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Tuesday, July 3, 2007
The Indian Fascism
by Sumit Sarkar
(This article was written in early 1993, in the aftermath of the Demolition of Babri Masjid at ayodhya on December 6, 1992)
Fascism in contemporary Indian as distinct from the European historical context had appeared till the other day a mere epithet, worn out by overmuch, indiscriminate use, signifying little more than particular blatant acts of authoritarian repression or reactionary violence. With the 6th of December and its aftermath, elements frighteningly evocative of its totality of horror stalk our streets, obtain connivance and implicit sustenance from within the highest corridors of power, emerge from everyday conversations with relatives, colleagues, friends of yesterday. Not that exact parallels can be found, in most part India 1992-93 remains very different from the Germany of 60 years back. Yet a closer look at the pattern of affinities and differences may help to highlight certain crucial features - most notably, the ways in which the implications of the current all-out offensive of the Sangh Parivar go far beyond even the obvious and terrifying fact that the subcontinent has just witnessed the most widespread round of communal violence since the Partition years. The drive for Hindu Rashtra has put in jeopardy the entire secular and democratic foundations of our republic. An old warning of Nehru sounds particularly appropriate today. Muslim communalism is in its nature as bad as Hindu communalism, and may even be stronger among Muslims than its counterpart within the majority community. "But Muslim communalism cannot dominate Indian society and introduce fascism. That only Hindu communalism can" (quoted in Frontline, January 1, 1993). Probing the fascist analogy, then, many contribute towards a greater understanding of the dangers that confront us today. Just occasionally, it may provide us also with what is most needed, and is in woefully short supply: resources of hope.Fascism had come to power in Italy and Germany through a combination of street violence (carefully orchestrated from above but still undeniable with great mass support), deep infiltration into the police, bureaucracy and army, and the connivance of 'centrist' political leaders. Crude violations of laws and constitutional norms and consequently had alternated in Fascist and Nazi behaviours with loud protestations of respect for legality. It is not always remembered, for instance, that Hitler had become chancellor on January 30, 1933 in an entirely constitutional manner, as leader of the largest party in the Reichstag, at the invitation of President Hindenburg. He repeatedly asserted his party's respect for legality throughout the next month - but meanwhile Goering Nazified the Berlin police, organised street encounters in which more than 50 anti-fascists were murdered, and set the scene for the notorious Reichstag fire, after which first the communists, and then all opposition political panics and trade unions were quickly destroyed.There is much, surely that is ominously reminiscent here. A mosque is systematically reduced to rubble over five long hours, in total violation of a direct Supreme Court order and repeated assurances given by the leading opposition party and its allies, and the central government does not lift its little finger. Countrywide riots follow; marked by blatant police partiality, with the guardians of the law not unoften turning rioters themselves. And then come strange political and judicial manoeuvres that in effect have allowed the land-grabbing vandals to build a temporary 'temple' complete with darshan, where curfew exists for Muslim and not for Hindus, and which suddenly is not a 'disputed structure' unlike the 462-year-old monument it has displaced, but something worthy of protection. Meanwhile the BJP alternates between an occasional apology and much more frequent aggressive justification, and VHP leaders add the Delhi Jumma Masjid to Varanasi and Mathura, and openly denounce the Indian Constitution as anti-Hindu.Expanding Target AreaIt is this wider dimension, in which the obvious, classically communal Muslim target area steadily expands, and efforts intensify to terrorise wider and wider circles of potential dissent that perhaps requires a little additional emphasis. The Hitler analogy is once again, appropriate: Jew and communist had quickly expanded to cover social-democrats, liberals, Catholics, everyone who dared to think with any independence - even, by June 1934, a number of Nazis, massacred in the 'night of the long knives'. The BJP turn towards open terror had begun with two incidents in Madhya Pradesh unconnected with the Ram Janmabhoomi movement -the murder of Shankar Guha Niyogi, labour leader of unusual initiative and originality, in autumn 1991, and the public humiliation recently of B D Sharma, distinguished progressive retired civil servant. (The Shiv Sena of Maharashtra had shown the way even earlier, of course, smashing through street terror the once formidable Red Flat Unions of Bombay in the 1970s). The beating-up of journalists on December 6 is thus not an aberration, but part of a broader emerging pattern. The forces of Hindutva have assiduously cultivated the press, with great success till recently, but fascists always like to combine persuasion with the occasional big stick.Certain like-reported developments in Delhi acquire relevance here, indicating once again the typical combination of street violence with administrative collusion even in a city where the December riots were relatively localised and minor(1), right next to a central government which is said to have banned the RSS, the VHP, and the Bajrang Dal. Peace activists trying to do things as innocuous as singing songs, distributing leaflets calling for harmony: and staging street plays have been repeatedly attacked: the police come a little later, ignore the RSS-Bajrang Dal elements supposedly under a ban, but arrest and harass anti-communal groups. Even a peace march led by men as distinguished as P N Haksar and Habib Tanvir was obstructed by the police, while a Delhi University student in an anti-communal group whose name begins with Ram was slapped by a Policeman who had arrested him: a man with such a name, he was told, should not be doing such things.The Bajrang Dal thugs often openly declare that anyone who criticises the destruction of Babri Masjid will have to go to Pakistan, while in the selectively curfew-bound Muslim Pockets of Seelampur in east Delhi, the police had rounded up all Muslim men in some areas, beaten them up unless they agreed to say Jai Shri Ram, and even pulled out the beard of a Muslim gentleman.Myths As Common SenseWhat is making all this possible is evidently a wide, though very far from universal, degree of consent, where large numbers may keep away from communal riots, maybe, even sincerely condemn them, and yet be participants in a kind of communal consensus in which a whole series of assumptions and myths have turned into common sense. Far from being a spontaneous or ' natural' product of popular will expressing a legitimate 'Hindu hurt', however, as the organised forces of Hindutva sedulously propagate, this consent is something constructed and carefully nurtured, a product of more than 60 years of strenuous and patient effort. The RSS, founded way back in 1925, and spawning from 1950s a whole series of affiliates manned at crucial levels by its cadres (among which the Jan Sangh/BJP and the VHP have been the most important), concentrated for many years on unostentatious, slow, 'cultural' work. Shakhas combined physical training of young men with indoctrination through bauddhik sessions, a chain of schools was built up, ideas were disseminated through personal contact and conversation, and even a very popular Hindu comic series was brought out (the Amar Chitra Katha extolling Hindu mythical or historical figures). It was for long, almost, a Gramscian process of building up hegemony through molecular permeation. Then, in the early and middle 1980s, came the efforts of Indira and Rajiv to play the ' Hindu card', communalising the state apparatus on an unprecedented scale through the anti-Sikh pogrom of 1984 and the subsequent cover-up of the guilty, and further eroding the rule of law through rampant corruption. All this directly prepared the ground for the Ram Janmabhoomi blitzkrieg of the Sangh Parivar, now spearheaded by the VHP. It must not be forgotten that it was the Congress government that updated the Ramayana epic into a pseudo-nationalist TV serial, and allowed access in 1986 to the idols installed inside the Babri Masjid by stealth and administrative collusion in December 1949, under an earlier Congress regime. The Sangh Parivar's war of position now gave place to a spectacular war of movement, pressing into service the latest in advertising and audio-visual techniques on a scale and with resources never before seen on the subcontinent. Hitler, by the way, had also been a bit of a pioneer in these matters, fully realising the importance of spoken propaganda through the then relatively new techniques of the loudspeaker and the radio.(2)Unlike Fascism, then, which came to power in Italy and Germany within a decade or less of its emergence as a political movement, Hindutva has had a long gestation period. This, no doubt, has given it added strength and stability, time to get internalised into common sense. But there is an element of hope here, too, for despite the tremendous effort spread across decades the conquest of hearts and minds remains far from complete. It needs to be recalled that around four out of five Indians voted against the BJP even in 1991 (its all-India percentage was 21.9) - and if that had been a vote about Ram, the UP victory was at best some kind of a mandate for a Ram temple, not for the destruction of the Masjid. The real base of the Sangh Parivar remains the predominantly upper-caste trader-professional petite bourgeoisie of the cities and small towns in the Hindi heartland, with developing connections perhaps with upwardly-mobile landholding groups in the countryside. Extensions beyond this remain unstable, as the panic evoked by Mandal and the Bihar example seem to indicate - and the whole bloated structure of today's Hindutva requires for sustenance constant excitement, a high pitch of hysteria, the stimulus of communal violence. Hence perhaps the gamble of sacrificing the BJP ministries, which could have got discredited and shown up as little different, if not worse, from Congress regimes by any long period of normal governance.An early perceptive analysis of Fascism had defined it as "not only an instrument at the service of big business, but at the same time a mystical upheaval of the ...petite bourgeoisie"(3). That a 'mystical upheaval' has happened around the slogan of Ram is undeniable, and its lavish orchestration indicates an evident abundance of funds. But the specific linkages of Fascism with capitalist interests have remained a controversial issue even for Europe, and most historians have found it necessary to make distinctions between various kinds of capital as well as across countries. Relatively underdeveloped Italy, for instance, differed quite fundamentally from highly industrialised Germany. Controversies exist also as to whether capitalist interests were linked to Fascism by positive intention, as the term 'instrument' suggests, or more through accommodation to circumstances."(4) The Indian situation is significantly different above all because of the absence of any major threat to propertied interests from organised labour or apparently impending socialist revolution. The scale and nature of the economic crisis is also not quite comparable. In post-Depression Germany, Nazism arguably could have appeared to many business groups "as the last available means of preserving the capitalist system" (5), while Fascism in Italy had had a developmental, if anti-popular, 'passive revolution' aspect that Gramsci realistically recognised even from within a Fascist prison. Neither feature is particularly noticeable so far in India, where Narasimha Rao has been carrying through wide-ranging changes in economic policy with a degree of determination and skill conspicuously absent in his handling of Ayodhya. The Jan Sangh and the BJP have been advocating such a repudiation of the Nehruvian legacy of self-reliance and planning for many years, but the forces of Hindutva, in whose propaganda and activity matters economic so far have occupied only a minor place, can claim little 'credit' for actually bringing about the shift. The Indian business groups that support Manmohan Singh's New Economic Policy (not necessarily the entire class) might still prefer a tougher anti-labour line under a Hindu Right regime no longer dependent even marginally on Left votes in parliament. Conversely, however, if the fascistic thrust of Hindutva, even now, encounters determined resistance, the traditional centrist option might appear more reliable and attractive for bourgeoisie groups, precisely because there is much less 'need' for Fascism in the interests of capitalist survival and profit than in inter-War Italy and Germany.Suicidal WobblingIt is in this context that the wobbling - and worse - of the Congress, and particularly of the Prime Minister, before and after December 6 appears so disastrous, indeed suicidal, even from the point of view of narrow party interests. There did exist a possibility of retrieval just after the sixth. The much-quoted Vajpayee interview was an indication that the BJP for a few days had been forced into the defensive. But Narasimha Rao, to quote a rather apt comment by a journalist, then proceeded "to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory". Sporadic, largely unimplemented, obviously halfhearted measurers of repression, not backed up by any political campaign by the Congress, have by now been succeeded by what appears to be yet another attempt to compete with the BJP for the 'Hindu card'. Principles apart, elementary real politick suggests that the more determined and consistent always win that kind of game. The shift in the attitude of the major Delhi-based dailies from virtually total condemnation of the BJP just after December 6 to much more ambiguous alignments in recent days might in this context be a straw in the wind of a most dangerous kind.That leaders who subjectively no doubt demarcate themselves from the BJP, their principle political rival, can still stoop to such levels of opportunism indicates the degree of spread of what I have tried to argue lies at the heart of our present tragedy: a communalised common sense produced through sustained effort. Analysis-cum-critique of the varied components of this common sense is clearly vital for any effective resistance to what, with many qualifications, may still be called the Indian variety of fascism.Fascist ideology in Europe had combined already quite widespread crudely nationalist, racist, and in Germany anti-Semitic, prejudices with fragments from much more sophisticated philosophies. That it had owed something to a general tun-of-the century move away from what were to be the sterile rigidities of Enlightenment rationalism is not a fact without some relevance today, for not similar ideas have become current intellectual coin in the west, and by extension they have started to influence Indian academic life. The ideologists of the Sangh Parivar (a Girilal Jain or a Swapan Dasgupta apart) may themselves be still largely unaware of the varied possibilities of post-modernism: that certain current academic fashions can reduce the resistance of intellectuals to the ideas of Hindutva has already become evident. The "critique of colonial discourse" inspired by Said's Orientalism, for instance, has stimulated forms of indigenism not too easy to distinguish from the standard Sangh Parivar argument, going back to Savarkar, that Hindutva is superior to Islam and Christianity (and, by extension, to creations of the modern west like science, democracy or Marxism) because of its allegedly unique indigenous roots. An uncritical cult of the 'popular' or 'subaltern', particularly when combined with the rejection of Enlightenment rationalism as irremediably tainted in all its forms by colonial power-knowledge, can lead even radical historians down strange paths (6). It is not unimportant, therefore, to recall that Giovanni Gentile had defined Fascism as a "revolt against positivism", or that Mussolini in 1933 had condemned the "movement of the 18th century visionaries and Encyclopaedists" along with "technological" conceptions of progress. Ominously relevant, too, is another peroration of the Italian dictator, in July 1934, where he called for an end to "intellectualising and of those sterile intellectuals who are a threat to the nation". Hitler at the Nuremberg Nazi Congress next year similarly exalted the "heart", the "faith" the "inner voice" of the German volk over "hair-splitting intelligence." (7)'Enemy' ImageThis, however, has been a bit of an aside: far more central to Hindutva as a mass phenomenon (or for that matter to Fascism) is the development of a powerful and extendable enemy image through appropriating stray elements from past prejudices, combining them with new ones skillfully dressed up as old verities, and broadcasting the resultant compound through the most up-to-date media techniques. The Muslim here becomes the near-exact equivalent of the Jew - or the Black (more generally, immigrants felt to be inferior for one or another reason) in contemporary White racism. The Muslim in India, like the Jew in Nazi propaganda, is unduly privileged - a charge even more absurd here than it was in Germany, where the Jews had been fairly prominent in intellectual, professional and business circles. In post-Independence India, Muslims in contrast are grossly underrepresented at elite levels, however defined. The alleged privileges, in the second place, are the product of ' appeasement' of Muslims by 'pseudo-secularist', and so very quickly the communal target starts broadening itself, and Mulayam Singh Yadav, to take one example among many, becomes a ' mulla'. The stock examples of ' appeasement' in recent days have been the destruction of temples in Kashmir, allegedly never condemned by the 'pseudo-secularists', and Muslim personal law permitting polygamy. Desecration must be condemned, whether by Muslims or by Hindus, but it is a strange condemnation that sues it to justify or condone the wanton desecration of December 6. The destruction of numerous Muslim religious places in riots (at Bhagalpur, for instance) is of course never mentioned. The Kashmir temples issue, incidentally, became very prominent in conversation just after the destruction of the Babri Masjid, indicating a concerted whisper campaign as well as, possibly, an element of guilt suppressed through verbal excess. The oft-repeated argument that Muslims must repent or atone for their acts of past or present aggression has meanwhile acquired a strange flavour in the context of some current reports from Bombay. Muslims offering to rebuild destroyed temples have been spurned by Shiv Sena, and in Dharavi a group of them who were actually rebuilding one have just been stabbed (Pioneer, January 9).On the Muslim Personal Law issue, the Sangh Parivar once again takes full advantage of Rajiv Gandhi's misdeeds, when he tried to counterbalance the opening of the locks of Ayodhya by the Muslim Women's Bill. The Muslim fundamentalist side of the appeasement (from which the only real and direct sufferers were Muslim women) is always mentioned, never the simultaneous appeasement of Hindu communalism. The real importance of the question, however, is in the light it can throw on the presuppositions, reminiscent of racism, of the Hindutva ideology. The continuation of the legal right of polygamy among Muslims is constantly linked up to assertions that Muslims consequently breed faster: "hum panch hamare pachis", as the Delhi VHP leader (currently BJP MP) B L Sharma elegantly described it in an interview he gave to a group of us in April 1991. The Report on the Status of Women in India (1975), however, had found the rate of polygamy actually higher among Hindus than Muslims (5.06 per cent as against 4.31 per cent). The Muslims, then, become dangerous simply by going through the basic biological processes of birth, procreation - and even death, for we were told during an investigation of the 1991 Nizamuddin riots in New Delhi that a dead Muslim always grabs a bit of land by burial, unlike the self-effacing cremated Hindu. Racist attitudes, finally, are neatly encapsulated in the very recent coinage of the formula ' Babar Ki Auladí. Alleged descent from Babar is sufficient to damn, no overt misdeed is really required...just as once in fanatical Christian circles all Jews stood condemned because of what their ancestors had supposedly done at the time of the crucification of Christ.Such is Hindutva ideology at its crudest, engaged in the direct justification of communal violence. The slightly 'softer' or more insidious levels should also be considered, for these can indicate almost as clearly the fascistic implications of Hindu Rashtra. Fascism has often tried to appropriate elements, or at least terms, from ideals considered laudable and progressive in the society it sought to conquer: thus the Nazis claimed to be not only nationalist- in post-Versailles Germany, but also, keeping in mind the very strong working class political presence in the Weimar Republic, ësocialist' and representative of 'labour'. The Sangh Parivar, similarly, tries to establish its claim to be truly and uniquely 'national' by a ëdemocratic' argument: Hindu interests should prevail always in India, and maybe, it should at some stage be declared a Hindu Rashtra, for Hindus after all are the majority, by Census reckoning 85 per cent of the population. But democracy logically must connote two other features in addition to rule of majority: protection of rights of minority ways of life and opinions, and, even more crucially, the legal possibility that the political minority of today can win electoral majority in the future and thus peacefully change the government. Otherwise it becomes difficult to deny the status of democracy to the one-party regimes of Hitler, Mussolini (or Stalin), for all of them did go in for occasional elections of a single-list, plebiscitary type, and won majorities which may not have been entirely rigged. Democratic theory, in other words, stands in total contradiction of any notion of permanent majorities-but such, by Sangh Parivar definition, would be the position of the party that claims to speak uniquely for all Hindus; the BJP. Inherent in that claim is a second assertion, equally reminiscent of Fascism: only s/he is a true Hindu who accepts the leadership of RSS-BJP-VHP combine. Any dissent runs the risk of being branded as pseudo-secular appeasement. So had Hitler and the Nazis arrogated to themselves the right to speak for all ' pure' Germans, along with the power to decide who are racially pure.What the triumph of Hindutva, 'hard' or 'soft', implies for Muslims and other minority groups is already obvious enough: a second-class citizenship at best, constant fear of riots amounting to genocide, a consequent strengthening of the most conservative and fundamentalist groups within such communities. The near-coincidence in time between the destruction of the Babri Masjid and the barbarous assault of Professor Mushirul Hasan does not appear accidental-and the police, interestingly, were strangely absent or inactive in both cases. The fallout of December 6 has already strengthened Muslim fundamentalist forces in Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Muslims in India, it needs to be added, are not an insignificant minority, but 120 million-the biggest in the world next to Indonesia. The sheer size and diversity of the Indian people make secularism, democracy and the preservation of national unity more closely inter-dependent than perhaps anywhere else in the world. The permanent and total alienation the BJP seems working for can lead to a Lebanon or Yugoslavia on vastly enhanced scale. The Sangh Parivar certainly has peculiar ways of living up to its much-touted claim to be more ' national;' than anyone else.Scope For Common ActionOne major distinction between the Hindutva of today and European Fascism, particularly the Nazi variety lies in a very different relationship with established religious traditions. Nazis sought to ground identity on race, not religion, and called on youth to build a new civilisation, which could at times sound openly anti-Christian. The Sangh Parivar, by very definition, has to preach total adherence and deference towards Hindu traditions even while fundamentally transforming them. That this has been a source of tremendous strength hardly needs to be stated; just possibly, it could also be transformed into a weakness given effective counter-strategies. For Hindutva is really homogenising and changing Hindu beliefs and practices on a truly colossal scale. The statement of a VHP leader, exulting over the destruction of Muslim houses near what had been the Babri Masjid, epitomises this transformation: this was necessary, he said, to make of that area a Vatican. But the vast and enormously variegated Hindu world has never had what the VHP is trying to make out of Ram and Ayodhya - a single supreme deity and pilgrimage centre, steam-rolling out of existence differences of region, sect, caste, gender, class. Even more basic is the effort to transform what millions of Hindus sincerely believe - with what degree of historical accuracy does not matter very much in this context - to be a supremely tolerant and Catholic religion into a terrifying instrument of vandalism, murder, and usurpation of political power. The traditions of catholicity in our country are deep and themselves extremely diverse. They range from syncretic, at time radically iconoclastic Bhakti-Sufi 'sants' and 'pirs', for some of whom, in the words of a Baul song, the path seemed blocked by mandir and masjid, purohit and mulla - to the conservative, yet profoundly Catholic, Ramakrishna, in whose vision Hindu, Muslim and Christian differed as little as jal from pani and water. And our thoughts today inevitably go back, time and again, to another dark January 45 years ago, when a man died, a devout Hindu whose last words had also evoked Ram, murdered by a youth reared in the culture of the Sangh Parivar. An ocean separates the Ram of Mahatma Gandhi, conceived of as both Iswara and Allah, from the Ram in whose name the Babri Masjid has been destroyed.Secularism Has Many MeaningsWhat is necessary today is the recognition that secularism can and indeed does have many meanings, that its wide and varied spectrum can extend from the devoutly religious to the freethinker-atheist, on a common minimum ground of total rejection of communal hatred and a theocratic state. This does not mean that non-religious secularists should engage in a breast-beating exercise for having been ' alienatedí from the ë mainstream' and suddenly claim to be more 'truly' Hindu or Muslim than the VHP or the Muslim fundamentalist (8). It involves, rather, an awareness that even profound differences need not rule out common action in defense of basic human values, that, as Trotsky had once said while pleading for a united front against Fascism, it is possible to "march separately, but strike together". (9)That the Hindutva forces are afraid of such unity is indicated by their persistent efforts to brand secularism and indeed all anti-communal attitudes as necessarily somehow anti-Hindu. Simultaneously they try to conflate secularism uniquely with the policies of the 'Nehruvian' state, thus making it bear the burden of the many sins of opportunism, excessive and bureaucratic centralisation and repression of which that state has been often guilty. Here, once again, current intellectual tendencies have provided respectability to such critiques, for it is often assumed nowadays that secularism was a creation of the now much-abused Enlightenment rationalism and scepticism, brought into India in the baggage of colonial discourse, and subsequently embodied in the repressive nation-states that have emerged on the western pattern. Actually, even in Europe, the roots of secularism go back at least another 200 years, to the times of the religious wars ('communal riots', we might legitimately call them) sparked off by the Reformation. The first advocates of toleration based on separation of church from state were not rationalist freethinkers, but Anabaptists passionately devoted to their own brand of Christianity, who still believed that coercion, persecution and any kind of compulsory state religion was contrary to true faith.In India, as in other countries with multiple religious traditions, the need and therefore the bases of co-existence are broader and deeper than the teachings of the vast majority of holy men of all creeds or the policies of many kings, among whom Akbar is only the best remembered. They have been grounded in the necessities of daily existence itself, which might occasionally produce conflict, but also tend towards the restoration of interdependence - if allowed to do so by organised communal forces, which means less and less often nowadays (10). And if communalism shatters everyday existence, it simultaneously halts and turns back all efforts to improve the condition of living through striving to reduce exploitation and want. It does so in two fundamental ways: by shattering the unity and struggle of toilers and all the subordinate groups, and fostering, within the rigid community boundaries it erects, tendencies towards ruthless homogenisation. Such homogenisation invariably helps the groups and interests occupying positions of power - in the context of Hindu communalism, most obviously, the high caste elite. It is noteworthy how every move towards implementing even the fairly limited measures towards social justice promised by the Mandal recommendations are being, met by a Hindutva offensive. The noticeable silences so far about specific socio-economic issues in the programmes and activities of Hindutva (no effort has been made to spell out the ' roti' concomitant of Ram, and that slogan itself seems forgotten) can be made into a space for effective secular intervention - provided, however, the habit of segregating the 'economic' and 'political' from the 'cultural' or 'ideological', fairly deep-rooted in Indian Left traditions, is abandoned. Anti-communal campaigns cannot be left to seminars or middle-class cultural programmes alone, important though these are, nor can everyday economic struggles afford to skirt questions of religion, communalism and ideology in the facile hope that material issues and 'real' class identities will automatically assert themselves.Thinking back about the Fascist era in Europe may seem a grim and depressing exercise, now that chauvinist forces are rearing their heads virtually everywhere. But the memories of the 1930s and early 40s are not just of Storm Troopers, Holocaust, concentration camps, and the nor unrelated deformations that have culminated today in the shattering of the world's first socialist experiment. They include the experiences of united, and in their time victorious, anti-fascist struggle, popular fronts, a Barcelona very different from the one seen on TV last year, the heroism of Stalingrad and not just Stalinist terror. The time may have come to draw sustenance once again from the slogan of the defenders of Republican Spain: Fascism shall not pass.
1. In terms, of course, of the high standards set in Kanpur, Bhopal, Surat, Bombay and a host of other towns in a country where 213 places were under curfew at one point after December 6, affecting 97 million people. Cry The Beloved Country (People's Union for Democratic Rights, Delhi, December 1992).
2. For a more detailed account of the evolution of the Sangh Parivar, see Tapan Basu, Pradip Dutta, Sumit Sarkar, Tanika Sarkar, and Sambuddha Sen, Khaki Shorts and Saffron Flags: The Politics of the Hindu Right (Orient Longman, Delhi 1993).
3. Daniel Guerin, Fascism and Big Business (1936; New York, 1974), p. 10.
4. Guerin, op cit.; Alan S Milward, 'Fascism and the Economy' in Walter Laqueur (ed. Fascism: A Reader's Guide (1976: Penguin, 1979).
5. Milward, op.cit, p.414.
6. Thus Gautam Bhadra, in an interview given to a Bengali journal in early 1991, managed to find elements of laudable subaltern assertion of identity in the first kar seva movement and even in the speeches of Sadhvi Rithambara. Dipesh Chakrabarti, another member of the Subaltern Studies editorial team, in a more recent article has argued that we need to search for creative elements in everything condemned by the "His Master's Voice" of the post-Enlightenment West. This, for him, explicitly includes Marx just as much as Macaulay (Naiya, February 1991:Baromas, October 1992.
7. Zeev Sternhell, 'Fascist Ideology' in Laqueur, op cit., p 334 (the quotation from Gentile); Guerin, op cit., pp 65, 168-69, 171.
8. They are less alienated, surely, from Indian culture or elementary human values than those young men of Surat who, in the name of Hindutva, videotaped their gang-rape of Muslim women. The tape, I have been told, is being avidly watched at evening parties in some affluent Bombay homes.
9. Leon Trotsky, 'For a Workers' United Front against Fascism' (December 1931) in The Struggle against Fascism in Germany (Penguin, 1975, p. 106)
10. The Frontline of January 15, 1993, pp 60-81, carries some moving reports of the striving of ordinary people to restore the torn fabrics of inter-community mutual dependence even after the post-December 6 riots.
The Political Culture of Fascism
by Jairus Banaji
I called this talk the political culture of Fascism because I wanted to draw attention away from the conventional emphasis in left theories of fascism to aspects that are much less emphasised or not even seen, precisely because they are so widespread. I want to do this by starting with the most doctrinaire and, unfortunately, still the most widespread of the left's theories of fascism, which is the line the Comintern officially endorsed and repeated, endlessly, throughout the late twenties and 1930s, while the tragedy of fascism was being played out in Europe. This was the Comintern's conception of fascism as what it called the "open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinist and most imperialist elements of finance capital". This was the Cominternís official understanding. It further states that fascism "tries to secure a mass basis (I lay emphasis on the word ëtriesí) for monopolist capital among the petty bourgeoisie, appealing to the peasantry, artisans, office employees and civil servants who have been thrown out of their normal course of life, particularly to the declassed elements in the big cities, also trying to penetrate into the working class" (cited Roger Griffin, Fascism, p. 262). In short, in the Comintern's line, fascism is the dictatorship of the most reactionary elements of finance capital. Now, the Nazi party described itself, formally at least, as a "workers' party". The Nazis saw themselves, at some superficial level, in terms of rhetoric anyway, as appealing for the support of workers. This suggests that there is something slightly specious about trying to explain the rise of Nazism in the twenties simply in terms of the dictatorship of capital. Much of the Left still subscribes to the view that fascism is primarily a product of the manipulations of capital or big business. There are several things wrong with this view. It ignores the political culture of fascism and fails to explain how and why fascist movements attract a mass following. It embodies a crude instrumentalism that conflates the financing of fascist movements by sections of business with the dynamics of fascism itself. It also views fascism in overtly pathological terms, as abnormality, thus breaking the more interesting and challenging links between fascism and ënormalityí. Finally, it contains a catastrophist vision: it sees fascism as a kind of cataclysm, like some volcanic eruption or earthquake, a seismic shift in the political landscape. So far as the situation in India is concerned, this has surely demonstrated that that is not how fascism grows. In India the growth of fascism has been a gradual, step by step process where the fascist elements penetrate all sectors of society and emerge having built up that groundwork. So, if we in India have anything to contribute to a theory of fascism, part of the contribution lies in disproving the catastrophist element. This still leaves the other two perspectives, which I called ëinstrumentalistí and ëpathologicalí respectively. Both are dangerously wrong and part of the reason why the left has failed to establish a culture of successful political resistance to fascism. Now in contrast to the 'official' view, there is another group of theories of fascism which also emanated from the left, although a more disorganized left, a left outside the Comintern, driven out of Germany by Nazism, and not collectively represented by any school. I have in mind two rather brilliant analyses that were developed in the 1930s against the background of German fascism; one by Wilhelm Reich who was a practising psychoanalyst. In his clinical work in Berlin in the early thirties, Reich would have come across literally hundreds of active supporters of Nazism. He was a committed socialist who fled Germany when it became impossible to live there, and died, ironically, in a US jail in 1957. Then there is Arthur Rosenberg, who is not very well known. He was a Communist deputy in the Reichstag in the mid twenties and would later become an important influence on Chomsky. He was a historian who wrote a brilliant essay on fascism in 1934, which we translated for the first time, in the seventies, in Bombay. That particular essay is called Fascism as a Mass Movement. Reich's book was called The Mass Psychology of Fascism and first published in 1933. Already the titles of these two works suggest to us a very different view of fascism. Earlier I had emphasised the term"tries to secure mass support" in the Comintern definition. This was said in 1933, after Hitler had come to power in Germany. Imagine the Comintern trying to tell the rest of the world that the fascists are "trying" to secure a mass base! There is a way of characterising this. It is called living in denial, bad faith, because if fascism has a mass base of any sort then we have to try and understand the issue in different terms. How is this mass base constructed? What allows for the construction of a mass base by radical right-wing parties? These are the questions that we need to confront, particularly if we want to confront our problems in India. To answer these questions it is not enough to have merely conjectural views on fascism, to say, ëfascism necessarily presupposes a worldwide economic crisisí; or ëfascism is a product of economic crisisí. This does not answer the question why people turn to fascism, because equally they could have turned to the left. Or why donít they become liberals instead? In short, why do they support fascism? The second group of theories of fascism is unified by a common focus on the mass basis of fascism. 'Fascism differs from other reactionary parties inasmuch as it is borne and championed by masses of people', wrote Reich in the book I referred to. The difference between Reich and Rosenberg is that Reich is interested in the psychic structures that explain why individuals and particular classes of individuals (e.g., the lower middle class) gravitate to fascism, and explores the susceptiblity to fascism in terms of a cultural logic, whereas Arthur Rosenberg tries to explain the construction of a mass base in historical terms. These are complementary perspectives, they certainly do not contradict each other. Reich is interested in the cultural background/politics and 'character structures' that sustain fascism, the repressions that fascism presupposes and draws upon, whereas Rosenberg looks at the broad sweep of European history against whose background right-wing ideologies flourished and conservative élites found it possible to mobilise mass support. These perspectives clearly support each other.Rosenberg classified fascism in the most general terms as a species of "anti-liberal mass movement". The emphasis here is on a secular political liberalism that asserted the rights of the individual against state authority and religious superstition, and on the defeat of that liberalism in the latter part of the 19th century.When I began to work on fascism in the 1970s, it became increasingly apparent that German fascism was not the creation of the Nazi Party. Rather, the Nazi party was, arguably, the creation of German fascism. The whole groundwork of German society prepared the way for the rise of the Nazi party. German society in large parts had been 'fascisized', if one can call it that; the preparatory groundwork was ready for some charismatic leader or party to come along and ëretotaliseí/incarnate those legacies to create the kind of political catastrophe that was created in the 1930s. The groundwork had been intensively prepared, though in an un-coordinated, non-centralised and dispersed fashion by, for instance, the völkisch 'Action groups' that were active in the twenties, organising pogroms and spreading hatred against the Jews; by the numerous organisations of demobilized veterans who experienced Germanyís defeat in the war as a terrible national humiliation, a blow to the pride of all Germans. There were within the top ranks of the German army which had suffered defeat many who were implacably opposed to democracy, to the November revolution and its overthrow of the monarchy. There were numerous radical right-wing organizations prior to the Nazi party that prepared the ground for the success of the Nazis.However, the strength of Rosenberg's essay was an analysis which showed that fascism largely reiterated ideas that were widespread in European society well before the first war. He saw the conservative élites of 19th cent. Europe adjusting to the era of parliamentary democracy and mass politics with an aggressive nationalism divested of its liberal overtones, canvassing active support for strong states wedded to expansion abroad and containment of the labour movement at home, and unashamedly willing to use anti-Semitism 'as a way of preventing middle-class voters from moving to the left' (Weiss, Conservatism in Europe 1770-1945, p. 89). The more traditionalist elements in Europeís ruling élites succeeded in defeating the liberalism of 1848 with a populist conservatism that could garner parliamentary majorities with xenophobic appeals and patriotic agendas.What replaced the discredited liberalism of the 19th cent. were new ideologies of the Right, and it is against the background of these ideologies (racism, militarism, imperialism, and the cult of authority) that we need to situate the emergence of fascism in Europe. Iíd like to suggest that fascism has to be deconstructed "culturally" at three levels. The first among these, the level that Rosenberg's work points to, is nationalism. The rational core of every fascist ideology is nationalism. Fascist movements deify the nation, so that fascism can even be seen as projecting itself as a sort of 'secular religion', and does this all the more effectively insofar as the vocabulary (artefacts, myths, rituals, symbols) of that deification is borrowed from religion itself. So when people ask themselves how we fight fascism, one way of fighting it is by confronting nationalism and beginning to build an opposition to it.The second level of deconstructing fascism and offering elements of a framework is cultures of authoritarianism and repression, be it social repression, family repression, or sexual repression. For instance, the emergence of a feminist movement in the postwar era of the 1960s and 70s represented a significant advance, because for the first time sexual politics arrives on the center stage. The emergence of sexual politics in the shape of feminism does contribute to the fight against fascism as an ideology. I strongly believe that had feminism not been on the scene, neo-nazism would be much stronger in Europe than it is today. The third and final level has to do with the fascist use of what Sartre (following Riesman) calls 'other-direction', and with violence as common praxis, that is, organised action or the ëcommon actioní of organised groups. Rosenberg himself saw the peculiarity of fascism not in its ideology, which he thought was widespread by the turn of the century, but in its use of the 'stormtrooper tactic'. A form of genocide or ethnic cleansing is implicit in the programme of every fascist movement, as it is in that of the RSS, whose longest-serving sarsangch,lak even glorified 'German race pride' and the extermination of the Jews. But the holocaust is only possible as the culmination of a permanent mobilisation ëofí/ëforí violence. Fascist violence works through serial reactions which are retotalised at the level of a common undertaking, that is to say, 'reshaped and forged like inorganic matter' (Sartre, Critique of Dialectical Reason, 649-50). Thus fascism works best in a milieu of alterity (in our case, communalism), where the oppression of blacks or Jews or Muslims produces itself as a determination of the language of their oppressors in the form of racism, where the inert execration of oppressed minorities betrays countless symbolic murders (Sartre, Réflexions sur la question juive, 58), and organised groups (criminal organisations) fabricate religious mythologies to spur campaigns of genocide. Mobilisation 'of' violence: in the savage campaigns of hate propaganda directed against Muslims in India, genocide becomes 'virtual'; "totalising" propaganda creates an enemy whose extermination it posits as possible, alludes to, suggests, justifies, or advocates openly. Hate propaganda clears the ground for physical attacks and mass killings by producing a "climate" of violence where communal 'riots' (i.e. pogroms) can 'flare up' (be organised) at any time. The "climate" is worked matter, the object of a concerted praxis. Scapegoating, racism, and virtual genocide thus form the third level: all of these require detailed, intricate, elaborate organisation, and point to fascism as the concerted action of organised groups working on serialities. Fascist spontaneity is manipulated spontaneity, organised spontaneity. No explosion of violence happens spontaneously. It presumes massive organizational inputs, as Gujarat clearly shows. At one extreme the organised group is the sovereign group itself, the state using the resources of its machinery to aid and abet the work of other organised groups. At the other extreme are the non-organised series ("masses") who are the permanent objects of 'other-direction'. Between them lie the organised groups that make up the fascist movement itself and function as pressure groups on both the sovereign and the series, exerting powerful networks of control over both, and directing the violence. The reports filed by Teesta Setalvad in the worst phase of the violence suggest that the genocide was perpetrated by ëmobsí of 5000 to 15,000 that ëcollected swiftlyí to execute the carnage ëwith precisioní. ëIt is not easy to collect such large mobs even in a city like Mumbai, let alone Ahmedabadí (ëA trained saffron militia at work?í, 7/3/02). In other words, these ghastly mobs comprised both directing groups and directed serialities, bound together in dispersive acts of murder and destruction orchestrated by activists of the VHP and Bajrang Dal, who formed an organised element extracting organic actions from inert non-organised series. A democracy that cannot disarm these stormtoopers is a democracy well on the way to its own destruction by fascism. Thus the framework that I want to suggest to you consists of these three levels. Nationalism as the rational core of fascist ideology, with the "Nation" conceived as some living entity afflicted by democracy, infected by minorities, in desperate need of renewal or "rebirth" (what Sartre calls 'hyperorganicism', that is, the simulation of organic individuality at the level of a constituted dialectic); the level of male violence and male authority, of repressive family cultures that indoctrinate women and youth in a 'passive and servile attitude towards the führer figure' (Reich), and root out of children everything that contributes to their humanity, to a sense of who they are as individuals (the capacity to think critically, to resist domination, to have friendships of their choice). In India, of course, we not only have gender repression, we have caste repression at work, the oppression of minorities, the appalling indifference towards children, etc. Thus as a culture we are replete with examples of subterranean repressive cultures in our society. I call them ësubterraneaní because they are invisible in their commonness, subtend the whole of our existence, and only become visible in times of resistance. Finally, organised brutality or violence as (common) praxis ñ the fabrication of religious and racial mythologies and campaigns of genocide as concerted praxes of organised groups acting on/conditioning serialities, ëother-directioní. When all this is put together in terms of an agenda for opposing fascism, we need to ask, have we seriously been pursuing an agenda on any of these levels? Do we have an agenda for fighting fascism in India? And wouldn't such an agenda have to go to the heart of mainstream culture to break the stranglehold of an oppressive seriality where millions of people must feel helpless and confused by their inert complicity in the politics of a movement that perpetrates violence in the name of 'all' 'Hindus'. One way of addressing some of this is by breaking the culture of silence. By talking about these issues, by debating them publicly and at home. Whenever we get the chance, we must ensure that all these issues are not swept under the carpet. For instance, one of my friends wanted to discuss Gujarat with members of his union. They were journalists, yet some of them felt quite uncomfortable and asked, "why should Gujarat be raked up once again?" "Whatís happened is done and forgotten, so letís forget about it". This attitude of "letís forget about it" is precisely what the Sangh Parivar thrives on. The great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish was actually living in Beirut in August 1982 when it was intensively bombed by the Israeli airforce and navy. The bombardment was spread over two months, and almost every day about two to three hundred Lebanese and Palestinian civilians were killed. To come to terms with that experience, he wrote a diary which he called DhÇkirah li-l-nisyÇn, 'Memory for forgetfulness'. Itís worth reflecting on what this title might mean.Going back to a more specific characterisation of each of these levels, let me start with nationalism. As you know, nationalism constitutes a terrain which is common to both the Right and the Left in this country. This is partly the reason why the Left is forced to conclude that really the Right wing is not serious about 'Swadeshi'. Actually the left sees itself as the defender of ënationalí independence, which it interprets primarily in economic terms. The left's nationalism is isolationist, it views world economy as a collection of relatively autonomous national economies and is unwilling to accept that capitalism undermines national self-sufficiency for ever, so that any attempt to go back to it (rather than forward to further integration and rational collective management of the worldís resources) is doomed to failure. The nationalism of the fascist right is also deeply isolationist and its rhetoric against ëinternational capitalí even more xenophobic. But there is another aspect to its nationalism which is not apparent in other political currents. Fascist movements subscribe to a particular kind of nationalism based on a promise of renewal or 'palingenesis', a term that comes from this book by Griffin, which is a collection of readings by fascist writers (Griffin, Fascism, Oxford 1995). 'Palingenesis' means regeneration. The idea is that there is some living practical community, the ëNationí, which is in a terminal state of decline, suffering a kind of incurable disease, and fascism projects itself as the panacea that will cure the ëNationí so that 'it' is healed and regenerated. This is a common thread that unites all the classical fascist and neo-nazi writings. Thus in We or Our Nationhood Defined Golwalkar speaks of ërevitalisingí the 'Hindu Nation' and of 'National Regeneration'. The programme he defines for the RSS is one of transforming India into an ethnocratic state based on the utopia of a fantasised Hindu community that recovers its pristine identity. He also has a racial idea of the nation, since the entire nation is identified with a particular ëraceí, similar to other Nazi race theories. So far as the cultures of authority and oppression are concerned, I think identification with authority is the crucial thing that we need to tackle. It is a matter of the school, the workplace, the family, communities, etc., all of which are factories of 'reactionary ideology', producing serial individuals (conformists) in staggering numbers, because in each of these sites of learning or socialisation 'everyone learns to be the expression of all the Others', to 'feel' like the Others, 'think' like the Others, etc., so that what emerges is a total suppression of the human, an annihilation of organic individuality, and eventually the kind of externally unified, regimented mass that images of fascist Europe depict as emblematic of fascist power. But Reich's point is that the roots of authority lie deep within the institutionalised repression of sexuality and manipulation of desires which through the family, pedagogy, etc., create an 'artificial interest' which 'actively supports the authoritarian order'. But we still require a totalising conception of how authority operates in Indian society, and how that interlaces with political strategies, with the increasing strength of the Right wing in this country. Sexual politics is equally important because it is in the interests of conservative, right-wing establishment forces to mould individuals, to control and manipulate their desires, and make the young in particular feel guilty and repressed about their sexuality. This suppression of sexuality is a powerful factor in the reinforcement of authoritarianism and the rise of fascist movements, and there is no way we can respond to such movements without encouraging reciprocity (that is, a free relationship between individuals) and an active stake in freedom. These three levels are so closely interlaced with each other that it is difficult to separate them because violence and aggression run as the common thread though all of them. If you look at nationalism in its contemporary forms, for example in the Balkans, it is no longer separable from the most horrific violence. The Serb nationalism of Milosevic, as we all know, took the form of ethnic cleansing. At the second level, of cultures of authority and repression, there is always violence. The assertions of authority are petrified violence and we have to be able to challenge them in their institutionalised forms. At the third level - violence as praxis - the issue is, can the 'other-direction' of organised (fascist) groups be combatted by anything short of the political action of other organised groups? In which case, which groups are these, and where are they? A final point relates to the fascist use of the spectacle. Fascism is a politics of spectacles. The spectacle is a display of the power of the organised group over the series. As such, it belongs to the repertoire of forms of manipulation through which all authoritarian movements seek to reinforce their hold over the 'masses', the serial impotence of the latter, and their conditioning through the hypnotic spell of symbols and images that resonate with serial meanings (the spectacle as a Mass of alterity). Mussoliniís theatrical style was strongly influenced by the theories of Gustave Le Bon who believed in the intrinsic irrationalism of the 'crowd' and whose prescriptions to politicians on how to control the crowd relied heavily ëon the French research on hypnotism of the late 1800sí. Le Bon argued that the creation of myths would become the leaderís means to excite and subordinate the 'masses', and encouraged politicians to play on the power of representation and to adopt theatrical modes. (Falasca-Zamponi, Fascist Spectacle: The Aesthetics of Power in Mussolini's Italy, 20). Religious processions and the artefacts and iconographies of religion occupy a major place in the repertoire of Hindutva precisely because spectacles play such an important role in the political culture of fascism.To conclude, therefore, I would point out that at each of these levels we have to define our theatres of resistance. Spaces for intervention have to exist at all these levels, but that requires the articulation of a powerful, anti-authoritarian politics that encourages individuals to think critically, fosters relationships based on reciprocity, and promotes a social and political culture which values freedom sufficiently to resist and undermine the hypnotic spells of nationalism, hierarchy, and serial domination.
Globalisation of Capital
(A Study Commisioned by Lok Parcham (in Punjabi) and Lok Dasta (in Hindi)
Globalisation has become the catchword of the nineties. It has come torepresent the set of major changes in the world economy which have beenunderway since the last ten or fifteen years. Transnational mobility ofcapital and its global reach are central themes of these chages which areproceeding through systematic erosion, often forcible removal, of all barriersto international trade and finance.This round of global economic change is also characterised by activeparticipation of a large number of developing countries. Although there isconsiderable debate within the political spectrum of ruling classes in thesecountries over details of ongoing reforms, there is, at the same time, a nearconsensus among them about their desirability and necessity of the reforms.Advocates of the current phase of globalisation ascribe to it an inevitablecharacteristic of a natural law and claim that it carries potential of arapid growth and universal progress for economies and individuals cutting acrosscontinents and classes. Many among its critics, on the other hand, relegate itto the status of a mere design of the imperialists and reactionaries, if not anoutright conspiracy of multinationals corporations, and end up creating animpression as if pre-globalisation capitalism was in some sense preferableto its coming globalised version.Ideological and political divisions are inevitable and likely to be all themore acute over such a large-scale phenomenon which is expected to toucheveryone's life one way or another. It is necessary, however, to deepenone's understanding of the phenomenon itself and broaden one's perspective.This book is an outcome of a study which was conducted with these objectivesin mind. It goes into the question of interrelationship between economics andpolitics which has assumed newer dimensions under the spate of globalisation.
* Are nation-states about to make their exit from the stage of world history?
* What is going to be the future shape of inter-imperialist contraditions and what kind of dangers and potentials are contained in them?
* Will the Third-World nation-states lose their sovereignity to the imperialist countries as they had in the colonial period or is it more the case that sovereignity of nation-states in general is being made porous by the global mobility and fluidity of capital?
This study aims to help the reader in sketching for himself or herself anoverall picture of the world economy and of changes it is currently undergoing.It also intends to assist in a fruitful debate over the recent changes in themodus operandi of imperialism.
*World Economy: An Overview
* Explosion in Finance and Global Expansion of Capital
* Debt: The Trap and the Crisis* Foreign Direct Investment
* Foreign Portfolio Investment* World Trade: Integration and Segmentation
* Changing Ways of Cpaitalism* Globalisation and Nation States
* Cocluding Remarks
Over 250 pagesPrice: $15.00 (Approx.)
HISTORY OF COMMUNIST LEAGUE
Communist League of India (Marxist-Leninist), was founded by a faction of Central Organising Committee, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-Ram Nath group on February 20, 1978. CLI(ML) holds that India is a less developed but never the less a capitalist country and so the coming revolution will be a socialist one. Over the years this party got divided into numerous different factions. Now a days the faction led by Ramnath publishes 'Lal Tara' in Hindi. They have a publication called 'Gargi publication'. Another faction has a considerably big publication division operated from Lucknow and known by different names like 'Parikalpana' or 'Rahul' etc. They now a days are trying to build a trade union in Delhi. The third faction,organisationally the largest, operates in Delhi, Gujarat, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. This faction is trying to understand the problems of 20th century socialism from critical perspectives.It has published many books including "Globalisation Of Capital". Among the most organized factions of CLI(ML), the fourth faction, is the Re-organizing Committee, Communist League of India (Marxist-leninist). It regularly publishes a party-organ called "Lal Salaam" every six months. This faction is mainly engaged in organizing industrial workers in Northern India.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
We are a proletarian organization who believes in Marxism. We beleive in proletarian internationalism, although our main arena of practical activities is India. Our assessment is that India is no more a semi-feudal semi-colonial country; that at present it is a backward capitalist country. Therefore India will not pass through a two-stage revolution, it will advance through single-stage Socialist Revolution. The Socialist Revolution in India will remove whatever feudal remnants exist and it will also free India from the grip of Imperialism. At present India is a multinational country that is politicaly free (within the imperialist framework), but economicaly dependent.
The strategy of the Indian revolution expressed as a formula is:
Aim of revolution: End of the capitalist production system plus freedom from Imperialist exploitation.
Main enemy of the revolution: Indian monopoly bourgeoisie and Imperialists behind them.
Main enemy of the revolution: Indian monopoly bourgeoisie and Imperialists behind them.
Main fighting force of the revolution: Proletariat of the organized and unorganized sector, rural proletariat, rural and urban semi-proletariat, under the leadership of the industrial proletariat.
Immediate Reserve of revolution: Small Peasants.
Immediate Reserve of revolution: Small Peasants.
Vacillating ally: Middle peasants and other petty-bourgeoisie.
Direction of main blow: To establish social democracy by overthrowing bourgeoisie dictatorship.
By-products of revolution: Completion of unfinished tasks of democratic revolution and end of all forms of pre-capitalist exploitation and oppression.
Path: Power capture in present day India can not take place through a long drawn protracted peoples' war alone. It requires a swift and decisive insurrection by the revolutionary classes.