Concerned at the growth of ‘fascist forces” in the country, leaders from a variety of political streams came together on Thursday and expressed an urgent need for a collective fight. While speaking at the national convention on “India's Descent into Fascism. How do we stop it?” organised by non-government organisation ANHAD, they argued that the neo-liberal economic model the country is currently following is the source of all inequality.

While addressing the gathering, CPI (M) leader Nilotpal Basu said the fight against ‘fascism’ was a political fight which cannot be successfull until the neo-liberal economic structures were not attacked. While drawing attention towards “financial support” to the ‘fascist forces’, he also attacked the corporate groups for giving “undue advantage” to Gujarat Chief Minister Narender Modi and “projecting him as the future Prime Minister of the country.”

CPI leader D. Raja criticised Mr. Modi and said: “These very industrialists who praise Mr. Modi, have no answer when I ask them about the lowest Human Development Index in Gujarat. It’s true that the growth of communal and fascist forces is a threat but the danger is equally big from neo-liberal forces," he added.

Arguing that Hitler managed to capture power in Germany when the country was going through a period of turmoil, he said: “This country is also going through the same kind of social, economic, political and regional turmoil. This is the time to be cautious."

Speaking later in the day, activist and lawyer Vrinda Grover highlighted the importance of the proposed Communal Violence Bill in the discourse of fighting communalism. She said the need of the hour was a strong law to deal with incidents of communal violence which ensures accountability of the local authorities in dealing with the communal riot.