Pankaj Mishra is an angry man. Rightly so. His people back home have let him down big time. They went and voted for Narendra Modi even though he told them not to.
Fortunately, the Guardian newspaper has given him space to vent his spleen.
Some of his more egregious points are-
' India's 16th general election this month... tainted by the nastiest campaign yet, announces a new turbulent phase for the country – arguably, the most sinister since its independence from British rule in 1947.
Is Mishra right? Surely the most turbulent phase for the country was in the Nineteen Seventies? By comparison, the recent poll was a tea-party- actually, it was a tea-party held after Rahul gave Modi a walk-over. What were the worst accusations made during this election? Did anyone say that Rahul was sleeping with his own mother? They certainly said that about Sanjay but all Rahul got was the tag of 'Amul Baby'.
As for Modi- from being a 'Merchant of Death' he was downgraded, by 'Snoopgate' to just some elderly Uncle perving on a pretty young architect.
Mishra says-' Back then, *in 1951) it would have been inconceivable that a figure such as Narendra Modi, the Hindu nationalist chief minister of Gujarat accused, along with his closest aides, of complicity in crimes ranging from an anti-Muslim pogrom in his state in 2002to extrajudicial killings, and barred from entering the US, may occupy India's highest political office.
Is Mishra right? Take Shaheed Shurawardy who presided over Direct Action Day in which thousands of people lost their lives. Was it 'unthinkable' for him to aspire to the Prime Ministership of Bengal? If so, how come, Sharat Chandra Bose was still talking to him?
Was it inconceivable that Muhammad Ali Jinnah, whose Muslim League presided over ethnic cleaning on an enormous scale, become Governor General of a successor state to the Raj?
Reality check- according to Wikipedia, that's actually what happened.
Perhaps Mishra means that it is inconceivable that a Hindu, not a Muslim, become Head of State in a Hindu majority area because...urm... Hindus are just different from Muslims, okay?