…Modi’s failure to ‘Make in India’, to create productive jobs, is nicely symbolized by the chowkidar, the sketchily uniformed, underemployed man whose function is to guard the consequence of his employer by defending his parking spot. But that isn’t the main reason why the term fits. All parties confess to who they are if you listen carefully: ‘chowkidar’ is the sangh’s confession.
In chowkidar, Hindutva has found its answer to the French Revolution’s ‘citizen’ and the Russian Revolution’s ‘comrade’. Comfortable people in India don’t think much about citizenship till elections roll around. Unless they’re trying to become citizens of some other country in which case they’re consumed by it.…
The chowkidar’s fulfilment lies not in citizenship and civil society, but in in the muscular thrill of being a proxy for the State or the party that runs it. Thus the gangs of gau rakshaks who attack Muslims and lynch them, the anti-Romeo squad leaders who spend their lives stalking Muslim men with Hindu girlfriends, the love jihad lookouts, the ghar wapsi organizers ushering the errant back into the fold, ABVP’s student snitches carrying tales of treason, these are all exemplary chowkidars.…
- How the world’s largest democracy casts its ballots – By Poorvi Vora (May 2, 2019, Sabrang India)
- Rhetoric in the name of poor has assumed Orwellian proportions this poll season – By Christophe Jaffrelot (Apr 30, 2019, Indian Express)
- What Happens if the 2019 Elections Lead to a Hung House? – By Jagdeep S. Chhokar (May 1, 2019, The Wire)
- Indian Muslims can’t let hate defeat them – By Nazma Parveen (May 4, 2019, Deccan Herald)