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The BJP and the Crisis of Liberal Democracy in India:

The Extreme Right and the Indian Working Classes

Toronto — 26 May 2016.


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Since the election of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in May 2014, there has been an unprecedented onslaught on workers' rights along with a well-planned assault on democratic institutions, academic-cultural centres, intellectuals, left, progressive and secular groups, religious minorities, women and marginalized sections across India. Indeed, recent developments, such as the breaking of strikes across India, the arrest and torture of the disabled scholar Dr. G.N. Saibaba (Delhi University) on false accusations of being involved in the armed revolutionary movement, the suicide of Dalit scholar V. Rohith due to caste-based abuse and harassment, and the recent attacks on freedom of speech at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) because of purported anti-national activities, among many others, demonstrate that we are witnessing a rising tide of fascism in India. Yet the working class movement remains in disarray and unable to resist these attacks. 540 million members of the Indian working class and 270 million agrarian semi-proletarians are left to the mercy of fascist corporatist trade unions on the one hand, and reactionary parties of the rural bourgeoisie on the other. Failure to understand the changes in modus operandi of imperialism and realize the revolutionary potential of the gigantic unorganized and informal working class has similarly resulted in the failure to evolve new forms and strategies of resistance. Given the rise of fascist challenge it is even more urgent to rethink the approach and methods in the working class movement.

Moderated by Dhruv Jain. Presentations by:

Sponsored by Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Socialist Project and York Centre for Asian Research.

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