The damaging consequences of Modi's Hindu agenda - By Ramesh Thakur - IAMC
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The damaging consequences of Modi’s Hindu agenda – By Ramesh Thakur

India’s slide into illiberalism began before the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came into power in 2014 under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In his book The Intolerant Indian, Gautam Adhikari contends that extremist religious ideologies and the violent politics of left and right forces alike have overshadowed the idea of a tolerant, plural society on which modern India was established.

But it took a more ominous turn under the BJP. Modi’s first five-year term (2014–19) witnessed many anti-Muslim acts of commission and omission that undermined their dignity as Muslims. Now Modi seems intent on erasing their Indian identity. With changes to citizenship laws, Muslims fear that they could be declared stateless and held in detention camps.

This is the background to the bloody Delhi riots that began in late February. Some Indian commentators compare them to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Others point to the similarities with the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat when Modi was head of the state government. Like then, the 2020 Delhi riots have seen many disturbing reports of police apathy and complicity. The Delhi High Court expressed incredulity that Delhi Police had not watched videos of BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s alleged hate speech before the riots. The Guardian reports that three-quarters of those killed were Muslims.…


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