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 that 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.
Recorded at Cooper Union.
Arundhati Roy is a world-renowned award-winning writer and global justice activist. Tariq Ali says of her she “is both loathed and feared by the Indian elite. Loathed because she speaks her mind. Feared because her voice reaches the world outside India and damages the myths perpetrated by New Delhi.” Among her many books are My Seditious Heart and Azadi.