Note: This article discusses fascism as well as India’s road to fascism.
“Fascism is a far-right, authoritarian, ultranationalist political ideology and movement, characterized by a dictatorial leader, centralized autocracy, militarism, forcible suppression of opposition, belief in a natural social hierarchy, subordination of individual interests for the perceived good of the nation and race, and strong regimentation of society and the economy.”
This is the generalized definition of Fascism, a vile evil that the world has previously had to fight a world war for the sake of eradication, however, it seems now as Fascism has found a new home in India. Under the RSS origin Modi administration, India has become an ultranationalist Hindu supremacist state which has launched a suppression campaign of all forms of opposition against the BJP ruling party. This aggressive campaign extends to both the moderate Indian opposition political parties and Kashmiris/Sikhs who desire Independence.
Furthermore, the systematic aggression towards minority citizens, especially Muslims has started turning into genocidal tendencies. Taking citizenship from millions of Muslims, eviction from homes, use of state police and military to intimidate, Anti Muslim speeches by members of the leading party BJP, Mosques being destroyed, denial of education & fair job opportunities, etc. It seems BJP has already reached a stage where the German Nazi party was in 1935, no surprises there after all the top members of the BJP had some connections to the Indian version of Nazi SS) the infamous Hindu supremacist organization RSS ((Also motivated by the SS).
It has reached a stage where Muslims who consider themselves to be proud Indians are now unsure of their future. Meanwhile, the crackdown in Kashmir is more brutal than ever, almost all Kashmiri journalists have been suppressed from speaking out, politicians and local leaders being taken down in arrests, and the state police and new laws being used as a threat to force Kashmiris to submission (Otherwise face unjustified arrests and possibly death without a trail on false charges).
The NIA in particular is interesting, as the Modi-led government is using its notorious NIA (Comparable to cells within the Nazi Gestapo) to arrest innocent Kashmiris on fake charges and punish them to create an atmosphere of fear and terror in IIOJK. The NIA is empowered to deal with the investigation of terror-related crimes across India without special permission from the states, in reality, it seems its actual purpose is to suppress any opposition to the ruling government, especially freedom movements across India through unlawful actions under state patronage. For example just recently this year the NIA filed a charge sheet against eight Kashmiris in an invented case of hatching conspiracy to carry out attacks in IIOJK.
The charge sheet was filed in an NIA Special Court, Jammu, against Naseer Ahmad Malik, Imtiyaz Ahmad Rather, Rayees Ahmad Sheikh, Yawar Rashid Ganai, Suhail Ahmad Khan, Shahid Ahmed Shergojri, Anayat Gulzar Butt, and Jahangir Ahmad Dar who are residents of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The case was initially registered on 11 March at Pulwama Police Station and re-registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 8 April. In the charge sheet, it has been alleged that these people facilitated Mujahideen with logistics support and were planning to carry out attacks on Indian forces. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case as there have been multiple instances of the Indian army snatching private vehicles from innocent Kashmiris in IIOJK and using them to stage fake encounters, all the while their owners are arrested and subjected to inhuman torture in the Indian army camps.
What’s worse is all this is an open secret at this point yet the Indian government is allowed to continue implementing its fascist policies. BBC Hindi debunked these tragedies in its latest reports on the miseries of Kashmiri people within Indian-occupied territory. The BBC report also highlighted Indian army confessions on the soldier’s use of common people’s vehicles for staged operations. The BBC report shared in detail the ordeal of one Aijaz Ahmad, 39 years old resident of Reshinagari in Shopian district and a farmer by occupation.
For two years, Ajaz Ahmad has been visiting the court many times to get justice for his car being stolen from him by state institutions but his pleas land on deaf ears. His car was used by the Indian army in an ‘encounter’, which itself was proven fake after a lengthy investigation. Aijaz Ahmed is not the only victim as the report highlighted Indian army often takes vehicles from local Kashmiris for staging false encounters. The BBC reported they had visited a total of 15 villages of Shopian, Pulwama, and Kulgam, and people in these villages reported that army camps snatch private vehicles of common people and no one dares to refuse out of fear of reprisals.
Leaving vehicle theft aside, the resulting staged encounters are another big issue Kashmiris must face under the fascist regime military. More often than not the lives of selective Kashmiri youth are sacrificed in these staged encounters where they are declared terrorists. One very well-known example is in 2020 when three laborers labeled by the Indian army as ‘dangerous terrorists’ in Amshipura village of Shopian were killed in a fake encounter. The Indian army had reported that 62 Rashtriya Rifles had “killed three terrorists in an encounter”. A month after this incident, three families living in Rajouri filed a missing report. At this point, Modi’s government has made it a policy behind closed doors to constantly target the Kashmiri youth on the ridiculous charge of ‘potential’ mujahideen in the occupied territory, to both eliminate pro-independence thinkers or force the populace into submission.
The Indian government’s brutality is further evolving as they are now arresting prominent Kashmiri religious leaders to suppress their voices and pave way for the forcible implementation of the Hindutva agenda. All this is only days ahead of the UNGA summit that will deliberate on human rights abuses. If allowed to continue then the “World’s largest democracy” will only tilt steeper towards fascism in the coming years and India will either succeed in its genocide of Muslims/Sikhs and lower-class Hindus or the country of over a billion will fall into extreme instability and unrest, more than likely it will be the latter. As the saying goes, the more things change the more they stay the same, this is the ultimate fate of all fascist states.