The annexation of Kashmir occupied by India by the government of Prime Minister Modi means the beginning of a new dynamic of power in the subcontinent that could have serious consequences for both global security and the political structures of India and possibly Pakistan.
In this, the first of a series of three-part articles, we will discuss the ideological roots of this fateful Modi movement to indicate the tendency of his government to another military adventure against Pakistan.
Unlike any other political leader in post-independence India, the political thought of Prime Minister Modi, as his national security policy, emanates from the vision of an Akhand Bharat and the associated ideology of Hindutva. The phrase “Akhand Bharat” means undivided India. This term stems from the belief that the entire Indian subcontinent is sacred land, destined and restored to Hindus.
The term Hindutva refers to the concept of a homogenized majority that establishes cultural hegemony. Professor Prabhat Patnaik, formerly at the University of Cambridge and now at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the most prominent leftist intellectual in India, suggests that “the Hindutva movement as it has emerged is, almost in a classical sense, fascist in his ideology, fascist in his class support. ” , Fascist in his methods and fascist in his program. “
We could argue that the Hindutva ideology has four characteristics that it shares with German fascism of the 20th century:
The first is the notion of racial superiority. In the context of the RSS-based BJP ideology, as in the case of the ‘master race’ in Nazi Germany, Hindus are considered a superior race, while the other communities of the subcontinent must subordinate themselves to the Hindu domain, therefore , the search for Indian hegemony over other countries in South Asia. The attempt to demonstrate Indian military dominance through what turned out to be a failed air strike across the international border in Balakot on February 26, 2019 is an example. Pakistan’s most effective counterattack the next day added to the frustration of the BJP government and fueled the desire to demonstrate its regional dominance and redeem its military pride.
The second characteristic is the concept of racial purity. When taken to the extreme, this implies “ethnic cleansing,” that is, exorcising Bharat Mata (Mother India), the sacred land of the Hindus, of the “lower races” through genocide. Examples of this are the itinerant gangs of militant RSS extremists who organize the lynching of Muslims and incendiary attacks in their homes. There is the terrible previous example of a pogrom when more than 1000 Muslims were killed in Gujarat in 2002, by RSS cadres during the surveillance of the then CM Gujarat Modi.
The place of ethnic cleansing is sometimes the body of a woman belonging to the “lower race.” Tariq Ali, the famous socialist activist and author, has cited a terrible incident reported by Professor Angana Chatterji of the University of California at Berkeley, in her fieldwork in occupied Indian Kashmir: “Many have been forced to witness the violation of Women and girls family members. A mother who was ordered to monitor her daughter’s rape by army personnel called for her son’s release. They rejected. Then she begged that she could not look and asked to be sent out of the room or killed. The soldier put a gun to his forehead, declaring that he would grant his wish, and shot her dead before proceeding to rape his daughter.
The third characteristic is that militarism is an integral part of the idea of a superior race and its political culture. Therefore, the militarist parades of RSS frames with brown shorts and black caps. The first that recalls the youth wing of the German Nazi party, and the second that reproduces the headdress of Mussolini’s fascist paintings in Italy during the 1930s. The celebration of physical dexterity is also an aspect of the idea of a “race higher”. Examples of this are the physical training sessions for RSS cadres, the pride of the Indian media in the broad-chested machismo of Prime Minister Modi and the latest release .
Finally, the last characteristic is the manifestation of racial superiority through territorial expansion, as a way to restore a mythical, glorious and past empire. The projection of military power through the systematic development of military weapons for a war machine by Hitler and the subsequent invasion of Czechoslovakia and later most of Europe, was an essential aspect of this idea: the ‘master race’ could establish hegemony over neighboring countries and ‘race