In its attack on civil liberties, its restructuring of the state to effect an acute centralisation of power, and its pervasive purveyance of fear, the Narendra Modi years resemble Indira Gandhi’s Emergency. But the resemblance stops there. In fact, the two differ fundamentally in several ways.
First, there were no lynch mobs or street thugs terrorising people and giving them lessons in “nationalism” during the Emergency. It was only the state that repressed people then; now we have gangs of Hindutva hoodlums, who force critics of the government to apologise for their “misdemeanours”, with the additional threat of arrests still hanging over these intimidated critics.…
These differences between the Emergency years and the Modi years can be summed up as follows.… The difference in a word is between authoritarianism and fascism. The statistics of repression, such as the number of persons jailed, were worse during the Emergency. But the potential for repression being built up now is much greater, more far-reaching. Every single one of the characteristics mentioned above as being specific to the Modi years is in fact a characteristic of fascism… We could, in short, witness a fascification of society over time, under pressure from the fascist elements who continue to remain strong whether or not they are actually in power.…
- The Next Five Years Could Change India Forever – By Sidharth Bhatia (Mar 28, 2019, The Wire)
- Five years of betrayal – By Venkitesh Ramakrishnan (Apr 12, 2019, Frontline)
- ‘Testing Time’ for the Indian Electorate – By K M Seethi (Mar 26, 2019, Sabrang India)
- ‘Five years have been oppressive, scary’ – Jignesh Mevani with Zia Us Salam (Apr 12, 2019, Frontline)