Indian History & Sangh Parivar (Was: Medieval India)

vidya vidya at
Sun Dec 3 08:37:30 UTC 1995

> a "spade" in *our* cultural tool shed.  Is Sangh Parivar fascist because
> RSS has a hierarchical structure, not democratically selected?  Isn't that
> they way all Hindu organizations have historically been organized?   Do we

If one wants to have a serious discussion of this, I think even the
term "Sangh Parivar" essentializes and dehumanizes. The Parivar
is no more united than the various communist parties in India are united.
Various personality based factions constantly jockey for power within
the so-called parivar. 

Also, paradoxically, the supposedly democratic Congress (I) has had
no internal elections in ages. Every Indian knows about the culture
of sycophancy and toadyism prevalent within the Congress. As of today,
and it has been that way for a few decades now, the Congress (I) has
been hierarchically organized in more ways than one. On the other hand
the BJP has regular internal elections and its leaders come and go. 

The application of the term "fascist", therefore seems more to do with
their eventual goals of where they want to take the country, rather than
their internal structure. But I agree with Ms. Rosser. The "fascist"
appellation seems to be a way of classifying the RSS and its friends into
a known Western category, thereby refusing to deal with it seriously. 

> >The argument that 21% of the vote commands respect is no more valid in
> >India than it
> >was in pre-Nazi Germany. 
> Nor in Newt Gingrich's America!  Whose Contract on America?  Whose
> Hindutva?  It's not MY agenda, but we still have to look at it squarely.

Again, I agree with Ms. Rosser. India was partitioned on the basis of 
a similar percentage who wanted it. Present day electoral reality in
India makes 21% a rather large number indeed. It can make or break a
coalition, in the event of a hung parliament (which is the most likely
outcome in the next elections). Parties like the Telugu Desam and the
AIADMK command less than this percentage and make their voices heard
in parliament. 

S. Vidyasankar


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