A brief look into the stages of development of right wing politics, and recent incidents in the world of right wing extremism to help us better understand what BJP’s rise to power means for us.

This world is a global village. To understand the nature of Right Wing idealism, one needs to understand the history of this global village. People migrated from one place to another, since the inception of history or even in prehistoric times for reasons of survival, a better life and a bright future. Races changed their geography and in turn, this changed their habits, religions and often hues of their skin and features. It has always been happening and will never stop as nothing is constant in this mercurial world. Generations rule and kiss the dust. The fight for supremacy is neither new nor surprising. Powerful civilizations design their own principles. Definitions of truth and justice vary according to ruler’s convenience and weaker sections of society survive with their sheer grit or assimilate into the stronger currents. The weak always cry for protection and stronger entities portray them as threats to society to keep their grip on power tight. 

left to right political spectrum A Brief History of Right Wing Nationalism

Recent Incidents as Glaring Examples of Right Wing Hegemony

For an ardent student of history, nothing is surprising. So, it was in the flow of times when last week the police were called to a mosque in London after members of the far-right ‘Britain First’ party invaded the building and handed out Christian leaflets and Bibles. The four activists were wearing matching uniforms, described as “green activist jackets” by Britain First. They drove away the East London Mosque in Whitechapel in a car. The group described how they “invaded” the mosque on their official Facebook group page.

britain first invadesmosques A Brief History of Right Wing Nationalism

In the same period, ahead of European Parliament elections, according to French media, Jean-Marie Le Pen – founder of the National Front – reportedly said the deadly Ebola virus could help stop global population and help Europe’s “immigration problem.”  In Paris, Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right National Front party, disputed the reports that her father suggested Ebola as a possible cure for Europe’s immigration problem. “That is a lie, a maneuver, a campaign maneuver. He never said that.” The daughter tried to gloss over her father’s howler. “He was not speaking about immigration. He was speaking about the fate of humanity as a whole. That is what he said.”

Kill All the Surplus and the Immigrants

jean marie le pen A Brief History of Right Wing Nationalism

In response to possible solutions to “demographic solutions”, Jean Marie le Pen said: “Monseigneur Ebola could sort that out in three months,” in front of journalists

I’m not discussing here about the recent victories of Far-Right ideologies. However, let us describe what ‘Ebola’ is all about which Jean Le pen has referred to in his speech. It is the name of a river in Congo, Africa and the town of Yambuku is situated on its bank. Ebola disease first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, in Nzara, Sudan, and in Yambuku. The disease takes its name from the river Ebola. Genus Ebolavirus is 1 of 3 members of the Filoviridae family (filovirus), along with genus Marburgvirus and genus Cuevavirus. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals. In Africa, infection has been documented through the handling of infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelopes and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest. Ebola then spreads in the community through human-to-human transmission, with infection resulting from direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and indirect contact with environments contaminated with such fluids. Burial ceremonies in which mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased person can also play a role in the transmission of Ebola. Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness.

The Evolution of Right Wing Ideology in Three Phases

right wing protests A Brief History of Right Wing Nationalism

On May 8, 1970, New York mayor John Lindsay order all flags on city buildings lowered to half staff, in memory of the students who’d died in the Kent State shootings four days earlier. Right wing construction workers at the World Trade Center building site got wind of the plan and decided to riot in opposition.

Now think of solutions that the right wingers propound to the human problems. According to the German political scientist Klaus von Beyme, after the Second World War three historical phases succeeded in the development of far-right parties in Western Europe. Following the destruction of Nazi ideology, far-right parties were marginalized between 1945 and mid-1950s, Their ideologies were discredited but survived without any palpable political impact. From the mid-1950s to the 1970s, the slow pace of economic growth was manipulated by them into so-called “populist protest phase” which emerged with sporadic electoral success. Far-right parties during this period attracted several charismatic leaders. They engendered a kind of  profound  mistrust against the liberal ideologies and termed the political establishment as “them’ and led to an “us-versus-them” mind set. “Us” they sold as ownership of the nation’s citizenry, “them,” the politicians and bureaucrats currently in-office. Having tasted the tumbler of success, they went enthusiastically for the sparkling bottle of power. In the beginning 1980s,  after the electoral success of far-right political candidates, they turned the issue of human miseries and migration topsy- turvy and successfully revitalized ‘anti-immigration’ as a mainstream issue. Then, there appeared the issue of nationalities. To make it softer and intellelctualized, the new concept – ‘You get the nationality by either or merit or inheritance’ was crafted. Thus, new walls in the mind of lucky inhabitants were raised and door and windows were closing faster for those who had any genuine reason to cross the borders.

In nutshell, we can conclude that Right Wing ideologies and problems of human tragedy are diametrically opposite domains. While most of the world tragedies are rooted in poverty and greed for power, the right wing ideology sucks its blood from economic insecurity and chauvinism.

hindutva world A Brief History of Right Wing Nationalism

In the Indian context, Hindutva, or cultural nationalism validates the supremacy of the religious majority in the essence of both the party and the man. The states where BJP captured 100% of seats already endorse it. But for the mission of creating a Hindu identity for the entire society and nation it is necessary to replicate and make it permanent. What is left now is to tell from the ramparts and upfront that someone is disempowerd decisively.

By Naim Naqvi

Also See:
The Idea of a Hindu Rashtra
What’s The Other Side of Terror ? Hindutva

Image Source: Hindurashtra.com, Suzanne Hoffman@Pinterest, Britain First No Mosques, BFMTV@Twitter, America In Chains

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