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How long till Modi’s Hindutva politics completely robs Brand India of its democracy bonus

Hyper-nationalist Hindutva politics cashes on India’s democratic credentials for external recognition and weakens those institutions and values within.

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India’s global brand has long relied on its secular democratic credentials: as the “world’s largest democracy”. These political values have not only shaped the internal political order of the postcolonial nation, but also accrued strategic and economic value when post-1990s India “opened up” its markets to global investors. In the highly competitive world of emerging markets, India’s democracy served as more than a lofty ideal cherished by misty-eyed idealists. It offered a strategic advantage as India projected itself as a democratic alternative to an authoritarian China.

But here’s the paradox: under Narendra Modi, the very democratic advantage that shaped Brand India’s image in the world is being steadily hollowed-out at home. The rise of hyper-nationalist Hindutva politics is framed precisely within this contradiction: it cashes on India’s democratic credentials to gain external recognition even as it weakens those institutions and values within. Yet this barefaced opportunism is duly noticed, and increasingly reflected in how Modi’s India is described as an “illiberal democracy” in the world. In short, India’s democratic advantage is fast corroding just when it might need it the most – in the post-pandemic world where geopolitical alliances are being forged along the fault lines of liberalism/illiberalism.


Also read: What is stopping Narendra Modi from sending a Hindu Rashtra postcard to the world


Democracy, our calling card

Recall that India’s democratic advantage is what gained it an edge over China in the ‘Asian century’ rivalry the past decades. When India entered the highly competitive arena of emerging markets on the back of the 1990s economic reforms, it could position itself as a large profitable market like China albeit with a crucial difference: its liberal, moral-political Constitution. If Mao defined a rising China, the ‘India Story’ had Gandhi as its global mascot: a valuable moral currency of ‘soft power’ in the postcolonial world. This is what earned India the bragging rights, the claim to be the “world’s fastest growing, free-market democracy” year after year at Davos under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

Yet India’s democracy, its calling card in the world, is hollowing-out in plain sight. Consider the unabashed implementation of the hardline Hindutva agenda in Modi’s second term – from the revocation of the special status of Kashmir in August 2019, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that excluded Muslims to the foundation of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

What characterises this moment of majoritarian muscle flexing is the heavy-handed suppression of democratic dissent (the crux of democracy) especially in university spaces, or how the act of protest itself has been criminalised by the State. This downward descent is reflected in India’s lowered global ranking on the 2019 Democracy Index. Classified as a “flawed democracy,” it slipped a further ten places due to “erosion of civil liberties” in the country.


Also read: If India keeps diluting its liberal character, the West will be a less eager partner


Corroding ‘Brand India’

India’s turn to “illiberal democracy” has laid bare the ruptures inside Prime Minister Modi’s majoritarian politics. The very lifeblood of his political constituency is the activation of a muscular Hindu identity, an identity shaped in stark opposition to Nehruvian India in more ways than one. Forged as a battle against “pseudo-secularism”, “dynastic rule” or corruption, it seeks to dismantle the institutional framework that strived to create a secular, democratic nation. The point is not that Nehruvian India was devoid of flaws, but that it aspired to shape an inclusive nation that could home a multitude of differences.

In contrast, in Modi’s India, the space for containing differences has been constantly shrinking. This shift was best captured earlier this month on Gandhi’s birth anniversary on 2 October. While the Indian State was officially celebrating Gandhi, the loyal foot soldiers of Hindutva were celebrating Gandhi’s assassin with a hashtag #Godse_Zindabad on social media. Gandhi was exhibited in the world while his assassin was celebrated at home.

It’s hardly a surprise, then, that the realm of politics itself is imagined in unforgiving, oppositional terms of Hindus vs non-Hindus, Indic vs non-Indic, or nationalists vs anti-nationals. What emerges is an India that celebrates its muscular “action-oriented” political leaders who, in turn, continue to feed the majoritarian impulse. Put simply, the landscape of politics in Modi’s India is being constantly rearranged as a majoritarian Hindu homeland in all but name. This internal reconfiguration of India is at odds with its external projection as the torchbearer of liberal democracy.


Also read: India attracted the world once. But it wasn’t because of its ambition to be a Hindu Rashtra


The Covid twist

In the time of the coronavirus pandemic, the paradox has become even more jarring. Consider the irony that the cloak of democracy is what has opened possibilities for Brand India: to capitalise its democratic credentials to draw global capital – manufacturing and infrastructure investments – away from China. The past few months have seen a rise in anti-China sentiments as the country became associated with the deadly virus across the globe. For many emerging markets, this has opened an opportunity to divert capital flows to their own territories.

The pandemic has also become the pivot upon which the strategic alliance of democracies called the ‘Quad’ — comprising India, the US, Japan, and Australia — has taken shape to counter China’s influence. In this still-evolving geopolitical context, the invocation of “democracy” has almost become shorthand for nations or alliances that do not share political values with China.

Thus, in a strange twist, what has earned India a greater role in the post-pandemic world is the semblance of its old Nehruvian self, one that Modi’s India is bitterly opposed to.

For those who measure the worth of a brand purely in economic terms, the brand does its work as long as investments keep pouring in. Yet, this transactional view barely captures the logic of the brand – what truly brings the brand alive is the desire for affection and devotion, the emotional investment of its consumers beyond the realm of economy.

This logic is what shapes the life of Brand India – it is animated not just by the lure of capital investments but also the desire to be loved by its global consumers. It is this love, the longing for recognition that will afflict even if capital continues to court India’s illiberal democracy.

Ravinder Kaur is the author of “Brand New Nation: Capitalist Dreams and Nationalist Designs in Twenty-First-Century India” (Stanford University Press, 2020). Views are personal.

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77 COMMENTS

  1. “India’s global brand has long relied on its secular democratic credentials: as the “world’s largest democracy”.”

    When you spout out these kinds of rubbish you even make Saudi Arabia laugh, mate
    In which kind of secular democracy, are Muslims allowed to cause a genocide of Kashmiri Hindus and still be allowed to demand their separatist voices?

  2. Just a mouthpiece of librendus. Our history and culture is hindutva, not westernization nor Mughal emperor. We want to learn from our great Hindu warriors, intellectuals, because they have so much to offer. Securalism is not in constitution. It has been put by Indira in emergency. So hindutva is coming and we will recall our culture again

    • Savarkar noted that Hindutva is completely compatible with Democracy.
      So this narrative that Hindutva will rob India of its Democracy is not gonna hold water. But I guess if they mean that Hindutva will rob the circus they call Democracy where 15% of the population has a veto on the national interests then sure, they can go sell this narrative to their 15% population. These so called Marxists who masquerade as Liberals are the reason behind their disenfranchisement anyways.

  3. Till 03 November 2020, there will be two types of Indians in the world. First are my types who live in India and back Trump because he would be better for India than Biden. The other type is likely to prefer Biden because they are more worried about the future of US and Europe than future of India. The author probably belongs to the latter category. Most of us are pretty happy with Modi because he is good for India. Of all the effective leaders in the world today, he is the most democratic and that is good enough for us. We are not too bothered about what world perceives him to be, especially after we saw the world, especially the Western world, shamelessly kowtowing to Xi of China. Modi stood up to Xi like none dared.

    • “Modi stood up to Xi like none dared.”
      And yet we lost about 1200 sq km of land to China. India would do better without Modi standing up to Xi like this.

      • Exactly Mr Murtada !

        Despite his military experience, the Commodore lets his jingoism interfere with facts on the ground. But then, being in the military does not mean that you cannot become a blinkered, blind Modi worhsipper. As the Commodore proves.

  4. i guess today days no one is honest,whether it is journalist or netas..well i think the word HINDU OR HINDUTWA hurting psedo librals,and the so call JOURNALIST OR JOURNALISM ..is today days biased…i dont understand why this much hatred towards hindus,..everytime so called INTELLECTUAL wants to supress the hindu people..atleasr i can say i am not from a jihadi mindset or a promoter of radicalised terorism….last but not least….KEEP BURNING LIBERALS,LEFTIST,SUPPORTER OF LEFTWING…AND SO CALLED INTELLECTUALS.

  5. The Hindutva government is a government of slogans and announcements and a name-changer rather than game-changer . The following is a very brief picture of what the Hindutva government has “achieved” :
    1) World happiness report : India stands at 144 out of 153 and Pakistan at 66, Bangladesh at 107 , Sri Lanka at 130 and Nepal at 92
    2) World hunger index :India at 94 and Pakistan at 88 and Bangla Desh at 75
    3) World Freedom of Press Index : India at 142 out of 180 countries . Several Muslim countries are ahead of Hindu Rashtra
    4) Rule of Law Index : India’s ranks 69out of 128 countries and most Muslim countries are ahead of India
    5) Religious Freedom Index : India clubbed with Pakistan, Syria, Burma , Iran, Saudi Arabia, & China

    • Brilliant comment Mr Murali Ramakrishna !

      Things are not going all that well in Modistan or perhaps Lynchistan as bhakths would want you to believe. And now we have facts, objective data on what the flawed Gujarati alumnus of Delhi University has achieved, thanks to you.

      I look forward to reading more comments from you Sir. As you probably have realised, I am one of the few here in these columns trying to debunk the Modi myth and have to do battle with the Hindutva types as well as Islamists like an Ajmal Kasab clone who writes under the pseudonym rasgolla.

      Once again an outstanding comment Mr Murali Ramakrishna.

      • It is people like you , who will expose the ineptitude and diabolic nature of this impostor in the name of “Good Governance “

    • What a relief this comment of yours brings to me Mr Murali Ramakrishna after having got fed up reading hateful comments from the likes of rasgollas, Harrys and many others! However, another commenter, Kili Jolsiyar, is consistent countering them with his sane and balanced responses that are well supported by facts, figures and references. However, for the now your comment is a Dussehra gift to me that signifies truth (right) prevailing over the falsehood (wrong) of the current dispensation at the Centre. Kudos to you for writing such a refreshing comment.

    • Out of all concerns you have made only World hunger index :India at 94 and Pakistan at 88 and Bangladesh at 75 matters.

      Although this has been problem for India since 1947 and it is stayed because of government of all these years was more concerned about secularism and becoming role model for secularism rather than working to fed it’s people well. index. Many secus claim Pakistan is failed state, but Pakistan has been feeding it’s hungriest better than India.

      India should learn from China to move hungry people to areas where government has put too much tax money. Good place to start would be valley of Kashmir, where government has put largest amount per capita. Most of the hungriest people are in deep interior of India, where government has put least money. So moving these poorly fed people to Kashmir would expose them to new world and help them learn necessary tools to feed themselves and raise their standard of living after support from government for few years, say five years.

      India still is poor country so your 1,3, 4 &5 does not matter .India should copy China model. China got rid of these assorted activists long ago by one method or other, so there are not many internal activists to feed negative views about China, and focused only on economic development.. what mattes is development of modern facility and infra-structure. If you will take referendum on that majority of Indian people will support that.

      Once India achieves itself as one of the biggest economy then India can start talking morality first by championing animal rights. Let Muslim countries champion human rights.

    • India deserves better than a man , whose academic qualifications cannot be disclosed under RTI and whose marital status changed in affidavits only after it became scandalous .

        • Gorbachev & Yeltsin are admired more outside Russia than inside Russia.

          When give give away your country’s interests to foreign powers you are definitely admired outside. So being despised or admired outside means nothing., unless you want to immigrate.

      • For dynasty dogs there is no man other then from Nehru family to be PM.

        What people want is result oriented person, who improves quality of life for poorest sections. BJP’s free gas connections, building toilets for poorest is right action. India should have done all these road building, toilet building and other necessary infrastructure to improve quality of life for average people back in 1950s.

        A non-self motivated, Highly educated person like Mani Shankar Aiyar is totally useless for nation.

        • Gaurakshak Harry: Criticism of Modi is not necessarily endorsement of the Gandhi dynasty. No will you get that into your gomutra contaminated skull?

          • Killi. You are even dumber than what I gave you credit for. Mur ali is supporter of Indira Gandhi, just read his comment before writing.

            As for Mani shankar Aiyar, that refugee should have fought for minority rights in Pakistan, instead of running away from Lahore with his tail between his hind legs. I find it offensive that refugee , upon whom we took pity and took him in, would dare to removing plaque honoring son of soil nationalist Savarkar in Port Blair.

        • Mr Harry,
          I am so concerned that you have wasted this one-off beautiful chance called life considerably. I don’t know if there is any time left now for your awakening and reforming. Anyhow, still my best wishes to you for that.

  6. Under Nehruvian India, the country was launched as a new power in its own right coming-out at the world stage, and domestically, they all assumed that shared progress for all was just some time away but assured. But with India’s humiliation in the 1962 war and Nehru’s eventual demise, nation’s politics turned tupsy turvy, and corrupt forces began to gain ground and made inroads into national politics. Liberalization of the economy allowed a section of society gallop even as the vast impoverished masses continued to be left behind. This has been the rut of the Indian politics and society for the last several decades. While Hinduttva is not and will never be the answer for this ailment, demagogues like Modijee have the opportunity to persuade masses with slogans people were looking forward to for a long time and believe in, such as Achchhe Din. The current situation of India Is such that, left to such politics alone, India will never be able to grow out of the misery and hopelessness that remain the fact of life for most people in India. And, as long as this situation defines India, she will never be able to earn due respect and regard at the world stage. India’s tragedy is that the intellectual class is not addressing this issue

  7. You high or summthin?
    There was a ‘brand India’ before Modi took over?
    You must be out of your mind.
    Or hallucinating on some bad drug.
    India hardly featured anywhere with any respect before 2014.
    Indians did. Indians in the employ of the UN/WB/IMF who routinely ran down India. Indians working for western universities who routinely explained how bad India was and how oppressive. And no one gave a shit for India.
    With Modi at the helm the noise from Indian scholars like you who are rooted in the west has increased. Your commitment to show down India is admirable. But western countries, markets, people, have stopped hassling Indians. Ask any Indian who has travelled extensively in the past 20 years of how the transformation is tangile since Modi took over.
    Modi told the world that India could not be taken for granted any more. It worked much better than Bapu Gandhi telling the world that India was the abode of spirituality and Chacha Nehru informing everyone that womanising here was easy.

  8. “These political values have not only shaped the internal political order of the postcolonial nation, but also accrued strategic and economic value when post-1990s India “opened up” its markets to global investors.”

    If this was the case India’s economy would have caught China’s GDP by now. But that is not the case. So Ravinder is talking nonsense. Presumably she comes from farming community, so does not understand how business work. Business only looks for safety of investment and returns and does not want get trapped in time consuming and expensive legal & bureaucratic Mumgo Jumbo.

    China had never followed any of these democratic concepts and still received far more investment capital from world than India.

    I give benefit of doubt to Ravinder Kaur as coming minority & framing community. After all running business is not twisting oxen’s tail.
    In contrast Hindu secularists writing similar articles are crooks & scoundrels, whose goal is self and family enrichment.

  9. Vikram Arora 22 October, 2020 at 10:53 am –publish elewhere it was for this article.
    Every living organism develops defense mechanism when its existence is threatened by a life threatening virus, bacteria , or fungus. So is the case with human orgnisations or societies formed by the human . The Hindus , — the oldest human orgnisation or entity -is clearly envisaging a threat to its very existence from the Jihadi and terrorists organisations. So it is but natural for Hindu Majority in to develop its defenses and The Hindu Right seems to be only CHOICE. Today some 40-45% of Hindus have veered round to this view , TOMORROW , When threat perception increases , it may go to 80-90% of the Hindus voting for The Hindu Right –irrespective of the name of the party. ( Imean to say ,not necessary BJP , it could be even a Indian National Hindu Congress. ) IF Hindus have to survive they have to develop its own defense mechanism.
    Reply

    • Mr Vikram Arora: You are surely a master of exaggeration when you bray:

      “.. Hindus , — the oldest human orgnisation or entity -is clearly envisaging a threat to its very existence from the Jihadi and terrorists organisations ..”

      Care to elaborate what existential threats Hindus in India faced from Jihandi or terrorist organisations Mr Arora?

      Yes, India, like many other countries such as France, Germany, USA, UK etc. faces many threats from various domestic and external groups that espouse violence. And violence can have political, religious, sectarian and ethnic grievances that function as drivers. But what your Hindutva inspired post misses is the most obvious and most serious sources of violence and instability in the country and instead focuses on much more manageable sources of terror an violence.

      Thus, in the 1980s and 90s, Sikh grievances at how Indira Gandhi handled federalism in the Punjab culminated in one of the most violent separatist movements in the country, far more vicious than the one in Kashmir. Indeed, the Khalistan movement resulted in the killing of more innocent Hindus than any other Islamic type of insurgency. And it also resulted in the slaying of an elected PM. How come you forgot that violence Mr Arora ? Your Hindutva mentors forgot to mention that ? And do you think that the Khalistan struggles have been tackled for good Mr Arora?

      Likewise, Naxalites control many districts of India where they run parallel administrations. Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh are states where the writ of Delhi does not run in many districts, particularly in areas where tribals live. Whilst Hindutva types like you look at Pakistan as the sole source of trouble for India, you turn a blind eye to the deadly Chinese mischief that has been going on for more than 6 decades in India. As General SK Sinha writes in his article “Maoists: China’s Proxy Soldiers” in the Indian Defence Review:

      “.. While we Indians are sensitized about the ongoing proxy war by Pakistan, there is very little or no consciousness that Maoism or Naxalism is actually a proxy war by China being waged against India for last five decades ..”
      (ref: bit.ly/37Fxiif)

      Forgotten the existential threat posed by China Mr Arora? Forgotten that in addition to the Naxalite threat, China has actually seized more than 1000 square km of Indian territory, killed Indian soldiers in cold blood and even claims Arunachal Pradesh as Chinese territory? They were not exactly scared of the 56 inch chested Gujarati and his lathi wielding RSS supporters were they Mr Arora?

      So do let us know whether the Hindu right and the Gujarati expert who would not protect innocent Muslims under his care from getting lynched, raped and killed will be able to save India from the Chinese Mr Arora.

      • Well said, Kili Jolsiyar. Hope it nullifies the possible effects of the wrong perception that Mr. Vikram Arora is trying to create among the majoritarians under whatever dirty agenda of the divisive forces of various hues and shades.

    • So is the case with human orgnisations or societies formed by the human

      That is true. If it is not organization with survival instincts, it can not survive. Therefore artificially created states disappear.

      It is India’s good fortune that it had both Gandhi & RSS. Both Gandhi & present leadership of India are Gujarati and so are practical. Gandhi realized British interest & weakness. He realized that British interest in India is mainly commercial and they could not afford to send men from UK for most of the jobs. With His non-violent Satyagarha movement he made brit realized their interest in gradually giving India Independence. Giving Independence on good terms would ensure commercial interests were protected.

      Nehru, a Kashmiri, had no such insight. He then collected emotionally turbulent Keralites and Bengalis as his advisors. We are seeing the result: going to UN for Kashmir, recognizing China without securing Independence of Tibet plus license raj. The Indian state that he created was imbibed with death wish by papering Muslims who had walked out with 1/4 of land.

      Right policy would have been to link safety of Hindus & Sikhs in Pakistan with Indian Muslims. If he had Pakistan would have 20% non-Muslims and would be much stable country. All these policies kept India backward. In 1949 China & South Korea had less per capita income than India, today both of them have much higher than India.

      Modi is finally trying to fix the problem by reining in jihadis, spending on infrastructure and targeted welfare. He is also reining in, even more Importantly, activists & secularists through their pocket book and outside world also through business interest.

      I hope this Gujarati clique, Narendra Modi & Amit shah, continue for at least ten to fifteen years. because India need hard-nosed leaders. Bulk of Hindus exhibit, what Indira Gandhi called, child like innocence, which minorities take advantage of.

  10. India has been the same in the past as well as now. India would continue to be like this. Some left liberals and left journos want to have their way and the smoke screen they use is – Secular, Indian Democracy, Majoritarianism, Hindu cast divisions. The left liberals have never faced this loud a music till now. They were used to having their way without much ado, and in an India when Indians thought these people to be “REAL” intellectuals. Now as Indians are becoming well read, they are able to see through these people and their agenda. Fooling people is getting a bit difficult now than what it used to be before. At best they would want the Congress days back, as on their own these Left/ Communists cannot win an election on their own. The Left parties always want a fractured mandate/coalition government as it is only then they can make their nuisance politics center-stage. Its high time we do away with these time waters- Socialism,Communism and their failed systems,

  11. WHERE WAS THIS “DEMOCRACY FOCUS”ALL THE YEARS SINCE INDEPENDENCE UNDER THE cONGRESS RULE? tHE ONLY THING SEEN WERE ECONOMIC STAGNATION, MILITARY DEFEATS, HUNGER, INTERNATIONAL IMAGE OF “BEGGARS” AND “HOLIER THAN THOU” EMPTY PREACHERS. iT IS TIME TO STOP THIS NONSENSICAL DAY DREAMING ABOUT THE PAST!

    • 1965’s defeat of Pakistan, 1967 ‘s battering of China ,1971’s Bangla Desh war and 1986’s repulsing China’s attempts in Ladakh was not under RSS’s rule or the British rule

  12. I think we should go back to the UPA government.
    Those were the golden days, democracy was flourishing in India.
    There were thousand bomb blasts exploding like flowers, the fragrance of corruption everywhere.
    Instead of giving fiery speeches, the PM used to be silent.
    On top of all that India was ruled by world-famous Gandhi, not the mahatma but close enough.
    A woman rules India and we liked it.

  13. You guys seem to be confused equating democracy with hindu submivisvemess and minority appeasemnt. You have been fooling hindus about in the past decades in the name of secularism. Hindus assertiveess has gained ground because of the duplicity thrust upon hindus the past 70 years. In USA paragon of democracy no politican can go against Evanleglical christians. So stop this nonse about democracy and secualrism being in danger because you don’t like hindu political mobilization and power.

    • What a uneducated Hindu Fanatic Moron you can be. Just read the complete article rather than burning at a particular work shitface.

      • Even before COVID 19 India’s economy was gradually sinking and COVID exposed all chinks in the “armour ” of this government

    • Mr Ram G: When you make the ludicrous claim:

      “.. In USA paragon of democracy no politican can go against Evanleglical christians ..”

      you are building it upon 2 fallacies.

      1: The USA is a paragon of democracy. FALSE !!
      Voter suppression, i.e. denial of the vote to blacks and minorities, overthrowing democratically elected governments and support to dictatorships have been the hallmark of US democracy. Democratically elected governments such as those of Mossadegh in Iran in 1953 and of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973 were among the many that the US helped sabotage, often violently. The US supported the apartheid regime of South Africa, genocidal government of Yahya Khan during its murderous spree in erstwhile E.Pakistan, Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan against the then USSR and many more. Indeed, US democracy is a sham as the sad spectacle of Trump’s Republicans go about destroying the independence of institutions such as the courts, the FBI, the military and so on.

      2: No politician can go against Evangelical Christians: FALSE !
      Your other claim about the power of Evangelical Christians is also overblown. These groups tried to make abortion illegal but were overturned by the Roe v Wade decision in the Supreme Court; they have been against equal rights for LGBT groups and have lost that fight too and so on. Lobby groups exercise a lot of power in the and in that power hierarchy, I would actually place Jews above Evangelicals. For instance, Kamala Harris & Joe Biden are running on a ticket to preserve the right of a woman to get an abortion – despite Evangelical Christian opposition to it. Yes, there are certain states in the USA – the so called “Bible belt” where Evangelicals might wield considerable power. But that power is increasingly on the wane as demographics change.

      Finally, I find it hard to fathom that you regard the political excesses and naked violence of a bunch of overzealous, semi-literate, itchy-groined North Indians of Adityanath, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Jayant Sinha calibre as being “Hindu political mobilisation and power” ! Maybe you have been inhaling far too much of Arnab Goswami’s hot air Mr Ram G ! Go get yourself detoxified !

      • The most point, hindu oppression still holds good, for the past 70years. Prior to 2014 India was heaven for xtians & minorities. Years of appeasement is vanishing, that hurts you. India gaining worldwide acknowledgement as a rising power, that hurts you. Hindu riding this wave, hurts you.
        Good that it hurts you, cause Hindu are fools, never bother about political superiority, only a thriving and strong India, their motherland.

        Neither midi, nor hindu are interested in Hindu Rashtra, but you people want hindu converted to abrahamics. It’s your problem, good it hurts you. Scares you. So be calm.

        • Mr Winks K: On what factual basis do you claim that Hindus were oppressed for the past 70 years whilst others such as Christians and Muslims progressed? Is it on the basis of economics? Is it because Hindus suffer more during communal riots as opposed to say Sikhs or Muslims? Care to clarify with some statistics ?

          You go on to make the preposterous claim:

          “.. Hindu are fools, never bother about political superiority, only a thriving and strong India, their motherland ..”

          Isn’t India the motherland of all Indian citizens Mr Winks K? Or is it just a home only for Hindus whilst Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists etc. are to be treated with Golwalkarian contempt ? Or as RSS head Golwalkar and PM Modi’s and every RSS pracharak’s role model wrote in We or Our Nation Defined:

          “.. foreign races in Hindusthan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of the Hindu race and culture, i.e., of the Hindu nation and must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment—not even citizen’s rights .. “

          Additionally, nowhere in my response to Mr Ram G above have I indicated that I want Hindus to convert to Abrahamic religions. I abhor the evangelisation and proselytisation activities of both Islam and Christianity. And I abhor American evangelical churches whose puritanical and misogynistic worldviews are a threat to freedom and equal rights for women.

          And finally, if you cannot understand simple English, stop commenting here. Go spend your time listening to Arnab Goswami rant on Republic TV.

        • “The most point, Hindu oppression still holds good, for the past 70years.”

          More correct description was Hindus were fed opium, with false sense of glory of becoming role model for world by being submissive to minorities, while in reality India was nearly at the bottom of totem pole. Even Pakistan was scoring better than India in terms of hunger index .

          Have you ever seen anybody from Suberbia in west going to slum to get lesson on development? Instead of showing mirrot to India that how backward India was economically and racing to make India developed country, like China did, they put the false image of greatness by secularism.

  14. What is this Nonsensical thing called “Brand India”?

    Was it Brand India that lost to the Chinese in 62? That suffered 30 yrs of terrorism while F16s and nuclear weapons were being sold to Pakistan? Was it Brand India when Mumbai was attacked and not even 1 Pakistani was put in Jail for it anywhere? Was it “Brand India” that was always equated with Pakistan?

    Was it Brand India that defamed India as a “rape capital” ? Was it Brand India that made “slumdog millionaire” as the ONLY movie from India to get an Oscar??

    What is this Brand India nonsense?? Nothing like that exists – it never has except in the deluded imagination of Indians..

    • Is it Hindutva to let terrorists attack defence installations in Uri, Nagrota, Udhampur, Jammu ,Pathankot, Pulwama , Wagah etc ? Why did the BJP object to setting up of NIA? Recall the way Chinese were handledand hammered by Indira Gandhi regime in 1967 soon after she took over as PM and look at today’s response at Ladakh . Recall how Pakistan was handled in 1971. One must know how the VP Singh regime supported by the BJP allowed JKLF terrorists to be let off from jails and how Kashmir became a hub of terror after that . Look at the inept way Kashmir has been handled since 2015 till date with more & more Kasmiris alienated from India . Look at how GDP has been collapsing since 2016 and growth of unemployment unheard in about 50 years .Is this what Hindutva all about or is the worse yet to come

      • LOL. Indira did not take back the territory lost by Nehru to China, even when China was weak and India had treaty with Soviet Union? What nonsense are you talking? Mr. Mur Ali?

        • Mr Harry,
          Without countering Mr Muralikrishna’s factual submissions with the decency they deserve, you have just indulged in abusing and name-calling him- as is the wont of every Modi bhakt. By the way, what do you have to say about India losing about 1200 sq km of land to China recently with 20 of our brave soldiers thrown into the Galwan river from a height for no valid reason? When is Modi ji going to take back that land? Or, does he at least intend to do that in the first place?

          • One has to see a bigger picture. Losing Tibet in 1950s was big strategic loss. Our goal should be to prevent China from becoming dominant power in Asia. losing few km here and there is immaterial. We should be always ready to take advantage of situation. We should wait when China gets into conflict with US and seize that opportunity to take back the whole Tibet. Until that time losing few km is not big issue compared to loss of Aksai Chin during Nehru dynasty.

            Astute British had ensured that British India is surrounded by weak buffer states and no direct border with major powers like Russia or China. Nehru gave away that advantage. The first thing India should do now is to start becoming ambivalent regarding China’s claims on Tibet & Taiwan. India should also increase it’s presence in South east Asia to prevent China increasing it’s influence there. when facing conflict with US China will give back the land it took to avoid conflict on all front. After all the land China took is frigid and of not much use unless India can see strategic benefit of that land.

            We had a chance in 1970s when China broke with USSR & India aligned with USSR. It was time of china’s weakness. Vietnamese army defeated China. That was the time India should have taken advantage & seize Tibet, with playing the game like China is playing now. That was also time for Indira to seize Gilgit-Baltistan to make land route to Afghanistan possible. That would have allowed India to back Afghanistan against Pakistan after soviet withdrawal. With Gilgit Baltistan in Indian hand China Belt & Road dream would have been pipe dream.

            India also should make the policy of no first use of nuclear weapon ambivalent, by making statement like accident can happen to ensure China is perpetually in unease about our intentions.

  15. Living outside India for years, which has been a prerogative of the affluent class mostly connected to the politicians, Babus and the peripheral dalals of different types gives a different perspective.
    If one were to live in India and travel outside India frequently, one would have experienced the humiliation of traveling with 22 Usd and the way one used to be looked at even by the Indian sweeper at London airport.
    We moved on from bloody Indian to Oh! Indian in 1990 and then on to a different Indian over the following years.
    The recognition of the Indian PM since 2014 is something the Intellectual NRIs do not want to accept possibly because they do not get the same status now which they were used to, because a foreign residence is no more the same.
    Wonder instead of being proud of this BRAND INDIA, why is this typical class of Indians want us to go back to the Indians of pre 1990.
    Abusing and running down India they seem to feel makes them great, just like the colonial rulers. Today an Indian is visible in every walk of world life. He did not get there only by being connected to someone in power.
    The democratic credentials of this “world’s largest functioning democracy” is unchallengeable. Under Narendra Modi, the very democratic advantage that shaped Brand India’s has only grown.
    Just because one does not like Modi, his RSS roots or the way he is trying to hold to account the thieves of the past, it is unfair to run down The country .India has robust forex reserves, a booming stock market with inflation under control. The savings out of low oil prices and reduced imports have not only been put to judicious use but saved for a rainy day should the covid problem get stretched. Since March there have been no shortages of any kind despite all the disruptions. There have been no rushes to shops for stocking and hoarding.
    In stead of long subjective narrations it would be more in the interest of the country to write short objective analysis with suggestions for corrective measures. All the NRIs go out for money(better Life) but refuse to accept that it is only the national wealth (so much of it has been stolen since independence) that will put us where we want to be. One can pretend every thing except money which one have.

    • I am an NRI. Indians abroad feel proud of Modi and the work he is doing for the uplifment of the poorest of the poor, the JAM, the thrust towards self-reliance and overall non-religious discrimination.
      Which other leader of a democratic country has managed to fill stadiums to capacity abroad?
      Which democratic leader of a foreign country would fail to notice the strength of the Indian diaspora in their land and not know that Modi is a good ally to have?
      Which democratic leader of any country would ignore that despite its vastness, messiness and complexities – India remains an open society, governed by rule of law and a suitable antidote to China.
      This author is an apologist for the type of dynastic politics which India has left behind.

    • Mr Vijay Galande: Reading another instalment of the usual jingoistic Modi worship that you and your Hindutva ilk dish out here makes one wonder whether you are living in some parallel universe or whether you are simply high on some intoxicants. Or perhaps both. In any case, despite your education, you Sir, like other members of the Modi cult, seem to be utterly unwilling to read the worrying writing on the wall. Indeed, the vast majority of urban, Hindu middle-class Modi cult members lives in a bubble, completely oblivious to the economic, political damage to India and to the country’s stature and reputation.

      Fact is Mr Galande, India’s image is increasingly being shaped by the Modi personality cult and the ideology of Hindutva. And foreign capitals and policymakers do know a lot more than what Indians realise about the Nazi ideology of the RSS and Modi’s lifelong association with the RSS; his role in facilitating the pogroms of 2002; his unabashed anti-Muslim and anti-Christian stance; his usage the ballot box to turn India into an elected, de facto dictatorship; his curbing of press freedoms; his failure to not only curb but also look the other way when innocent Muslims get lynched; the construction of concentration camps err “detention centres” for Muslims; the unwanted destruction of the Babri Masjid mosque; his appointment of bigoted, criminal thugs like Adityanath as CM and many other manifestations of the violent, majoritarian ideology called Hindutva.

      You claim that Modi is trying to bring thieves to book. Hardly so Mr Galande ! In India, if you happen to be a thief who is friendly to the ruling regime, you will not be bothered. Indeed, most thieves know that and defect to the BJP or whichever regime is in power. Thus, out of the more than 1800 Indians listed in the Panama Papers exposé, not one has been prosecuted. And that list includes people like Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Vinod Adani (brother of BJP financier Gautam Adani), DLF promoter KP Singh and so on. After all, you didn’t see Amitabh Bachchan standing in bank queues to get his demonetised notes changed did you Mr Galande ?

      And as regards your rosy pictures of India’s economy, well, that is not the true picture Mr Galande. Statistics provided by the BJP government do not state the dire reality in the country. FOI stats do not take into account the plight of the vast informal sector of the economy where more than 82% of Indians toil. Indeed, even before COVID struck, the economy was in doldrums. And now with COVID in the picture and a massive contraction of the economy, to cite Prof. Arun Kumar, what we know are:

      1: GDP has fallen by 50% and not 23% as the National Statistical Organisation (NSO) of the government claims;
      2: 82% of India’s workers work in in the informal sector and 94% of workers in this sector have little or no savings. When income fell for this population during the lockdown, demand for essentials such as agricultural produce fell, as there was very little or no savings;
      3:60 millions micro-enterprises and small scale firms have exhausted their savings and have been unable to restart;
      4: Many self-employed people such as maids, taxi-drivers, roadside traders etc. have lost their incomes.
      (Ref: bit.ly/2HDwC1V)

      Thus, your macroeconomic parameters such as Forex balances, inflation levels and so on mask the real pain that people face under the Modi regime. The performance of a poor country like India is not captured by these indicators.

      Not that people in such dire straits will necessarily repudiate Modi. Indeed, even the poor, especially poor Hindus will vote for Modi even if that entails hardships for them. For the poor, like the middle-class to which you Mr Galande belong, are also members of the Modi cult. Something similar to the Donald Trump phenomenon in the USA – the poor white working classes that voted for Trump did not care even if Trump trampled upon them.

      As the Greek philosopher Plato said:

      “Democracy is the triumph of opinion over knowledge”

      • ” political damage to India and to the country’s stature and reputation.”

        What reputation? India is seen as poor country, a slum in modern countries, with hunger index worse than Pakistan and acute hunger worse than Sub-Saharan Africa.

        This damage is all in the mind of educated, ignorant secularist Hindus. There was no stature or reputation to begin with. It is only after liberalization that India is recognized only because it’s of physical size ,population & hence market , and size of it’s economy. The real damage is done by India’s secularist Hindus with their low culture, foggy mind, and un-civil mouth, comparable to Bhutto about who it is said that no street urchin can beat him in foul language. Kili jolsiyar you are example of that trait. It has caused world to be uneasy in dealing with India in terms of capital investment.

    • Privileged class can not see beyond their narrow interests. You will find many of them praising Nehru- Indira license raj. because at that time only they had cars, telephones and other items classified as luxury. Today even average people have those goods. This was case for bulk of Indians until Narsimha Rao opened up the country. Therefore Narsimha Rao is vilified by this group. Anybody trying to uplift poorest people of India is vilified and his attempts are ridiculed.

      The handy tool is for this is secularism. If that person does not pander to their version of secularism he or she is immediately classified as Hindutva. According to this logic A SECULARIST CAN DO NO WRONG AND HINDUTVA LEANING PERSON CAN DO NO RIGHT.

      Therefore in spite of benefiting from Narsimha Rao’s opening economy, which has improved their living standard they don’t give him credit, because others, particularly poorer groups, have move up faster.

      Many of the BJP’s flagship programs under Modi, particularly gas electricity connections, has improved the quality of life for poorest sections of society. Unlike Congress, BJP has provided corruption-free administration. This is what most votes want, improvement in their standard of living & quality of life. The result is BJP won last national election, in spite of media predicting hung parliament.. BJP represents poorer sections of society.

      Basically these assorted secus are against upwardly mobility of mass and they cover their opposition to that under secularist grab.

  16. Modiji will play with every rule of democracy but will stop short of becoming a dictator or Hindutva ruler because he needs the support of Europe and the US.
    Else he will be bunched with the Turkish, Korean, Russian and Chinese nations.

  17. Well they think of democracy where every person who is hell bent on destroying india enjoys all the perks from the tax paid by people who want their country to be the best what a sham democracy where voters are brought from foreign lands like in assam to vote

  18. A resident of the West enjoying all the perks of capitalism wants India to not pursue materialistic ambitions.
    A pointless anti-Modi, anti-Hindutva tirade by a self proclaimed liberal.
    The entire world recognizes now that the only threat to humanity is from Islam. Yet quixotically, some people just cannot get over their obsession with Hindutva/Modi.

  19. We have got it wrong all along. It is NOT about democracy, which thankfully is intact. India is not looking for secularism. When the Indian constitution (rightly or wrongly, is another matter) and some Government policies distinguish its citizens by caste and religion, how can India ever be a secular Nation. We can’t expect politicians to define secularism (religion) and maintain harmony in the plurality of religions in India and absolve religious leaders and the public at large in the process. This tolerant pluralism is multilateral and not unilateral.
    In religious matters it should simply mean that every religion should be free to pray to its God in a manner each wants – that is assuming that every religion has a God and every one professing that religion wants to pray – without treading on the other’s toes. In effect, (religious) secularism should simply mean that each religion accepts each of the other religion on as is where is basis. Yu can’t do it with laws.
    The leaders of these various religions should repeatedly announce to its followers that “there is not only one way (their own) to reach GOD but there are many ways. What the other religions follow are also paths that lead to GOD. Those who practice religions other than ours are also believers of God”. Tell the followers that there is only one God with many names…call it/he/she by any name. Teach the kids this in Schools of all types. All politicians, self-styled “activists” of all types and THE MEDIA and independent journalists (with own opinion) should convey this message always and all times. Why is this NOT done? Why are these people especially the activists and the media not seeing it this way?
    I am afraid we are doing this all wrong. It is THAT simple. Just one slogan… “Your GOD is as good as my GOD”. Then, there will never be any hate on religious grounds!!!!
    Disclaimer: In my family, extended family and close friend circle there are many inter caste and inter religious successful marriages

  20. Medam Leftist, please tell me one thing , does the world powers and its economy loves China or India to do business, simple question, the answer is world never cared about ideologys , Nehru dreamed to become worlds most idealistic leader by sacrificing Millions of Hindus and nobody cared him , Pakistan the worst country got all US benefits for 70 years , so stop lecturing Hindus and go and sleep with Leftists and Muslims.

  21. Capital too many not automatically continue to court us. As the economy turns pale and sickly, not many rich pickings. Consider the saga of Vodafone in India. How many Indian groups, ADAG and Videocon, to name just two, have virtually ceased to exist. Brings to mind a woman who is neither pretty nor chaste.

  22. The democracy dividend that ensured that western liberals took pity on India while their governments supported Pakistan? Or invested in China? The two great liberal bastions? This article is not just laughable it reflects naivety of the author

  23. More than just be a largest democracy what about quality of democracy. The rampant use sedition charges against citizen reflect any quality of democracy indeed this defeat the basic concept of democracy.

    • Democracy implies a respect for the Govt elected by the people, a respect for the territorial integrity of the nation and a respect for the electoral process and the mandate of Govts. Those who dont respect the fundamentals of democracy cant question its quality when they themselves show no regard for it.

      • Mazo: That is exactly what Indira Gandhi said in 1975 when she declared Emergency, suspended all democratic rights and regarded every criticism of herself and her thuggish son Sanjay Gandhi as sedition and threw anyone she did not like into prison. People were rounded up an sterilised, freedom of the press was suppressed you could be sent to jail with no recourse to a fair trial. People simply disappeared, like in Stalin’s Soviet Union.

        And bizarrely, you want the same thing back.

        Well, that is exactly what we have as well: An undeclared Emergency by PM Modi and his right hand man Amit Shah. You open your mouth and you can get charged with sedition and you will languish in a jail. If you don’t get killed by the lumpen gaurakshaks of the BJP.

        As the German philosopher Georg Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) said:

        “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history”

        • Your stupid logic and harsh hate serve you well. You will never learn from history, that you cant annihilate a civilisation that has existed peacefully by calling them monsters hindutva hindu Rashtra etc.

        • “People simply disappeared, like in Stalin’s Soviet Union.”

          Stalin transformed and backward agricultural country into Industrial power house, second only after USA but ahead of Germany, in ten years from 1927-1937, not meagre progress unlike Nehru’s “Hindu rate of growth ”

          For such high development if few secus & jihadis are suppressed bulk of Indians would have no problem.

      • Yes. It certification by Stalin of which regime in Eastern Europe were democratic and which were not, in 1947.

  24. It is ironical that the author enjoys all the perks of a capitalist western country and yet lecture Indians to shun capitalism and remain poor.

  25. CAA, Article 370 or Ram temple as author cites, are all implemented through democratic means. CAA has nothing to do with Muslims of India and it was passed in parliament through voting, Article 370 was avoted out by 2-3rd majority in parliament by democratic means. Ram temple was Supreme court decisions. I don’t understand what is undemocratic or majoritarian? Without majority, no law can pass in parliament. Then why hue and cry about majoritarianism?

    • CAA, Article 370 or Ram temple as author cites, are al NOT implemented through democratic means. Modi’s rubber stamp parliament would rubber-stamp anything Modi want it to rubber stamp. THAT IS NOT DEMOCRACY.

      CAA has LOT to do with Muslims of India. It is designed to deny citizenship to Muslim Indians if they can’t prove their citizenship of India due to lack of documents. A vote passed by a rubber stamp parliament means nothing.

      Supreme court decision in case of Ram Mandir was controversial.

      Never mind if you don’t understand what is undemocratic or majoritarian?

      “Without majority, no law can pass in parliament.” – not true. If the law is good, even the opposition would vote for it.

      • FYI that rubber stamp parliament, that you claim, is elected by the people of India. So if you don’t like it, too bad so sad. it is parliament’s job to decide what is good for nation, irrespective of what critics say.

        If you don’t like their decisions that means you want different electors. So only logical way for you is to catch Samjhota Express and get different electors.

      • “Without majority, no law can pass in parliament.” – not true. If the law is good, even the opposition would vote for it.”

        You must be talking of other countries, not India.

        Triple Talaq ban, was not supported by Congress, RJD, SP, TMC, even when it was going a long way toward redressing the problem of helplessness of affected women. These parties could ask for improvement later on based ground reality observed after the implementation of the act. . What is more important protecting victim or “fairness” to offender?

    • In this crowd’s mind majority sumissiveness is democracy andmniroty appesement is secualirms, Enoug hof this nonsesne.

  26. Democracy (as in every single person is equally important) is an ideal in itself. Please don’t attach to concepts unsupported by facts on the ground – they just serve to diminish the ideal . If so called brand-democracy were so important, surely the aisles across the globe would be choke full of India-manufactured goods.

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