During the two-day debate on the Motion of Thanks to the Indian President’s Address in the Parliament held on 24th June and 25th June 2019, Mahua Moitra, the first time Member of Parliament, in her maiden speech in the Parliament on the 25th June took on the government, led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, point-by-point on a host of issues and declared that “all the signs of early fascism” are visible in India today.[i]
The Op-Ed contributor of the New York Times Pankaj Mishra wrote, “Brexit, Erdogan, Putin and now Trump. Something is rotten in the state of democracy. The stink first became unmistakable in India in May 2014, when Narendra Modi, a member of an alt-right Hindu organization inspired by fascists and Nazis, was elected prime minister. Like Donald Trump, Mr. Modi rose to power demonizing ethnic-religious minorities, immigrants and the established media, and boasting about the size of a body part.”[ii]
In his article “India is displaying classic signs that foreshadow fascism”, by applying the 14 features of UR-Fascism proposed by Umberto Eco, the Italian novelist and philosopher, Harish C. Menon warns that India is rapidly slipping into neo-fascism.[iii]
Shaken by and concerned about the visible and dreadful changes that have taken up residence in the Indian society during Modi’s first term (26 May 2014- 30 May 2019) and early second term as the prime minister of India, the above three, along with host of other concerned citizens, are echoing with one accord about the rising neo-fascism in India.
However, are these visible and dreadful changes in the Indian society during the rule of Modi signs of rising neo-fascism?
What is Neo-Fascism?
What does fascism mean at the beginning of the 21st century? When we utter the word “fascism”, our memory goes back to the period between the First World War and the Second World War, fascists like Benito Mussolini of Italy and Adolf Hitler of Germany, and images like dictatorship, racism, concentration camps, violence and genocide.
However, the contemporary fascism is neither the reproduction of “historic fascism” (i.e. the fascism between the two world wars), nor something completely different. That’s why Umberto Eco declared, “Ur-Fascism is still around us, sometimes in plainclothes. It would be easier, for us, if there appeared on the world scene somebody saying, ‘I want to reopen Auschwitz, I want the Black Shirts to parade again in the Italian squares.’ Life is not that simple. Ur-Fascism can come back under the most innocent of disguises.”[iv]
The same was reiterated by the self-declared French fascist, Maurice Bardeche, “The single party, the secret police, the public displays of Caesarism, even the presence of a Fuhrer (means “leader”) are not necessarily attributes of fascism…The famous fascist methods are constantly revised and will continue to be revised. More important than the mechanism is the idea which fascism has created for itself of man and freedom…With another name, another face, and with nothing which betrays the projection from the past, with the form, of a child we do not recognise and the head of a young Medusa, the Order of Sparta will be reborn; and paradoxically it will, without doubt, be the last bastion of Freedom and the sweetness of living.”[v]
Therefore, neo-fascism represents a continual evolution of fascism with resemblances in certain ways with the “historic fascism” and distinct features specific to the political economy and culture of each country.[vi]
Questioning or limiting the relevance of “historic fascism” in understanding the present day neo-fascism may have stemmed due to the latter’s changing ideological profile and political strategies, which often obscure the latter’s subtle links with the “historic fascism”. However, one should take the “historic fascism” seriously, preserving its place of honour to analyse and understand neo-fascism.[vii]
In the present day world several movements and regimes have arose deeply indebted to “historic fascism”, but also with original features of their own. The relationship of fascism to organized religion, gender, modernity, culture, economics, male chauvinism, totalitarianism, technology and modernism is coming into ever sharper focus.[viii]
So, fascism is still alive and kicking, even if the haemorrhaging of its popular support after post-1945 democracies has forced it to undergo make-over of its organisation and tactics, as well as redefining its enemies and goals.[ix]
The Palingenetic Core of Fascist Ideology
British political theorist Roger Griffin developed the idea of Palingenesis. This word is a combination of two Greek words: palin, which means “again”, and genesis, which means “birth”. Palingenesis is a concept of rebirth or recreation.
The term Palingenesis connotes “rebirth” not in the sense of restoration of what has been, but of a “new birth” of nation which retains central eternal principles (eg. Hindu culture, Hindu virtues, Aryan) in the new society. This is the vision of fascism, i.e. myth of the nation’s imminent rebirth from the prevailing crisis and corruption in a revolutionary new political and cultural order embracing all the “true” members of the national community. This core myth of fascism is the driving force that conditions its ideology, propaganda, style of politics and actions.[x]
The preamble of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is the umbrella organisation of all wings, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), that promote ultranationalism in India, is: “To eradicate the fissiparous tendencies arising from the diversities of sect, faith, caste and creed and from the political, economic and provincial differences among Hindus” and “to bring about an all-round regeneration of the Hindu Samaj.”
Similarly, the RSS prayer and oath which is administered to every entrant enjoins him to work for “the all-round greatness of Bharatvarsh by fostering the growth of my sacred Hindu religion, Hindu society and Hindu culture.”
The vision of rebirth of nation can assume a number of distinctive forms determined by local conditions, while retaining a core matrix of axioms.
Fascism’s Core Matrix of Axioms[xi]
- Fascism’s own revolutionary and modernising agenda, one which conditions what fascism is against (Eg. anti-liberal, anti-intellectual, anti-parliamentary form of nationalism, anti-pluralism), and hence what becomes the targets of its destructiveness and oppression;
- A populist drive towards mobilizing the energies of all those considered authentic members of the national community;
- An organic concept of the nation which rejected dynastic tradition and liberal rationalism in favour of the charismatic energies seen in the leader cult and in the pervasive use of theatrical and ritual elements in politics.
This organic nationalism helps explain the way fascism under certain circumstances accommodate or actively promote ethnic, communal, biological and genocidal forms of xenophobia, racism and communalism directed against groups identified as “others”.
Historical Conditions of Socio-Political Crisis
Fascism is a political ideology whose mythic core is a “palingenetic ultranationalism”. The ideal type of “palingenetic ultranationalism” presupposes historical conditions of socio-political crisis for the mass appeal of its vision of a new birth of the nation.
In May 2014 Narendra Modi has led Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) to victory on the pledge of creating a “New India” at a time when the country was reeling under corruption, scams, unemployment, policy-paralysis, price rises of daily commodities, which resulted in anxiety, insecurity and resentment among people against the government. He pointed to the reality of continuing economic crisis, high unemployment, the deteriorating economic conditions of the working class, and the weakening of the country with “weak and incapable” leadership. Positioning himself in the gap between the business class and the frustrated masses, Modi “claimed to be the son of a modest tea-vendor who had dared to challenge the corrupt old dynasties of quasi-foreign liberals.”[xii] He promised economic prosperity of “Gujarat model” and the end of crony capitalism. All of this was laced with communalism and xenophobia.
Even though Narendra Modi failed to keep up his promises during his first term as the prime minister, with worsened economy due to his policy of currency demonetization, rising corruption and rising unemployment, he has successfully directed the ire of certain sections of Indians against minority communities, particularly Muslims, Scheduled caste peoples (Dalits) and Scheduled tribe peoples, as the cause for the ills of the nation. For example, reservation provision in the Constitution of India for the Scheduled caste peoples and scheduled tribes was pointed for the unemployment and inefficiency in the workforce and elsewhere.[xiii]
But the real motive was to get cheap and permanent labour force, as India is fast becoming industrialised and privatised, by depriving the Dalits of education, and economic and political power. The plight of the Dalits’ economic position has been the issue of landlessness. In an agricultural society like India, land is an important consideration. The landed upper caste has deprived the Dalits of owning land or property of any kind. This is to ensure continuous supply of cheap and permanent labour force. Landless and dependent, Dalits lead an economic unfree and impoverished life.
Beyond, however, the tangible features of economic crisis (eg. price rises, unemployment), there are host of other, less concrete and measurable and highly subjective, indicators that can be inscribed on a discourse of crisis. Based on subjective perception and “interpreted social reality” than on objective awareness of reality itself, there can be “crisis mindset”.[xiv]
A “crisis mindset” may be rooted in objective observations about socio-economic or cultural change. The pervasive “crisis mindset” that seized certain sections of the Indian society has been fed by diverse sources.
Although India boasts about economic and technological development, and development in host of other areas, the general Indian mind is strongly rooted in the primitive caste system. Casteism has entered into the marrow and bones of majority of Indians, irrespective of their socio-economic and educational status. The “purity-pollution” concept, based on the caste system, dehumanises the Dalits to undergo social exclusion, occupational segregation and economic and political deprivation. “Honour killings”[xv], Khap Panchayats[xvi] are normal and acceptable in the Indian society. On 26th April 2019 a 21-year old Dalit young man was allegedly beaten to death by the upper caste men for having his dinner while sitting in a chair in front of them at a wedding in Shrikot, Tehri Garhwal district, Uttarakhand State.
Caste system is not just a religious system, but also a socio-economic system much worse than slavery. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution of India, mentions six principles of caste system[xvii]:
- Graded inequality between different castes;
- Complete disarmament of the Shudras and the “Untouchables”;
- Complete ban on the education of the Shudras and the “Untouchables”;
- Total exclusion of the Shudras and the “Untouchables” from places of power;
- Prohibition on Shudras and the “Untouchables” acquiring property;
- Total subjugation and suppression of women.
Suraj Yengde in his book Caste Matters succinctly describes the omnipresence and control of caste in India today: “Caste is viewed through various prisms, thus making it the most misunderstood topic of dialogue on/in India. Caste is thought of as synonymous with reservations, Dalits, Adivasis (Tribals), manual scavenging, poverty…daily wage labourers, heinous violence, criminality, imprisonment…These are some of the many variations that bear witness to the everyday nakedness of caste. However, what remains undiscussed and therefore invisible is the multiple forms in which caste maintains its sanctity and pushes its agenda through every aspect of human life in India. Caste plays an important role in every facet and over an unthinkably large domain of public and private life.”[xviii]
To such a casteist Indian mindset, which tries to maintain its caste-domination and caste-privilege approved by the religiously sanctioned caste system, the “son-in-law” treatment given by the Indian Constitution for the Dalits through the provision of reservation in educational institutions, jobs and legislatures as articulated in the Article 330 of the Constitution of India, is very difficult to digest. This pervasive “crisis mindset” against the Dalits has been encashed by Modi and the ultranationalists by making Dalits as scapegoats for the crisis of unemployment. The rekindled hostility and “seized mindset” of the upper caste against the Dalits has been expressed through harassment, violence and lynching.
Simultaneously, the public anxiety, insecurity and fear have been heightened through selective, sensationalist coverage of “Islamic” terrorist incidents by the mainstream media and this has lead to “Islamophobia” and to the issue of defending national security as a matter of utmost priority regardless of any associated transgressions in the domain of human rights and freedoms. Thus, Muslims, both inside and outside India, are projected as a security threat. In these circumstances, the ultranationalists’ attack on Islam, as both a religion and set of associated cultural values, was presented as a legitimate form of collective (national) self-defence. The spectre of radicalisation of minority of Muslims in India and outside has also affirmed ultranationalists’ anti-pluralist arguments, leading to stronger accusations and propaganda that Muslim community is either unwilling or unable to “integrate” into an alleged national way of life.[xix] Street violence against Muslims, in the form of attacks and mob lynching, is normalised in India. Recently two videos are circulated: one inciting all Hindus to enter houses of Muslims to teach them lesson against so-called “love jihad”[xx], and the other one threatens those who do not say “Jai Shree Ram” will be sent to the graveyard.[xxi]
So the animosity against the Dalits and the Muslims is pervasive in the Indian society. This collective “crisis mindset” is present beneath the surface of the Indian democracy. The economic crisis has heightened, radicalised and legitimised of what has already in place, and magnified the economic and status insecurity.
Moreover, caste system is anti-democracy system, and so casteism goes against the spirit and ethos of democracy. In the “thriving democracy” caste-politics is a norm, and democracy is seen with caste-eyes. Many elites, and Indians in general, make choices that run against the liberal, democratic and parliamentary orthodoxies, as their commitment to liberalism and democracy is fragile. This is evident in educational institutions, workplaces and political “horse trading”[xxii], and policies of central and state governments.
It is, therefore, not difficult for the Indian “crisis mindset” to embrace with both hands ultranationalism in the midst of economic crisis, as the latter has positioned itself as the “saviour” of these Indians and is directing them to its own ends.
Neo-fascists are also careful in tightening their vicious grip over people by working within the democratic institutions, and thus try to present themselves more acceptable to political elites and the public.
Thus, the rise of neo-fascism in India has unfolded against the backdrop of profound and multifaceted crisis. The diffusion of fascism among people as a poisonous infection incubated in an atmosphere of “crisis mindset” and economic crisis. The “crisis mindset” demand radicalised by perceptions of existential and economic crises, has aligned with the neo-fascists, who promised existential and economic security, unity and order, and above all a radical “new birth” of nation.
In the evolution of the “new birth” of nation, Dalits and Muslims have become targets for the ultranationalist lynch mobs, thus feeding an ultranationalism that is useful for oligarchy, and that merges with the concerns of the plutocracy.
The Neo-Fascist Reign
Samir Amin states in “The Return of Fascism in Contemporary Capitalism”:
“The fascist choice for managing a capitalist state in crisis is always based – by definition even – on the categorical rejection of “democracy”. Fascism always replaces the general principles on which the theories and practices of modern democracies are based – recognition of diversity of opinions, recourse to electoral procedures to determine a majority, guarantee of the rights of the minority, etc. – with the opposed values of submission to the requirements of collective discipline and the authority of the supreme leader and his main agents. This reversal of values is then always accompanied by a return of backward-looking ideas, which are able to provide an apparent legitimacy to the procedures of submission that are implemented. The proclamation of the supposed necessity of returning to the (“medieval”) past, of submitting to the state religion or to some supposed characteristic of the “race” or the (ethnic) “nation” make up the panoply of ideological discourses deployed by the fascist powers.”[xxiii]
The complete development of a fascist state, understood as a historical process, requires a seizure of the state apparatus in totality. After winning the elections and taking control of the government, fascist interests have historically employed semi-legal means, brutality, propaganda, and intimidation as a means of integration, with the business class looking the other way or even providing direct support. In a complete fascist takeover of the state, the already incomplete protections to individuals offered by liberal democracy are more or less eliminated, along with political opposition.
On 18 July 2009, Union Home Minister Amit Shah stood in Parliament and promised to expand the National Register of Citizens to the rest of India. The contentious project, currently confined to Assam, attempts to make a list of all those who can prove their Indian citizenship. “We will identify all the illegal immigrants and infiltrators living on every inch of this country and deport them as per the international law,” Shah declared. This is not the first time Shah has promised to expand the NRC.[xxiv]
Neo-Fascism aims to bring changes in the management of various state agencies and institutions by its representatives, who will openly advocate racism, communalism, nationalism, misogyny, homophobia, police violence and extreme militarism.
A deeply worrying fact is that the ultranationalists have penetrated every institutions of the Indian state including the army, judiciary, state security apparatus, universities, media and many others in India.[xxv]
Neo-Fascist Economic Policy
In the neo-fascist state the basic economic structure remains untouched. The business class is largely free from interference. The aim of the neo-fascist state is to repress and discipline the population, while protecting capitalist property relations, profits and accumulation of wealth. As Mussolini declared, “The fascist regime does not intend to nationalize or worse bureaucratise the entire national economy, it is enough to control it and discipline it through the corporations…The corporations provide the discipline and the state will only take up the sectors related to defence, the existence and security of the homeland.” Hitler also said, “We stand for the maintenance of private property…We shall protect free enterprise as the most expedient, or rather the sole possible economic order.” The concept of privatisation of the economy, in fact, first gained currency in fascist Germany. Hitler introduced “Keynesian” economic stimulus through military spending, privatisation, and breaking unions, instituting deep cuts in workers’ wages.[xxvi] A neo-fascist economic strategy will be a more extreme version of neoliberal austerity, backed by racism and nationalism. It is aimed at liberating capital from regulation – giving free rein to monopoly-finance capital. Maxine Yaple Sweezy wrote in a 1941 Study of the Nazi economy, “(It) was thus that the capitalist class continued to serve as a vessel for the accumulation of income. Profit-making and the return of property to private hands, moreover, have assisted the consolidation of Nazi Party power.”[xxvii] Concentration of economic power was crucial for the consolidation of Nazi rule in Germany.
Property rights of people are protected under neo-fascism, except those racially, communally, sexually, or politically targeted whose properties are often confiscated.[xxviii]
Yet in order to put such a neo-fascist strategy in place requires a new kind of Gleichschaltung, whereby various institutions – Parliament, judiciary, civil bureaucracy, state governments, military, media and educational institutions – are all brought into line.[xxix] In order to bring these institutions into line, there will be an assault or repression on the major branches of the state and the ideological state apparatus, transgressing legal and political norms and seeking to increase vastly the power of the LEADER.
Gleichschaltung or Bringing into Line
The process, known as Gleichschaltung or “bringing into line”, defines the period of consolidation of the new political order under Nazi rule in the years 1933-34. This meant politically integrating each of the state’s separate branches, including the Parliament, judiciary, civil bureaucracy, military and state governments, and extending this to educational institutions and media. The synchronisation was accomplished by means of a combination of ideology, intimidation, enforced cooperation, and coercion, usually by pressuring these institutions into “cleaning their own houses.” The leading Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt promoted the two principles of governing Gleichschaltung in Germany: (1) The removal of “non-Aryan”, and (2) the Fuhrerprinzip (“leadership principle”, placing the leader above the written laws). During this period a kind of judicial cloak legitimised the consolidation of power. The objective of Gleichschaltung was unity and purity, achieved through the “extermination of heterogeneity.”[xxx]
There was an arson attack, only a month after Hitler was appointed as Chancellor in January 1933, on the German parliament building in Berlin in February 1933. This had prompted the issue of two “Executive Orders” providing legalistic justification for the violation of the Constitution. These orders were further legitimised by the “Enabling Act” or “Law to Eliminate Peril to Nation and Reich” in March 1933, giving Hitler unilateral power to enact laws independent of the parliament. This was soon followed by the arrest and purging of political opponents. This period also saw the initiation of the “Law for the Restoration of the Civil Service” that allowed for the application of Gleichschaltung to all civil service employees. The initial stage of “bringing into line” ended in July 1933 with the abolition of all political parties other than the National Socialist German Workers Party (i.e. Nazi Party).[xxxi]
The process of “bringing into line” has started in India. In July 2019 Right to Information (Amendment) Bill 2019 was passed in the parliament after heated debate over it. The Right to Information Act (RTI), which was passed in 2005, enables ordinary citizens to access information relating to government work, which officials might otherwise hide. The information commissioners are the final authority on whether governments must disclose information that has been sought by RTI applicants. The law provided the commissioners a fixed term of five years and salaries equivalent to their counterparts in the Election Commission of India.
But the amendment allows the Central government to control the tenure, salaries and other terms of services of information commissioners both at the Centre and in states. Transparency activists say this undermines the independence of the information commissioners, which is critical for the effective functioning of the law. Only an independent commissioner will be able to take decisions against the government in the public interest.[xxxii]
There has been concerted efforts by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to make India “oppositision-mukt Bharat”. This has already been announced by the BJP leaders. “We will win the 2019 polls and after the 2019 victory, nobody will be able to remove us for the next 50 years.” Said Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in September 2018. “After these elections there will be no elections in 2024,” said Sakshi Maharaj, BJP Lok Sabha Member of Parliament from Unnao.
Actually both Ravi Shankar Prasad and Sakshi Maharaj had expressed in their words a “Modi-fied” version of the RSS master plan for India. The “One Nation, One Culture” premise of the RSS has been subtly enlarged to include “One Party, One Leader” as well. In the RSS scheme of things, the Hindu Rashtra does not need democracy.[xxxiii]
The second stage was aimed at establishing control over and integration of the military, universities, media, and other social and cultural organisations. The “extermination of heterogeneity” within major cultural institutions is best illustrated by the absorption of the universities into Nazi doctrine. They were used to promote the Nazi ideology, helping rationalise anti-Semitism and presiding over symbolic book burnings.[xxxiv]
In the neo-fascism state public education will be privatised, representing an assault on a bedrock of democracy. This will lead to vastly increased disparities in access to education and destroy teachers’ unions.[xxxv]
Recently in India Sant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University has brought in a damaging change in their second year Bachelor of Arts History (B.A. History) course. The former chapter in the book was on the “Rise of Communalism in India”. Now it has been replaced with a chapter on “History of RSS and Its Role in Nation Building”. Defending this change, the university spokesperson said, “Nationalist school of thoughts…is also part of the Indian history. Similarly, history of Sangh is a part of the nationalist school. Hence, introduction to RSS was included in the course.” Countering this move, the state Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant commented, “Where would Nagpur University find reference of RSS and Nation Building? It is most divisive force which collaborated with British, opposed Freedom Movement, didn’t hoist Tricolour for 52 years, calling it inauspicious, wanted Manusmriti in lieu of Constitution, spreads hatred.”[xxxvi]
In order to bring universities in line, there are more attacks on them by the government to intimidate them. Individuals are being labelled as “anti-national” for criticizing the ruling government of India. There have been regular attacks on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), on grounds of it being a breeding ground of “anti-nationals”. There is also an ongoing witch-hunt of “anti-national” professors and professors who belong to minority communities.
So also the media is intimidated so that it will “muzzle itself”.[xxxvii] On the other hand, the friendly media in India is spewing venom on “anti-nationals”. Bellicose television anchors and op-ed writers are calling for war on “anti-nationals” and “foreign enemies”.
The third and final stage of Gleichschaltung was the subsequent establishment of Hitler (Fuhreror Leader) as the ultimate source of law. From this point on, fascist rule was consolidated in all of the main institutions of the state and the chief ideological organ of civil society.[xxxviii]
The fascist state in its ideal conception is thus a “totalitarian” state, reducing the political and cultural apparatus to one unitary force, but leaving the economy and business class largely free from interference.
How to Resist Neo-Fascism
One should be concerned as there seems to be close international cooperation and mutual support among the neo-fascist leaders. Santiago Zabala says, “Beyond Europe, efforts to unify right-wing populists have spanned the globe. Former White House aide Steve Bannon, for example, dreams of creating a united cross-border front – from Brazil, through the United States and Europe, all the way to India aand the Philippines – against refugees, cosmopolitanism, and anyone who supports these, including Pope Francis.”[xxxix]
This demands a concerted international opposition to neo-fascism.
- Fascisation of nation is a process, and if the nature of the fascist techniques of gaining power, by means of propaganda, violence, threats, intimidation and betrayal, are better understood at an early stage and by the population in general, it can be countered through a conscious movement from below.[xl] Since the unregulated capitalism ensures the re-emergence of fascism, it requires structural changes.
- The fervent rhetoric about private wealth-creation and its trickle-down benefits openly mocked, and eventually stigmatised, India’s founding ideals of egalitarian and collective welfare. It is this extraordinary historical reversal, and its slick agents, that must be investigated in order to understand the incendiary appeal of demagoguery in our time.
- One effective place to challenge a neo-fascist party is by exposing the alliance between parliamentary and street politics. Most people are usually hostile to anti-democratic politics and the use of violence against the “other”. So when they confront such activities in such a way that the LEADER is forced to justify the street violence and mob-lynching, which in turn diminishes him in the eyes of his supporters.
- Individual acts of courage will not stop the neo-fascist wave threatening to sweep through the world. It requires a strong collective action. People need to organise in online communities.[xli]
Kamalakar Duvvuru teaches the New Testament with an objective of promoting peace, justice, unity and love. He can be reached at email@example.com
[x] “The Palingenetic Core of Fascist Ideology” Chapter in: A. Campi (Ed.), Che cos’è il fascismo? Interpretazioni e prospecttive di richerche (pp. 97-122). Rome: Ideazione editrice, 2003. www.libraryofsocialscience.com
[xiii] Since Dalits own neither land nor other resources, nor are they educated enough to look for government and nongovernment jobs, the only recourse that is left open for them is social mobility through reservation. Reservation is one of the ways of including “the excluded”. Ambedkar understood the devastating consequences of exclusion of Dalits in the areas of education, employment and power. So he demanded for the rights to representation in proportion to their population in educational institutions, public services and legislative bodies. One of the consequences of such a demand was the incorporation of the provision of reservation in educational institutions, jobs and legislatures as articulated in the Article 330 of the Constitution of India.
[xiv] David Schoenbaum, Hitler’s Social Revolution (New York: Doubleday & Company, 1966), 325–329. Cited by Aristotle Kallis, “When Fascism Became Mainstream: The Challenge of Extremist in Times of Crisis.” brill.com
[xv] If an upper caste person loves or marries a lower caste person, either one of them will be killed
[xvi] Quasi-judicial bodies that pronounce harsh punishments based on age-old customs and traditions, often bordering on regressive measures to modern problems. A Dalit girl in Haryana committed suicide after she was allegedly gangraped by four youths. Instead of condemning the incident, the khap said girls should be married off early so that rapes can be avoided. In Uttar Pradesh, khap panchayats in western parts of the state have ruled against women carrying or using mobile phones or wearing jeans or other western attire. www.indiatoday.in
[xviii] Suraj Yengde, Caste Matters, Gurgaon, India: Penguin Random House India, 2019.
[xx] “Love Jihad” is the alleged effort by Muslim men in targeting women belonging to non-Muslim communities for conversion to Islam by feigning love.
[xxii] In India this word is normally associated with politics. Whenever a government falls, a lot of horse-trading goes on before another government is formed. If you think this is because some of our politicians look like horses, then you are being terribly unfair— especially to the horses! Coming back to the expression, “horse-trading” is normally used to indicate a hard bargaining of some kind between either political parties or a political party and individual politicians of another political party to cross over to the other party. The two bargaining parties show an understanding of the problem and the negotiations are done in a clever manner. Shrewd bargaining is always involved in “horse-trading”. www.thehindu.com
[xxvi] Michał Kalecki, The Last Phase in the Transformation of Capitalism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972), 65–73.
[xxvii] Maxine Y. Sweezy (also under Maxine Y. Woolston), The Structure of the Nazi Economy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1941), 27–35. Cited by John Bellamy Foster, “Neofascism in the White House.” monthlyreview.org
[xxxvii] Michael M. Grynbaum, “Trump Strategist Stephen Bannon Says Media ‘Should Keep Its Mouth Shut,’” New York Times, January 26, 2017; Jim Rutenberg, “In Trump Era, Censorship May Start in the Newsroom,” New York Times, February 17, 2017.
[xl] Bertolt Brecht, Collected Plays, vol. 6 (New York: Vintage, 1976), 301.