The Rise of Extremist Far-right – From US to India
Over the past few years, the world has seen a resurgence of the extremist far right as two of the world’s biggest nations were ruled by right-wing leaders. The U.S. saw a new wave of support for right-wing ideologies as President Trump governed from his seat at the Oval Office. India, the largest democracy in the world, still has a right-wing party ruling the country with unwavering support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is now serving his second term in office.
When we talk about the far right here, we do not necessarily mean violent extremism. We rather mean extremist ideologies that many right-wing leaders aim to propagate. It is hard to judge if these ideologies benefit everyone equally or are biased towards a particular section of society. How do these extremist far-right principles affect and change society as a whole?
There are different outlooks and perspectives that people have when answering this question.
However, it is not uncommon to see that right-wing extremist principles and propaganda do often give rise to intolerance, violence, and terrorism. It is true for the U.S., India, or any other nation for that matter. When an idea or prejudice is deep-rooted in people’s minds, they are intent on propagating that idea at any cost.
We can only try to better understand this rise of extremist far-right and what it means for the future of the world.
What is far-right politics or right-wing extremism?
The political spectrum all over the world is divided into the left and the right. Ideally, right-wing politics is supportive of the idea that certain hierarchies and orders of society are necessary, natural, and inevitable. This could mean support for the class system, caste system, or racial inequality.
They often present tradition, natural law, or economics as the basis of their ideas. In other words, support for any kind of conservative ideology may be considered right-wing. Left-wing politics, on the other hand, is considered more liberal.
Right-wing extremism or far-right politics is an extreme form of right-wing ideology, which means it is further right on the political spectrum.
Historically, the impact of far-right extremist ideologies like fascism and Nazism have been witnessed by the whole world. These were ultranationalist authoritarian ideologies that had some distinctive characteristics like dictatorial power, intolerance, forceful suppression of the opposition, and an extreme divide and segmentation of the society.
In democracies today, a dictatorial rule may not be possible. But there are still political parties and groups that harbor anti-communist, nativist, and ultranationalist ideas.
What is happening in world politics right now?
Right-wing parties have always been on the political scene throughout history. Modern politics in the U.S. has a two-party system comprising the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Of the two, the Democrats are considered the left-wing liberals while Republicans are seen as the right-wing conservatives.
Both parties have ruled the U.S. on and off. In the early 2000s and up to 2011, the Democrats were the largest political party in the country with a majority of more than 42 million voters, compared to 30 million Republicans. However, these numbers were shrinking for the Democrats. They were already 3.9% lower than what they had in 2008.
The Republican Party started as a liberal party itself, with Abraham Lincoln being elected as the first Republican President to campaign for anti-slavery laws. The party was founded by the Northern anti-slavery expansion activists and modernists. But today, the Republican Party supports a conservative platform that is based on fiscal and social conservatism.
After having had two terms with a Democrat President, Barack Obama, the sudden shift in the political scene of the U.S. with Donald Trump. His extreme right-wing nationalist ideas sweeping the country came as a surprise for many in 2017. But it was an indicator of a major shift in the way people think and vote.
In India too, the two major political parties, the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), fall at the two opposite ends of the spectrum. While the INC is labeled as the left-wing liberal party, the BJP is the more conservative right-wing here.
After being in power for almost 10 years, the INC was toppled by the BJP, and that too by a huge margin. India was swept by what they called the “Modi wave”, Narendra Modi being the face of BJP’s campaign and the Prime Ministerial candidate.
But what caused these striking transitions in people’s electoral behavior?
Why are people voting for extremist far-right leaders?
There is no right or wrong in who people choose to vote for. It would be narrow-minded to call one side of the political spectrum better than the other. But historically, far-right extremism is found to be more intolerant of its opposition and is likely to propagate radical ideas that can lead to hatred and violence. Then why are voters still choosing it over a relatively liberal government?
What happened in America
According to political theorists and social scientists, the reason for Americans to support ultranationalist ideologies was simple. They saw a threat from immigrants. As the U.S. has a huge demand for manpower in the fields of research, technology, software development, etc. they had to let people, mostly Asians, with relevant degrees immigrate to the country for work. There was also a growing perception that illegal immigrants were stealing the low-paying jobs of Americans by agreeing to work at far lower wages.
Then there were more triggers like the 9/11 attack that made every brown-skinned, bearded, turban-wearing man a suspect or a criminal. A huge recession due to the bursting of the housing bubble widened the gap between the rich and the poor. And to top it all, to the despair of those with a hidden racial bias, a black President ruled the country for two terms.
People who were already angry and afraid, had these feelings piling up and all they needed was someone who shared their ideologies. They saw their ideal leader in Trump.
What happened in India
For India, the story is a little different. India has always been ravaged by poverty and social inequality. The economic boom that India saw post-1980 did not help the poor but rather aggravated the inequality and divide. Unemployment and poverty continued to be a problem. Reservations in education and employment based on caste and tribe, that were laid down after Independence, were not revisited. This deprived many of quality education and jobs, despite their poor economic conditions.
The angst of the people against the government had been growing gradually. The government was always seen as corrupt, irrespective of which party was in power.
The BJP realized just what people wanted to hear at this point. Their campaign in 2014 was primarily focused on “development for all”. The powerful orator that Modi is, he mesmerized his audience with promises of bringing a transformation in the governance, ridding the country of corruption, and connected emotionally with his supporters.
The radical ideas of the party were being propagated by other sister organizations but were never openly put forward in BJP’s agenda. The divide between the Hindus and Muslims in India has always existed at different levels. The BJP being a primarily Hindu nationalist party could garner the support of the majority of Hindus as well.
What does this rise in extremist far-right mean for the world?
The real problem with any kind of extremist ideology is that it spews hatred against those who beg to differ. Right-wing extremism has led to political violence, ethnic cleansing, and genocide in the past and history is witness to the devastation it has caused.
Even in the present situation, extremist far-right ideologies are propagating violence and terrorism. In the U.S., the FBI itself acknowledges that domestic terrorism and racial violence motivated by extremism are on the rise.
India too has seen several instances of violence against minority groups, including the lynching of people merely because of their religious beliefs and lifestyle.
This should be proof enough that extremism and violence are never a solution to any problem, but are rather a greater source of problems. Nations have to find better ways to deal with people’s woes.
Expect a Srebrenica-like massacre anytime by Jewish Settlers in the West Bank
Encouraged by the Israeli government’s acquiescence, millenarian Jewish settlers in the West Bank seem to miss no chance to emulate “Hitler youth,” the para-military Nazi gangs that murdered, and terrorized Jews prior and during the Second World War.
“Hitler Youth” carried out some of the most outrageous acts of mass terror against Jews throughout Germany and Austria prior to the outbreak of the World War II.
During their rampages, they murdered people, vandalized property and torched businesses. They took an active part in Kristallnacht’s “Night of Broken Glass” on 9-10 November, 1938, burning down numerous synagogues.
According to historical sources, the pretext for the attacks was the assassination of the German diplomat Ernst vom Rath by Herschel Grynszpan, a German-born Polish Jew living in Paris.
Kristallnacht was followed by additional economic and political persecution of Jews, and is viewed by some historians as part of Nazi Germany’s broader racial policy, and the beginning of the holocaust.
Jewish Settlers in the West Bank: Judeo-Nazis
Today, more or less the same scene is being replayed by the Nazi-like Jewish settlers in full collusion and coordination with the Israeli government and security forces in the West Bank.
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The settlers play the role of Hitler Youths and other Nazi paramilitary gangs while the Israeli security forces play the role of Gestapo and SS.
I know there are differences between the two cases. However, one must be faithful to one’s rectitude, which compels us to recognize the immense similarities.
In both cases, we are talking about a nefarious racist ideology (Aryan Supremacy -the Master Race) in the German case, and (Jewish supremacy or chosen people) in Israel’s case.
Indeed, when subjecting the two movements to cool examination and analysis, the two terror groups (Jewish settlers and Hitler Youth) look as two sides of the same coin, notwithstanding some secondary differences.
Most of the Jewish settlers now marauding through the West Bank and Jerusalem are graduates or students at Talmudic schools known as Yeshivot. They are thoroughly indoctrinated in the Talmudic ideology which views non-Jews as virtual animals. This means that the life of any goy (non-Jew) has absolutely no sanctity. This is far worse than the Nazi concept of the lower classes or Untermenschen.
The Jewish Settlers’ terror : Never forget
On 13 July, 2014, Jewish settlers in the West Bank kidnapped and burned alive a Palestinian child, after pumping gasoline into his body. Typically, when hair-raising incidents like this occur, the perpetrators often blame Torah sages and Talmud teachers in their communities for okaying the hideous crime.
I don’t know why these Jewish settlers in the West Bank chose this particular gruesome method to end the innocent child’s life. Did they want to vicariously punish the Nazis, on the ground that all goyem are the same, irrespective whether they are Germans, or Palestinians or Chinese?
What was even more outrageous was the behavior of the Israeli government. The Israeli security officials spread disinformation alleging that Abu Khdeir was murdered by his own family.
Israeli Offilcals: Lying like breathing
Indeed, only when there was no room for denying the obvious did Israeli leaders admit the occurrence of the crime. The reluctant admission was not due to concern about the monstrosity of the crime. It was rather imputed to concerns about the public relation damage that Israel would incur as a result of the crime.
The Jewish settlers’ terror against the Palestinian people in the West Bank occurs with the knowledge, acquiescence and direct or indirect encouragement of the Israeli government. Claiming otherwise would be like committing an act of lewdness with truth.
In fact, it is well known that some Israeli security officers often teach Jewish settlers how to conceal evidence of murder just as the Israeli justice system easily exonerates Jewish murder suspects accused of murdering Palestinians. A few weeks ago, I asked a Jewish lawyer from Haifa to explain the chances of a Palestinian receiving true justice in a Jewish court.
The lawyer, a lady, told me this: “No non-Jew can hope for true justice in a Jewish court, period.”
Jewish settlers and their supporters from within the army and Shin Bet security agency have burnt and vandalized dozens of mosques in the West Bank. However, so far, not a single perpetrator has been apprehended let alone punished. This amounts to a green light that encourages the terrorist settlers to “keep up the good work.”
Jewish Settlers in the West Bank: Expect the worse
Today, the Israeli government is using these genocidal fanatic Jewish Settlers to murder and terrorize unarmed and unprotected Palestinians for the purpose of driving them away from their homeland in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
The criminal Jewish settlers pray for a miracle to empty the land, the West Bank and Jerusalem, of its indigenous inhabitants, the Palestinians. They invoke the 1948-Nakba, saying “if we did it once, we could do it again.”
This is why these evil people are willing and ready to embark on the unthinkable, including carrying out a Srebrenica-like massacre of Palestinian villagers.
The settlers believe they could do such heinous act with minimal or no impunity. They cite Jewish domination of the American government and Congress as well as the settlers’ domination within the Israeli army.
Yes, they could embark on the unthinkable. Don’t say “we didn’t know.”
BBC’s Modi Documentary Rattles Modi Government
BCC recently released a documentary on India’s controversial right-wing Prime Minister Narendra Modi rattling Modi and his ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The documentary’s first episode titled “India: The Modi Question” which was released in the UK on 17th January drew a sharp reaction from the Modi government.
Modi Government Blocks the Documentary in India
The Modi government moved swiftly to block the documentary in India. Proving right the critics of IT Rules, 2021, the Modi government’s Ministry of Information & Broadcasting invoked emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021 to order YouTube to take down all the videos that had published the first episode of the documentary. Orders were also issued to Twitter to take down all the tweets that had posted the link to the documentary. Both YouTube and Twitter complied with the orders, removing all the posts and videos flagged by the government.
The government alleged that the documentary was found to be “undermining sovereignty and integrity of India, and having the potential to adversely impact India’s friendly relations with foreign states”, which allowed for the invocation of the emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021. The government also alleged that the documentary questions the credibility of the Supreme Court of India and attempts to sow divisions among different communities while also making unsubstantiated allegations regarding the activities of foreign governments in India.
Earlier India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson dismissed the documentary as a “propaganda piece that lacks objectivity and reflects colonial mindset”. The spokesperson also questioned the timings of the release of the documentary.
Also Read: Why Is Indian PM Modi’s Silent About Attacks Against Muslims?
The documentary’s first episode produced by the BBC tracks Modi’s “first steps into politics”- his association with the right-wing Hindu extremist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), his rise through the ranks of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and further his appointment as Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat in 2001 till 2014. As the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Modi’s involvement in and his response to a series of communal riots in 2002 remains a source of controversy.
The documentary highlights a previously unpublished report, obtained by the BBC from the British Foreign Office, which raises questions about Modi’s actions during the religious riots. The report claims that Modi was “directly responsible” for the “climate of impunity” that enabled the violence.
The report cited by the BCC was part of an inquiry ordered by the then foreign secretary Jack Straw. The reports say that “the extent of violence was much greater than reported” and “the aim of the riots was to purge Muslims from Hindu areas”.
Jack Straw is heard in the documentary saying, “these were very serious claims that Mr Modi had played a proactive part in pulling back police and in tacitly encouraging the Hindu extremists. That was a particularly egregious example of political involvement to prevent police from doing their job to protect the Hindus and the Muslims.”
Also Read: Gujrat Riots: Has Indian Democracy Breathed its Last?
Modi’s Role in Gujarat Riots of 2002
It is the documentary’s highlight of the Gujarat riots of 2002 that has rattled the Modi government.
The Gujarat riots of 2002 claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people. Most of those killed were Muslims. Modi is alleged to have instigated the riots and further prevented the police and the army from taking any action to stop the riots. Most of the reports published on the Gujarat riots by the Indian media as well as the international media point out Modi’s direct role in facilitating the riots. It has been claimed that Modi gave a free hand to Hindu extremists to kill Muslims and the aim was to purge Hindu localities of Muslims.
Modi has rejected these accusations. Further, in 2013 an investigation approved by the Indian Supreme Court absolved Mr. Modi of complicity in the rioting. Based on that finding, a court in the state of Gujarat found that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him.
Also Read: Why BJP is Fascist Despite Contesting Elections.?
Action Taken by Foreign Countries against Modi
Like the above-cited British Foreign Office report, there were many countries that were convinced of Modi’s role in the killing of Muslims during the riots. Concerned countries acted against Modi at different levels.
Modi was banned entry into the U.S. for more than a decade for his role in the riots. In 2005, Modi became the only person ever to be denied a U.S. visa under the 1998 law on violations of religious freedom. The U.S. State Department invoked a little-known U.S. law passed in 1998 that makes foreign officials responsible for “severe violations of religious freedom” ineligible for visas. The ban on Modi’s travel to the U.S. was revoked by the Obama administration in 2014 after he became the prime minister of India.
Also Read: How Practical is the Secular Democracy of India? Curbing of Religious Freedom in Kashmir
A Permanent Stain on Modi’s Career
Modi may have achieved great things in his political career, but the stain of the Gujarat riots is permanent on his career.
Modi loves the camera. He loves advertising and branding himself. Modi puts his picture on everything. He loves hearing his voice. However, ever since he became the prime minister of India, he has never given an unscripted interview to the media. He has also never held a press conference in India or abroad. It has been claimed that Modi does not want difficult questions about his attitude towards the Muslim minority of India thrown at him.
When Modi became the prime minister of India, Indian liberals were hopeful that Modi had changed. They were wrong in their assessment that Modi as a prime minister would be inclusive. However, after Modi’s eight years as a prime minister now, he has not changed his attitude towards Muslims. As of now, Muslims are increasingly persecuted by his government.
This author highly recommends that you watch the BBC documentary on Modi. Its first episode has been released here (if you are outside the UK watch it here or use VPN). The next episode will be available on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, at 21:00.
Double standards haunt FIFA
At this year’s FIFA World Cup, Palestine is still represented. Moroccan players carried the Palestinian flag with pride at every victory in their matches.
Morocco’s public carried Palestinian flags and chanted Palestinian songs at the same time.
According to reports, US President Donald Trump announced Morocco and Israel’s agreement to normalize and establish diplomatic relations, making it the fourth Arab country in just four months to do so.
And while this coincided with the United States’ recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, the “Agence France Presse” agency said, “Morocco confirms the resumption of diplomatic relations as soon as possible with Israel.”
Also Read: Israel is Hiding Crucial Demographic Facts About Palestinians
Morocco witnessed widespread protests rejecting normalization and abandoning Palestine and the resistance, and the Moroccan leaders considered that this is not considered normalization, but an alliance to facilitate the problems between Palestine and Israel.
A sizable portion of the populace continues to oppose normalization and remain steadfast in their protest both inside and outside the World Cup stadium.
The German national team expressed its anger since the first match after Qatar and FIFA banned the wearing of the LGBTQ badge in matches and considered the German team and the German government a flagrant violation of freedoms. Despite this, a German official wore the gay badge in a subsequent match, not interested in the laws of Qatar and FIFA as a matter of freedom of opinion and expression.
However, after the Morocco-Spain match, the Moroccan national team raised the flag of Palestine, German newspapers criticized the act, saying that it and the German newspaper “Taz” criticized the Moroccan national team’s players raising the Palestinian flag, describing it as “anti-Semitism and a childish challenge to show the alleged Arab unity,” she said.
Also Read: The World Cup in Qatar and Die-hard Western Racism
The German newspaper also attacked the Qatari government, claiming that it supports terrorist resistance movements in waging wars against Israel for years.
The funny thing is that the German side wants to infringe on the freedom of expression and opinion of the Moroccan team, and the freedom of opinion and expression only stands for them.
(UKLFI) protests against FIFA
Famous pro-Israel advocacy group UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) has voiced opposition to the Moroccan football team’s display of the Palestinian flag during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The Jewish Chronicle reports that the London-based organization accused the North African nation of breaking FIFA regulations in a letter to Jorge Palacio, the chair of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.
After the denunciations of banning alcohol and wearing the LGBTQ badge, expressing that this is a flagrant violation of freedom of opinion and expression, everyone hastened to attack the Moroccan team, which raised the Palestinian flag in solidarity with it against the Israeli aggressions and the ethnic cleansing that Palestine endures and the daily martyrdom in Palestine.
Palestine will remain present in the stadiums, lands, and hearts of everyone, despite all the challenges and attacks it suffers daily.
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