By Amirthanayagam Nixon –
Fascism is an ideology. There is no room for peace. The basic idea of fascism is that the people should do what the king commands. The doctrine of fascism must never be followed by governments recognized by the United Nations (UN). But movements fighting for political emancipation cannot be called fascists. It is very wrong for some to define liberation movements as fascists only because they kill dissenters.
If the youths of other races take up arms and fight against the oppression and anti-democratic activities of a government centered on one race, they should be called a liberation movement. But the recognized governments label those liberation movements as fascists and terrorists.
After the liberation movements have received the democratic recognition of political authority, it is possible to predict whether they are a fascist movement or a democratic movement based on the future activities of those movements.
Liberation movements cannot be characterized as fascism when armed struggles are ongoing and permanent political solutions are not available.
Democracy cannot be expected from a liberation movement fighting against a democratic government. Also, movements that carry out armed struggle against racially oppressive governments under the guise of democracy cannot be called fascist.
In this situation, is it correct that the Sri Lankan government and some English-speaking Tamils, who are said to be progressive, call the LTTE movement, which fought for the Elam Tamils in Sri Lanka, a fascist movement?
What is the reason for these progressive Tamils who know English to call the LTTE fascists when the Tamils living in the north-east lost their existence in the last fourteen years after the LTTE was destroyed in May 2009? In the post-2009 environment, land grabbing continues in the North-East. Buddhistization and Sinhalese settlements are also present. What is the politics behind calling LTTE fascist in this situation?
What is the purpose of this renewed discussion of fascism in recent times?
Alternative thinkers may sometimes justify their actions by pointing out the mistakes made by the structure of the ‘Sri Lankan government’. But none of the alternative thinkers has ever honestly said where justice failed and by whom. But it is only the LTTE that these Tamil alternative thinkers easily call “fascists”
Even the report published by the United Nations Panel of Experts in 2010 on the final war, comparatively shows where justice has failed in Sri Lanka. But the expert panel report did not label the LTTE as fascists.
Therefore, those born in Tamil society who call themselves alternative thinkers and intellectuals can define the LTTE as ‘fascist’ on what basis?
There are many definitions of “opinion” and “alternative opinion”. But such harmful ideas as vulgarizing and polluting the justification for the political liberation of a race cannot be defined as alternative ideas.
Therefore, it is not appropriate to try to attribute the LTTE as ‘fascists’ by focusing on the single cause of “murder” and “oppression” on the one hand and argument.
Conversations that progress from one to the other can be interpreted as an exchange of ideas. An alternative is to seek correction or reform, especially on the affected side. It also means thinking from another angle.
Blocking such alternative ideas would be considered an act against freedom of expression. But hear the alternative opinion or alternative thinking of those who speak against the LTTE justifies the unitary State of Sri Lanka.
But from 1958 to May 2009, before the Tamil ethnic extermination and armed struggle by the Sri Lankan government, why did not these Tamil alternative thinkers bravely open their mouths about the violence that took place in 1981, when the Jaffna library, Eelannadu press offices, and commercial centers were set on fire.
There are not two types of murders, “good murder” and “bad murder”. Murder is murder whoever commits it.
But the alternative thinkers attribute the killing here to what the LTTE did. The killings of Tamils by the Sri Lankan Army are justified in the tone that all killings are good.
Fascism has often been misinterpreted in different contexts at different times.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) organization in India has strongly supported the ideology of fascism. In 1931, the RSS thought that fascism was the right policy to realize the dream of a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ i.e. Hindutva (meaning “Hinduness”) in India.
As Mussolini had done in Italy, the RSS aimed to create a dictatorship in India, disenfranchise the people, prepare Hindus for military training, and evict the Muslims living in India. The organization openly supported fascism.
One of the founders of the RSS, ‘Moonje’ had visited Italy in 1931 and visited all the fascist colleges and military colleges run by Mussolini there.
“It’s a great structure. A great way to prepare people. It should be set up in India as well,” says Marzia Casolari, an Italian researcher who wrote three notes in the attendance registers of the colleges.
Marzio Casalori published a research book titled “Ambiguous Relationship between Indian Nationalism and Nazi-Fascism” in the year 2000, examining the foreign relations of Hindutva organizations in India.
A review of this book was published on January 22, 2000, in the English weekly Economic and Political Weekly.
Here we should look not only at Nazism-fascism but also at the ideology of Zionism. Zionism – The religion of the Jewish state of Israel, which the Jews illegally seized from the Palestinians.
The term “Zionism” was coined in 1855 by a Vietnamese Jew named Nathan Birnbaum.
What is happening now in the Israeli–Palestinian war? Israel says war means war. Western and European countries like the US and Canada, which support Israel, say there is no room for peace talks with the Hamas movement.
So can this mean that these countries are dealing with fascism in the Palestinian issue?
The question arises as to whether the fascism that alternative thinkers accuse is the same as the fascism that existed in Italy. Many people who use the term fascists do not have an adequate explanation for it.
Instead, the term fascism and fascists are used to compare Italian fascism and Nazism in Germany.
Cardiff University Professor Kevin Passmore, who wrote the book “Fascism: “A Very Short Introduction”, points out that fascism and Nazism are two different ideologies.
Racism and anti-Semitism were central to Nazi ideology. But fascism in Italy was not so definable. So he explains that just because there is racism in the activities of a liberation movement, they cannot be labeled as fascists.
Kevin Passmore also argues that in Italian Fascism corporatism was politically mixed. He also explains that people are classified as working together based on their abilities. It can therefore be clearly said that the term “fascist” is often used as a convenient term to express condemnation of liberation movements against a backdrop of this lack of understanding.
RSS in India some political parties do not call themselves fascist even though they agree with many of the ideas of fascism. This is because all the anti-fascist alternatives argue that fascism is comparable to Nazism.
The world is still debating what the precise definition of fascism is. So we cannot conclude that political liberation movements are fascist just by evaluating the killing of dissenters. If so, then it must mean that fascists exist within modern government structures as well.
So in the last fourteen years after 2009, without any political solution, Tamils have been facing great hardships. Traditional lands are being usurped. In this situation, there are many doubts as to whose interests the Tamil alternative thinkers are working for by saying “LTTE are fascists”.
*Amirthanayagam Nixon worked as a journalist for ten years at the Virakesari newspaper published in Colombo. Currently working as a freelance journalist and political columnist. It is also worth noting that he is a media lecturer