GOVERNMENT WANTS WAR AND OPPOSITION DOESN’T DEMAND PEACE

Hindu Nazist government is on a collective suicidal mission and going forward steadily and stealthily for war that could put nothing less than A QUARTER OF WORLD POPULATION in absolute danger (including nuclear catastrophe), those who remain unmoved should at minimum be called “war-enablers”. These are the worst people now.  Surely, we can’t appeal to the conscience of millions of Hindu Nazists for they do not have one; but crores of war-enablers, supposedly opposed to Hindu Nazists, behaving like they have no conscience or rationality are monstrous evil. Not fighting against war is their crime. Later fighting in the war, even if they do, might not redeem them. Their silence is not a clarion call for war; but they are by default and by design enabling war, both in national and international realms. We should urgently save ourselves from becoming the silent by products of the Hindu Nazist war machine. Whoever has a conscience should develop an anti-war consciousness and come out for peace. Let there be Not in Our Name.

The Centre is fast consolidating, and upping the ante, simultaneously against the non-BJP ruled Indian States and the neighbouring countries. The Hindu Nazist imperialism aims to conquer the Indian States and wants to extend their domination to the neighbouring countries as well. The internal wars are no longer limited to genocides against Adivasis, Dalits, Muslims, Kashmiris and the people of North East. War is being socialised, through the cadres and social networks (both offline and online) of Sangh Parivar. Unless you are a docile commentator from the savarna India academia or media, it is nearly impossible not to connect the dots- the warmongering against the Indian States and the neighbouring countries.

Bengal is under siege; people in the state are already organising peace rallies! The battle for Bihar is in its final episode and Nitish Kumar has been taken prisoner of Center’s war and installed as the Chief Minister of a puppet regime in the most rebellious State in the country, while quarantining Comrade Lalu Prasad Yadav – the single most important anti-fascist popular leader in the Sanghi den of Hindi heartless lands. Uttar Pradesh is being pillaged after the BJP victory (Shaharanpur is levelled and there was an attempt on the life of Chandrashekhar Azad, the imprisoned chief of Bhim Army. Only time will reveal under what distressing conditions, Mayawati was forced to resign from Rajya Sabha. It was surely to save herself or her community or both, from the coming onslaughts). Kerala is awaiting either AFSPA or President’s Rule (The ruthless killers of Kuppu Devaraj, CPI-M led government, is surrendering to the ruthless Sanghis and falling for Center’s blackmail in the vain hope that it would help them). Why all of a sudden there is this mad rush for conquering all the regions in India at once? The larger designs of Shah-Modi combine may have some method in their madness. The Center’s final consolidation against the non-conforming States may have something to do with its military mobilisation at the borders, the latest against China. Sigh, there is an area now that can be objectively called Indian Occupied China!

It is a dangerous game for all parties- either involved or (pretending to be) uninvolved, including the regime and its established or soon-to-be victims. There is no normalcy in India but the opposition parties are pretending that they don’t see it all. It is easier not to see the Hindu Nazist imperialism as long as it is against the usual victims within, where silence actually helps the opposition to remain passive (often colluding) benefactors in the mainstream politics of the mainland. But one can’t mistake the Chinese for Kashmiris or Adivasis in Central India. You can close your eyes and be silent about war clouds on the India-China border only at your own peril. Besides, one terrible consequence of the fact that we no longer have a strong national party in the Opposition means the foreign policy of the government goes mostly uncontested.

Not only that, a peace movement is also conspicuously absent. And in times like this, absence of an entrenched peace movement means guaranteed war. Leave peace movement aside, there are now even dangerous manipulators on the horizon: those who seek war or think that you don’t have to raise voices against war. These categories of political scoundrels, either through ignorance, cowardice or sheer boredom speaking in multiple registers are contributing to the same murderous outcome..

By behaving as if the war is not going to be very real, if it is, it would be a matter between the soldiers of the two/three countries at the border, they are helping the country to reach the precipice. Some of them say we will only win, with no attention to the possibility of losing. What is important is our honor, self-respect, even if it takes many lives, it is okay.

There is a silent version of it too. They stay silent and suggest through their ignoring of the dangerous game of a war-like or almost a war situation that it is not such a big problem. Yet another active version of it is to discuss coolly what will happen if India and China go to war, who will win etc. All of them have their adherents among the journalists to political parties to academics and the citizenry.

Such a typical war scoundrels begin their argument, explicitly or implicitly, by either talking about something else as the main issue for us or what is best for  India to have a face-saving option to withdraw its troops from a foreign region. There is nothing absolutely wrong in withdrawing your troops from another’s territory – even if it is disputed, even if you are invited to do so – when the dangers far, far outweigh the benefits you want to achieve by doing it, does not occur to these people. Those talking about honor and self-respect NOW instead of finding ways to prevent the war are being stupid or simply lying or they are displaying a breathtaking irresponsibility, which doesn’t even help them either in the end.

If we go to war, even if we win it, still we will have to bear a tremendous price for it, and not just by the lives of soldiers. Last time India and China fought, not only that there are stories of courage but there are far more depressing, if understandable, stories of soldiers running away from the field. If we say this time it wouldn’t happen, then, it doesn’t require much to understand that there will be more deaths.

In such circumstances as the one we face at the borders with China at the moment, one expects Congress party – the main opposition party and the most experienced in running a country all most all through its post colonial history, would issue a statement to warn the government to behave and demand from it to strive in every possible way to avoid war. One further expects that it should have called all oppositional parties to mobilize for such an option to change the mind of the present government.

Instead, Congress party stupidly thinks it would be taunted later that it was cowardly (the same Opposition party didn’t have any qualms to almost imprison all its legislators in another state for fear of defections). It even said in public to the government that whatever you do we are with you.

Left parties could have started a Peace Movement, particularly through a mobilization of the women, the worst victims of any war. But they have been stunned into silence. Thus, both Congress and the Left would have prompted some rethinking, a clear signal to the world that India is not united in dying for a war and bloodshed. The Congress thinks that war is only about a matter of the government. It didn’t bother to address the citizens. None heard anything from the Left parties yet. What happened to their usual enthusiasm on matters of India’s foreign policy (vis-a-vis its internal policies)? Obviously, their calculation must be to say that whatever they say now might later be inconvenient for them. They are convinced that opting for Peace would be such a shameful thing that you wouldn’t later live with it, nor be able to defend it.

If these two oppositional parties would have shown some such sanity, at least some journalists and opinion-makers too would have speculated beyond the stupid question of who wins the war or what will happen next rather than informing the people about what happens when a war happens to people, any war: what will happen to the food we are to eat, freedoms we must have and all other such things without which there will not be much honor left to a lot of people (there will always be war profiteers and black-marketeers and even a rise in employment, which in no time looks no better than unemployment), even if you are far away from the front lines.

This criminal silence of the Opposition parties is not even beneficial to them. At least, even if a majority of people fall for the propaganda of the government initially, it would not take much time for them to hate a war. Opposition at least can later play a better role when things come to discussion table if there is a record for them of displaying such sense.

Those who think in mainland India that after all a war would affect only the Jawans and at the most only those people unlike us – tribals and hills people – so it is okay to sacrifice them for our honor, are missing a big point. A war takes away your freedoms, your resources, asks you to work without any choice, your money will not buy the things you used to and many, many such horrible things.

The daily suffering and deprivations you have to go through, not just when bombs fall on your head, thoroughly make you realize that war is a bad choice under any circumstances. There have been many wars all through history, there is a lot of reliable and useful literature on it for anybody to read them up to know what it is to have a war. That we are not anymore like 1962, we are much better now should not make anybody with any common sense be happy about it. If we are stronger than now, we are still not stronger than China, even if we are, it will only make war longer, suffering heavier.

What most experts overlook is the possible external factors that could push China to come down heavily on India. It is now only between India and China (at least apparently) is no guarantee that it will continue to be so. The Korean peninsula is already simmering, Trump might escalate, the Chinese know well. Then there are usual imperialist games over Hong Kong, Taiwan and South China Sea. China cannot afford to look weak, that too in front of India. The Chinese might think that any concessions to India would bring their international standing down. That’s what Modi is exactly trying to do, to raise his national and international standing by hurting the Chinese ego. China may not be unaware of it. It is not impossible that China would want to send the right signals to Trump by teaching India a lesson. We may pretend otherwise, but the truth is that South Asia has more fault lines than any other region and India could be a weak link in the imperialist chain. We should not pawn our lives to test Chinese determination or imperialist rivalries.  

Whether the India- China stand-off escalates or not, Modi has too much to gain from it. Whether India humiliates China or the other way, it would allow them their ongoing project of making India a Hindu Rashtra easier. Even in 1962, during the war, Delhi was able to force the Dravida Movement into submission and the Tamils had to surrender fully. In 2017, with Hindu Rashtra is no longer any distant possibility, an Indo-China war would be the final seal on our coffins of a Secular Democratic Republic.

Peace is a privilege for the most people in normal times. When there is no normalcy, peace is a privilege of the few. Under fascism, peace becomes an abnormal condition and you cannot get it by default; it has to be fought for and established through popular struggles. Otherwise, millions of Asians, mainly Indians, will be hurt for the politics they did/not do. There are times in history where the only choice is who would be our tormentors. We should not be lost in worrying whose/what weapons will kill us.

Like Mario Savio, student leader of Free Speech Movement in sixties said,

we shall stop the odious machine. There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels…upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you’ve got to make it stop!
Only a peace movement can stop the odious war machine in India. Moreover, we have entrenched indigenous traditions of honour killings in India; we shall now prevent the Indian State from going for mass honour killings, by deploying the Jawans at the borders as professional suicide bombers.    

Don’t fear being called a coward or even unpatriotic; standing for peace is the greatest patriotic duty.  By demanding real peace, we must also be liberating ‘peace activism’ from the clutches of pseudo-Gandhians. Following Lenin, we must reinvent the great communist tradition of speaking peace to powers that be. To demand peace is the most revolutionary thing to do now and we shall do it wholeheartedly, without wavering.

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Raiot

Both authors are doctoral scholars at IIT Bombay

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