Fascism is coming in India
History bears witness to the fact that when popular agitations, demonstrations and unrest rise above a certain level in a country, and the existing regimes feel threatened that they may be toppled by these, they crush all democratic freedoms and impose fascist rule. The fascist regime of Mussolini, and the demise of the Weimar Republic and advent of Nazi rule in Germany are glaring examples of this.
I believe that some kind of fascism is inevitably coming in India in a year or two in which democracy, freedom of speech and of the press, and civil liberties will all be totally suppressed.in India.
Consider the facts:
1. The present Indian government came to power on high expectations with the slogan of 'vikas' or development. This meant, or at least was perceived as, millions of jobs for the youth, industrial growth benefiting businessmen and others, and general prosperity for the public.
2. We are now three years since the new government came to power, but one can see no traces of vikas ( see my articles 'The Shape of Things to come', 'Vikas', 'Healthcare in India', 'Malnutrition in India', 'Unemployment in India’, 'The Trickle Down Theory', 'The Dream has evaporated' etc on facebook and my blog justicekatju.blogspot.in), but we have seen only stunts like Swatchata Abhiyaan, Ghar wapasi, Good Governance day, Yoga Day, Demonetization, etc. In these articles I have demonstrated that under the economic policies being pursued by this government (the trickle down effect) there is bound to be further economic recession and further unemployment, malnutrition, lack of healthcare, farmers' suicides and poverty, though a handful of big businessmen may benefit. Prices of many essential items like daal have already gone up the roof, and will in all likelihood shoot up further.
One crore youth are entering the job market in India every year, but in 2016 only 1.4 lakh jobs were created in the organized sector of the Indian economy. Where do the remaining 98.6 lakh go? They become hawkers, street vendors, bouncers, stringers, criminals or commit suicide.
Fifty per cent of Indian children are malnourished, and 58% children below five years are anaemic. Proper healthcare is almost non-existent for our masses, and so quackery is flourishing. Lakhs of farmers have committed suicide in India, and Tamilnadu farmers are sitting in Jantar Mantar, Delhi with skulls of farmers who committed suicide, but our leaders are hardly bothered.
3. Consequently this government will become increasingly unpopular day by day, as people, especially the youth, get disillusioned and realize that they were befooled and taken for a ride by our superman who promised a paradise and Shangri-la in India in the name of 'vikas' , but after his accession to power has left people in the lurch.
4. This disillusionment and disenchantment, coupled with the terrible economic hardships and distress the Indian people are facing, with rising prices, rising unemployment, widespread malnutrition, farmers suicides, etc, is bound to lead to widespread and massive popular agitations, disturbances, and turbulence all over the country
5. To deal with these, attempts will first be made, as they have already been made, to do stunts like the anti-Romeo drive in U.P. and to divide people on communal lines, and blame minorities for the problems as Jews were blamed by the Nazis. One may recall that fascist regimes came to power in Germany and Italy in the 1920s and 1930s because of massive unemployment and soaring inflation in those countries and the consequent popular agitations.
6. These steps, however, will prove ineffective after a short time as people realize that food and jobs are more important to them than building Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Then harsh measures will be employed by the Government (kadwi dawa) to maintain its power; in other words, some kind of Emergency which we witnessed from 1975-1977, in which all civil liberties, freedom of speech and of the press, and all vestiges of democracy will be totally suppressed.
7. What form this fascist rule will take is difficult to predict, but to my mind fascism is inevitably coming in India.
Justice Markandey Katju is Former Judge, Supreme Court of India