DB_ Nagpur Anti Fascist Convention

An anti-fascist convention was organised in Nagpur on May 25, 2023 by the Progressive People's Forum. CPIML General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya spoke as the main speaker in the convention presided over by the economist Shrinivas Khandewale. The introductory remarks were made by Comrade Kale. Gopal Nayadu expressed concerns about the erosion of constitutional institutions, erasure of historical symbols, and the rejection of Darwin's theory.

Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, delivered a speech titled "The Fascism in India and the Growing People’s Resistance." He highlighted the significance of the Naxalbari peasant uprising on May 25, 1969, where 11 peasants, including women and children, sacrificed their lives, and said that the spirit of the Naxalbari rebellion continues to inspire our fight against fascism across the country. He paid tributes to the martyrs of the Khairlanji Dalit massacre and called for the release of the comrades implicated in the Bhima Koregaon case. He criticised the ruling regime for the death of Father Stan Swamy in jail.

The rise of fascism in Italy in 1922 as a means to suppress socialist movement after the Russian Revolution of 1917, played a crucial role in those times. This was hailed and adopted as a model by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) during their visit to Italy in 1925. During India's independence movement people and revolutionaries fought against British colonialism. Dr. Ambedkar envisioned the future of an independent India. 

In contrast, the RSS attempted to destabilise the nation by participating in the conspiracy to assassinate Gandhi. They opposed independence, rejected the tricolour flag, and advocated for the saffron flag as the national flag. Fascism, as a doctrine, openly promotes violence and creates internal enemies within society, as exemplified by the targeting of Jews in Germany. It fuels madness and establishes the rule of the state, exerting control over the police, justice system, and social violence to enforce a reign of terror. In India, the regressive ideology of RSS draws inspiration from Italy's hundred-year old history.

Dr. Ambedkar argued that India's democracy is built upon a weak social foundation of the caste system. The power of the ruling class grows when they possess the power to kill, which they fully exploit when they have control. Power in India is being centralised in the name of public-private partnerships, where Adani's involvement in contracts symbolises this trend along with the Hindutva ideology. In 1857, the revolutionary leader Azimullah Khan boldly declared, "We are the rightful owners of this great nation, Hindustan. It belongs to us." His words clearly demarcate the difference between todays’ Hindutva and real nationalist ideology which is ours. We must recognize that their nationalism is a misguided interpretation, far removed from the ideals of national heroes like Bhagat Singh.

Currently, we find ourselves amidst a pervasive and enduring form of censorship. The mainstream media, aligned with the powers that be, neglects the truth. It is our responsibility to resist the grip of fear and ignorance. We must summon the courage to combat anti-democratic ideologies, transforming our nation, free from all oppressive forces.

Stan Swami, who fought a legal battle for access to water, was incarcerated. Tragically, his untimely death in jail can only be described as murder. We also witness the struggle of courageous female wrestlers fighting against sexual harassment. It is through such unwavering determination that we shall emerge victorious.

Comrade Dipankar called for embracing the vision of Dr. Babasaheb and the principles laid out in our Constitution. He said that we are in a phase of new contradictions, where equality in voting rights coexists with a lack of social equality. We must strive to democratise our country according to the principles enshrined in the Constitution, making it truly equitable.

In 1989 in Bihar, dalit leader Rameshwar Prasad became the first leader to secure a parliamentary victory based on the Dalit votes and in response, the horrific Dhanwar Bihata massacre was carried out. In 1956, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar embraced his chosen faith in Nagpur where the RSS headquarters also exists. The public declaration of his acceptance of the Bauddh Dharma resonated with hundreds of thousands of people fighting for equality. 

The farmers' movement, a monumental year-long struggle, unfolded before our eyes. Women from all walks of life, spanning ages 8 to 80, actively participated in the citizenship movement. We have witnessed the power of mobilising marginalised communities, particularly the Dalit poor in Bihar, to stand up for their rights.

Let us unite in our fight against a destructive mindset. Furthermore, it is imperative that the inauguration of Parliament should have been presided over by the President. The adoption of symbols like Sengole, reminiscent of monarchical rule, seeks to suppress the people's accountability and must be vehemently opposed. It is crucial to acknowledge that capitalism and the privileged classes remain indifferent to the threat of fascism. What we require is a collective effort, a united front for democracy. Education and reservation, once tools for social justice, have unfortunately become privileges reserved for the affluent. We must band together, incorporating all democratic forces, to reclaim these rights.

In Karnataka, votes were solicited in the name of Bajrang Bali. Despite Modi-Nadda and Amit Shah's disregard for protocol, they faced defeat. The destruction of our nation unfolds at a micro level, as they relentlessly seek to alter the rights of the people. Their rhetoric suggests that the discourse on freedom and rights has run its course, making way for a newfound emphasis on duty. Now, Modi intends to rule as a king, symbolised by Singole. We must grasp the gravity of the situation and undertake a prolonged battle against fascism. We must push their political influence into oblivion, forging an alliance with democratic forces, including the Communists. Only by uniting diverse ideologies can we form a formidable front to defeat fascism.

Nagpur, the epicentre of the RSS, also serves as a stronghold for Ambedkarite ideology and the Communist movement. It is here that we shall wage our socio-political battle against injustice, standing tall as women, farmers, and labourers. Together, we shall prevail.

In his presidential address, Shrinivas Khandewale emphasised the need to pay attention to the economic situation at a time when fascist forces are trying to take control. The World is undergoing an economic slowdown which is affecting poor common people the most.