13 April, 2021

Who Owns The Republic?

Hindutva 2.0 stands on three decades of ‘reforms’ ­aided by capital flows and the global clout they bring

A Raj Market
‘The Bazaar, Agra’, painting from c.1880, reproduced in A.H. Hallam Murray’s From the High Road of Empire (1905)
Photograph by Getty Images
Who Owns The Republic?

As popular protests against CAA/NRC continue to rage across university campuses and streetcorners, a consensus is gaining ground that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has veered away from the seemingly ­optimistic, future-oriented agenda of economic growth, and instead turned the clock back to aggressive Hindu majoritarian politics. And that, in doing so, he has diverted focus and energies away from the real issue facing ­India—the fragile state of the economy that can no longer be kept hidden. This view is shared by many Modi supporters and critics alike, albeit for very different reasons. Modi ­supporters on the centre-right lament that the increased focus on Hindu majoritarian politics—from Article 370 and Ayodhya to the relentless obsession with the ­taxonomy of citizens, doubtful citizens and infiltrators—risks ­derailing India’s march to the high table of global politics. In ­contrast, the critics view the aggressive turn to Hindutva itself as a diversionary tactic, a calculated move to cover up dismal growth numbers that continue...

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