Are we becoming increasingly majoritarian? - By Karan Thapar - IAMC
no-image IAMC

Are we becoming increasingly majoritarian? – By Karan Thapar

It’s not as esoteric a question as it seems but could Narendra Modi be going the Donald Trump way? This thought emerges from the increasing similarity between Trump’s attitude to immigrants and, in particular, people of colour and Modi’s, or more accurately, his party’s perceived attitude to minorities and, to be specific, Muslims. Undoubtedly, they differ in detail, but there’s a striking resemblance in the strategic thinking that appears to determine them.

Let’s start with Trump. A recent article in The Times (London) calls his recognisably racist verbal assaults on the four coloured Congresswomen “a calculated political thrust.”… Those sentences seemed to ring a loud bell when I read them. Could they, with a few changes, also apply to Narendra Modi? The answer is a clear yes if you simply focus on his 13 years as Chief Minister of Gujarat. You only have to recall his references to baby-making factories, Mian Musharraf, James Michael Lyngdoh, ‘hum paanch hamare pachees’ to identify the Trumpean nature of his strategy.

However, is the answer less unequivocal during the first five years of his prime ministership? No doubt, as PM, he’s said nothing to stir Hindu-Muslim tensions – and many believe he’s begun his second term by extending the hand of ‘vishwas’ to India’s minorities – but, equally, he’s done very little to stop his partymen from stoking communal fire and only rarely has he spoken out against the spate of mob lynchings since 2014, which, actually, seem to have accelerated since his re-election.…