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Mainstream, VOL LIV No 26 New Delhi June 18, 2016

Manifesto of a United Anti-Fascist Democratic Front

Saturday 18 June 2016

The following Manifesto of a United Anti-Fascist Democratic Front is drafted by Aurobindo Ghose, an economist formerly at the Delhi School of Economics. He is currently a practising lawyer and human rights activist. He has conveyed that he “remains open to further debate, discussion and even correction”. He can be contacted at e-mail: g_aurobindo@yahoo.com.

Today what India urgently needs is a democratic revolution, not a socialist one. This cannot be achieved by the Left forces alone, if by Left is meant only the existing, traditional Communist and Socialist parties and groups.

Even the intended democratic revolution has to be preceded by a strong, united anti-fascist movement which will challenge and defeat the Hindutva forces hell-bent upon achieving a Hindu Rashtra through both electoral and vigilante/ insurrectionary means. This will require very hard efforts to unite and form the broadest ‘rainbow’ coalition across the country and all regions of all sections, representing various oppressed, exploited and minority people and nationalities and sub-nationalities. This anti-fascist movement has to be constituted by various democratic, progressive, Left and secular sects, sections, groups and parties irrespective of caste, tribe, creed, gender, class, ability, and language, representing different democratic secular ideas from Gandhian to Ambedkar-Perriyar-Phule-Kanshi Ram to Lohia and the Left etc.

This united front will also strive to fulfil the aspirations of a broad democratic secular culture and will have as its members poets, writers, artists, dramatists, singers and musicians etc. This has to be based on a very broad under-standing for attaining development with human dignity and a relentless fight against communalism and corruption. This will require a minimum working programme of land reforms, spatially widespread development of agriculture, industry, and services based on farmers and peasants, landless, small and medium-scale domestic businesses, entrepreneurs, traders, professionals, students and teachers, artisans and vendors assuring food, employment, housing and education to the masses.This has, it hardly needs to be mentioned, to be and must be based on socially egalitarian policies providing protection and encouragement to different faiths and communities, women, children, disabled, Dalits, adivasis, and religious and linguistic minorities as provided in the present Constitution of India.

Such efforts to build a strong, united, broad anti-fascist, secular, democratic front of the people and masses is only possible if they consciously strive to build on a historical understanding of the different trends in thought and ideology of the individuals, groups, parties and forces seeking to come together and uniting against what may be termed as the corporate, communal, feudal, patriarchal, Brahmanical fascist forces looming large before the Indian people and threatening to finish even the existing imperfect Democracy based on the present Constitution and replace it by a Hindu Rashtra based on a theocratic and autoritarian state. If we are clear, conscious, democratic, sensitive and determined, we, the people, shall overcome all odds and ultimately be victorious against the dark and evil forces facing, confronting and threatening us, the people of India.