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Fight for the Soul

A third consecutive victory will further embolden Narendra Modi, who is not only inspired by rising Christian fascism in the USA and Europe and Zionist fascism in Israel but is also encouraged by these like-minded allies to turn India into a hellhole for minorities.

By Ambassador Naghmana A. Hashmi | November 2023

Undoubtedly, the National Congress Party, India’s oldest Party that held the strings of power for decades, now finds itself in an existential crisis. Can the Indian National Congress rejuvenate itself and become a serious contender for power in the forthcoming general elections in 2024? Will Congress, under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, be able to seize the opportunity to re-energize and position itself by presenting a strong ideological alternative to Brand Modi of Hindu nationalism and contribute to the defense of Indian democracy? These are questions that evade clear answers.

A few months from now, India will hold the most consequential election in its history, which may be the last chance to stop Modi from transforming the world’s largest democracy into a fascist Hindu-supremacist state. With the Congress Party’s electoral successes in some state elections in which the BJP suffered defeats, a glimmer of hope and a faint possibility is emerging that the Indian National Congress might recover some of its lost ground and may have an outside chance of forming a government with its allies and coalition partners. This prospect gets a further boost with some key regional opposition parties forming alliances with the Congress Party to create a united opposition to challenge Modi.

Congress received only 19% of the vote in the 2014 and 2019 general elections. Congress, therefore, requires a fresh and innovative manifesto to challenge the BJP and Hindu-chauvinist ideology. This requires a party leader who understands the aspirations of young Indians and convinces the electorate that Congress is the only party that can retrieve India from the verge of descending into the dark pit of a fascist Hindu state and put it back on track. Whether Rahul Gandhi will succeed in articulating a positive and aspirational vision for the country’s future remains to be seen.

The resurgence of the Congress Party with a compelling narrative that appeals to the youth, the persecuted minorities, and a large number of silent and sane Hindu voters tired of the BJP’s authoritarian and increasingly divisive governance style and who aspire to see a secular, peaceful and prosperous India is not an impossibility. Since its inception, Congress has been resilient and able to remodel, change, and adapt to shifting political circumstances. India watchers and experts feel that Congress is the only political party comparable to BJP’s national and organizational status. Suppose Congress can overcome its internal organization issues and leadership problems and rise like a phoenix from its ashes. In that case, it still has the capability and popular appeal to, if not win the elections in 2024, at least provide a credible and formidable opposition able to oppose Modi’s growing fascism.

At the moment, it would not be wrong to say that the BJP controls the political narrative in India. However, Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra and the formation of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) are making waves and forcing the BJP to consider this emerging trend seriously. The 28 opposition parties allied in June and are challenging Modi’s party on its economic record, rising unemployment, and other domestic problems, including growing anti-Muslim sentiment. The alliance has decided to work out seat-sharing arrangements to stop the ruling BJP party’s third straight win.

A joint resolution adopted by INDIA promises to uphold the idea of India as enshrined in the Constitution, ensures the rights of socially, educationally, and economically backward communities, and ensures a fair census of the caste, including the lower form. This is an element of concern for the BJP as it can develop into a strong narrative to counter Modi’s fascist model. Usually, the BJP has gained from a three-way contest. However, the emergence of INDIA will effectively turn the 2024 election into a two-way contest, which should be a matter of concern for the BJP despite its current popularity.

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