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Victory of Joe Biden will energise liberal forces in the free world

A global alliance of liberal forces, like the one forged in the post-Nazi and fascist era in the 1940s, is needed to defeat toxic, bigoted and racist majoritariaism

 Joe Biden (Photo Courtesy: IANS)
Joe Biden (Photo Courtesy: IANS)

Zafar Agha

The world has heaved a sigh of relief with the United states finally electing Joseph R. Biden as its 46th President on November 7th after four days of nail-biting counting. Kamala Harris made history by becoming the first woman Vice President-elect of the USA.

The US Presidential election this time round hooked not just Americans’ attention but also of the people across the globe. It was an election wherein the USA was not supposed to just elect another president. But the Americans had to decide whether they would continue to endorse President Trump’s brand of illiberal, divisive, and racist politics for four more years that impacted many parts of the world in the last few years.

Americans finally resoundingly rejected Trump and to a great degree even Trumpism as Biden won the polls by a margin of over four million votes. Biden also made history, polling the highest number of votes ever polled by any past president. Electing a Jamaican-American father and Indian-American mother’s daughter Kamala Harris, they also conveyed that America stands for a plural society, not just for Whites, and for liberal values and the US as a melting pot where immigrants as well as people of all races can live peacefully as opposed to Trump’s white supremacist nation.

American election results, underlining the victory of liberal and inclusive politics, are globally significant as they may lead to the decline of the right wing identity based divisive politics that was on upswing for the past almost a decade sweeping many parts of the world, including India where Narendra Modi stormed into power in 2014, marketing his identity based majoritarian politics with the carrot of fantastic economic growth.

Ultra-nationalists like Valdmir Putin in Russia, Erdagon in Turkey and many other right-wing rulers captured power and gave rise to ultra-nationalist politics that generated widespread racist and anti-minorities tendencies in many countries.

Rise of Biden in America and possibility of victory of a liberal alliance in the eastern province of Bihar in India raise renewed hopes of return of liberal and plural brand of politics once again.

Free market economy coupled with high tech capitalism leading to loss of millions of jobs generated huge inequality and insecurity across the globe that right-wing demagouges like Trump and Modi exploited and succeeded in raising the spectre of the ‘other’ in the guise of immigrants in America and minorities like Muslims in India to capture power. They generated a hate-filled toxic atmosphere that bread social division and tension harming a vast majority of people ruled by right wing racist rulers like Trump and Modi.

Democrats led by Biden built a wide centrist and left leaning alliance of white middle class urbans, coloured working-class immigrants, black Americans living in suburban areas. young students and American women that finally defeated Trump’s racist and right-wing hate politics in America.

Herein is a message for Indian liberal democrats to build a wide national alliance cutting across communities and castes like Tejaswi Yadav did in Bihar recently or Congress President Sonia Gandhi did in 2004.

Indian voters, frustrated with wide-spread unemployment and massive economic slowdown, seem to be looking to return to the normal course of politics away from identity politics.

Narendra Modi’s magic is clearly on the wane as his ability to win elections on his own appeal is receding fast. In the last few years, BJP lost half a dozen assembly elections in states like Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Delhi and even in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, where BJP engineered defections to claw back to power. In all these elections, Narendra Modi had staked his own popularity, image and agenda. Voters in all these states called the bluff and now even Bihar seems to be slipping out of the NDA’s grip, if the exit polls are to be believed.

But the threat of right-wing identity politics is not yet over. New York Times rightly pointed out: “Mr. Trump may have lost, Trumpism is yet not defeated”. So, the danger looms

It is, therefore, necessary for democratic and liberal forces to forge a global alliance as they did in the post-fascist era during 1940s-50s after the fall of Hitler in Germany.

America with the Biden-Harris victory has shown the way to defeat racists by forging a rainbow alliance of whites-Blacks-coloured-immigrants together. It is now for the rest of the world to stand up and defeat hate mongers, Islamophobes, racists and ultranationalists in their respective countries by forging a new social alliance to put a stop to toxic politics.

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