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The BJP and the Crisis of Liberal Democracy in India

Thursday, May 26, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

| Free

The Extreme Right and the Indian Working Classes

Since the election of the 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 & 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 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.

A public forum with:

  • Abhinav Sinha, PhD student, Delhi University
  • Dr. Himani Banerjee, Sociology, York University
  • Dr. Raju Das, Geography, York University
  • Dr. Ritika Shrimali, Geography, York University

Abhinav Sinha is an activist-scholar based in Delhi. He is currently a research scholar pursuing a PhD in History from University of Delhi entitled, ‘New Forms of Working Class Resistance in the Age of Globalization: Towards a new history of the working class of National Capital Territory of Delhi, 1957-2011‘. He has published two books (‘Faasivaad kya hai aur isse kaise ladein?’ and ‘Raajdhani ke Mehnatkash‘) and has translated Bertolt Brecht’s ‘Threepenny Opera‘ into Hindi. Additionally he is the editor of a progressive monthly newspaper, Mazdoor Bigul.

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

Need to know:
– Doors open at 6:50
– Free – donation request
– Accessible on demand via portable ramp; washrooms not accessible
– Please avoid using strong-scented products due to sensitivities

Tasty refreshments (non-alcoholic) with Zatoun oliveoil+za’atar dipping.