“Oh no, this is NOT Fascism!”

Asad Zaidi lists the most common arguments used to deny Indian Fascism

There are several objections to the use of the term “Fascism” to describe the contemporary Indian sociopolitical condition. A mere mention of the word seems to open a Pandora’s box. The list of objections (arranged in no particular order) is not conclusive. I may have forgotten some very original arguments. Also, may be people with better analytical ability and sharper sense of typology can collapse the long list into fewer propositions.

01. You are ignorant;
02. You are overreacting;
03. Imprecise use of the concept;
04. You are underestimating the inherent strength of the democratic system and the institutions of the Indian republic;
05. The political wisdom of the silent masses can take care of these things;
06. Historically unviable – India is not the same as Germany and Italy of the early 20th century;
07. Hinduism, an inherently tolerant faith, is the best guarantee against Hindutva and its brand of intolerance;
08. Fancy, elitist jargon which people don’t understand and don’t care for;
09. Not yet fascism;
10. Too many contradictions among the ruling classes to make fascism possible;
11. This is not the rule of the most reactionary wing of bourgeoisie – a precondition for fascism;
12. Impossibility of fascism in India: the very nature of our syncretic, tolerant, federal, multicultural, multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi lingual society will not allow such possibility to arise;
13. This is a divisive argument;
14. Not in keeping with the Marxist method of analysis;
15. The world historical juncture is absent;
16. Politically unwise to alienate those who may have idealistic leanings towards fascism but strongly disapprove of the present corrupt BJP regime;
17. What has BJP done, which the Congress did not do in the past?
18. Nationalism… OK let’s say true Patriotism… is the only effective answer to the political ills of today;
19. Fine, just wait a bit. We’ll see in 2019.

–– Note: I have disregarded the arguments relying on the deflecting tactic of whataboutery (such as What about Stalinism; What about Mao, Pol Pot; What about Terrorism, What about Wahhabism/Salafism, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc.)

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Asad Zaidi Written by:

Asad Zaidi, born in Karauli (Rajasthan), has lived in Delhi for the last 35 years. He has three books of poems: Behnen aur anya kavitaen (1980 & 2008), Kavita ka jivan (1988), and Saman ki talash (2008) and has edited a number of collections including Das Baras: Hindi kavita Ayodhya ke bad (2003). His interests extend to education, literary criticism and occasional social commentary. He is the founder of Three Essays Collective, an independent publishing house.

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