“Social progress can be measured by the social position of the female sex” - Karl Marx


Opposition Must Take a Stand Against the War Politics of Hindutva

The political atmosphere in the country changed rapidly after the February 14 Pulwama attack. A warlike situation emerged and warmongers had a field day. War hysteria was created in Pakistan as well as India. The Indian Air Force conducted an air strike, supposedly on a training centre of the Jaish-e Muhammad in Balakot. Next day the Pakistan Air Force too crossed into Indian territory. The IAF pushed it back. In this engagement, an Indian pilot was captured in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Under diplomatic pressure Pakistan had to release him.    

Though there has been no further escalation in tension between the two countries, the politics of war hysteria and jingoism continues unabated.  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "The pilot project is completed, the real mission is yet to be accomplished." The opposition parties started saying they were proud of the IAF and stood firmly with the government on the issue of national security. Some well-meaning people started saying there should be a national consensus on national security, claiming this has been our tradition, and there should be no politics around it.

However, the fact is that whether it's an issue of national security or war against another nation, it can't be without politics. As the famous saying goes, war is a continuation of politics by other means.

The opposition parties alleged that the BJP and PM Modi are playing politics on the martyrdom of soldiers. But this is to be expected on the eve of a Lok Sabha election: what will the BJP do except politics?

It is the opposition, particularly the Congress, that should tell the nation what its conception of national security is, and take a clear stand on the issue of Pakistan and Kashmir. How does it differ from the politics of Hindutva on these issues?

On the other hand, is it possible that the RSS-BJP will practise authoritarian Hindutva politics internally, while supporting a democratic policy in external affairs?

A country's foreign policy is only an extension of its domestic policies. Were there a consensus on national security after Independence, Gandhiji would not have been killed. After all, Gandhi was killed after being declared an agent of Pakistan.

For the RSS India is only a map, where people and their will don't matter. The RSS wishes to 'own' and control the territory of Kashmir even at the cost of the sacrifice of any number of soldiers and unarmed civilians.

They didn't bother about the views of Mehbooba Mufti whose PDP was their partner in government for about three years. They are not prepared to listen to the voice of Shah Faesal on Kashmir, who topped the IAS exams and served in the Valley for almost 10 years.

They are adamant on removing Article 35A and Section 370 of the Constitution. They never bothered to talk to all the stakeholders in Kashmir in the last four years, nor do they find it necessary even today.

It is the method of the RSS to destroy democratic institutions in India. It is their nature to suppress pluralism and dissent.  

Ideologically or politically, they have never accepted Pakistan as a nation. It is not only the war cry of some warmongers, journalists of media houses, of weapon merchants and others, to eliminate Pakistan from the world map. In fact, it is the concrete ideological understanding of the RSS that Pakistan should be balkanized and annexed to India, thus giving birth to Akhand (Unbroken) Bharat.

PM Modi bragged about the completion of the 'pilot project' in Balikot, but he didn't enlighten the nation about the role played in it by the US and Saudi Arabia.  

It is in the public domain that US President Trump had already promised the good news of de-escalation between India and Pakistan, much before Pakistan PM Imran Khan's declaration about releasing the Indian pilot.

The warmongers and the Sangh are happy that Pakistan is now globally isolated, and even the countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation are not with them. Rather they invited India as guest of honour, and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj expressed her views there.  

But instead of celebrating death, here too one needs to learn something. The politics of war may benefit the arms merchants, but it will ruin the common man.  

In 1991, India too did not have the money to repay its foreign bills. And we had to go into the lap of the World Bank and IMF. As a result, foreigners gradually captured Indian markets. The suicides of farmers deprived of resources and markets, as well as the joblessness of youth are well known facts.

Today, prosperity in India is based on the loot of tribals, the toiling masses, youth and workers in the so-called unorganised sector. There is no need to boast about its sustainability. India, too, is undergoing a deeper economic crisis. Its strength lies in its huge market, given at present to large corporates and multinationals.

The day we reclaim our markets and assert ourselves independently in world politics, coming out of the US influence, the hollowness of our so-called emerging friendship with the US, Israel, EU and Saudi Arabia will be exposed.  

Certainly, the Indian government is free not to talk to the Pakistan government, if it so wishes. But it must enlighten us as to how, without taking the Kashmiri people into confidence, it proposes to deal with Pakistan's diplomacy and terror outfits. As it is treading the path shown by Israel, this government does know that despite all the barbaric aggressions of Israel, Palestine, still exists.

A consensus is needed in the country, not for the war politics of Hindutva but for the people's politics against it.

Akhilendra Pratap Singh is a member of the National Executive of Swaraj Abhiyan.



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