Can Anything Stop the Destruction of Indian Democracy? – By Nitish Pahwa

It wasn’t so long ago that Narendra Modi was cautiously welcomed by the world as a dynamic, big-chested insurgent, primed to upend India’s crooked, “elites”-dominated government and usher in a brave new era. Despite his Hindu nationalist bona fides and alleged role in the mass murder of hundreds of Muslims in the 2002 Gujarat riots, Modi’s notoriety was generally papered over in wide anticipation of his proposed political transformations, with praise hailing from not only influential Indians of all political persuasions but also leaders like U.S. President Barack Obama.…

Over the past five years, Modi and his allies in the far-right Bharatiya Janata Party have bent India’s institutions toward their will: The nominally independent Supreme Court has allegedly received undue pressure from BJP officials, and state judiciaries have been tampered with similarly; the legislative processes that undergird Parliament have been weakened; media outlets have seen journalists targeted and investigative stories killed; university faculty members have been infiltrated by nationalists and history textbooks rewritten to favor a Hindu-centric slant; election cycles at both the state and national level are clogged with corporate money and opaque financial practices; internet shutdowns are imposed harshly.…

It would be a mistake to see this election referendum as a pure, unsullied expression of the will of the Indian people. The result certainly reflects the desires of many of India’s Hindus, but it was nevertheless deeply informed by the BJP’s power grab. A significant portion of the fake news and trolling that jammed social networks during the election is purported to have come from BJP-affiliated trolls. Protests were consistently cracked down upon. Tens of millions of Muslims, women, and lower-caste populations were allegedly targeted and purged from voter rolls.…

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/05/modi-india-election-democracy.html

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