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Right wing of US is praising BJP and Sangh for its own reasons

Anil Sinha

These days the Indian Parliament is facing an unprecedented confrontation between the ruling party and the opposition. The discussion about democracy and other ideas of BJP and its parent organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is also hot all over the world. At the same time, America’s strategic expert and columnist of famous newspaper ‘Wall Street Journal’ Walter Russell Mead has written an interesting article on the international importance of BJP. The right-wing camp of the country is taking this article as if the ideas of BJP and RSS have got global recognition.

The truth is that Mead continues to create an environment for policies that advance American strategic interests. He is a person of right-wing views and is also associated with the Hudson Institute, a right-wing American organization. Because of his ideological leanings, he is overly soft on the BJP. An example of his softness is that Mead has even expressed the possibility of Modi government coming back in 2024 in his famous article.

Nevertheless, some important points in Mead’s article are worth noting. He compared the BJP to three parties and organizations that do not believe in democratic ideas and freedom of expression. These three organizations are the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, the Likud Party of Israel and the Communist Party of China. Keep in mind, Rahul Gandhi had also compared RSS with Muslim Brotherhood in his statement given abroad recently, on which a lot of hue and cry was created.

However, taken in its entirety, there is no doubt that Mead’s article is part of an effort to improve the image of the BJP in the West. He says people outside India have a poor understanding of the BJP because they have grown up in a political and cultural heritage they are not aware of. BJP and Sangh have been giving this argument since before. But this argument cannot be given much importance for two reasons:

  • Above all, the deliberate attitude of the Sangh seems to strengthen this argument. Sangh never keeps its views openly. He always maintained a veil of secrecy and mystery around him. Despite believing in individualism instead of democracy, he never explicitly stated that he believed in totalitarianism. He sometimes calls democracy an imported method from the west and sometimes takes pride in the fact that India has a republic since ancient times. While maintaining such confusion and confusion, the Sangh also complains that it is not understood properly. On his every serious criticism, he says that he is criticized without understanding it.
  • Secondly, there are many thinkers who have criticized the Sangh after a very deep study. If the Sangh was an organization equipped with democratic consciousness accepting its criticisms and furthering the discussion on it, it would have engaged with these criticisms, answered them and then allowed those answers to become the subject of debate. Since it is not so, the Sangh answers every criticism with the complaint that the critics do not even try to understand it.

However, going back to Mead’s article, he defends the RSS-BJP alliance on the issue of democracy and human rights abuses in India, saying that India is a complex region:

  • Mead points to the fact that the BJP has found political success in the Christian-majority Northeast, and that the party enjoys significant support among Shia Muslims in Uttar Pradesh, which has a population of 200 million. The question is whether the success in getting the votes of Christians in the Northeast and Shias in Uttar Pradesh can be used as a defense against the violation of freedom of expression and mob violence against minorities.
  • It is also worth noting that Mead’s narrative is largely based on his intensive meetings with BJP, RSS leaders. The two important people he mentioned meeting are Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
  • Mead’s emphasis is on the fact that a ‘Hindu monk holding the post of Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh’ discussed capital investment and development in his state.
  • Mead also mentions that Yogi is one of the hardliners in the Hindutva movement and is sometimes described as the successor of Prime Minister Modi. Doesn’t this show that the right-wing group in America is keeping its eyes on the leadership-change in BJP as well?

cause of interest

The important question is that what is the reason behind this American expert’s interest in BJP. Right at the beginning of the article, he says, ‘India’s ruling BJP is the world’s most important foreign political party in terms of US national interests.’ He further states that BJP’s help is necessary for the success of American efforts to balance China. He has said that understanding the ideology of Hindu nationalism is essential for American industrialists, diplomats and policy-makers.

It is clear that Mead is not worried about the impact this ideology will have on the fabric of India, which is full of diversities. They are not even concerned about the impact these narrow-minded ideologies will have on the global ideas of democracy and humanism. The only question at the center of their concern is how to ensure the protection of American interests. The reality of both can be better understood if their support to BJP-RSS is seen in this context.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author’s own.

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