19 April, 2021

'Democracy Is Now Psephocracy'

The famously trenchant political psychologist on being charged with criminal offence by the Gujarat police for "inflaming" communal hatred.

'Democracy Is Now Psephocracy'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Famously trenchant political psychologist Ashis Nandy is charged with criminal offence by the Gujarat police for "inflaming" communal hatred. His crime: an article he wrote in January blaming Gujarat's middle-class Hindus for destroying communal harmony in the state. In an interview with Sheela Reddy, Nandy lashes out at Gujarat's NRI-inspired culture of hate and what it's doing to the national fabric.

Why did an article blaming Gujarat's middle class for the Hindu-Muslim divide anger Narendra Modi?

I don't know if it angered Modi but it surely angered a sizeable section of Gujarat's middle class and many expatriate Gujaratis. Many in Gujarat's middle class think that any criticism of them is an attack on Gujarat itself. Criticism threatens their fragile, artificially beefed-up self-image. Traditionally, Gujarati Hindus and Muslims have been very close to each other culturally. Studies of genocide show that when two communities are close to each other and then their relationship sours, it releases uncontrollable passions. This happened during Partition...

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