25 October, 2020

Them Again

The coupling of extreme religious nationalisms with private theft of the commons is potent politically

Them Again

Why did 75 mainly Indian, Hindu-origin academics in the UK readily sign a letter that expressed serious concerns about a Modi-led BJP government— a letter that joined another by Anish Kapoor, Salman Rushdie and other intellectuals? Writing in 1995 on ‘Ur-fascism’, the Italian philosopher Umberto Eco wrote of ‘a way of thinking and feeling, a group of cultural habits, of obscure instincts and unfathomable drives’ that animate different fascist movements. I suggest that Narendra Modi and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh embody the same instincts.


Several extreme religious and nationalist political movements exist today that have an unmistakable political orientation, with a language of permanent aggression and revenge, the world divided into two main global armies. These orientations exist in the American Christian Right and fuel its Taliban-like dominionist agenda. They are there in salafi-jihadi militia like Al Qaeda and Lashkar-e Tayyaba. And the same orientation towards the world has been definitive of the ideology of the...



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