In light of the protests at Turkey, and the disturbing comments made by the Turkish PM, Erdogan, here, I would like to once again warn my dear fellow citizens as to the bleak, oppressive and fascist future that awaits us were we to make the mistake of allowing Modi to become the Indian PM.
Now, I’ve had this conversation with a lot of people, over a lot of forums. But, I think I’d like to briefly present my reasons once again:
1. Have you paid attention to any of Mod’s speeches? He never says we will do this, or we will achieve this; it is all “I will”, “Under me”, “I can”. He is clearly not too big on democracy. The words reflect an ego that definitely parallels Erdogan’s. And guess what else they have in common? Boasts of awesome economics-shaping abilities!
2. Which brings us to how Modi treats dissent. When he came to a college to give a speech about the economic future of India, he brought with him enough police protection to fight off a hundred terrorists. Which police force was then employed to harass and threaten the handful of college kids standing around with posters about the Gujarat riots.
3. And when Modi’s own enthusiastic saffron brigade showed up, the same police stood by as those guys beat up, groped and threatened the students, telling the women to watch it or they would face the same consequences as the Muslim women in Gujarat. Point being: Even if Modi is harmless (which I really, really do not believe) and his Hindutva merely an act (which really does not concern me), too many of his followers are juvenile fanatics who will take his assent to PM-ship as a sign that India is ready to forgive you if the people you fuck up, rape and kill are only minorities.
4. Modi is not very keen on the development or patronage of literary and fine arts, and his government has been known to give a hard time to all sorts of authors, revoking licenses, getting galleries shut down, etc.
5. Not to mention the strict intolerance towards unfavorable news reports in the local papers.
6. You all, who accuse the Congress of being weak and ineffective, saw the way protests were dealt with in Delhi last December. Do you really believe the Modi govt. will be any less brutal when it comes to dealing with dissent?? Especially if involving minority rights..
7. His repeated speeches at Women’s colleges/to women reek of primitive patriarchal ideas such as how women should use their natural talent at food cooking, and set up restaurants etc., so that India can develop.
Arre, fuck his development. What am I gonna do with a thousand more malls if the streets are full of crime and intolerance? No, thank you.
8. Gujarat. 2002. [You can be a regular guy belonging to a community and wish vengeance for wrongs against “your” people. You can’t claim to represent an entire state and still make that wish. And, if you do, then you aren’t fit to rule. I don’t want such a man representing me, or my country. I’d rather be poor and cling on the little bit of pride and freedom I have left as an Indian, than have to always be chauffeured around in A/C cars to places.]
9. Lastly, but almost as important as the previous point, his claims regarding Gujarat’s economic success are mostly exaggerations and lies, as various reports have already conclusively proven. Yet, of course, people see what they want to see.
Note: The reports I have referred to are not media reports, but NGO, NHRC, etc. reports. Also, there is the fact that it isn’t about his involvement alone in the Gujarat riots, but the fact that it happened while his party was in power, and they did very little, if anything, to stop it. And the fact that it doesn’t matter whether he was leading the orange brigade or hiding under his bed. The point is it happened. And he is responsible in more ways than just legally.
Anyway, I fervently hope that this country doesn’t have to see those days. But, with India’s growing inequality, high unemployment rates, and eager friendship with MNCs, I think it’s highly optimistic to assume that, under Modi, we won’t be heading down exactly the same path as our Turkish brethren.
Much faster, too.