“Today’s India is a convergence between the technocratic elite, security forces and closet authoritarian political leadership. This convergence has rejected the accountability of the stakeholders. This rejection is part of a larger project – that is, the conversion of the secular democratic state of India into a rabidly intolerant fascistic Hindu Rashtra.”
Professor Harold once reputably defined politics as ‘competitions about who gets what, when and how.’ In other words, politics is who takes what at whose expense. In the modern world today, constitutional arrangements and provisions border and box the nature of one who commands and controls the state. However, the struggle for resources, nay collective resources, takes place and sooner or later drives the government policies and social dynamics with some economic interests that later ratify political turmoil.
In the context of India, there are three intervals of time around which the struggle has taken place among the political ruling class to dictate the terms of submissions in the direction that suits their economic interests.
Before 1991, the political class, the parliamentary democracy and the democratic process themselves enjoyed huge legitimacy, for some historic reasons embodied, which stem from the fact that there was a promise that a peaceful democratic process and institutions enshrined in the constitution were sufficient to produce competence, fairness and justice. Moreover, contradictions inherited in the so-called Nehruvian trajectory demanded protection and sustainment of India’s self-reliance and economic sovereignty; therefore, all trajectories before the early ’90s were ultimately disposed to lay the infrastructural foundations, which would later unleash the neo-liberal school of economics in its animal spirit in India.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the economic dichotomy perished all across the globe, and international finance capital evolved to dictate the terms at which globalization took place. Unfortunately, in India, no political spectrum opposed this virtual unification of two imaginary ideas; therefore, a consensus developed that economy had been mismanaged until the ’90s and the whole idea of the state being able to govern as a neutral empire or perhaps a primary driver in nurturing a social order based on justice was incongruent. However, undertakings like the Bombay Plan of post-independence legitimize that the fundamental infrastructures, which Nehru called the Temples of India, had to be laid down by the state itself at the beginning, for no elites sufficed to move the process. Nonetheless, finance became the denominator, and the worldwide accepted monolithic idea of maximizing avenues for maximizing profit flourished in India.
By 1991, new thinking and argument took forth that uninterrupted, unhindered and unregulated private enterprise would produce sufficient growth and prosperity. It was also believed that this would open doors for the eradication of poverty and unequal opportunities. Nevertheless, a system of checks and balances under the judiciary provisions was set, which would later be tempered whenever the country would give an alternative government.
After 1991, lots of turmoil, particularly after the 9/11 attacks, in the Indian political system occurred, which completely diverged the primary goal of collective political life – that is, fairness, equality and justice. A new discourse got animated around the issues of security against non-state actors. The threat of non-state actors in India was most accurately felt, with rising terrorist attacks, Kashmir issue, riots and new world order, that a consensus was demanded among the civil society to reconceptualize the constitutional arrangement on the larger issue of security. Therefore, the state demanded more and more power, and a new technocratic elite took over the command and dominance; a policeman became what a product was prioritized before a politician.
More collectively, the general solidarity among the citizens witnessed expectations as to such that their leaders should be able to maintain security against non-state actors of undefined nature. India, at this moment, demanded nothing else but a demagogue, an authoritative personality, who would promise to be able to protect their ordered life in a hostile world from the hostile people. Therefore, a complete shift of the political overtone took place towards the right.
The new technocratic elite, in the present context, anchors itself in command and proficiency in using technology to find solutions to administrative issues. Also, it has a great disdain for parliamentary democracy as it maintains distance from the messiness of democracy. Therefore, today’s India is a convergence between the technocratic elite, security forces and closet authoritarian political leadership. This convergence has rejected the accountability of the stakeholders. This rejection is part of a larger project – that is, the conversion of the secular democratic state of India into a rabidly intolerant fascistic Hindu Rashtra. The conception of a secular democratic independent state – the legacy of a national movement – that gave the Congress party the overall hegemony over civil society has been ruptured by this disembogue. The schools of thought that were rejected at the time of Indian independence have resurfaced today.