Notes towards a Gramscian analysis of a pandemic year in India

Abstract

In 2020 the authoritarian Hindu-supremacist BJP party was in its second term. With Modi leading it, the party won a landslide in 2019 and a majority in Parliament. Modi and the BJP were relatively restrained in their first term, however in their second term they vigorously implemented their coercive agenda and their ultra-neoliberal program of total deregulation and privatization. They were assisted by the Covid-19 pandemic which became their universal excuse for (1) shutting down political protests, (2) rushing through laws attacking workers, farmers and the rights of women, (they had passed laws attacking Muslims in 2019) and (3) arresting lawyers, trade unionists, journalists, university students, grassroots organizers, and organizers/leaders of subaltern groups, especially Dalits and Adivasis, on terrorism charges, denying them bail or trial. Modi and the BJP are using shock-doctrine-tactics to frighten the public and to blame Muslims for the virus. They have been successful because they control the media. Astonishingly, even though the government did shockingly little to help the starving millions who lost their jobs, the government has not lost its popularity. Its passive revolution strategies and its amazingly firm hegemonic power are examined within this conjuncture: a new neoliberal form of Hinduism is flourishing today.

Dissent; Labour; Authoritarianism; Shock-doctrine; Hegemony.

https://doi.org/10.14276/2531-9582.2471
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