Marriage Between Capitalism and Authoritarianism: A Pseudo-Populism cum Model Minority Myth in India

Abhivardhan

Editor In Chief


Often times it is seen in Brazil, Mexico and some EU state that economic and social circumstances in that activist resonance lead to the fall of liberal parties and governments. Approaches to common international and local issues like migration, employment of youth, education and xenophobia, akin others, is dealt as a political sport delved with disputed turbulence and procedure of fake news and propaganda. Notable media chains and other non-state actors are found responsible to lead towards creating a schema of influence among communities, but the ontology of such subjective content and streamlining confuses and is deep to seem, even if it may not be.

In India and the US, convincingly, media chains, political parties and other non-state/private actors are found accountable and embracing content based on chronological, planned and general agendas, which seem to drive a pre-conceived curiosity among a significant section of the society, terming the sense of a fear, contempt or perhaps any other dissent of interest, which itself, has premises of assumed uncertainties. Cases on ridicule or comments on politicians, political promises and racist antagonism delved with conciliation, damage the purpose of freedom, and yet due to the traditional polar approach of human rights and information law, reactionary analogies are made in such cases, which itself is not the case. Still, this does not settle the core ingredient of populism among people as the electoral performances and anthropomorphic consistencies fade faster.

The article focuses on the comparative analysis of some internal issues of political importance related to fake news and political establishments in the Indian and US democracies, laying out a schematic representation of a similar strategy of model minority myth, a US-based corporate ethical conception. The article also provides the essential ingredients of understanding to determine the elements of such political simulations, which, by the virtue of the proposition, does not come in the ambit of traditional or conventional populism. Relevant conclusions and solutions are provided to tackle such complex problems in these democracies.

Keywords- International Politics, Inverted Totalitarianism, Constitutional Redemption, Populist Communication, Political Subjectivity, Democratic Backsliding.

Introduction

Understanding populism is about analysing the culture that drives the very political movement or initiative. In fact, populism is not an absolute ideology and estimation in these 70 years since the formation and crystallization of American International Law, after the UN was formed, populist communication did not emerge in full considerations (Mudde, 2004). Taking India, US and European nations in a collateral example, we must understand that after 1945, we do not see a rise of populist movements in majority and relevance. Europe was in the state of regret, while the Soviet and American allies had conceived of new world order, in due development, in some aspect of relevance. India, after its partition cum independence from the British Raj, was driven by the approaches of Nehruvian Socialism in the pretext of public diplomacy and political ideology internally while leading the movement of Non-Alignment along with some third world countries, led by its First Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. What is interesting to figure out is that India, US, USSR and the UK were among the spotlight for their special political approaches to the world. Taking the case of internal public diplomacy of these nation-states, it is tenable to concede that the US-led a dominant factor in engaging its own nationalistic approach to evolve political democracies across the globe. The Brits were yet imperialistic and that is different from the approach of the Americans, which shows that they simply could not settle any resonating ambit of some pluralist political spectrum, which they should have (Stanley, 2008, p. 102). One special aspect of that phase with regards UK is essential that somewhere, the UK had a central concern with the European states, and there goes the surge of European integration, the cultivation of liberalism and invoking the principled initiative of internationalism among nation-states. India had a special political inspiration under Nehru and the future Congress-led governments towards Russia, which we can definitely see under Narendra Modi when it comes to Vladimir Putin. The advent of Indian Socialism and American Nationalism shaped the democratic counterparts respectively and paved the way how populism we seek today is relevant enough in the way it is conventionally tested (Nehru, 1991). However, it is important to understand the factions of economic elementals, which influence and are sensitive cum susceptible to public opinion and faith. It affects the way the economic voices of India and the US are driven. While Europe faces a fragmenting populism of growing nature, in generic trends except for the UK unless the Brexit politics has some relative impact, India and the US are not driven by populism in the conventional sense. In fact, there is no conventional presence of any such related populism in these two democracies, which is ironic enough for the political fate of the world. The article analyses the relevant growth of capitalist authoritarianism and pseudo-populism in India and the US, in comparison to the present and remnant figurines of populism in Europe, with special analysis and conclusions provided.


The Elemental Distortion of Liberalism and Sovereignty in India and US: A Contextual Dichotomy

The two political concepts, liberalism and sovereignty, like populism are technically objective concepts, bearing not any substantive heed and subjective limitation like Fascism, Communism, Socialism and other related concepts. Liberalism is the technical flora and fauna of liberty and freedom conceived and realized, while sovereignty, from the crude origins of power and authority, is the technical concomitant of legal and factual power (whether is it dominated by political will or not). In International Law, the development of sovereignty and liberalism has been essentially based on the idea of perpetual peace and sovereign equality, which is more liberal, imparting freedom of choices in various dimensions of international politics. The UN jurisprudence, along with the European Law embraces the idea of an international constitutional regime, being decentralized. This is connected with the way India and the US embraced their political establishments. It influenced their societies and the way populist communication emerged in their social ecosystems.

In the 20th century, the Indian diaspora had faced nearly half of the century under the British Raj, an imperialist, divisive and suppressive regime, with no generic ideological incentives. The Brits were successful in imparting the Western scientific thinking to India, but they were also contributory to misreading the way the Indian culture exists. At that time, there were major incidents of communal violence and hatred, including discriminatory activities of heinous elemental human thinking in the average society India had been leading for years. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the First Indian Prime Minister embraced the idea of socialism in a culturally diverse economy and rendered the democratic principles of secularism, socialism and democracy in a Hindu-majority India. However, the conceptual picturization of the Nehruvian era is often misread as a general state, which is untouched with religion. The Constitution of India, 1950 makes it clear, with the jurisprudence by the Supreme Court of India[1]. Also, the generic political rise of Narendra Modi is often misconceived by political science scholars as mere Hindu populism or nationalism archetype by the name of Hindutva and according to that aspect of political concentration of powers, this is regarded as a backlash to Indian liberalism, whose much the relationship is contributed to the biggest opposition party, the Indian National Congress. This is a false premise because of the definitive aspect of an Indian society today is closely connected to development as an elemental need to be relinquished, which can be reframed as dynamic economic welfare (ET CONTRIBUTORS, 2019). However, the way Indian liberalism works are indirectly different from the West-led ideation of liberalism. This aspect has somewhere encouraged Narendra Modi to win 2019 Lok Sabha Election like the previous one, and leading a flourished cabinet of ministers. This is often termed as an election of polarization of votes and caste-based vote-bank politics, which is not a correct conclusion. Data by the Election Commission shows that the strategic policy of the secular partisan coalitions in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state of India, had failed, yet they had affirmed caste-based formations per constituency to counter the Modi-led Bhartiya Janata Party (Menon, 2019). The possible inference to render from a sweeping electoral win by Narendra Modi, especially in the Hindi Heartland and not much still in the South except Karnataka, is based on the following conclusions rendered for understanding:

1. Development is an elemental need of the Indian people; they seek faith and hope in Narendra Modi.

2. The Indian diaspora, regardless of religious or caste-based differences, is open to nationalism and the Indian nationalism is not collateral to Fascism, but an embraced authoritarianism in some paradigm of political and socio-economic affairs.

3. Many times, the politics of Modi is misconceived in the lines of Fascism, where, in due comparison with modern populists like Nigel Farage, Matteo Salvini and Marine Le Pen, Narendra Modi has two charismatic qualities: (a) that he is an economic liberal, muscular in his foreign policy approach, especially towards Asian states; and (b) he is not a direct Hindu sympathizer, but optimist to the representative majority of the country, which is not only the Hindus but it also includes the most possible and communicable people, from the urban netizens to deep-rooted rural people.

4. The Bhartiya Janata Party undoubtedly has more electoral bond funding and financial support from corporate, social and other miscellaneous backers, which other parties, in the ruling coalition and the opposition parties, do not have (BS Web Team, 2019). Bagging 95% of the financial support in the form of electoral bonds is certainly plausible and remnant for the party to have imperative leverage. However, the communication they render for their own method of approach and purpose is pseudo-populist, or in simple terms, different from conventional populism. In fact, much of the way Modi presents himself is very different from how Trump and Putin represent themselves. This is adequately termed as the Fire Hosing Propaganda technique, as elaborated and researched by RAND Corporation. Modi does not actually apply the same technique, because he is seen as a liberal figure in the international scenario, being better than Trump, economically viable to the MENA and Central Asian states, connective to Russia and competitive yet collateral to China, and invisibly amicable to the US. We must never forget that Donald Trump has erupted a perception of distrust and conceived fear, which the international community, including India, is concerned. However, it is worth noting that India has maintained its solidarity somewhere, and this is the recent government’s policy, except in the Kashmir issue, where the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has applauded Pakistan and criticized India for its approach. Nevertheless, the ban of Masood Azhar by the Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council has boosted the legitimate approach of India and blown up the generic way of thinking and realizing foreign policy from a defensive yet paranoid construct to a more aggressive and semi-progressive one. Thus, Narendra Modi is a market liberal, whose approach is essential to the ‘Vikaas’ initiative for the majority and the minority of India, taking a strategic approach and not stance on the majority (it does not include only Hindus, so religion-based discrimination to settle what is that majority for Modi and the BJP is futile here).

The United States, on the contrary, is in a different outlet. Trump is termed as a right-wing conservative, anti-cosmopolitan, anti-Muslim and no matter how many more tags. However, his sceptical, unconcerned and uncertain foreign policy and public diplomacy approach show us that his authoritarian concern is certainly the opposite of populism. Here are some relative conclusions with respect to US politics in comparison with Indian politics:

1. Trump does not know what he has to do as the President of the US. He is the leader of a free world, and somewhere he takes many foolish attempts, unlike Barack Obama, whose failures were different. Obama was half-hearted in his economic approach to nation-states, while Trump is diabolical and unclear in his various methods to deal with the international community. He is not a populist, because he is more of minority representation. That minority is unpopular in the Grand Old Party of the US, and ignore the outcomes, outlaw policies and instruments, so as to suppress the implications (Yglesias, 2018). The fact that he was condemned and protested by the public much in his recent state visit to the UK was not about the left-centrist protest against Donald Trump, but more about a susceptible, irresponsible activity that the President of the US has been concerned too. The caricaturist culture of protest is long-ridden in the UK for years and no politician protested has been saved from this.

2. Trump uses the Fire hosing Propaganda approach, which is similar to Vladimir Putin (Paul & Matthews, 2016) and it is about a distraction to political responsibility, driving political correctness in an unethically doable way, but trying to win legal battles across the globe and in the States. Thus, somewhere, Trump is pigeon-holing legitimacy at the expense of the liberals, who have been mistaking to various public and foreign policy approaches. This is a significant development in the history of the US, and cannot be ignored. However, he is a bad political low in 2020 Presidential Race this time, which is contradictory to Modi, although Modi had faced a significant low as well in April 2019, which did not affect much. (Scott, 2019; Menon, 2019).

3. Trump hails no populism, but a mistake born. Modi, on the other hand, is the emergence of a need to protect and establish political and all-round faith in the democratic institutions of India. The purge of Hindu Nationalism scripted as well as schemed with human right and constitutional violations is a failed premise for arguing Modi not because he hails low and proper engagement with the media, but it is because of some minute technicalities, such as the capillaries of communication and marketing, have tagged a group of people as ‘Lutyens’ and ‘Pseudo-Liberals’, who are also termed in the ‘Tukde-Tukde gang’ (meaning people, who are separatist and divisive towards India in the form of a group). India was vying for a strong and promising leader, and the NDA Government has contributed towards the ‘Vikaas’ agenda undoubtedly. However, some narratives displayed by the political parties, media, and even the ruling political party, the BJP are misguided and unclear, making no space for dissent to something unreasonable. This is due to the rise of fake news and misinformation in India.

4. Now, the other side of this conflict is about taking the Government Schemes into consideration. The Government of India has never left the socialist agenda of the Constitution of India, 1950, but has modified and coalesced with the Indian culture in an interesting way. The celebration of International Yoga Day, connoting schemes like Ujjawala, ‘Swachh Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ were attributed to the vision of Mahatma Gandhi, the person, who was responsible for the Indian National Movement against the Brits in the 1940s. The political party, Indian National Congress, to which Gandhi was connected with, did not lead that initiative of Indianization of socialism, which was a political success under Pandit Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Even Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the then Prime Minister in 1998 under the BJP, made socialism cultured with the essence of Indian Nationalism, about being more patriotic to national heritage, pride and culture. Now, the secular parties need to understand that Modi has led an Indian Nationalism, which is grown like did the American Realism did, nevertheless having different ways and legacies to pertain.

An expectant growth of the political culture of India and the US show a diversity of issues and concerns, and this is somewhere important for the future concern of the world because populism is now transforming and can have a special potential to exist. The challenges for liberalism and a free world will exist, but inferring better inspirations and bringing a new story for Indians can be a fuel to make development a national concern forever. That is something Modi is known for. For the US, it is a dilemma, because Trump does not deserve a second term, and it is imperative that the Democrats crystallize their liberal agenda and sweep down a generous populism across the States, with a suited leader.


Bibliography

  1. BS Web Team, 2019. Ruling BJP got 95% of funds: Why there's an uproar over electoral bonds. [Online] Available at: https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/ruling-bjp-bags-95-of-funds-why-there-s-an-uproar-over-electoral-bonds-119040500309_1.html [Accessed 3 June 2019].

  2. ET CONTRIBUTORS, 2019. What's on voters' mind? Here's what a CVoter poll says. [Online] Available at: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/elections/lok-sabha/india/whats-on-voters-mind-heres-what-a-cvoter-poll-says/articleshow/68971403.cms [Accessed 2 June 2019].

  3. Menon, A., 2019. Is Congress Tacitly Helping Mahagathbandhan in Uttar Pradesh?. [Online] Available at: https://www.thequint.com/elections/congress-helping-sp-bsp-rld-mahatagathbandhan-uttar-pradesh [Accessed 3 June 2019].

  4. Menon, A., 2019. Modi Wave Over? Why Pollsters Are Scaling Down Predictions for BJP. [Online] Available at: https://www.thequint.com/elections/modi-wave-over-csds-cvoter-survey-bjp-prediction-lok-sabha-2019 [Accessed 3 June 2019].

  5. Mudde, C., 2004. The Populist Zeitgeist. Government and Opposition, Issue 4, pp. 541-563.

  6. Nehru, J., 1991. Jawaharlal Nehru's The discovery of India. New Delhi: Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

  7. Paul, C. & Matthews, M., 2016. The Russian “Firehose of Falsehood” Propaganda Model: Why It Might Work and Options to Counter It. [Online] Available at: https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/perspectives/PE100/PE198/RAND_PE198.pdf [Accessed 2 June 2019].

  8. Scott, D., 2019. Trump is really unpopular in the most important 2020 battleground states. [Online] Available at: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/6/5/18653800/trump-approval-rating-by-state-2020-election-odds [Accessed 6 June 2019].

  9. Stanley, B., 2008. The Thin Ideology of Populism. Journal of Political Ideologies, 13(1), p. 95–110.

  10. Yglesias, M., 2018. The Trump-era threat to democracy is the opposite of populism. [Online] Available at: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/12/10/18126132/trump-populism-democracy-threat-minority-rule [Accessed 4 June 2019].


[1] Refer Indira Sawhney & Ors v. Union of India. AIR 1993 SC 477: 1992 Supp (3) SCC 217; Dr Ramesh Yeshwant Prabhoo v. Shri Prabhakar Kashinath Kunte, 1996 AIR 1113, 1996 SCC (1) 130; Indian Young Lawyers’ Association v. State of Kerala, WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 373 OF 2006.

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