The state and constitutional institutions conflated with a single political party is a prominent indicator of fascism, which one can see now in India, observed renowned writer and thinker Arundhati Roy.
Listing out the tell-tale signs of fascism during her talk on ‘The Fascist Movement’ at the 13th Balagopal Memorial Meet organised by the Human Rights Forum (HRF) here on Sunday, Ms.Roy mentioned that fascism comes riding on a social crisis that challenges existing hierarchies. In India, it is inextricably linked to caste, a gigantic self surveillance machine that runs the country.
Longing for a mythical past, mass movements with support from ruling class, fabrication of external threat, single largest proletarian party, subservient media, existence of street fighting militia force, hypermasculinity, anti feminism, and anti caste consciousness are all indicative of the fascist rule the country is currently in, Ms.Roy noted.
She cited the Agneepath scheme of the Central government for short term recruitment into the armed forces as one measure, which could result in large numbers of fascist militia for future. Already, Sangh Parivar, with fascist ideological moors, is training people for recruitment into the army, she noted.
Ms.Roy said the entire project of fascism in India is underpinned by corporate funding, as evidenced by the electoral bonds, and changed policy for corporate social responsibility to make it more opaque. “You can tell people about a mythical past and snatch away their future,” she said, recalling the decisions of demonetisation and COVID-19 lockdown which were anti-poor.
“What is it that makes people who are humiliated to revere the person that is humiliating them, is the fundamental question,” she said.
Urging the Left and progressive circles not to lose hope, she said however much sharp a knife may be, it cannot cut an ocean.
Advocate Clifton D’Rozario, speaking on ‘Fascist Assault on the Working Class’, said the present regime is defined by its contempt for and criminalisation of the working class, as seen from demonetisation, dismantling of Labour Laws, and COVID-19 lockdown policies.
Senior Advocate Mihir Desai from PUCL, and Jaha Aara, an activist from HRF, spoke about ‘Judiciary in the time of Hindutva’ and ‘Living in a Hindutva State’ respectively.