We proclaimed that the only way to smash the danger of Saffron (Hindutva) – Corporate fascism is to organise the vast working people and democratic forces under the political leadership of a revolutionary Communist Party. But, even if some people sense the danger of fascism, they say that the immediate ‘viable alternative’ is to bring down the BJP from power and install a electoral political party in power which opposes BJP. They think it is impossible to mobilise the masses under the political leadership of a revolutionary party; so they are campaigning for such a ‘viable alternative’ in order to gather ‘breathing space’ to mobilise the masses.
During the previous TN Assembly elections, these people who called themselves ‘Revolutionaries’, campaigned not only against the BJP alliance but also campaigned directly and indirectly to support and vote in favour of DMK. In order to harvest the anti-BJP sentiment of TN people, DMK projected itself as anti-BJP and shouted the slogans of social justice, state autonomy and linguistic rights. This rumbling of the DMK was convenient for these so called ‘Revolutionaries’.
In fact, the ground situation in Tamilnadu favour the base for DMK’s electoral campaign. But Uttar Pradesh, the laboratory of Hindutva, is opposite to Tamilnadu. The electoral farce in UP makes evident that the revolutionary party leadership is the ‘only alternative’ to the illusion of ‘viable alternative for the time being’ to fight fascism.
Uttar Pradesh, ruled by rowdy god man Yogi Adityanath, is preparing to go to the polls in a few months. UP is smelling saffron (what we mean here is that UP is full of Hindutva identities): Ram temple in Ayodhya – a symbol of Hindurashtra, separate ambulance service for “gomatha”s and hindutvaisation of the names of the towns.
Election predictions so far suggest that the BJP will win the next election, no matter how many atrocities the Yogi government has committed, such as targeting Muslims with Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act 2021, caste-based attack on Dalits, corpses afloat on the banks of the Ganges during Corona pandemic crisis, using of draconian UAPA on the protesting people, Lakhimpur Kheri farmers massacre. Uttar Pradesh is a land nurtured by Hindutva politics for many years! So there is nothing to surprise.
For the same reason, unlike the parties that are putting themselves forward against the BJP in Tamilnadu, none of the parties, including the Congress, which are putting forward themselves against the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, express nothing against its Hindutva policies.
It is an old rhetoric that the opposition parties are not opposing saffron politics; it is a new reality that is now maturing that those who stand up against the BJP are assimilating its ‘Hindu politics’. Yes, next year’s election campaigns are heating up. Congress, Bahujan Samaj, Samajwadi and Aam Aadmi Party are contesting against the BJP. The content of the campaigns is the BJP’s ‘Hindu’ politics vs the opposition’s anti-BJP Hindu politics. ‘No viable alternatives’ are visible as far we can see.
Priyanka’s tactics: Populism + ‘Hindu’ identity
Priyanka has targeted women’s vote by making attractive promises formulated by Prasanth Kishore such as 40% reservation for women, scooter, smartphones for girls, free travel for women in buses. However, Priyanka knows that it is not enough to win. She has also thrown away her pseudo-secularism and actively associated herself with ‘Hindu’ identity.
Priyanka worshiped Kashi Vishwanath and Durga in Modi’s Varanasi constituency last October and at a public meeting organised by her party in the name of ‘justice for farmers’ (Kisan Nyay), she appeared with vermillion (Sindoor) on her forehead and Rudraksha garland around her neck and posed like a Hindu Goddess. Not only Priyanka, but all the foreheads of the Congress big-heads sitting there on the dais were colourful that day.
As soon as the public meeting began, congress leaders including Priyanka and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel shouted ‘Har har Mahadev’. Before Priyanka started her speech, she said that she was on fast and chanted ‘Ya Devi Sarva Bhuteshu’ from Durga Saptashati and shouted ‘Jai Mata Di’. She also asked the crowd to chant. It was too difficult to identify whether it was a meeting of the Congress or the Sangh Parivar.
The congress made the issue of fraud in the purchase of land on behalf of the Ram temple trust a bigger topic of discussion than any other party. “Scams are happening by taking donations in the name of Lord Ram”, Congress Chief Spokesman Randeep Surjewala fumed. Last June, Uttar Pradesh Congress President Pramod Tiwari voiced for the ‘Hindus’ and asked that, if all other activities can take place during the Covid crisis, then why not the Amarnath Yatra. Why should faith be disappointed, Tiwari asked. Owing to the lockdown rules, the DMK government banned the opening of the temples. The Tamilnadu BJP held demonstrations for the opening of Hindu temples and tried to mobilize the ‘Hindus’ by being anti-DMK. Similarly, this was a rhetoric by the UP Congress for ‘Hindu’ mobilization by being anti-BJP.
Mayawati’s ‘Dalit – Brahmin Alliance 2.0’
The Bahujan Samaj Party, which in its initial stage embroiled in identity politics demagogued “Dalit issues can only be understood by dalits. The dalits should be lead only by dalits. Dear dalits, don’t join in other parties; we won’t include persons belonging to dominant upper castes in our party”. But after getting wisdom from the elections in the UP political field, it turned into an opportunistic brahmanical party.
If she wants to win the elections, only 23% of dalit votes are not enough. Mayawati calculated that if she gets the votes of the brahmins, who form 13% of the UP population, she could easily win the election. This calculation resulted in her new incarnation of ‘Dalit – Brahmin alliance’. After this change of tune, the BSP said that their party is not only a party for dalits, but also for poor brahmins. It gave away prominent positions to the brahmins and the dominant upper castes.
In 2007, Mayawati became the first ‘Dalit’ Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh after reshaping her identity and acted with admiration of the brahmins. Mayawati has once again taken up the dalit-brahmin alliance campaign for the next assembly elections. The BSP had already began its campaign in July.
In the first phase, they planned to hold various conferences across the state in the name of ‘Brahmin Sammelan’ to woo the brahmins. Since the Allahabad High Court has banned political parties from holding public meetings in the name of caste, the name of the conference has been changed to ‘Seminar in honour of the enlightened class’. The chief guest of the first conference was Satish Chandra Mishra, the General Secretary of the BSP, a brahmin. He was late for hours to the meeting and said that he went to worship Ram Lalla at the Ram Janmabhoomi temple and to Hanumangarhi.
Later, while addressing this meeting, Mishra discussed about the ‘main issues’ of brahmins. “What is the account for the money collected for the last 30 years for Ram temple? A year has passed, but there is no sign of the construction of the temple. The question is whether the temple will be built or not”, he argues angrily. He also pointed to the encounter of Vikas Dubey (belonged to the Brahmin caste), who was a gangster in UP, and said that several Brahmins had been killed in the last four years. He also accused the government of increasing atrocities against the brahmins. Therefore, he asked them to support the Bahujan Samaj Party as an alternative to the BJP. “If the 13% Brahmins in the state join the 23% Dalits, then the victory is certain”.
In India, as per the recent report by the National Crime Records Bureau, it was in Uttar Pradesh, that the highest number of casteist attacks on the oppressed people; massacres; sexual violence on women and girls occurred. The BSP, which is not fighting against the atrocities being perpetrated on the oppressed people, seeks justice for gangster Vikas Dubey to woo the Brahmin voters. While the Dalits are being killed for consuming beef, the party is regretting that the cows are not properly cared for in the cow sheds.
‘We too are Hindus’: Akhilesh Yadav joins the ‘Hindu Politics’ race
Samajwadi Party, the opposition in UP, has Yadavs and Muslims as their voter base. That’s why BJP is continuously attacking Samajwadi Party and Akhilesh Yadav. “Akhilesh Yadav would even convert to Islam in order to get muslim votes”, Yogi Adityanath ranted. Akhilesh feared that these continuous attack by BJP may result in losing Hindu Yadav votes. So he’s expressing that “We too are Hindus”.
“Lord Rama belongs to the Samajwadi Party. We are Ram Bhakts and Krishna Bhakts”, Akhilesh Yadav said. He started visiting Hindu pilgrimage centres like Ayodhya, Chitrakoot across Uttar Pradesh and meeting saints and seers almost on a regular basis and posts it on Twitter. He vowed to waive municipal taxes charged from temples to usher in real Ram Rajya if he storms to power.
The Samajwadi Party deals with caste politics along with hindu identity. When SP ruled, they declared Vishwakarma Jayanti as a holiday. Akhilesh Yadav slammed the present Yogi government for insulting the entire Vishwakarma community by withdrawing Vishwakarma Jayanti as a holiday and said that if they return to power, they would declare Vishwakarma Jayanti a holiday again and a massive temple would be built for Vishwakarma on the banks of the river Gomti. On April 14 this year, Ambedkar’s birthday was celebrated on behalf of the Samajwadi Party as ‘Dalit Diwali’.
Aam Aadmi Party: Stepney of the ruling classes, another political tool for the RSS!
If all the other parties started to merge with ‘hindu politics’ as a strategy to win the Uttar Pradesh elections, Kejriwal’s AAP, which came to power by talking about ‘eradication of corruption and grass-root democracy’, is consciously dissolving itself into hindutva politics and transforming itself into another political wing of hindutva. The AAP, which is contesting separately in Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Uttarakhand against the BJP, is using the double-edged weapon of communalism and nationalism in a new fashion, not only there but also in Delhi, where it rules.
Kejriwal visited the Ram temple being built in Ayodhya and announced that his government would now bear the pilgrimage cost of visiting Ayodhya. Kejriwal, who installed a temporary Ram temple in Delhi similar to the one being built in Ayodhya, worshipped Lord Rama during last Diwali. He indulged in a grand spiritual worship surrounded by his wife and ministers. It was a general rule that secularism must be practised as a party and as a government, at least nominally by law. This action of AAP presents itself as another BJP.
Ciricism arose about his sudden devotion to Lord Ram and his habit of visiting temples. AAP was criticised as adhering to ‘soft hindutva’. In reply, Kejriwal angrily said “I am a Hindu, I visit Ram temple, Hanuman temple.. why would anyone have problem with it?” Moreover, “I don’t know what is soft Hindutva. I want to unite 130 crore people of this country, unite one human being with another. This is Hindutva…Hindutva unites, Hindutva doesn’t break”, he said, resembling the tone of the RSS.
Kejriwal made public that he was mixing with the saffron stream by saying that “We are true hindutva”. And he did not spare the BJP’s “patriotic” formula. In order to promote ‘national consciousness’ for the students in Delhi, AAP government has introduced a separate curriculum in all government schools. In Uttarakhand, which is facing election next year, AAP has nominated Ajay Kothiyal, the retired Army Colonel, as their Chief Ministerial candidate. If elected to power, “Uttarakhand will be spiritual capital for Hindus of the world”, declared Kejriwal.
As a beginning of their election campaign in Uttar Pradesh, the AAP marched with the national flag in Ayodhya last September in the name of ‘Tiranga Yatra’. Prior to the Yatra, Delhi’s Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and AAP’s senior leader Sanjay Singh offered prayers at the Ram Janmabhoomi temple and the Hanuman Garhi Temple. They took a bath in Saryu river and recited Hanuman Chalisa.
Like BSP in UP, which conducted ‘Seminar in honour of the enlightened class’ to get the votes of 13% brahmins, AAP conducted ‘Chanakya Vichar Sammelan’.
In compilation, the hindutva politics by AAP is much closer to saffron fascism than any other party. In 2019, when terrorising fascist attacks were launched on those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi, Kejriwal remained a silent observer. When a farmer asked Kejriwal, who attended a meeting with farmers in Punjab last October, “What do you think of Modi’s move to repeal Article 370 which granted Kashmir special status?”. Kejriwal replied “This is a ‘political question’, ask if there is anything else” and left the meeting. The liberals who criticize this attitude of Aam Aadmi, call it as BJP’s ‘B’ team.
It is more appropriate to call it as ‘B’ team of the ruling classes than calling it as BJP’s ‘B’ team. The working people, stirred up by the Modi government’s economic policies, have begun to show discontent and anger towards the BJP. But not on its ideology of hindutva or jingoism. In this context, if the BJP’s popularity declines, the ruling classes will adopt the AAP, which is transforming into a party that can attract the masses by speaking the same hindutva-jingoism. In short, the AAP will act as a ‘stepney’ for the ruling classes if the ‘tyre’ called BJP punctures.
Moreover, the fascist army called RSS, doesn’t have to attain its goal of Hindurashtra by using the BJP the only way. BJP is just a political tool to the RSS. The RSS may also use another party. It has its roots in India for over a hundred years. Any party can be made to submit to its conception, says Comrade P.J. James of CPI (ML) Red Star (In his speech in English titled Neo-Liberalism and Neo-Fascism : A Leftist Perspective).
How to face the danger of Hindurashtra?
If the brahminical – hindutva fascism gets rooted further among the masses, also the ‘viable alternatives’ will disappear. One way is to accept the fascist dictatorship. Another way is to mobilize the working people under the leadership of the proletarian party and fight against the fascism. There is nothing such as interplay between the two or ‘breathing space’. This is the truth that the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections teaches us.
Can those who have asked to support the DMK in Tamil Nadu against the BJP now say which party could be supported in Uttar Pradesh? If DMK in Tamilnadu is the ‘viable alternative’, then what is the ‘viable alternative’ at the Indian level? If they say it’s the Congress, should the CPM and Trinamool Congress be opposed in states like Kerala and West Bengal? But if you look at the situations in those states, the CPM and the Trinamool Congress seems to be the alternative. This is a distrustful and confusing argument that does not believe in mobilizing people.
Defeating Saffron – Corporate fascism or supporting the forces fighting for it is not the intend of Congress or DMK or any of the electoral political parties. Their aim is to seize power and exploit to get rich. They design their campaigns and policies just to get the popular support of the people. Tamilnadu’s anti-BJP sentiment gave the DMK ‘social justice’ as its tool. While the hindu-fanaticism of Uttar Pradesh has made the above parties converge with hindutva.
The decisive element in the anti-fascist struggle is who is politicising the people. The question is that whether we are going to mobilise the broad masses of working people under the proletarian revolutionary politics, or the enemy under hindutva politics. To prop up of the ruling class parties in the name of ‘viable alternative’ is out of syllabus.