The India of its current prime minister Narender Modi is a far cry from the India of Gandhi and Nehru. Tolerance and secularism are being replaced by Hindutva, a Hindu nationalist ideology which seeks to establish Hindu dominance in a country where there are hundreds of millions of religious minorities. Modi is the head of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the BJP. It is the political arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the RSS. One scholar says the RSS “was explicitly influenced by European fascist movements, its leading politicians regularly praised Hitler and Mussolini.” India’s Muslim population of 200 million has been singled out by Modi. Islamophobia has resulted in murders, massacres, and lynchings of Muslims. There have been demonstrations all over India protesting Modi’s policies. Muslim majority Kashmir continues to remain under military rule.
Arundhati Roy is a world-renowned writer and global justice activist. The New York Times calls her, “India’s most impassioned critic of globalization and American influence.” She is the author of the novels The God of Small Things, for which she received the Booker Prize, and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Her book of interviews with David Barsamian is The Checkbook & the Cruise Missile. A collection of her essays My Seditious Heart is published by Haymarket.