslims have not been disenfranchised or forced to close down their business and withhold public offices. Isn’t it rather odd that under the able leadership of Narendra Modi, India has built better relations with a primarily Muslim Middle East so much so that they did not offer any kind of patronage to Pakistan during the souring of relationship between the two in the backdrop of the Pulwama attack and the subsequent retaliation by India in February 2019?
This is the India where the Islamic call to prayer (Aazan) sounds five times a day and Urdu is one of the official languages of the Republic. Muslims earn their livelihood like any other citizen and enjoy the same civil liberties as anyone else. In fact, it is the Left that has always fed the divide between Hindus and Muslims and the propulsion of a popular BJP government gave them a rationale for further exploiting this.
The same Left which so proudly calls itself secular and non-parochial was quiet on the massive forced exodus and the plunder of Kashmiri Hindu Pandits and so far has never offered a word of sympathy for them.
The same Left however jumps at the defence of illegal Bangladeshi and Rohingya Muslims immigrants. On the question of the Triple Talaq - one of the most regressive legal practices - it was the BJP that came out in strong support of Muslim women who were otherwise forsaken by the Left and other ‘secular’ parties. Isn’t it again surprising that a supposedly ‘Nazified BJP’ would stand by Muslim women rendering historic justice to them while the Left threw desperate measures to call it as an assault on the essence of Islam?
While collecting funds and materials especially marked for ‘muslim riot’ victims and organising processions and public talks instigating Muslims, the Left conveniently forgets the Hindus burnt to death in the Sabarmati Express or killed in the recent Delhi riots.
Whereas the BJP has always worked within the ambit of the Constitution and the RSS has espoused a sane Hindu consciousness and has stood up for the rights of the Hindus, it is the Left and its cronies that worked to turn India into a broken democracy wrought with civil wars. History is witness that the Left in India sought Balkanisation of the Indian state and openly pandered to Islamo-fascists.
India under Modi retains its spirit and essence more than ever - the Indian national flag, anthem, emblem remain the same; our cultural greetings and traditions continue; minority religious organisations flourish and operate freely without any interference from the state; the criticism of the Prime Minister or his party does not result in transportation to a concentration camp; free speech is still failsafe and enforced by the Constitution; and the President of India is still the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Perhaps the Left should take an educational tour of North Korea or the Peoples’ Republic of China to understand what Fascism means. Indeed, the same Left has been ridiculously silent on the ill-treatment of Muslims by the Chinese state, and this is an anomaly of grand proportions.
The desperate depiction of India as Nazi Germany based on false suppositions should be taken seriously. History has time and again shown that an intellectual counter to the Left is the best antidote to the slow poison that has been injected into the veins of the nation.
(Author is Guest Lecturer, Department of International Relations, Sikkim University.)