India's fascist challenge - By A.G. Noorani - IAMC
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India’s fascist challenge – By A.G. Noorani

On the morrow of his election victory in 2014 Narendra Modi declared that the country had been liberated from a thousand years of slavery. The claim was widely criticised. It was an assertion of M.S. Golwalkar’s thesis that the Mughal rule was Muslim rule. Implicit in it was a promise that Hindu rule would be established.

If this was the high point of the 2014 speech, the speech on May 31, 2019, after the results of the general election were out, had an even more menacing remark. None, he said, had spoken of secularism in the last five years. Implicit in it was a note of triumph, a threat and an ominous pledge. He is happy that secularism has been sidelined. Even Congress leaders at the top, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, did not fight for it during the election campaign. This is coupled with an implicit threat. Its “remnants” can expect no quarter from him in the days ahead.

The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and its political department, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have always been restive about secularism. On October 2, 1990, L.K. Advani complained that “secular policy is putting unreasonable restrictions on Hindu aspirations”. Three days earlier, he had boasted: “Henceforth only those who fight for Hindu interests would rule India.” The people of India proved him wrong. In 1991 the Congress was returned to power as it was again in 2004 and 2009. Modi is not invincible.…