India’s Problems: Between Culture and Capitalism
India has many special characteristics in her traditional culture which can accept different ideologies in a harmonious way. The vast area of the Indian subcontinent was a site of the marriage of different religions. Under the British policy of divide and conquer, however, India was partitioned as Muslim majority states were carved out in the likes of Pakistan and Bangladesh. This is the main problem which has provoked large bloodshed in all the states of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. This wound created 67 years ago has resulted in the formation of several insurgencies in these three countries. But just how powerful is India when these states are united?
Hindu rule arrived after 800 years of Muslim rule,100 years of British rule, and then 67 years of secular and socialist rule. This major political shift began in 2014 and has continued under the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party’s rule supported by billionaire economic oligarchs pushing ultra-capitalism to exploit Indian resources. Poor people with less political and social capital are marginalized under the current elites’ rule and the caste system. The tribal population, non-elite Muslims, and Dalits are threatened by economic pressure. Now it appears that social activists are arising out of almost all Indian universities against economic and social injustice of the upper Brahmanic class’ hegemony, communalism, and the silence of the Indian government over the intolerant situation created by the country’s ruling authorities and neo-imperial policies.
Foreign imperialists see this opportunity to cultivate their major liberal policies on Indian soil. The current government is testing different types of examinations upon the masses in planning its future agenda. The absence of a real, genuine, and strong opposition also aids the ultra-capitalist pseudo-nationalists to move forward with their plans.
Kashmir insurgent groups are strengthening inside India due to continuous military intervention against innocent civilians. In the state of Uttar Pradesh, assembly elections are approaching in which the communal card can easily be played to extinguish nationalist efforts in this state where the larger proportion of the population can influence policy formulation and gain new seats in the Rajyasabha, the upper house of parliament where the ruling party has less influence. Controlling this vast geographical area with a diverse range and nature of tribes, religions, and ethnicities is difficult for any empire.
India’s economic system has gradually moved towards capitalism since 1991, and is reaching the state of ultra neo-capitalism. Partiality in the treatment of marginalized groups is increasing, thus contributing to the growth of Maoist armed groups in the North-Eastern states and central states where they control a significant area inside India. India’s internal security is also being challenged by these insurgent groups in the tribal forest regions. In contrast to this stands a growing type of nationalism which supports ultra-capitalism. Although the economy is growing stronger, its yields cannot be enjoyed by marginalized people due to the social injustice so prevalent in India.
Eighty percent of India’s population is under the age of 35. The effective distribution and utilization of the country’s yields, however, is only possible once the country is secure from insurgencies. The relation between some states and the central government is in a poor state due to political and ideological differences. India’s overall problems are aggravated and multiplied by insurgencies.
India’s constitution is supposed to guarantee sufficient security and rights to all of the country’s citizens. The establishment of a uniform Hindu civil code, however, is an aim of the Brahmanic super elites currently in control of India. The influences of this 5% elite is prevalent in the defense, media, judiciary, and main government sectors, etc. Thus, efforts to impose a nationalism which destroys the country’s communal harmony is a planned and joint effort as the cultural and historical factors of control are also under this right-wing.
Hindutva nationalist policies are transforming some areas of the country into entire insurgencies. While the current government has the strength to control corruption in the country, it was the previous pseudo-secular government with billions of dollars in corruption that brought this right wing party into power.
The latest surprise was revealed by new rules for investment adopted by the government. These new laws will open the agricultural and manufacturing sectors up to foreign direct investment. The monopolies of big corporations will break local markets and exploit farmers with low wages. The government-approved land acquisition bills permit companies to take land from rural areas, where the livelihood of tribal people depends on such, for infrastructural development. The coal-bearing law on excessive coal mining affects the tribal regions of central India. Overall, the laws which favor corporations and global resource eaters pose a great threat to the ecosystem and land on which tribes live. Recent protests by Dalits in Gujarat are a good symbol of real opposition to ultra-capitalism.
There were many political systems available upon India’s independence thanks to the different freedom fighters, think tanks, and different ideologies involved. Sardar Vallabai Patel represents Hindu nationalism. Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of Grama Swaraj proposed more authority to be delegated to the villages. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru represented the secular socialists and communists. Meanwhile, Muslim nationalists have gone to Pakistan and Bangladesh where they formed states according to their Muslim nationalism. B.R. Ambedkar, who came from among the Dalits protesting against Hindutva politics, ensured protection for minorities and tribes of the backwards castes, including the Dalits. Mahatma Gandhi’s death transformed the mood in India from Hindu nationalism to secular socialism under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru. After all, Mahatma Gandhi was assassination by Hindu nationalists. The problems of secular government under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Sikh riots provoked the transition to emergency authoritarian rule. From 1984, a period of emergency rule saw a large portion of secular socialists leave and form a new socialist party which later transformed into a Hindu nationalist force, ultimately developing into the right wing.
Over 69 years, socialist secular rule could not guarantee the development of marginalized tribal people. Wide corruption of the government in education, health services, the subsidized food supply, and in tribal and border areas gave rise to insurgencies as corrupt politicians double-played the army, turning them into trouble makers. People thus have enmity towards the government administration over its policies, and now it is insurgent groups that are working against the Indian government.
Evangelical churches funded by the Americans supply educational and health services in the insurgent North-Eastern borderlands. Non-governmental organizations with foreign funding are destabilizing the situation and arming insurgents. Policy makers and economists, as well as think tanks, are made up of neoliberal sympathizers. India is now made up of large princely states in which Muslim communities, Sikhs, tribes, Dalits, secularists, socialists, liberals, and communists are all fighting for power in the social, political, economic, and cultural fields. All the while, they do not understand the conditions of the people equally or provide them with justice and protection.