Friday, April 11, 2014

Hindu Nationalism and Narendra Modi

Did you know that a 63 year-old Hindu nationalist with a record of stirring up Hindu-Muslim animosity is likely to be India's next prime minister?` Will tension between Muslims and Hindus increase with his election? Will he whip up Hindu nationalism to such an extreme that non-Hindus feel threatened?

Max Fisher answers all these questions in an easy to read essay for Vox called: Everything You Wanted to Know About Narendra Modi's Rise.

You'll learn, for example, that many Indians believe that Modi can help the economy in the same way he helped India's Gujarat state which he's been running since 2002.  And many like his Hindu nationalism. As Fisher notes, "the thing that makes Modi so worrying is also what makes him so popular."

You'll also learn that Modi and his party have talked about changing the country's "no first use" policy" for nuclear weapons.  

And you'll learn about the 2002 riots in Gujarat that marred Modi's image when he seemed to allow Hindu mobs  to retaliate at will against Muslims. According to Fisher, "many reports indicated that the police of Gujarat state did nothing to stop the attacking mobs, and Modi and his government have long been accused of allowing, and potentially abetting, the riots."

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