A very inane and asinine debate has gained steam among a section of the political class. This section has lost all connect with the spirit and aspirations of India, primarily because they still adhere to a calcified logic, frameworks and arguments that have rapidly lost space in the India of today.
I am referring to the debate within the CPI(M) on whether India is in the grip of fascism or authoritarianism and the two who are indulging in it are the stars of the fading Communist movement in India. It is another matter that the debate, for the larger world, is an illusory and anodyne one. In fact, the CPI(M) and CPI are increasingly seen as parties limited to the politburo but with delusions of grandeur and with the false conviction that they still play a leading role in national politics and retain relevance.
So fast are the parties and the Communist movement decaying in the country that a veteran card-carrying party historian, Irfan Habib, had to pen a letter to the CPI(M) politburo asking it to politically align with the bourgeois reactionary Congress to contain the rise of fascist and communal forces, read BJP. Like his comrades in the politburo, Professor Habib too has gradually turned into a living relic from an India and world order that have ceased to exist.
A debate on fascism and authoritarianism, however, coming from a party that repeatedly indulges in violence is indeed rich. The CPI(M) and its ‘Left Front’ allies ran one of the most violent regimes in West Bengal for over three decades. The violence and rapaciousness of its cadres and comrades is now the stuff of legend. Worshipping Stalin and Mao, and paying lip service to the proletariat, the Communists depleted West Bengal’s resources, eradicated its industries, led the desertification of its education system, starved its tribals and finally shot its farmers. In short, Communists in West Bengal ran one of the most fascist regimes that democratic India has ever seen.
In Kerala, Communists have repeatedly maimed their political opponents. It has carried an unending series of targeted killing of BJP and RSS cadres—most of them ordinary party workers, Swayamsevaks coming from disadvantaged sections of society and to whom both the RSS and BJP had reached out and given hope. In the state, they have, in a sense, overtaken their counterparts in West Bengal in the practice of violence. Hurling bomb and hacking away limbs are but a few techniques that they have put into determined practice while their elders in Delhi cry and wail over a false dawn of fascism. In Kerala, today there is no ‘Hindu Rashtra’ that the Communist dread but rather under Pinarayi Vijayan, a ‘fascist raj’ is certainly entrenching itself. This is the reality of those who hoodwink people through dialectics and perennially pose as the protector of rights of the marginalised and the oppressed.
It is these same people who rush to knock at closed doors of separatists pleading with them to come and break bread and to discuss ways to dismember India. It is the cadres inspired by such leaders whose hearts bleed for terrorists and for India haters, and who break into a macabre dance when insurgents and terrorists kill our soldiers. In such death, these traitorous cadres see the triumph of their degenerative ideology.
If these are not symptoms and expressions of fascism and authoritarianism, pray what is?
The writer is Director, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation
Follow him on Twitter @anirbanganguly