CPI Rajya Sabha MP D Raja is unassuming but firm. The mild mannered and soft-spoken leader tells Digital Editor (News Services) Bhasha Singh that India is facing its own variant of Fascism. In a free-wheeling conversation, he insists opposition parties are united in dealing with the challenge and condemns attempts by the RSS and BJP to bully the judiciary and prod the state to facilitate construction of a Ram temple. Excerpts:
What are the basic changes you have noticed during the last four and a half years in the Indian Polity
The country is facing multiple challenges. There is a very serious threat to the Constitution itself. There is threat to Democracy, Social Justice, Federal governance. The country has never faced such multi-layered and organised attacks and with such intensity
Are you referring to the increasing dominance of the RSS?
RSS is clearly dictating government should do. They are directly shaping policies. Be it the RBI or universities, RSS is calling the shots. RSS is now emboldened enough to hold a three-day session at Vigyan Bhawan. There is a strong perception that the present government is controlled by the RSS. RSS, which never participated in India’s freedom movement and has made no contribution in making India what it is today, is busy rewriting history, re-defining nationhood on the basis of Hindutva and Hindu Rastra and appropriating achievements made in the past.
How is RSS posing a threat to Indian democracy?
Ambedkar was emphatic in holding that there was no place for theocracy in India. A Hindu Rashtra, he said, would be a calamity. Similarly, Ambedkar did not favour the Presidential form of government. He did not favour a two-party system. Ambedkar was clear that India should be a strong democratic, secular republic and federal in character. But the RSS is threatening those very ideas. RSS-VHP-Bajrang Dal are clearly subverting the constitution. They want to destroy the Parliamentary form of democracy and to that effect they are undermining the autonomy of all institutions.
The Prime Minister and BJP leaders these days never tire of quoting Ambedkar. And yet there is a strong perception that they are against Dalits…
These people can never be a friend of Dalit-Adivasi or margnalised sections, because their ideology is based on discrimination and hierarchy. Question of social justice was very close to Ambedkar’s heart. Whenever he talked about justice, he meant social-economic and political justice. The Constitution clearly lays down that all citizens should enjoy equality-liberty and fraternity. This trinity is inseparable and cannot be compromised. The state must guarantee this to all. But the RSS-BJP combine are opposed to them. The Modi Government is neo-liberal, fascist government.
How strong is opposition unity?
There is a consensus that the immediate task is to fend off the fascist forces and protect the idea of India and the Constitution. All secular, democratic parties with their faith in the Constitution and justice are together on this mission.
But the BJP does seem to have succeeded in breaking this unity and dividing the opposition?
When elections are held in states, there can certainly be hiccups. The stake of regional parties are often very high in states. But when it comes to the national election, then the equation changes. The media tend to jump to conclusions. But I believe there is broad, opposition unity. Once results are declared in the five states on December 11, alignments and realignments will take place.
So, are you suggesting a coalition will come into being, UPA 3 if you like?
Parties will come together on Rafale, on CBI, on farm distress and farmers…
BJP is now trying to float a third front…
BJP doesn’t believe in democracy or federalism. It has become Modi centric. Modi is development, Modi is equal to progress etc. Now they are not talking about development, they are not talking about employment, they are not talking about falling of Indian Rupee, or inflation or bread and butter issues.
BJP thinks that opposition parties will not come together and it is very happy about it. Earlier they were talking about corruption, now they are talking of Ram Temple. They are criticising the Judiciary, daring the Supreme Court. The state cannot take up the responsibility of building temples. But they want to present the judiciary with a fair accompli. It is a very dangerous trend.
Many Indians believe that India would never embrace Nazism and Fascism…
Fascism may not be visible here as it was in Germany. But it is there. It is the Indian variant of Fascism, it has its own shades and trends. Dalits and Adivasis are attacked—how do you explain that ? Women, Children, minorities are threatened. India is the only country where these right-wing forces are dictating people what to eat-wear-speak etc. They are not fringe elements, they are in power.