Pankaj Mishra on Modi

Writing in the Guardian: … On the day of Modi’s election last May, I wrote in the Guardian that India was entering its most sinister phase since independence. Those who had monitored Modi’s words and deeds, noted their consistency, and feared that Hindu supremacism could deliver a mortal blow to India’s already enfeebled democratic institutions and pluralist traditions had come to much the same conclusion. Modi is a stalwart member of the RSS, a paramilitary organisation explicitly modelled on European fascist parties, whose members have been found routinely guilty of violence against Indian minorities. A pogrom in Modi-ruled Gujarat in 2002 killed more than 1,000 Muslims and displaced tens of thousands. (It was what prompted the US and UK governments to impose a visa ban on Modi).

… To aspiring but thwarted young Indians Modi presented himself as a social revolutionary, the son of a humble tea-seller challenging entrenched dynasties, as well as an economic moderniser. He promised to overturn an old social and political order that they saw, correctly, as dominated by a venal and unresponsive ruling class. His self-packaging as a pious and virtuous man of the people seemed especially persuasive as corruption scandals tainted the media as well as politicians and businessmen in the years leading up to 2014. Modi’s earliest supporters in his bid for supreme power, however, were India’s richest people, lured by special favours of cheap land and tax concessions…’ click here.