DUSU WIN AND MODI'S COUNTER-OFFENSIVE: A POLITICAL ROAD MAP
In an act of blatant, electoral rigging--EVMs stopped functioning after 6 rounds when ABVP was trailing against NSUI--ABVP just won DUSU elections (3 posts out of 4).
It is a big, unexpected set back, contrary to the anti-BJP mood in the country and the massive defeat of ABVP in nearly all student union elections in late 2017 and 2018.
It is a signal: the beginning of Modi's counter-offensive against his recent decline and a foretaste of how things might pan out in 2019.
This needs to be seen as a dress rehearsal for 2019 General Elections. Congress might still win Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh--or at least two out of three.
URBAN NAXALS AND SANJIV BHATT
Modi's counter offensive began with arrests of intellectuals as #UrbanNaxals. And the sudden, almost arbitrary arrest of Sanjiv Bhatt--a saga that saw the ex-IPS officer being picked up for an obscure, 1996 case; then the lower court refusing police remand asked by the Gujarat Police--BUT THE GUJARAT HIGH COURT GRANTING POLICE REMAND WITHOUT GIVING A CHANCE TO THE DEFENCE.
BINARIES OF NARENDRA MODI
Modi wants to keep the discourse tight between his 'psuedo-nationalist', right wing politics and an imaginary threat: Dalit-Left-liberal politics of the 'anti-national', Bhima-Koregaon/Arundhati Roy variety, that extends upto a caricaturish, 'jhola-chaap' view of JNU culture and JNUism.
Modi wants binaries to remain entrenched between an autochonous, Third-World, pro-corporate, pro-Imperialist, military-industrial fascism and a liberalism not rooted in Indian traditions, drawing inspiration from the west, 'Harvard', 'UNO' or caricaturish JNU.
MODI'S DISCOMFITURE LIES WITH ANY, ANTI-RSS, ANTI-BJP POLITICS THAT DRAWS INSPIRATION FROM SANATAN DHARMA!
This is the path that Rahul Gandhi and Congress has taken of late...
The brutal fact is that Rahul's temple visits, Mansarovar Yatra, the upper caste-OBC-Sanatani reaction to the SC/ST Act Amendment, and, at a smaller level, the Sanatani Mangal Pandey Statue Installation Movement in UP, did more damage to Modi's brand of politics (that includes Yogi), than say, rising prices and corruption charges.
IT IS TO COUNTER THE RISING SANATANI OPPOSITION TO HIS POLITICS, THAT MODI HAS RESURRECTED THE ALMOST DEAD, ARUNDHATI ROY TYPE, PSEUDO-LIBERAL, PRO-WEST--CARICATURISH JNUist, POLITICAL CURRENT.
The challenge before all secular-democratic forces is not to fall into Modi's trap. We should avoid all forms of political discourses, including liberal ones, that smell of 'westernism', 'urban naxalism' or caricaturish JNUism or wokism.
India has a rich enough tradition of Sanatani dissent, Sanatani centrism and 1857 revolutionary parathesis.
BATTLE OF IDEAS
The fight in India is still political--a battle of ideas. But any lurch towards extremism, or non-Sanatani trends represented by Prashant Bhushan, Gautam Navlakha, Shashi Tharoor, or even Arvind Kejriwal or any abstract, psuedo-liberal, metropolitan, 'English-Medium', anarchist, 'idea of India' is doomed. Liberals can be accommodated. But they cannot offer leadership.
Regional forces are more rooted. But their history is against them. Modi knows too much about their material and political weaknesses. Also, ideologies of regional forces also draw inspiration from anti-Sanatani sources. This is not going to work.
Congress has a long way to go before it takes back the leadership of Sanatani society. Gandhi, Nehru, Bose and Patel are relevant but need to be updated and re-defined. Muslims need to shed all forms of League or Majlis politics. Muslims need to embrace a contemporary version of the pro-Sanatani flavour of pre-Independence forces in their ranks--forces like Jamiat Ulema Hind that opposed the creation of Pakistan.
INDIAN PEASANTRY: THE CLASS SUBTEXT
There is a class sub-text to what is happening. Western liberalism, urban naxalism, anti-Sanatani ideologies--even Lohiaism, Ambedkarism, and Nehruvianism, Gandhism, Periyarism etc emerged from organic intellectuals and took root amongst peasants, workers and masses. But today, nearly all of them are part of a sedentary elite, culture.
When there is no revolutionary alternative, fascism grows in reaction to ideologies that were once rooted--but now, have become sedantary. The visible legatees of Nehru, Lohia, Ambedkar, Periyar, even EMS Namboodripad, have acquired an aloof air. They are no longer connected to the peasantry.
It is in this atmosphere of ideological crisis that fascism has struck roots--and a new kind of pro-peasant, Sanatani ideology of 'justice for all' is emerging as a countervailing force. In the post-ideological era, attendant with the collapse of ideologies, it is Sanatani thinking and ideology, which the peasantry holds dear.
If Congress fails, or even if it is slow, new forces on the Sanatani plank of opposition to Modi will emerge--politics in India has not tolerated a vacuum for long.
If Modi finishes of democracy--well, as I keep mentioning, we always have 1857!
(To be continued)