Indira’s emergency was radically different from the present consolidation of fascist emergency.

Indira Gandhi and her Congress heightened state repression while simultaneously enhancing the powers of the Indian State vis-a-vis the Indian society. And the State fiercely attempted to guard its monopoly over means of legitimate violence. Congress might have at times outsourced functions of violence to some quasi non-state actors such as Salwa Judum but still they were a salaried quasi non-state force, taking orders from imperialist stooges such as Chidambaram; they were never fully let loose. Modi on the other hand potentially answerable only to the savarna imperialist headquarters in Nagpur (he commands certain relative autonomy from the mother Organisation as long as he could sway votes, but not without tensions). It is this (not symbolic) transfer of headquarters from Delhi to Nagpur is what makes BJP different from Congress.

The Hindu fascist emergency is about heightening state repression while loosening State’s grip over the Indian society and allowing more room for societal repression. In practical terms, it means that there will be more extrajudicial killings and societal repression by Caste Hindus, aided and abetted by institutions of the Indian State and their social institutions will be strengthened vis-a-vis the Indian State. If Indira was attempting to direct state repression against the real enemies of the state (the authentic naxals who wanted to demolish the Indian State in the end of 1960s), Hindu Nazis want to design the undesirable classes of Indian population as enemies of state. So if you were an apolitical person, Indira’s India would not have bothered you but not Modi’s India; at this juncture, being a Muslim or a Dalit is enough to be the enemy of the state.

Here the state is conspicuously doing away with its monopoly over means of legitimate violence. And under fascism, state institutions are increasingly structurally transformed to function like khap panchayats- look how Pune police is exactly behaving like Peshwai in Khaki or UP/Haryana police are shooting down even those who are branded petty criminals, including cattle traders.

That’s why somebody like Umar Khalid has to fear assassination by a Hindu Nazi more than being trialled under UAPA. The plight of Umar Khalid is the plight of the non-Hindu peoples across the non-Hindu parts of the Subcontinent.

This Hindu Fascist emergency will never be officially declared; it need not be. Emergency is the constituent aspect of fascist politics. Indira’s formal emergency was a limited response to an unfolding of a crisis, that actually threatened the survival of the Indian State. Modi’s informal emergency is an unlimited reaction to create a crisis against democratization of Indian society, that threatened the survival of the caste system.

The fascist emergency will be openly and brazenly carried out by the Hindu Nazi assassins with the full support of the Repressive State Apparatus of the Indian State. The subsumption of State to the Hindu society is the defining character of Indian fascism. An uncivilising Hindu State in defence of the Hindu Social Order, and subservient to it, is the ultimate dream of Hindu Nazis. However, it is likely that Modi and Shah are so used to using the state machinery for their own ends to a level RSS is not comfortable with, which could possibly open some cracks in the ruling dispensation.

Such cracks perhaps are already there!


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Mathew Kuriakose Written by:

Mathew Kuriakose teaches politics and is currently based in Kolkata.

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