India: The surveillant state - By Prasanta Ray - IAMC
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India: The surveillant state – By Prasanta Ray

One wonders if what India has been witnessing in the last decade or so indicates a neo-liberal economy riding on the shoulders of Hindutva, or Hindutva seizing the neo-liberal moment to bolster Hindu majoritarianism. Presumably both are happening, the buckle between the two being the surveillant state.

The Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party-s coming and staying – with a flourish – in State power reveals a programme conceived with mastery. It is totalitarian in the sense that all aspects of an individual-s public and personal life and all forms of dissenting collective action are vulnerable to the surveillance of the security-sensitive State, of the majority party determined to diminish liberal dissent, and of men and women co-opted to serve as the everyday eyes and ears in institutions like the academia, the bureaucracy and the locality.

This syndrome of authoritarianism threatens the liberal democratic ethos envisaged in the Constitution for independent India. Majoritarian State: How Hindu Nationalism is Changing India explores how “the political and social dominance of the BJP and the plethora of Hindu nationalist organisations are shifting the relationship between the Indian state and its diverse peoples and communities”; and how citizenship rights are seriously compromised.…