Fascism - The
Emerging Threat To Indigenous People
By Goldy M. George
01 October, 2003
of polity is preliminary to fascism of polity. In today's context it
is not mere communalism of polity, rather it is the fascism of state
under the Hindutava brigade is what is happening in India. Hence as
an activist working with Dalits, and also associated with some of the
Adivasi movements, I would like to emphasis some of the major threats
faced by the Dalits and Adivasis or Indigenous people.
What is Fascism?
Before getting into
a detailed discussion, let us understand what fascism is all about.
Fascism is a terrible kind of political domination; capable of infringing
on any eligible rights of any communities to unpredictable magnitude.
Historically it is an output of the capitalistic system and takes various
shapes and forms, depending upon the particular social order. Although
this came into practice as a political ideology in 1919 with the Italian
dictator Benito Mussolini, it has much older roots in India and other
parts of world.
Often it is associated
with racial superiority. In our context it could be widely observed
in caste domination and feudal relationship. The denial of Eklavya,
a Bhil, of his right to education and his subsequent assault; the assassination
of Asur king Ravana; the deceitful murder of Bali, the king of vanaras
are only some impulses of this trend of domination over indigenous people.
Further these communities were addressed as Rakshashas, barbarian, wild,
uncivilised, etc. Both Vedic and Sanskrit texts have justified the invasion
and exploitation of Aryans and explicitly support the superiority of
Aryan race and Vedic philosophy to the extent that their fate of being
in the lower social strata is god given.
The present phase
of fascism is a more organised and systematic attempt to continue the
caste-class legacy. It started with the emergence of Hindu Chauvinism
under the leadership of RSS led camp. This camp learnt various things
from different sectors. They learnt the skills in organising and mobilising
from Communist parties, mastered the management techniques from Churches
& Christian institutions, the one-man dictator model of Adolph Hitler
and the also the methods of maintaining private militia. In nutshell,
the wholesome exercise was to sustain and strengthen the same old ideology
of purity of the three upper varnas and Shudras and Panchamas as impure
All the possible
institutions of civil society, right from the electronic media to primary
schools, were applied by the champions of Hindutava to create a sensation
of inferiority and thus to manipulate the masses. Among the indigenous
people two processes were induced in parallel. One was the deliberate
formation of institutions such as Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram and Dalit Sanghs
to train-up youth cadres and thus to inculcate a feeling that indigenous
tradition and culture is inferior to that of Hindu religion. Secondly,
the insurgence of consumeristic culture in such areas. Both these process
went in parallel and are inter-related and empowers the coexistence.
One of the outcomes of these trends is the crucial osmosis of Hindu
strings and civilisation with all its flaws among the indigenous people.
fondness of controlling indigenous people has two basic reasons. One
was to perpetuate the political power and right over their life though
legitimising the social system and second to establish an unquestioned
command over the resource zones of the country. Another vital part of
the process is the development of internal colonisation. This is a vicious
conspiracy by the Brahministic society to cohere the Dalits into their
fold. Similarly Adivasis a wonderful model of egalitarianism have been
transformed into an exploited class. Jharkhand and Bastar are the best
examples to check the impact of such trends and processes.
Earlier these aspects were efficiently engineered through the socio-religious
structures, but today it is taking a political shape, which in fact
is communalisation of polity or fascism is all about.
Communal-Fascist base among Dalits & Adivasis:
is exploring its way to elaborate its base and activitiesand
action. It appears that building of philanthropic and religious institutions
like Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Dalit Sanghs, Deen Dayal Shodh Sansthan,
Saraswati Sishu Mandir, Sanskriti Bihar, Vikas Bharit, Gayatri Pariwar,
Brahmakumari Samaj, etc. are some of the strategies adopted to create
inroads among the Dalits & Adivasis. Another strategy applied is
the steady and systematic capturing of the community panchayats and
organisations. The best example of this is Gujarat where the communal
fascists have got their stranglehold.
All these have added
impelling force to the Hindutava card among Dalits and Adivasis. By
and large this consists of concepts like de-Dalitisation and de-Adivasisation.
Eventually this tendency empowers the fascist forces and broadens its
Expansion of fascism
has so far and is disintegrating the Dalit-Adivasi ideology, theology,
and identity and intimidated their very existence. Apparently this ruptures
the community, deteriorates the noble notions of sharing, caring and
co-operation, expansion of patriarchy and battered the inkling of community
ownership over resources.
While going into
further analysis, fascism acts close to the current process of globalisation.
Both these are two inter-dependent and inter-linked facets of capitalism.
While globalisation is supposed to capture the global economic and political
power by cutting the national boundaries and establishing/capturing
the market, fascist forces acts as their local agents in its approaches
and attitudes with a bonus of suppressive socio-cultural and religious
The ideology of
capitalism assumes absoluteness only through its offspring fascism.
In India, Washington is taking a lenient view to prop up the communal
fascist government of the BJP Hindu nationalists. The global governance
can afford to accommodate and promote religious fundamentalist regimes
as long as they are useful weapons in their hand because they have several
things in common.
The political segments
in India, by and large, strive and thrive to cater the global and national
capitalistic market. As a part of this practice, there is an invisible
'safety net' around the capitalist camp. Having nothing to do with the
people, the resources are rapidly being opened for the neo-colonisers
to be explored and exploited. This great surrender before the global
capital market implicates the momentum by which the fascist-capitalist
nexus is plundering the resources.
Targeting the resources
is directly an assault on indigenous masses. Since their land, property,
forest and other resources are the greenland for any sort of investment,
strategies and planning are formulated in such a way to allure them
so that they get entangled in the web and are unable to break it. This
eventually culminates into large scale of displacement and migration,
heavy loss of land and resources, robs them of their rich tradition
and culture, and leads to the irreversible and perpetual loss of livelihood
source. Therefore fascism is utmost visible in the market.
Never before in
the history have we witnessed such a period of deliberate drift of further
confusing and disempowerment of Dalits and Adivasis. It has constantly
succeeded in gearing up its organisational tactics and mobilisation
methods to subtly crush the energy of people, and divert it; thus draining
off their capacity to fight for their rights and their ability to resist
injustice. It is sucking them like a vampire day by day.
Hence attack on
Christians and other minorities is nothing but a direct assault on Dalits
& Adivasis. Certainly this has a much older history. As a Christian
committed to the mission and life of Jesus, I stick on to the Kingdom
values of Justice & Peace, Equality & Harmony, and Liberty &
Under this circumstance, where humanitarian norms and values are degenerating
and the indigenous people stand at the receiving end, is it possible
for us to go back to these communities and unveil the wolf inside the
goat's skin? Can we stand with the Dalits and Adivasis in developing
a counter movement to combat the fascist-capitalist forces? Can we intentionally
foster the indigenous people towards a socialist, secular, democratic
and decentralised polity, which would lead us to the Kingdom values?
This is the biggest challenge before us, or else the story will remain
Goldy M. George is
a social activist working on Dalit & Adivasi Human Rights in Chhattisgarh.