Defeating A Dictator: Fighting Hindutva Dictatorship In Indian Elections – OpEd


The forthcoming general election in India, scheduled from April 19, 2024, to June 1, 2024, to elect the 543 members of the 18th Lok Sabha and the new Government of India, carries immense significance for the preservation of India’s identity as a liberal, secular, and constitutional democracy. The prevailing fascist ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), coupled with the authoritarian rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the dictatorship of Mr. Narendra Modi, poses a grave threat to every democratic achievement of the Indian working people. Their agenda appears to be focused on serving the interests of crony capitalists entrenched in Hindutva politics. These unscrupulous crony capitalists are driven by a desire to monopolise all natural resources and state revenues, prioritising the expansion of their business empires at the expense of India and its citizens.

Indian democracy and its values are experiencing a decline under the Hindutva approach to public governance, characterised by the arbitrary arrest and imprisonment without trial of opposition leaders, academics, researchers, journalists, writers, political figures, writers, and social activists. This suppression is indicative of a broader erosion of democratic values. Constitutional institutions and laws are being undermined to suppress any form of opposition to Hindutva fascism and to stifle the struggles for the survival of Indian democracy. The defeat of the Modi-led BJP government is imperative to rejuvenate India as a pluralistic society founded on constitutional democracy. Reinstating respect for democratic principles and ensuring the protection of fundamental rights are essential steps towards preserving the integrity of Indian democracy.

The Hindutva politics espoused by the BJP under the leadership of Mr. Modi poses not only a threat to Indian democracy but also presents a harmful prospect for the Indian populace if elected once again in the forthcoming general elections of 2024. Indians are witnessing the regression of Hindutva politics under the authoritarian rule of Mr. Modi, which draws its philosophical and political roots from Europe.

Contrary to its purported intentions, Hindutva politics does not serve the interests of Hindus or Indians at large. Instead, it represents a perilous path, akin to a suicidal trap, fuelled by deceptive propaganda. Those advocating Hindutva ideology are not true nationalists; rather, they are adept practitioners of deceptive politics, employing diversionary tactics to further their agenda and promote corporate capitalism in India. It is imperative to recognise the dangers inherent in Modi and his Hindutva politics of hatred and falsehoods. The time has come to thwart their efforts and reject their divisive rhetoric in favour of upholding the principles of unity, inclusivity, and truth in Indian democracy.

Approximately 970 million (97 crore) Indians, out of a total population of 1.44 billion (144 crore), are eligible to participate in the upcoming general elections. These numbers represent more than mere entries in the spreadsheets of political parties and the Election Commission of India; they signify Indian citizens with a keen political consciousness. The united electoral consciousness and collective struggle of these 970 million Indians possess the potential to consign Hindutva’s electoral prospects to the annals of Indian political history. By defeating Modi, the BJP, and the RSS, they can pave the way for authoring a new chapter in Indian political discourse, one that seeks to rejuvenate Indian constitutional democracy on the bedrock of scientific principles and secular values. This collective effort holds the promise of steering India towards a future founded on peace, solidarity, science, secularism, inclusivity, rationality, and pluralism.

Hindutva fascism, epitomised by its politics of hatred under Mr. Modi’s leadership, has only yielded a grim harvest of deaths and destitution. The propaganda orchestrated by Modi and his authoritarian regime serves as a smokescreen, concealing the multitude of failures plaguing the BJP-led government. The imperative to defeat Modi, the BJP, and the RSS emerges as the primary and indispensable alternative for safeguarding India’s democratic fabric. Should Modi, the BJP, and the RSS emerge victorious in the upcoming elections, the unchecked cocktail of arrogance and ignorance of Hindutva ideology will engulf us all, laying waste to the beauty and diversity inherent in India. Therefore, it is incumbent upon every conscientious citizen to unite in opposition to this looming threat and strive to uphold the cherished values of democracy, inclusivity, and pluralism in the general election. 

History has borne witness to the downfall of every dictator and their oppressive schemes. It has also celebrated the triumph of the people. Indian history, too, stands as a testament to the power of the populace. Indian citizens possess the collective strength to overcome challenges, including the divisive policies of leaders like Modi, the political dominance of the BJP, and the reactionary ideological influence of the RSS. By uniting and mobilising their efforts in forthcoming general elections, the people of India can safeguard their nation from the brink of destruction, ensuring a brighter future for generations to come.

Bhabani Shankar Nayak

Bhabani Shankar Nayak works as Professor of Business Management, Guildhall School of Business and Law, London Metropolitan University, UK.

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