January 26, 2020

Bolsonaro Not Welcome

JAIR Bolsonaro, President of Brazil, is on a State visit to India and will be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade at the invitation of the Modi government.  This is a disgrace for the Indian people who are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Indian Constitution. Bolsonaro is the anti-thesis of all the values enshrined in our constitution.

Bolsonaro is a racist, who repeatedly mouths abuse at the indigenous people of Brazil and takes pride in the supremacy of the ‘white race’. He has openly stated that the ‘reserves’ inhabited by the indigenous people are an obstacle to agri-business, multi-national mining interests and hence the indigenous people should be evicted from those lands. After he assumed the presidency, occupation of lands held by the indigenous people has more than doubled. Bolsonaro had facilitated the plunder of Amazon by diluting the forest laws and also divesting the indigenous affairs office under the ministry of justice of its power to regulate indigenous territories. He expressed his displeasure at the failure of the Brazilian army to exterminate the indigenous people, just as the native Americans were completely eliminated from North America.

Bolsonaro is a misogynist, who looks down upon women and their contributions to social life. He was on record shamelessly abusing even fellow female representatives in the House of Congress.

Bolsonaro openly opposes democracy. He has stated that voting does not change anything in the country and only killing and civil war can bring about a change. He does not have respect for any democratic institution, including Parliament and the judiciary.

Bolsonaro believes that the military takeover in Brazil in 1964 was not a coup, and that the regime which remained in power until 1985, was not a dictatorship. He yearns for a return to dictatorship in Brazil and is often found expressing nostalgic praises for the brutal dictatorship and torture of innocent citizens that Brazil had gone through. Bolsanoro ordered military celebrations to commemorate military coup in Brazil.

Bolsonaro never shies away from advocating his love for fascistic ideology and has even stated that the Nazi ‘holocaust’ can be forgiven, but sparing the lives of communists and Left-wing supporters cannot be forgiven. He has pledged to eliminate all ‘Reds’ from the country.

To have such a fervent supporter of dictatorship, to participate in our Republic Day parade, let alone be the chief guest is condemnable.

Bolsonaro is not suited to grace our Republic Day, which celebrates the democratic, secular, socialist constitution of our Republic and also its diverse, multi-cultural, multi-national, multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual traditions.

The only reason for inviting Bolsonaro as the chief guest is the ideological affinity that the RSS and BJP shares with him. Misogyny, authoritarianism, hatred for diversity, lack of tolerance are some of the commonalities shared by both Bolsonaro and the RSS-BJP. Except this reason, there is no other merit in inviting Bolsonaro to India.

If we cherish democracy and human values, we should firmly and loudly declare that Bolsonaro is not welcome in India. 

(January 22, 2020)