Just International

The Rough Beast Slouches On

By Hiren Gohain

Those familiar with W.B. Yeats’s poems know what the ‘rough beast’ could have meant in the nineteen thirties in Europe.The cycle keeping pace with progress of extreme capitalism has reached a similar point in its trajectory in the world today.It might turn out to be deadlier,more toxic.

The first showdown in the Indian Parliament is marked by the same features.The President’s speech rolling out the ruling party’s account of things was predictably challenged vehemently by the opposition, with Rahul Gandhi leading the attack.And rather sickeningly, deflected by the treasury benches led by PM Modi with the familiar rhetorical retort.In sum it was both an ad hominem argument and a rabble-rousing signal to crowds to mobilize and go on the rampage by turning Rahul’s strong plea for a temperate form of faith into a wholesale attack on Hindu faith,Hindu identity and Hindu culture.As if on cue the crowds of militant bigots led by some so-called saints have turned on the Congress,attacked its offices in some regions and called for a ‘Hindu Rashtra’. By some odd coincidence more than 120 devotees of one Hindu holy man have been crushed to death in the stampede to rush for his blessings.A high court Judge in Uttar Pradesh has warned that if conversion of SC Hindus and poor tribals is allowed to continue the country’s chief religion will be soon replaced by an alien one.

Sounding of such an alarum is likely to or perhaps calculated to create a sense of panic and prompt people to disturb social peace and harmony.Enough to attract some or other of the clauses of the brand new Nyay Samhita.

Already,contrary to expectations from the RSS Supremo’s admonition,all over the country one observes militants emerging to make the usual extreme claims and demands that upset the sober citizens. Clear signal that the battle is far from over.Civil society organizations,decent retired judges,patriotic retired bureaucrats,students and journalists,lawyers committed to democracy must prepare for resumption of doughty resistance.Opposition must cement its unity and militant mass organizations of workers and farmers will have to revive their flagging spirits.

It is a good thing that fascists have so soon unsheathed their swords,for otherwise the people would have slipped into complacency and slumber.

These are signs of things to come.The question is,will proceedings in Parliament serve any purpose?

The opposition seeks to play by the book and expects the treasury benches to respond in the same way.They might pretend to do so,but there is little evidence that there will be any seriousness in such response. The PM himself led the offensive by heaping ridicule and scorn on the leader of the opposition, repeated the old and worn-out allegations of irresponsibility and corruption and went on defiantly to conflate Rahul’s plea for a detoxed version of Hinduism with  vicious attack on Hinduism itself.

The Speaker appears to be acting on cue and takes no notice of the various valid accusations against such travesty.So we may expect in future more of such tiresome charades making a mockery of debate and surely a time might come,as in times past,when the opposition will seem to be crying in the wilderness and the common people cease to feel any interest in such proceedings.

Certain tactics could unsettle the ruling party into running for cover.For example springing upon the dour government the surprise of major scams and lapses not reported in the press,or targeting important functionaries of government with exposure of grave misconduct yet unknown,or serious lapses in the functioning of the government machinery. Likewise undue favours to cronies and irregularities in conduct of business of the state.

These could be co-ordinated with proper reporting in the press or whatever section of it is not yet on the leash.And so on.Though given the numbers into which such improprieties run these days such tactics are fated to have a diminishing return.

Further,there can be telling refutations of the government’s claims of achievements and assertions of efficiency with striking facts and figures.

But the indisputable fact is that the ruling party sets less store by Parliament than the democratic opposition.The former would just like to treat it as no more than as a rubber stamp.If the Parliament becomes a warehouse of used things or a ghostly echo-chamber it would just serve it fine.

So it is much the most important thing to get people involved,keep them informed hourly of the way matters are shaping and if necessary occasionally take to the streets to protest against traduction of Parliament.The issues aired in Parliament must rage and roar in the streets.Sometimes with united workers of parties participating and on occasions with people at large joining in.

Price rise,unemployment and various sneaking injustices still continue to torment the masses.So there will be no lack of support if the opposition goes about it with clarity and determination.

I have a wee bit of a suspicion that fascists everywhere are preparing for street tactics and street fights.Their storm troopers are out on the streets.Their desperate rhetoric seems to give the game away.So it might be necessary to start steering things already in the right direction in  order to forestall such a possibility.

Hiren Gohain is a political commentator

3 July 2024

Source: countercurrents.org

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *