India Politics 2-Pack
First program: Rahul Mahajan & Snehal Shingavi - The Rise of the Hindu Right in India
A constellation of Hindu fundamentalist organizations are threatening to shatter the image India has projected of being a secular state. The Bharatiya Janata Party, the BJP, is the political expression of Hindutva, right-wing Hindu nationalist ideology. It is poised to be the dominant party in what is often called the world’s largest democracy. The man likely to be India’s next prime minister is Narendra Modi. As Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat, he was in office in 2002 when there was a notorious massacre of Muslims. Modi has denied any responsibility. Washington was not convinced of his innocence and when he attempted to visit the U.S. in 2005 his visa request was turned down. But things may be changing with the political winds. Nancy Powell, the U.S. ambassador to India, recently met with Modi, signaling a shift in Washington’s policy.
Second program: Sanjay Kak - India: David vs. Goliath
The Biblical story needs no recounting. In parts of India today various Davids confront the goliath of the Indian state and large corporations. The people fighting back are poor, rural and marginalized. Many are Adivasi, indigenous. Some of the resistance groups, called Maoist or Naxalite, believe in armed struggle. Others are using Gandhian tactics of civil disobedience and non-violence. Arundhati Roy, the well-known writer and activist describes the situation, “People are being driven off their lands by mining companies, steel plants, dams, and other mega-projects. They are putting their bodies on the line to prevent the takeover of their lands and the destruction of their culture and environment. And as the water tables are dropping and the minerals that remain in the mountains are being taken out, we are going to confront a crisis from which we cannot return.”
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