Results show the people of India have elected right wing BJP in a landslide mandate. Narendra Modi is poised to be the prime minister. Congress Party and its Gandhi Dynasty suffered their biggest defeat, ever.
Hindu nationalist BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party, or Indian People’s Party) has a lot in common with USA’s Republicans. They are both extremely conservative. Both believe in extreme privatization of the economy. They are both staunchly anti-socialism. They are both rabidly anti-immigrant, especially against Muslims.
Both BJP and Republicans have their social and religious mentor groups. BJP is the political wing of RSS, a hardcore, paramilitary organization that has its grassroots network across India. RSS also has its overseas wings in USA, Canada, UK and various parts of Europe. Republicans, especially now, owe their allegiance to far right Tea Party, billionaire Koch Brothers, and ideological think tank Heritage Foundation.
Both political parties have their sister organizations. BJP has its religion-based sibling known as VHP or Vishva Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council). Republican Party in USA works closely with Christian Coalition and Promise Keepers. Eagle Forum is Republicans’ sister organization run by women. Likewise, BJP works closely with RSS’ women-only group Rashtra Sevika Samity (National woman volunteer association).
If India’s elections are any indication to a global right-wing swing, I fear that in November, Republicans and far right Tea Party, massively funded by Koch Brothers and multinational corporations, will sweep U.S. Congress.
That, of course, will be due to elite-liberal Congress Party of India and Blue Dog Democrats and their massive inefficiency and failure to serve the ordinary, 99% people. I have zero sympathy for these so-called liberals.
But, I won’t ever support either the Republicans of USA, where I live now, or BJP of India, where I grew up and learned political activism. I can never support religious or socioeconomic fanatics.
It is now no secret that I grew up with RSS and BJP, through familial connections. My father has been a lifelong activist of RSS. He was well known for his dedication, honesty and sacrifice, and worked closely with big-name BJP leaders such as India’s former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and a top leader L. K. Advani.
I worked with them for over fifteen years of my life, and then quit out of ideological disillusionment. I later wrote a book against them, which drew ire and wrath from many of my past RSS and BJP colleagues. My father was heartbroken to see my permanent departure from RSS. There was a time when I was moving up the organizational ladder quickly. Before quitting, I was a secretary of West Bengal province ABVP, student wing of RSS. My longtime friends in India now say had I not quit, I would definitely be one of their top leaders now, and could run for a parliamentary seat too.
But I am glad I quit. I would never regret my decision.
There are many reasons I shall never support BJP or the Republicans, or similar groups across the world. This blog does not allow me to write in detail. But you can look up my book In the Belly of the Beast: Hindu Supremacist RSS and BJP of India — An Insider’s Story (Ajanta Books International, Delhi, 1998). The book is now available at various U.S. and Indian libraries, courtesy Library of Congress.
In short, I would never support them for the following reasons.
1. They are feudal and too conservative on their social positions, particularly about women.
2. They do not believe in equality across the spectrum of gender, sex, race, caste and class.
3. They do not believe in economic models built around socialistic or egalitarian principles.
4. They do not believe in peace-based foreign policy: they are strong believers of violence and war (BJP against Pakistan and China, and Republicans against everybody outside the Judeo-Christian countries).
5. I find their anti-immigrant venom despicable.
6. A vast number of BJP-RSS and Republican-Tea Party members do not believe in scientific facts such as biological evolution, climate change, and global warming.
7. My years of close familiarity with BJP and RSS remind me how superstitious many of them are.
8. Both BJP and Republican Party are strong advocates of a minimal government. They want to do away with the government.
9. They are both against pro-equal-rights groups and labor unions.
10. Both have fascistic tendencies. In fact, their mentor groups have very fascistic qualities.
No way I can ever support them.
Brooklyn, New York