Arundhati Roy 3-pack
Fascism in India? It’s a secular republic, according to its constitution but the country under its prime minister Narender Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party, the BJP, has drifted sharply to the religious right. The BJP ideology is Hindutva, Hindu nationalism. Its mother ship and muscle is the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the RSS. It’s a Hindu nationalist paramilitary organization, inspired by Mussolini and Hitler, and has millions of members. Not much is known about what’s actually going on in India beyond cliches such as the world’s largest democracy, yoga and ashrams, tandoori chicken and spicy samosas. The reality is in stark contrast with the carefully crafted exported image. The BJP/RSS axis has demonized and targeted India’s large Muslim minority. There have been pogroms and lynchings. People are pushing back and resisting. Recorded at the University of Texas.
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.
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. Her essay books My Seditious Heart and Azadi are both published by Haymarket.