-DR. ABDUL RUFF
As expected by the outgoing Congress party (INC) and predicted by the corporate media lords, the Hindu communal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) have swept to power in India’s general election, buoyed by popular anger over rampant corruption at high levels, soaring food prices and mass unemployment – the issues Anna Hazare and Arvand Kejriwal championed for a couple of years but the BJP managed to hijacked the issues at the critical time of parliamentary poll, while the popular Aam Aadmi failed to do so.
A grand poll plan and its efficient execution by the BJP with the help and the support of Indian big business and the corporate media played important role in making Modi shine for the time being.
Undoubtedly, big business and rich guys have championed the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate—the self-styled Hindu strongman, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi—as the instrument through which to impose socially incendiary “pro-market” reforms in the face of mass popular opposition.
So effective was the media gimmicks, the BJP even managed a simple majority oon its own in the parliament for the first time in its political history from Jana Sangh to Janata Party to now BJP.
The BJP now has 282 seats in the incoming 16th Lok Sabha—the first time in 30 years any single party has secured a majority in the 545-member lower house of India’s parliament. The BJP’s NDA government will have the support of at least 336 Lok Sabha MPs including 54 seats won by allies.
As against the BJP’s rise, it is an historic debacle for the senior most ruling Congress Party. The election results announced on Friday constitute an historic debacle for the Congress Party, the party that has led India’s national government for all but 13 of the 67 years since independence. The Congress has won just 44 seats, little more than a fifth of its tally in the last election and not enough under the rules of India’s parliament to be recognized as the official opposition. People have no reasons now to applaud the discredited and most corrupt Congress party for its association with the struggle against British colonial rule, as BJP claims to be more patriotic than any other party in India. People now view the Congress as a dynastic party revolving around the Nehru-Gandhi family and promoting the rich and corperates at home and abroad. .
Even while talking about socialism and taking help from socialist nations worldwide, including Russia, the Congress party has only served as the principal political instrument of the rich and multinationals.
It was the Congress-led government of Narasimha Rao that, between 1991 and 1996, apart from demolishing the historic Babri Masque, also initiated the neo-capitalist turn to neo-liberal policies and adoption of a cheap-labor, export-led growth strategy. It was a Congress government that locked India into a “strategic partnership” with US imperialism and has presided over a rapid expansion of India’s military, pressing forward with the development of an air-land-sea nuclear-strike capacity and the building of a blue-water navy.
The reforms the Congress government launched were meant to promote capitalism in India. The “reform”-fueled expansion of Indian capitalism over the past two decades made India to serve the western interests in India and abroad
Returned to power in 2004 after six years in opposition, the Congress continued the BJP’s pro US and capitalist policies. All developments in India have made the people underdeveloped as the fruits of India’s economic growth have been appropriated wholesale by a tiny capitalist elite and the most privileged sections of the middle class, leaving more than three quarters of the population to survive on less than $2 a day and half of all India’s children malnourished.
The Congress led UPA regime, while removing subsides from the common people, was selling off at fire sale prices and outright gifting tens of billions of dollars’ worth of public assets to Indian big business.
The twin shocks of the 2008 world financial crisis and the post-2010 halving of Indian’s growth rate made life miserable for the common people of India where joblessness soared and prices rose at double-digit rates. The “new economic policy” pursued by the Congress-led UPA government from May 2004 through June 2008 made the prices go sky rocketed but the left wings supported the UPA regime polices slashing public spending, for free.
In West Bengal the left rulers even deceived the poor, promoted the industrialists by taking away lands of the peasants for them and allowing the expropriation of their land for big business. People who stood behind the communist parties felt frustrated and just threw them away in the polls after polls. These endless betrayals have shattered the leftists’ base of support in the country. In the 2009 elections, the Left Front’s Lok Sabha delegation was more than halved, falling to just 24. In 2014, the CPI won no seats and the CPM was reduced to 9- the lowest in the communist history of India.
The Indian capitalists and their media have been able to exploit mass anger against the Congress-led government to push Indian politics still further right making the BJP the rulers once again, while the lefts and others looked elsewhere, promoting the congress party’s neo-liberal agenda to promote capitalism. . .
The BJP is itself a highly combustible political formation. It combines captains of industry who glorify the capitalists and are opposed to common people, it recruits from the most fanatic, bellicose and antidemocratic sections of the national-security establishment, and the cadre of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) militia and associated Hindu supremacist outfits.
A lifelong RSS operative, Modi obviously has impressed India’s corporate elite and the likes of Goldmann Sachs, which considers Modi’s potential to serve as an “agent of change,” by lavishing investors with land and tax concessions, punishing strikes, and otherwise doing their bidding. Indian stock market bosses seek more foreign investments to make more profits for themselves and m families. They expect Modi to impose socially incendiary “pro-market” reforms in the face of mass popular opposition.
Billions of dollars have poured into India’s money markets in recent weeks in anticipation of a BJP victory, and already anti-people media lords are asking India’s new rulers to be more strategic and ruthless than the Congress rulers. They want BJP commitment to “fiscal prudence”—i.e., massive social spending cuts—and “structural reform” to make the poor poorer as it is happening in Europe.
Even as Modi’s ruthlessly strongman image haunts them, India’s neighbors, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and China, have all announced their readiness to work with a Modi-led Indian government. USA wants every nation to obey Americans. The Obama regime is eager to draw India even more tightly into its anti-China “Asian Pivot” and now has been anxious in recent months to set aside the flap over the visa restrictions Washington placed on Modi in 2005 because of his role in the Gujarat pogrom.
Just a word
One wonders as to how Indians who are deeply hostile to the BJP’s noxious Hindu communalist agenda chose that party to rule them.
Indeed, it was not a Modi or BJP wave; it is an anti-corruption wave, anti-Congress wave. In reality, the BJP’s real base of support is extremely narrow. Benefiting from the mass anger at the Congress and the complicity of the leftists and others, and shamelessly lying about its “development” program, the BJP won 171.5 million votes which is a 31 percent share of the popular vote, in a country of 1.2 billion people.
For sure, the Modi-led government will be a regime of extreme crisis.
Hindutva fanaticism takes fascist proportions when it has majority. With the BJP enjoying for the first time ever a parliamentary majority, sections of the Hindu right will invariably begin agitating for it to enact some of its longstanding communally-charged pledges—repeated in its current election manifesto—such as abolishing the unique status of Jammu and Kashmir and building a temple to the Hindu god Ram on the site of the razed Babri Mosque.
But whether Modi would use his RSS mode of operation or opt for Indian secular legacy remains to be seen. BJP can take bold infinitive to rebuild the Babri Mosque only if the Congress party also agrees to that.
Also, if Modi would also resort to rank communal appeals directed at scapegoating Muslims and other minorities- also remains to be seen.
As the natural ally and chief beneficiary of corperates, the BJP would naturally go for the slashing of social spending; the reduction and eventual elimination of price subsidies for energy, fertilizer and food; the gutting of restrictions on mass layoffs and plant closures; privatization; the shifting of still more of the tax burden onto common people.
The limping Indian welfare state under the Congress era is already under attack from IMF to transform India into a hub of cheap-labor production for world capitalism. But now BJP’s capitalist and Zionist enthusiasm under the arch-communalist thug Modi underscores that it is turning to authoritarian methods of rule to realize some of fascist ambitions that could not be implemented in its earlier rule.
India, for its own reasons, has chosen Narendra Modi to lead the people though he is notorious for his role in instigating the 2002 Gujarat anti-Muslim pogrom. How will he treat the Muslims remains to be seen.
The NDA/BJP ruling elite will use the BJP’s strong parliamentary majority to try to intimidate the common people and justify state repression, while their media as usual would shield the state wrongs and crimes.
Whether or not the BJP will deliver on its election campaign promises of jobs and development, work of the poor and underprivileged or promote the favorite corperates and others who financed the BJP-Congress electioneering, remains to be seen.
As both the Left parties and important regional parties refused to play their role before the poll by launching a united front to oppose the corrupt and communal parties, BKJP could have an easy but formidable wave across the nation from Kanyakumari to Jammu. .Now they all would realize that individually they are all buffoons in circus shows!.
Modi attacked the UPA government for “appeasing” Pakistan and being “soft” on China; repeatedly called for the expulsion of Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, but will he remain the same now as PM? Modi never sympathized with the Muslims who were the target of Hindu hysteria, including after communal violence in Assam resulted in the death of more than three dozen Muslims.
An innocent looking Manmohan Singh visited the Presidential palace for the last time as PM of India to submit his resignation on 17th May as the new incoming PM Narandra Modi is getting ready to assume the high seat in New Delhi.