Demystifier: An ED Original where the content is written in such a way that it is knowledgeable and easy to comprehend at the same time.
Recently, there has been a strike comprising of various trade unions and farmers associations called by the Left parties against the policies doled out by the Narendra Modi government.
Before we plunge into the theatrics as the Lok Sabha elections take full flight, let’s delve deep into the right-wing ideology that is the heart and soul of the BJP government in the country.
The Origin of Left And Right-Wing Politics
During the French Revolution in the 18th century, the French king decided to increase the tax on all the peasants which comprised 97 percent of the population.
As there were riots and food shortages in the country, King Louis XVI called for a meeting of the representatives of the three classes of France-the clergy, the nobility and the rest.
Those who sat to the King’s left wanted a fundamental change in the way France was governed and they became the traditional Leftists or the agents of change.
While the ones who wanted to remain under the monarchy sat to the king’s right and formed the traditional Rightists.
Right Wing Ideologies In The Context Of Indian Politics
The first party belonging to Right Wing was Shiv Sena that existed at the state level. BJP was the first right party to exist at the national level. The emergence of such parties comes with a different approach that breaks away from policies adopted by India ever since independence.
Usually, Indian right-wing parties prioritize the following ideologies over others:
- Religion and cultural values
- Nationalism and ethnic identity
- Family bonds and traditions
- Capitalism and entrepreneurship
- National defense and security
The History of Right-Wing Politics In India
In the 1980s, leftism was currently on its way to near extinction. India couldn’t abide by the leftist movement as there was no single class of peasants or workers in the villages. Indians were more individualistic rather than reveling in benefits assuring collective success.
The Congress Party managed to cater to multiple interests, keeping Indian politics from branching off along caste or regional lines until LK Advani’s Rath Yatra or Ram Janambhumi movement resulted in the creation of a new political phenomenon.
The All India Congress Party failed to provide defense for its secular values and a major political shift manifested owing to people from lower castes or poorer backgrounds aligning with a religious orientation, protesting against the demolition of religious and social structures.
Hindu communalists openly started targeting the Muslim community after the demolition of Babri Masjid by the affiliates of RSS who believed in destroying the whole structure of secularism, decimating the Congress party as an opportunist party.
The period between 1989 and 2014 saw parties like Samajwadi party on the rise with the formation of coalition governments both on the state and national level.
The Rise Of The Right With BJP
India witnessed a rise in the right in 2014 as BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) came to power on a federal level without forming a coalition.
Although much of BJP’S success is attributed to Prime Minister’s Narendra Modi’s popularity, the main reason for the party appealing to a wider range of people was the failure of Centre-left parties.
Parties like the Congress Party or Communist parties failed to change the status of lower-castes and poorer groups who wanted a respected place within Hinduism rather than a socialist realm.
Under the Modi-Shah leadership, the BJP began to focus on the backward castes and the poor in the rural countryside which had been neglected by other parties.
India’s political spectrum managed to shift towards the right as right-wing parties focused on individuals rather than the pragmatist center-right individuals who are highly ideological.
Although India’s right can be seen as something resembling Japan’s system with a single, dominant right-wing party with many factions within the party shifting the narrative towards development than identity politics, played out very well by the Congress which has been controlled by one family for decades.
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