Fascism in India? It’s a secular republic, according to its constitution but the country under its prime minister Narender Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party, the BJP, has drifted sharply to the religious right. The BJP ideology is Hindutva, Hindu nationalism. Its mother ship and muscle is the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the RSS. It’s a Hindu nationalist paramilitary organization, inspired by Mussolini and Hitler, and has millions of members. Not much is known about what’s actually going on in India beyond cliches such as the world’s largest democracy, yoga and ashrams, Gandhi and gurus, tandoori chicken and spicy samosas. The reality is in stark contrast with the carefully crafted exported image. The BJP/RSS axis has demonized and targeted India’s large Muslim minority. There have been pogroms and lynchings. People are pushing back and resisting.
Arundhati Roy is a world-renowned writer and global justice activist. The New York Times calls her, “India’s most impassioned critic of globalization and American influence.” She is the author of the novels The God of Small Things, for which she received the Booker Prize, and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Her book of interviews with David Barsamian is The Checkbook & the Cruise Missile. Her essay books My Seditious Heart and Azadi are both published by Haymarket.