Britain should sever its links with Narendra Modi

Priyamvada Gopal writes: Imagine this. A pogrom takes place in a foreign country targeting a minority group, say Christians, with hundreds brutally killed by rampaging mobs, many mutilated and raped, and foetuses removed from pregnant women. Thousands flee destroyed homes. The provincial leader on whose watch these events take place is a politician with open links to extremist Islamist organisations. Three holidaying British citizens are among the massacred. Allegations emerge that this politician’s language helped foment the massacres. With one of his cabinet jailed for her role in the pogroms he becomes the frontrunner to lead this increasingly powerful country. Would you worry?

Yes, is the likely answer, and so you should. In reality, the country is India, the extremists are Hindus, the 2002 Gujarat pogroms targeted Muslims, and the leader in question is Narendra Modi. As the candidate of the far-right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in current elections he does not dispute his or its links to the extremist Hindu network known as the Sangh Parivar.

Modi was a leading activist for its secretive and militaristic arm, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – whose founder expressed admiration for Hitler, ideologies of racial purity and the virtues of fascism. It is an organisation that, on a good day, looks like the British National party but can operate more like Nazi militias. Known for an authoritarian leadership style, Modi’s only expression of regret for the pogroms compared them to a car running over a puppy, while he labelled Muslim relief camps “baby-making factories”.

Hindu extremism is rooted in a macho 20th-century response to British colonialism which mocked Hindu “effeminacy”. It is rarely scrutinised in the west, partly because Hinduism is stereotyped as gentle and non-violent in the image of Gandhi – who, ironically, was assassinated by an RSS activist – and benefits from the disproportionate attention given to Islamist violence, which enables other pernicious extremisms to slip under the radar. [Continue reading…]

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1 thought on “Britain should sever its links with Narendra Modi

  1. Sreenivas

    This is unfortunate that Western Media (probably a few section of the media) is just focusing on the unwanted side of development. When you talk about Gujarath Riots, one has to know the facts that a train coach carrying Hindu sadhus was burnt alive without even letting them get down of the coach (by locking the coach from outside) and burning it alive is the start point of the Riot and it was first started by the so called Minority community (Muslims). Also When the Riots was going on, Modi request the neighboring states like MP and Maharashtra which was ruled by the Congress to provide the Police support which was ignored by the two states. So you mean Congress has supported the way. Ofcourse when there is a anger in larger public it is difficult to control and this is what happened. Western people need to understand that Indians and Hindus in particular are peace lovers and they will not start any kind of illegal activity, but to save them they can fight back at point of time.

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