The myth of Modi as a technocratic moderniser – crafted by an ensemble of intellectuals and industrialists who devoted themselves to the cause of deodorising Modi, a Hindu supremacist who as chief minister of Gujarat in 2002 presided over a pogrom of Muslims – collapsed early on under the burden of the incompetence, vainglory and innate viciousness of the man who once described refugee camps housing displaced Muslims as “baby-producing centres”.
And five years on, we have more than a glimpse of the “New India” he has spawned. It is a reflection of its progenitor: culturally arid, intellectually vacant, emotionally bruised, vain, bitter, boastful, permanently aggrieved and implacably malevolent; a make-believe land full of fudge and fakery, where bigotry against religious minorities is among the therapeutic options available to members of a self-pitying majority frustrated by the prime minister’s failure to upgrade their economic standard of living. In the world’s largest secular democracy, Muslims have been lynched by mobs since Modi came into office for such offences as eating beef, dating Hindus and refusing to vacate their seats for Hindu commuters on crowded trains. More here.