by Analytical Monthly Review
Analytical Monthly Review, published in Kharagpur, West Bengal, India, is a sister edition of Monthly Review. Its February 2008 issue features the following editorial. -- Ed.
In the aftermath of the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, many of our friends persuaded themselves that the high tide of the danger of Sangh Parivar-BJP fascism had passed. Regrettably, looking at things early in 2008, that appears to have been an illusion. After the victory of the bloodstained Narendra Modi in the Gujarat assembly election of December 2007 and the BJP victory in assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, a more lively awareness of the danger of fascism has re-emerged. In the coming year there will be elections in eleven states, and parliamentary elections no later than in early 2009. Without making a fetish of these electoral exercises, it can be safely predicted that they will take the temperature of the more basic disease of fascism in India, a threat far deeper than any one election result or another.
It is no coincidence that the flourishing of fascism has accompanied the establishment of the neoliberal regime at the centre. The India to which neoliberalism has given birth, with one-fifth engaged in consumer excess as never before and four-fifths in deep misery, can only with difficulty persist alongside the maintenance of civil rights, democracy and periodic elections. If the fundamental social question, imperialist capitalism vs. socialism, were ever to be put at the centre of things, the continued existence of the landlord-big business regime that has ruled since independence would be in danger, and a truly explosive situation result.