Monday 3 June 2024

Commie Reds & Kommireddi

As a child in Delhi, my mother enrolled me in a Christian School so that I would learn to live with Christians rather than become a Hindu supremacist. I met him some years later. He told me about all the problems he had suffered in India. Ultimately, he was forced to move abroad. I too had moved abroad because, like him, I found Indian whiskey fucking horrible. 

This, however, is not the reason the New Yorker hates India. It is the fact that it is a genuine democracy which isn't exporting terror or killing random Muslims is what rankles. It marks Modi's victory with this essay by a Commie Red named Kommireddi whose father had him admitted to a Muslim madrasa rather a Christian school. He too had a friend who had to run away from India. As I said, if the Japs can make good Whiskey, why can't we? 

My father died in April of last year. He was seventy-three years old, almost the same age as the Indian Republic,

at the birth of which millions of Muslims were either killed or chased across the border. Cow-protection was made a directive principle of the Constitution. Muslims lost all previous quotas or other types of affirmative action. Hindi replaced Urdu. A Brahmin dynasty took power.  

and his death came after a harrowing struggle with cancer. Before the abrupt decline that took away his speech and movement, when he still possessed the strength to walk and read the papers and console his relations and friends, he would occasionally say to me, “We will pull through.” He was not speaking about his illness—he had, I felt, reconciled himself to its unfair yet ineluctable outcome—but about India. I disagreed with him.

The boy was stupider than the father. The Left might revive in India if it has the guts to break with Congress and the moon-calf Rahul.  

Under Narendra Modi, the country had been transformed.

Things have got better- that's true enough.  

Hindu beliefs were now granted an almost sacred status,

like cows in Nehru's constitution 

and examples made of Muslims who offended them.

Far more Muslims were killed under Nehru.  

Some Muslims had been lynched by mobs on the suspicion of eating beef; others had been mauled for dating Hindu women.

But ten million haven't been chased across the border. Gandhi said he knew which Congress men had killed innocent Muslims in Bihar. But Gandhi took no action against them. Nehru was perfectly happy to preside over an exchange of populations. It was only once the North Indian Muslim became a Congress vote-bank that the Dynasty moderated the persecution they faced from the Custodian of Enemy Property 

A handful were savaged for no apparent reason. Much of this had been abetted, if not outright encouraged, by the state.

America killed 1.3 million Muslims and displaced tens of millions more during its War on Terror. India held apart from both Gulf Wars. That's why the Americans are angry with India.  But they can't topple Modi or Hasina the way they toppled Imran. 

During Modi’s first term in office, from 2014 to 2019, the proliferation of these Hindu lynch mobs was accompanied by the meticulous subversion of institutions.

Nonsense! Modi wants the rule of Law and, under Yogi, that's what UP is getting. Kommireddi is cool with Muslim gangsters in West Bengal raping all and sundryand grabbing their land.  

The armed forces, which had previously been insulated from politics, were exploited by Modi and his party for political gain.

Nonsense! Modi has brought in the Agniveer scheme which should give India the numerical advantage going forward. That matters to the Army though, no doubt, they may have legitimate concerns about how the thing will work in practice and whether morale and esprit de corps will be diluted.  

Silhouettes of soldiers went up on campaign posters, and universities were instructed to celebrate the anniversary of a heavily publicized military raid into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, in 2016,

In other words, Modi praises the Army and has done much to discourage Pakistani violations of the LOC.  

as “Surgical Strike Day.” India’s Election Commission, which oversaw largely free and fair elections for the better part of six decades, was increasingly assailed as Modi’s marionette.

Anyone can assail anything. People could say Biden is using the Courts to persecute Trump who, let me tell you, lives a very pure and Christian life.  

When Modi introduced anonymized donations to political parties, via the sale of electoral bonds, in 2017, the commission denounced the change as “retrograde” and demanded transparency or an immediate reversal. Then, without explanation, it performed a volte-face and endorsed such contributions as “a step in the right direction.” (That same year, the commission delayed an election in Gujarat, Modi’s home state, to the Prime Minister’s advantage, prompting one of its own former chiefs to say it had created grounds for suspicion about its conduct.)

Modi replaced a flawed scheme of Manmohan's but the Bench has struck it down. The trouble with making allegations is that if you can't provide evidence to the Court the charge will be dismissed.

In 2018, four of the Supreme Court’s most senior justices issued a direct warning to citizens that the judiciary was ignoring its own rules and mishandling sensitive cases:

They had beef with the Chief Justice. So what?  

“Unless this institution is preserved,” one of them said, in a press conference, “democracy will not survive in this country.”

They were lying. Judges can be very stupid. Maybe they thought Congress would win and they would be rewarded.  

Months later, Modi’s government, which was spending lavishly in the lead-up to the general election, began harrying the country’s central bank to help lower the government’s budget deficit and fund its welfare programs. When the bank resisted, Modi stacked its board with yes-men. The governor of the bank resigned, and his successor transferred the cash.

So what? India does not have an independent central bank. Also, the governor was a cretin who wasn't on speaking terms with the F.M. He had to go.  

India’s most revered cultural, research, scientific, and educational institutions were packed with ideologues who seemed to owe their fealty to the Modi government.

Whereas previously they had been packed with ideologues who owed their fealty to the Dynasty. But that fealty was worthless.  

The press, which had been among the world’s most vibrant,

it was shit 

now largely functions as the Prime Minister’s bullhorn.

unless it functions as Mamta's or Stalin's or some other CM's bullhorn.  

A number of journalists critical of the Modi government have been arrested,

because they committed crimes 


because they angered powerful local mafias 

or fired by proprietors anxious to propitiate the Prime Minister.

Plenty of proprietors want their journalists to attack the ruling party.  

Modi has successfully politicized, co-opted, or undermined virtually every organ essential to the fair functioning of Indian democracy.

Kommireddi has been co-opted. He helped Modi by spreading the canard that Modi's agents are killing terrorists on US soil.  

This “New India,” as Modi’s supporters call it, is a major exhibit in the tragic twenty-first-century story of global democratic backsliding.

America is undemocratic. Biden is using the Courts to harass Trump. If you believe this nutter you will believe anything.  

In 2021, Freedom House, a pro-democracy think tank, downgraded India in its annual report from “free” to “partially free.”

We downgraded it from shit to smelly shit.  

Sweden’s V-Dem Institute has branded India an “electoral autocracy.”

We branded it a smelly smelly turd. So what? Sticks and stones &c.  

These developments can inspire despair.

Not in Indians because they don't give a shit about Sweden or some Cold War American relic.  

But, as my father warned me, that despair risks obscuring the many ways ordinary Indians are striving to reclaim the Republic.

By writing for the New Yorker- right?  

“If you can bring yourself to look beyond the regime,” he told me, in 2021, “you will see a people fighting with all their strength to preserve their dignity and realize the promise of democracy.”

But if you look even further you will see Hindus who only pretend to like Muslims. But this is also true of Americans and French peeps. The difference is that India didn't spend a decade drone striking innocent Muslims. India isn't arming Israel so it can blow up more Palestinians.  

According to statistics that I reviewed from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, since 2019 there have been more than forty thousand peaceful protests, small and big, across India.

India has plenty of 'andolanjivis'. So what?  

In February of this year, roads connecting Delhi to the neighboring states of Haryana and Punjab were blockaded with slabs of concrete and barbed wire to stop protesting farmers from entering the capital city.

How strange! Why did the Government not let the farmers burn the Capital to the ground?  

Having forced the government to withdraw a trio of contentious laws on agriculture three years ago, the farmers were now demanding a minimum price for their crops.

Farmers want the country to go bankrupt.  

The government took extraordinary measures to foil them. Paramilitary forces patrolled Delhi’s borders, and police fired tear gas and rubber bullets. On February 21st, a young farmworker was killed. Not long after, I spoke to Harinder Singh Lakhowal, one of the leaders of the movement, by telephone. Modi, he suggested, was paying tribute to the virtues of democracy in speeches while crushing its practitioners at home. If this continues, he said, “We will go back to our villages and work against the government in the elections.”

America is worse than India. Under Biden peaceful protestors who stormed the Capitol were sent to jail.  

India is now at the end of a national election—the eighteenth since it held its first, in 1951. There are more than twenty-five hundred political parties and nearly a billion eligible voters in the contest, which has been staggered into seven phases that began in mid-April and will conclude on June 1st. More than fifteen million personnel have been drafted to oversee the voting process. Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (B.J.P.) are hoping to win a historic third straight term. At the start of the campaign, Modi promised to grow his parliamentary majority by more than a hundred seats. But low voter turnout in the early rounds of polling suggests a depleted enthusiasm for the Prime Minister and his efforts to recast India as a Hindu-first state.

It became that in 1947. The fact is India has been ruled by a Brahmin dynasty for much the greater part of its post-independence history.  

Though another win looks almost certain, it may not be the resounding triumph that Modi prophesied.

Or it may be.  

And if Modi receives a blow, either in the form of a defeat or a diminished margin of victory, he will owe it to the civic revival incubated by his own reign.

No. He will owe it to poor candidate selection.  

In early April, I flew to Varanasi, a B.J.P. stronghold and the holiest city in Hinduism, to scatter a portion of my father’s ashes.

Chee, chee! This idolator is practicing Kaffir religion! 

Modi has been the city’s representative in Parliament since 2014. One evening, on the Dashashwamedh Ghat, one of the oldest of all the steps leading down to the banks of the Ganges, I met a twenty-nine-year-old man named Ajit Kumar Singh. He was bony and bearded, with a thick streak of vermillion imprinted on his forehead. A large crowd was forming around us for the evening’s Ganga Aarti, a luminously choreographed ritual tribute to the Hindus’ most sacred river. The sound of conch shells suffused the air. Not far from us, on another ghat, dozens of human bodies were being reduced to ash. To be cremated in Varanasi is to become emancipated from the cycle of life and death. “People come here to die,” Singh said.

Modi came to get elected. He has already done much for the place but more will be done under UP's 'double engine' Sarkar. Hindus can at last take pride in their great pilgrimage centers.  

Singh had cast his first vote, in 2014, for Modi. During that campaign, Modi had vowed to fight corruption and tax evasion by repatriating billions of rupees that had been stashed in the vaults of Swiss banks by generations of politicians and their cronies. (That promise fell by the wayside, and anti-corruption investigations increasingly targeted political opponents.) What he delivered instead was an overnight abolition of high-denomination currency notes, instantly invalidating eighty-six per cent of all the currency in circulation inside the country. Large parts of the economy were devastated. Singh’s father lost his small business, and Singh had to stop his studies

which were useless 

and find work as a salesman and driver to help support his family.

with the result that he was productive rather than a drain on his family's or society's resources.  

“Everyone I know was struggling,” he told me. Modi had promised to create twenty million jobs a year. By the end of his first term, the country’s unemployment record was reported to be the worst in nearly half a century.

But Modi and Yogi were still better than the alternative- Rahul and Akhilesh.  

Still, in 2019, Singh, “as a Hindu,” again voted for Modi. (I heard versions of this sentiment in other places, too—that Modi’s emphasis on Hindu pride made other concerns secondary.) But now he was done. “All that has happened in the past five years is ‘Hindu-Muslim,’ ‘Hindu-Muslim,’ ” Singh said. “How is this going to fill my stomach? How will this get me a job?”

How will voting against Modi help him? That is the question. 

During the past six months, I met voters in Maharashtra, Delhi, Telangana, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Kerala who shared similar stories of hardship.

You can find such tales in New York and London and Paris.  

Since 2014, India, often paraded as the world’s fastest-growing economy, has indeed grown richer. But the prosperity hasn’t trickled down.

Some have become more productive and thus richer. Others have not  

The combined wealth of the two hundred Indians on Forbes’s World Billionaires List is almost a trillion dollars.

If financial markets crash because the mooncalf become PM  

Nearly three hundred million Indians, meanwhile, survive on less than $1.90 a day.

Because they have low productivity. Rather than gassing on about Democracy, what journalists should be asking is why India does not have giant factory dormitories for rural girls. That's how you get demographic transition.  

The New India, according to a recent report by the World Inequality Lab, is “more unequal than the British Raj headed by the colonialist forces.”

Nonsense! People literally died of famine back then while Nizams and Maharajas had incomputable wealth. 

Unemployment is so rampant that, a couple of years ago, when Indian Railways advertised thirty-five thousand new positions, more than ten million people applied.

But 20 million applied when they advertised 100,000 jobs.  

Worse, according to a study by the International Labour Organization, India’s youth account for eighty-three per cent of the country’s unemployed. (The Indian government disputes the report’s findings.)

It is obvious that India needs to get rid of silly paternalistic laws 'protecting' labour. But this Commie Reddy won't say so. 

What makes this election unusual is the plain contempt for the cheap consolations of Modi’s Hindu nationalism, even among those who once constituted the core of his support.

Yet Modi will win by a bigger margin. Kommireddi lives in a fantasy world.  

“When Modi first asked for our vote in 2014, I thought, He is just like us,” Neelima Devi, a washerwoman in Allahabad, told me.

Because Chief Ministers of Gujarat wash other people's clothes- right?  

(Allahabad, like many other places in New India, now has a new, Hindu name: Prayagraj.)

Nehru referred to it as Prayag. So what? Lots of places in India have new names.  

Modi’s muscular Hindu identity is encased in a stirring biography. In a country rigidly segmented by caste and class, he is a self-made man who has risen from the bottom rungs of society—he was born into a poor family from a marginalized caste—to the pinnacle of political power through hard work, perseverance, and sheer force of will. Devi said, “It has taken me ten years to see that we were duped. Modi is not our savior. He is a punishment for our sins in some past life.”

Similarly, Belinda- a washerwoman from Bermondsey- told me 'Rishi Sunak duped up. He isn't really a leprechaun. Lord Jeezuz is punishing us for the sins of Adam Smith and Eve- the transgender snake who tempted Adam to eat an Apple i-phone.' 

The pandemic was a turning point for her. “There was no hospital, no food, nothing,” she said. “For as far as my eyes could see, there were burning bodies.” (The World Health Organization has estimated that more than 4.7 million people in India died of covid—almost ten times more than the number reported by the Indian government.) She went on, “Now when I look at Modi or B.J.P. people my blood boils. I feel ashamed for keeping my mouth shut all these years. They told us, ‘Muslims are your enemies,’ but I have not seen any Muslim hurt me or my family. They say, ‘Modi is building grand temples.’ Can we eat the temples? They say, ‘We are proud to be Hindu because of Modi.’ Will this pride feed and clothe us?”

Similarly, Belinda the washerwoman said to me 'Rishi Sunak beat and sodomized me on the Planet Neptune. Keir Starmer was there but he pretended not to notice because Rishi bribed him with poppadams. 

In the run-up to this election, a survey conducted by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (C.S.D.S.), a research institution in Delhi,

which is utterly useless 

found that seventy-nine per cent of Indians across nineteen states and union territories believe that their country belongs to “citizens of all religions equally.”

especially if they are citizens of Bangladesh 

An overwhelming majority—eight of every ten polled—affirmed their support for India’s religious pluralism. These attitudes suggest that Modi’s repudiation of a secular national identity, which was fostered by the Republic’s founders, may actually have reinforced its importance in the minds of a great many Indians.

Which is why he is getting an increased majority.  

Modi’s personal popularity must not be underestimated—his approval rating, currently at seventy-four per cent, according to Morning Consult, is higher than that of any other world leader in its roster. His excesses have shattered trust built up between communities and standardized noxious attitudes that may take a generation to repair.

There was no such trust in 1947 in Nehru's Delhi.  

But we can already see a gradual reëmbrace of the flawed yet real interfaith fellowship of old India.

Rahul is going to marry Imran Khan.  

If Modi’s first term was defined by institutional subversion, his second term has been colored by spectacular protests against his strongman rule.

While his third term will be distinguished by everybody converting to Mormonism and migrating up Uranus.  

In early August, 2019, two months into Modi’s second term, he revoked the constitutional autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir,

In 2016, the Supreme Court said J&K had no 'shred' of sovereignty.  

then India’s sole Muslim-majority state, and brought it under what amounted to martial law. In December, his party pushed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act through Parliament.

In response, to the completion of the Nationality Register in Assam which had been ordered by the Bench which also opened detention centers for illegal immigrants.  

The C.A.A. called for granting express citizenship to members of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Parsi, and Sikh communities fleeing persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

This has been the settled policy of the Government since 1947. What has changed is that India is no longer persecuting Muslims to get them to leave so as to make room for non-Muslim refugees.  

Muslims were explicitly excluded from the legislation, and their omission was apparently justified on the ground that, as members of religious majorities in the countries named in the bill, they could not reasonably be assumed to be victims of religious persecution.

Also Indian Muslims will kill 'kaffir' Ahmadiyas or other victims of Hanafi persecution.  

The C.A.A. did not, on its own, empower the government to revoke the citizenship of Indian Muslims. It did, however, name religion, for the first time since the modern Indian state’s advent, in 1947, as a determinant of citizenship.

No. It acknowledged a fact- viz. no non-Muslim is safe in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.  

Modi did not stop at the C.A.A.

He sponsored it to reassure non-Muslim refugees that they would not be deported. 

His government also proposed the creation of a pan-Indian National Register of Citizens (N.R.C.), which would require all Indian residents to produce documents proving an ancestral connection to the country.

This was mandated in 2003 long before Modi came to power.  

Those who failed to satisfy this condition would face detention and deportation. In practice, Hindus unable to furnish adequate proof of their link to India could invoke the C.A.A. to claim citizenship; its provisions would function as a safety net for them. Muslims, excluded from the C.A.A.’s scope, could be rendered stateless if they did not conjure valid documentation.

Or if they spoke Tamil instead of Bengali.  

Together, the C.A.A. and N.R.C. in effect guarantee Indian citizenship to Pakistani or Bangladeshi Hindus living illegally in India,

They had always had a route to Indian citizenship though they may have been too poor to avail of it.  

while forcing Muslims born and raised in India to wage protracted legal battles to prove that they belong in the country.

This hasn't happened yet. What matters is whether the North East indigenous people will be satisfied with keeping Bangladeshi immigrants off the Electoral Rolls.  

Within hours of the C.A.A.’s passage, protests erupted in India’s northeast, before spreading to Delhi, where Modi, accustomed to getting his way and unprepared for the reaction, responded with brutal force.

No. The government responded with proportionate force.  

The government activated a colonial-era law to ban gatherings of more than four people, and suspended the Internet. The police stormed Jamia Millia Islamia, one of India’s most distinguished universities

it is shit. To be fair, all non-STEM subject universities are shit or will soon become shit if student agitators have their way.  

—founded by Muslim luminaries with the support of Mahatma Gandhi—and bloodied hundreds of students. The protests only intensified. As petitions opposing the law piled up in the Supreme Court, Muslim women in the south Delhi neighborhood of Shaheen Bagh pitched a tent on a stretch of road and staged a sit-in. Within days, Shaheen Bagh emerged as the lodestar of the unfolding agitation against the C.A.A., drawing onlookers, activists, and reporters. Dozens of protest sites sprang up across India.

Both the BJP and AAM did well out of this spectacle. Congress and the Left were decimated.  

One evening in January, 2020, I made my way to Shaheen Bagh. A police officer stopped my taxi and asked me where I was headed. When I told him, he said, “All the enemies of the nation have gathered there.” As I got closer, the roads were barricaded. I abandoned the car and got on the metro. People riding the train maintained a conscious distance from each other, appearing to be lost in thought, but once out of the station, a spiritedness reëntered those who moments before had seemed afraid to make eye contact. On Masjid Road, a hectic street leading up to Shaheen Bagh, a man in a skullcap pulled out an Indian flag from a polythene bag, wore it as a scarf around his neck, and, waving his arms energetically at strangers, loudly recited these lines from a patriotic poem by Muhammad Iqbal:

the poet-prophet of Pakistan 

[Ancient] Greece, Egypt, and Rome have all vanished from this world, but our name and identity survive intact . . . We are of India, and India is our homeland.

Under Nehru, the Muslim population of Delhi went from 33 percent to just 5 percent.  

The protest site was redolent of a busy town fair or a major sporting event. There were concession stands selling fried food and tea, book stalls hawking tracts by India’s founders, men blowing balloons, and little booths where children queued up to have the colors of the Indian flag—saffron, white, and green—painted on the back of their hands and on their cheeks. At the center of it all stood a large tent. Its floodlit walls were plastered with posters of the heroes of India’s freedom movement. There was a small makeshift dais on one end. Next to it, a Muslim man draped in the Indian flag sat holding a copy of the constitution. On the stage, speakers of different faiths were being introduced. Seated on the floor were the elderly women of Shaheen Bagh, wearing thick jumpers to defend themselves against the crisp wind.

Last year young jihadi from Shaheen Bagh was so inspired by the protests that he went to Kerala and killed three people in a train compartment. Since the Kerala based PFI was behind the protests, this was payback or would have been if the victims hadn't turned out to be Muslims. 

I met Asma Khatoon, a ninety-year-old protester who had been there from the beginning. Her cheeks were sunken, and she seemed to be missing teeth,

not unusual in a 90 year old 

but she spoke with remarkable clarity and precision. Khatoon’s family had made the difficult choice during Partition to remain in India. “They told my parents to go to Pakistan,” she said. “My family said, ‘We are children of this soil, believers in Gandhi. You can kill me, but this is our country. We are staying here.’

But the vast majority of Muslims left.  

” She was aghast that, after everything she had endured, she was being asked to produce proof of being Indian. “At my age, you want me to prove I am Indian?” she said. “Who is demanding this proof?” Without looking, she pointed at the pictures on the wall: Bhagat Singh (Sikh and atheist), Maulana Azad (Muslim), Jawaharlal Nehru (agnostic), Mahatma Gandhi (Hindu), Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (Dalit and Buddhist). “Do you see a single R.S.S. man there?” she said, referring to the mother ship of Hindu nationalism. “No. For me, everyone is a child, but I will fight to my last breath for my country. It is beneath my dignity to prove anything to the R.S.S.”

Thankfully she was not travelling on the train in Kerala and so Shahrukh Saifi, who was one of the kids she was fighting for, didn't have a chance to set her on fire.  

The movement grew.

It failed. 

And Muslims, maligned as a fifth column ever since the subcontinent was partitioned, were on its front line. In Hyderabad, in south-central India, thousands of ordinary Muslims came together to make a public recital of the preamble to the Indian Constitution: “We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic. . . . ”

Cow Protection is a Directive Principle. No doubt, they cherish that principle deeply.  

Hindus joined the protest sites, too. In Delhi, Hindus, along with people of other faiths, formed a human chain to protect Muslim worshippers during rallies against the C.A.A. In Kolkata, hundreds of Hindu priests raised slogans against the C.A.A. and the N.R.C. In Punjab, Hindus and Sikhs led a joint march with Muslims against the law.

Anyone can virtue signal. But then they go and vote for the sensible candidate not the ranting nutter.  

In early February, 2020, I flew to Karnataka, a thousand miles south of Delhi, the only state in southern India—the more peaceable, prosperous, and less populous half of the country—then run by a B.J.P. government. Protests had been raging there for weeks, and the state authorities had reacted with fury. In December, Ramachandra Guha, the most respected liberal historian of modern India,

which still means people think him a shithead 

was protesting the C.A.A., when authorities detained him in the middle of a TV interview.

Nobody cared.  

At a rally in the center of Bengaluru, Karnataka’s capital, I met Sujatha Gowda, a junior doctor, who had supported Modi until she saw a video of Pehlu Khan, a fifty-five-year-old dairy farmer, being run to the ground and lynched by “cow vigilantes” in Rajasthan,

She also supported Rishi Sunak till she saw a picture of him sodomizing Belinda the washerwoman on one of the moons of Neptune.  

another state governed by the B.J.P. After Khan’s death, in 2017, the state’s Home Minister blamed “both sides.” Gowda said, “I had always avoided the lynching videos, but the Pehlu Khan one came over WhatsApp and got saved on my phone. Just seeing this murder unfold in front of my eyes made me sick . . . it made it clear to me that, as an Indian and especially a Hindu Indian who supported Modi, I am also responsible for his death.” (Gowda showed the video to her parents and they made a pact never to vote for the B.J.P. again.) In some ways, to Gowda, the C.A.A. was even worse. “Murders can be blamed on a few bad apples,” she said. “But what do you do when your own government targets you and says you are not an Indian because you are not of a particular religion?”

You fly to planet Neptune and scold Rishi Sunak. That's what I did. Sadly, my Manager has refused to endorse my claim for travel expenses. Indeed, he is now pretending that I was fired ten years ago. Admittedly, I have had my struggles with alcohol but I'm sure I'd have remembered that. My view is that I was on an extended sabbatical.  

A few days after I arrived in Bengaluru, the B.J.P. lost a major statewide election in Delhi to the Aam Aadmi Party, some of whose members

led rioters who attacked the police 

had backed the protesters at Shaheen Bagh.

Kejriwal stayed the fuck away while chanting Hanuman Chalisa at every opportunity 

The B.J.P. had made Shaheen Bagh and the anti-C.A.A. protests the focus of its campaign. Bigwigs in the Party issued warnings about the dangers awaiting the people of Delhi if they rejected Modi. “They will enter your homes, rape your sisters and daughters, kill them,” Parvesh Sharma, a B.J.P. member of the national parliament, said of Muslim protesters. “Today, you are safe only because Modi is the P.M. of India.” A minister in Modi’s government incited a rally with a macabre chant that culminated in the crowd shouting, “Shoot the traitors.” When the votes were cast and tallied, the B.J.P. took just eight seats in an assembly of seventy members.

They raised their tally from 3 to 8. Congress didn't even feature.  

The defeat was a humiliation for the B.J.P.,

No. They gained seats. It was a loss for Congress and the Left.  

a rejection of the sectarian tactics that had previously yielded dramatic dividends. A week and a half later, Kapil Mishra, one of the losing B.J.P. candidates, threatened to clear out the anti-C.A.A. demonstrators blocking the roads in Delhi if the police did not act. “Three days ultimatum to Delhi Police,” he tweeted. Riots erupted that afternoon in northeastern Delhi and spread through the outlying areas of the city. It was the worst violence in decades in the Indian capital—a reprise, on a smaller scale, of the carnage in Gujarat on Modi’s watch in 2002. Fifty-three people were killed. Muslims, who constitute a small minority in Delhi, outnumbered Hindus by more than two to one among the fatalities.

The riots were bought and paid for because of Trump's visit. Yes, the minority got stomped but that has been happening since 1923 in Delhi.  

Shaheen Bagh, astonishingly, survived the communitarian inferno.

Because the Muslims there remained peaceful. 

And the women of the area continued with their peaceful protest even as neighborhoods around them went up in flames. Relief came to Modi in the form of the coronavirus. On March 24th, the Prime Minister announced one of the most stringent lockdowns in the world, with a four-hour notice, and the gathering at Shaheen Bagh was dispersed. Slogans that had been scrawled on walls and streets in the area were painted over the next morning.

Modi wanted Shaheen Bagh to continue. It showed Indian Muslims don't want non-Muslims to escape rape, murder or forcible conversion.  

When India became independent of British rule, many observers questioned whether such a desperately poor and bewilderingly diverse land was suited for democracy.

No. Ceylon had had universal franchise since 1931. The question was whether India would be Federal or Unitary. Hindus decided they needed to hang together rather than succumb to Muslim salami tactics. Nehru pulled the trigger on partition and ethnic cleansing.  

But India’s founders persisted with the conviction that representative government was the best means to elevate and create citizens of a people who had always been subjects of despots and emperors.

No. They fucked up and then they died. Democracy doesn't matter. Being able to feed yourself and defend yourself does matter.  

In 1961, the American editor Norman Cousins asked Nehru to predict the legacy of the liberal democratic state he and his comrades had established in a land riven by every imaginable difference. Nehru replied, “Hopefully, it is 400 million people capable of governing themselves.”

Only if Uncle Sam fed them and defended them and wiped their bums.  

That number is 1.4 billion today,

India can now feed and defend itself. This is totes undemocratic. Pakistan is the true democracy because Biden can topple Imran but can't do shit about Modi or Hasina.  

and the effort to homogenize them into obedient subjects of Hindu supremacism,

who are being sodomized on Planet Neptune by Rishi Sunak  

after some early triumphs, has faltered. The end of Shaheen Bagh was followed by the eruption of another mass protest, this time by farmers rallying against a series of laws Modi had pushed through Parliament to reorganize India’s vast agricultural sector.

They had a genuine grievance and so the Government gave way.  

By December, 2020, two hundred and fifty million people had participated in a nationwide strike in support of the farmers—

But it was Kejriwal's party which cashed in at the polls in Punjab.  

perhaps the largest protest in human history.

They wanted to save their 'arhatiya' middle-men. They succeeded. So what? Most farmers will still have to find other occupations.  

Legislatures in half a dozen states passed censures of the farm laws. The protest was a marvel of endurance and logistics, lasting for sixteen months, through the biting winter and blazing summer of northern India. Modi, who seldom retreats from a fight, was forced to rescind the legislation.

And lost nothing by it. Everyone knows that sooner or later there will be a fiscal crunch and a corresponding entitlement collapse. You can't pay MSP if there is no money in the kitty.  

India’s true misfortune is

Rahul Gandhi. 

the absence of an opposition capable of directing the deepening disenchantment with the government into a decisive political dénouement at the polling booth.

because of Rahul Gandhi 

In 1975, Indira Gandhi, having split the Indian National Congress and reduced it to a family-run enterprise, suspended the constitution and inaugurated a formal dictatorship that lasted for twenty-one months. Her regime, though secular, did not brook the slightest dissent. My own father, who joined the underground resistance at the time, was among the tens of thousands of activists detained without trial.

Indians were cool with ranting nutters being locked up. What they objected to was forcible sterilization.  

Civil liberties were dissolved, habeas corpus suspended, and the press censored. Newsweek’s overseas correspondent wrote, “In ten years of covering the world from Franco’s Spain to Mao’s China, I have never encountered such stringent and all-encompassing censorship.”

Since Indian newspapers were shit, nobody gave a fuck. Just keep your hands of our testicles and you can beat the shit out of journos or pols or other such nuisances.  

In 1977, when democracy was restored and elections called—only after Gandhi’s intelligence officials assured her that reëlection was certain

She knew they were shit. What worried her was that Sanju's buddies might arrange a nice little 'accident' for her.  

—the opposition, many of whom were freshly freed from prison, united under a banner of democratic solidarity. Socialists joined capitalists, Hindu nationalists collaborated with secularists, and the result was overwhelming: the Congress Party, the invincible colossus that had led India’s freedom movement and become its default party of government, was booted out of office.

But JP and Kripalani chose Morarji, not Jagjivan, to be PM. Their thinking was that since Morarji was hated equally by everybody, he would be indebted to them. But Morarji had contempt for both. He announced JPs death while the fellow was still alive. Two different 'Janata' coalitions collapsed because of RSS-phobia. Had INDIA made Nitish their PM candidate, maybe the outcome of these elections would have been less one-sided. It would have looked like 'Janata Parivar' vs 'Sangh Parivar'.  

Such unity is difficult to achieve today.

Because of Rahul 

In July, 2023, dozens of major and minuscule opposition parties formed a coalition called india—Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance. But it quickly became a casualty of disagreements over power sharing.

Because Rahul pissed off Mamta.  

Its prospects, for all the bluster of its leaders, appear bleak. The Congress Party, reduced to irrelevance inside Parliament, continues to operate as the fiefdom of the Gandhi family. Rahul Gandhi, the de-facto head of the Party, is a fifth-generation scion of the fabled Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. He averaged five foreign trips every month during Modi’s first term.

Nothing wrong with that. All we asked of Rahul was that he anoint some technocrat- like Montek- as the Congress PM candidate.  

On the morning of April 5, 2023, my father died. He belonged to a generation of Indians who had internalized Nehru’s inclusive nationalism.

No. He was a nutter who sent his son to a Madrasa. Had he had a proper job, Indira wouldn't have bothered to jail him.  

Nearly killed in the carnage that attended the Partition, he sought throughout his life to defy the many attempts to deform India’s capacious character. During Indira Gandhi’s dictatorial reign, he travelled through towns and villages organizing communities.

Because he was a Leftist nutter.  

In the nineties, as India opened up its economy and Hindu nationalists began proliferating in Parliament, he enrolled me at a madrassa, an Islamic seminary, in the hope that the experience of mixing with Muslim children my age might inoculate me against the snare of Hindu-supremacist temptations later in life.

Why not convert to Islam and be a Muslim-supremacist?  

Trained as a lawyer, he devoted himself to pro-bono work for men branded enemies of the state.

Because he was an enemy of the Indian state. He preferred some Lefty fantasy.  

A sea of mourners attended his funeral. They came uninvited. And it was in them that my father’s optimism about India, which had seemed so misplaced to me for many of the Modi years, truly cohered. A Muslim religious leader, blind and barely able to walk, threw himself on my father’s body and sobbed inconsolably. Then came a finely robed pastor, who whispered thanks in my father’s ear for having volunteered legal work for Christian communities. He read from the Bible. Only then did my father’s body pass to Hindu priests. None of this had been orchestrated. It was India being India.

But India is also being India in voting for Modi not some Commie Red or Reddi. 

It could all fall apart, of course. Modi, still revered by millions of Hindus who regard him as the country’s redeemer, may decide to emulate Indira Gandhi and suspend democracy if his hold on power is threatened.

He may have to crackdown on nuisance agitations. But, if they continue to be so counter-productive, why bother?  

Such a regime, far from being inconceivable, would amount to a formalization of what, in many respects, has felt like an unofficial Emergency rule.

To a cretin. Only if Modi comes for our testicles will we turn against him- unless, of course, a superior alternative becomes available.  

But the multitudes who defied Modi at the summit of his power are a cause for hope:

for Pakistan- sure.  

India will not submit without a fight.

Elections are a battle. Modi has won his third successive fight.  

A year after my father’s departure, dispersing his ashes in the sacred waters of the Ganges, I came to share his hopefulness about our country. India, I felt, will pull through. 

While Commie Reds or Reddies tug themselves off.  

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