What Have We Done to Democracy?
India is often called the world’s largest democracy. Narendra Modi is the prime minister. He was elected in 2014 and again in 2019. Prior to becoming prime minister, he was chief minister of the state of Gujarat, where in 2002, a massacre of Muslims took place. Modi denied any involvement. But the State Department was not convinced and banned him from traveling to the U.S. He is a longtime member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or the RSS. “Its founding ideologues,” Arundhati Roy, says, “were greatly influenced by European fascism-they openly praised Hitler and Mussolini.” The RSS expounds the doctrine of Hindutwa, Hindu nationalism and is the parent organization of India’s ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the BJP. The BJP, under Modi, has openly embraced Hindutwa and has demonized Muslims and immigrants. His army continues the decades-long occupation of Kashmir.
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. Her essay books My Seditious Heart and Azadi are both published by Haymarket.