In his scathing opinion piece on the recent developments in India for The New Yorker, Dexter Filkins – author of The Forever War – writes that recent actions by PM Modi and Hindu nationalists have damaged the legacy of Gandhi and Nehru. He further writes that the future “does not look promising for India”, especially with Kashmir becoming an “open prison”, with internet cut off and mobility curtailed.
Some of the excerpts of the opinion piece can be found below, where as the full piece can be read here on The New Yorker:
The means of Modi’s ascent has been the demonizing of Muslims. In 2002, when he was Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat, Modi presided over a mass communal bloodletting, in which some two thousand people were killed and a hundred and fifty thousand driven from their homes. Most of the riot’s victims were Muslims; the demography of the state was transformed, with most Muslims crowded into ghettos. Credible evidence suggests that Modi allowed the riots to take place by refusing to use force against the perpetrators. At the very least, Modi capitalized on the pogroms politically, tapping into historic resentments about the nation’s former Mughal rulers and prejudices harbored by many Hindus—namely, that Muslims receive special treatment and support terrorism. Modi became a master of the anti-Muslim dog whistle, and he rode his reputation all the way to the Prime Minister’s office.
The big question is where Modi’s campaign ends. The future does not look promising: Kashmir is an open-air prison, with Internet cut off, mobility curtailed, and soldiers crawling the streets. In Assam, the site of the new citizenship registry, the Indian government is planning to build a network of detention centers. The new path-to-citizenship law seems to herald a future in which Indian Muslims are accorded second-class status.