In his column National Interest, Shekhar Gupta wrote, “The BJP is not right wing. It is Hindu left.” There never was a sustained economic right wing in India. Very very few individuals at the time of independence thought of the benefits of free market capitalism in the US. The intellectual capacity of the Indian right wing was nearly non-existent. So naturally, socialism prevailed in India, as we were a poor nation.
C Rajagopalachari, Minoo Masani, and KM Munshi formed the Swatantra party in 1959, arguing for the free market and limited government intervention in the economy. Swatantra party was the real Hindu right party as they were not against the Hindu culture of India and thus, were really secular and wanted to bring in the benefits of free market capitalism to Indian masses. But the party collapsed after the passing of C Rajagopalachari.
BJP is a party derived from RSS which is just a cultural organization and an NGO. RSS is not an intellectual organization, which produces research work on economics, society, politics, and foreign policy. It doesn’t have any deep and long-term thinking on these issues. Their goal is simply to promote cultural unity among Hindus and preserve good Hindu traditions and values. They are against the idea of Hindu majoritarianism and caste hegemony. It is the VHP, Bajrang Dal, and Bal Thackeray’s Shiv Sena, who promote Hindu militancy, which is directed against Muslim Street Power that could riot and terrorise Hindus any time any place as they did at the time of Muzaffarnagar riots and Jamia riots which transformed into Shaheen Bagh and anti-CAA riots.
India’s Hindu and economic right wing is generally spread out and disunited, and have no institutional support. BJP as an organisation doesn’t have the intellectual depth and rigour that Hindu and economic right needs. It detests professionals and intellectuals of even the right as they can’t debate with them. They want the unquestioning loyalty of their professional advisors and if any criticism is heard, the advisors are ignored.
Now the question is why Hindu? Leaders must recognise the Hindu nature of our country and not look down upon them. Bharat always had mutual respect for all religions, and this was possible only because of a Hindu majority. The Indian state from the beginning was un-secular and biased against Hindus. Multiple measures like the Hindu code bill, state control of temples, special minority rights in education prove this. The Hindu right wants Uniform Civil Code based on Bhartiya Sanatan laws, implementation of CAA, etc.
Also read: ‘RSS stands for Hindu Rashtra, not anti-anybody’: Mohan Bhagwat slams ‘scare-mongering’
It is crystal clear from history that free market economics lift the poor out of poverty by industrialising a country which then creates a massive amount of wealth and transforms the society. As Gautam Chikermane and Rishi Agarwal said “If we want to see how a nation’s polity smothers its own economic well-being, look no further than India’s business laws.”
There are very few policies that favour the economic development of our country. BJP as an organisation does not have the intellectual depth and rigour to bring policies that can create an environment for the prosperity of Bharat in economic and societal terms. The BJP is strictly following socialist programmes to its ends like AWAAS, Jal Jeevan rural electrification, and Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, but is highly incompetent in following through and implementing good policies like judicial reforms, GST, CAA-NRC,farm laws and other such measures.
So, the question is whether we want to be rich and powerful or remain the poor third-world country that we are. If we want to be rich, we must bring in policies of economic freedom, which the BJP is hesitant to bring.
In the Indian political spectrum, the space for the right wing is empty. All parties are fighting for the left space, even the BJP. And here no one can beat the BJP in left politics as they pose as Hindus and are socialists, who believe that the mai-baap government is the solution to every problem in the society. Opposition to the BJP is coming only from regional parties in Bengal, Maharashtra, Tamil Nādu, etc from the leftist position itself. The regional leaders will not compromise and set their egos aside for the nation.
India is in dire need of a national opposition. BJP has a monopoly on Hindus and by extension, on Indian elections. That is why only a truly Hindu party with the right economic agenda can break it. We need a new Hindu right wing party with a dedicated cadre and support from the middle class, businessmen, and workers on the ground. Like minded smart leaders from congress, BJP, civic society, and even regional parties need to come together to form a national party for Hindu and economic right-wing interests to outflank the BJP from the right. These leaders can unite the old congress cadre or even create a new cadre as unemployment is high right now.
This organisation should keep the strategic interests of Bharat first and foremost. This new party should be transparent and open to intellectual and professional advice and criticism from the right and left. This party should pre-emptively form policies on various issues and implement them once in power. This will give competition to the BJP or even win elections and either of that will result in the growth of Bharat.
The author is a student at JSS Science and Technology University, Mysore. Views are personal