From India to America, Right-wingers Cross the Rubrics

Right Wing Threatens World Stability


On January 20, 2017, as is indicated, Donald Trump will take oath of office as the 45th President of the United States of America. By all accounts a rightist leader who belongs to the Republican Party, Trump’s ascendancy to power in the US is synonymous with a phenomenon wherein aggression and ultra-nationalism than liberalism is becoming a norm in the election of a leader in country after country.

Left and liberal views having capacity to transcend over cast, community, nation and regional barrier, have been trounced upon by forces who wield narrow, conceited and jingoistic thinking up their sleeves. But this development is not limited to only Western hemisphere of the world, it has also caught in its whirlwind many countries, including India, where since May 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led rightist government is at the helm of the nation.

And this phenomenon, according to the experts, has emerged in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis and rise of Islamic militancy in West Asia and the South Asian region.

How Many Countries are Under Rightists’ Control?

According to a rough estimate, there are around 40 countries where right wingers have either formed governments or have an octopus grip over their countries’ legislature bodies. Of them, majority of the countries with right-leaning governments lie in the West. For the first time in 23 years in the United Kingdom, the Conservative Party won a majority seat in the 650-member House of Commons last year. The Conservative Party won 331 seats in the parliamentary election because David Cameron, the-then Prime Minister, had promised to voters that if his party won a majority in the election, he would hold a referendum on the British membership with the European Union.

In the aftermath of the parliamentary election, though, he campaigned hard to keep Britain united with the European Union, but was outsmarted by ultra-nationalists of his own party. They forced him to call referendum on Brexit in September. And the consequence was there before the world.

Pro- Brexit campaigners won the referendum hands down, forcing David Cameron to bow out of 10 Dawning Street. He was replaced by Theresa May, a hard-liner. In France, too, Britain’s next door neighbour, political pot is boiling in favour of pro-nationalists and hard-liners. With her rancid anti-immigration stance, National Front leader Marine Le Pen has emerged as a frontrunner in the 2017 April-May French Presidential election.

Francois Hollande, the incumbent President who is a Socialist by ideology, has refused to stand again for the election, because together with plummeting economic growth, a series of barbaric terrorist strikes in France has forced him to see the writing on the wall.

Similarly, Germany is under severe assault from hard-liners who see Chancellor Angela Merkel not suitable enough to lead the nation unchallenged on the security front. In fact, her government’s pro-migrant policy has come under attack from nationalist forces in the wake of successive terrorist attacks in the country, including the recent one when a truck driven by a Tunisian man Anis Amri ploughed through a market street in Berlin, leading to the death of 12 people and injuries of 48 others.

To remain in contention in the election (she will contest for the fourth term after eleven years in office), which is expected to be held in September 2017, Chancellor Merkel has banned full-face veil and has reviewed migrant policy, indicating that she is succumbing to populist rightist pressure. Similar political spectacle is there in Italy, Austria, Sweden, Hungary, Netherlands, Greece and other Western countries.

How is Economic Crisis Helping the Rise of Rightist Forces?

When 2008 economic crisis hit the world, a majority of opinion makers started saying that unbridled free-market capitalism would get restrained and that people would embrace the Left to save themselves from the savagery of economic turbulence. But more than eight years have passed since Lehman Brothers, Wall Street’s oldest investment bank, filed for bankruptcy, the world is still in deep recession.

Yet, instead of emergence of left forces, the world is witnessing a spurt in the right wingers who claim themselves to be better managers of economy than leftists. Right wingers, known for their good PR exercise, claim themselves to be pro-reform and investment oriented forces, but then they are also known for anti-subsidy and welfare mechanism. On the other hand, increasing weaknesses of Left and liberal forces in stumping job losses and market shrinkages, has only made them vulnerable for attacks from their rivals. This is what French President Hollande is witnessing in his country, or for that matter heads of the government in Sweden, Greece, Italy and others are facing in their nations.

Have Migrants Also Fuelled Rightists’ Growth?

Yes, migrants are blamed to be a factor to the rightists’ emergence. Millions of migrants have fled from Syria, Iraq and even from Afghanistan to Western countries in search of good life and safety in the past five to six years. Already, in deep financial crisis, these migrants’ arrival is said to have brought in a squeeze on infrastructure, civic amenities and several other fronts of the Western countries.

But Western nations like Germany, Austria, Britain, France and Italy have also seen spurt in growth of migrants from less economically well-off nations, belonging to the East European block. Their arrival is said to have impacted job, real estate market and other infrastructure of slightly well-off West European nations. And this is what created a ripple in the latter’s society, leading to some members of political class in the West criticizing their governments for creating a mess.

Hard-liners sitting across the political fence, seized upon troubles caused to their countries’ natural citizens by migrants. This has forced many liberal heads of the government or the state to abdicate their offices or look for ways to counter populist public anger generated by migrants.

Does Islamic Terrorism Have a Role in Increasing Rightists’ Space?

To a large extent, yes, Islamic terrorism is blamed for the emergence of rightist forces across the world. In fact, the more the terrorists, in the name of “jihad“, fan violence and bloodbath in the world, the more it has led to the creation of reactionary elements.

Terrorists’ acts have shown that they are against modernization, education and democracy. Whether they were ISIS, al-Qaeda, Taliban or Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad-all have but one common ideology and it is anti-West and anti-modernism. Nurtured by fanaticism, jehadis and terrorists are also against women empowerment and girls’ education.

They are against all that bring improvement in human life. And this is what has given birth to forces who are inimical to liberal views or thinking. To some extent they are anti-Islam too, a discriminatory tendency which is catching many non-Islamic countries of the world, one after the other.