Authoritarian drift in the world's largest democracy

Authoritarian drift in the world's largest democracy

Tomorrow, 970 million voters in India will go to the polls until June 1, to elect their Prime Minister. Narendra Modi, in power for a decade, leads an authoritarian and repressive policy in the world's largest democracy, but will the levers of his power allow him to win elections again? Ask the question to Christophe Jaffrelot, Research Director at CERI-Sciences Po/CNRS, is the author of Modi's India: Nationalist Populism and Ethnic Democracy. Fayard Editions (2019)”.

In the second part, an unpublished interview with the great Indian writer, Arundhati Roy. The character of the Indian intellectual world and its fierce opposition to the established power, answers the questions of Frédéric Martel.

Understanding Narendra Modi's success

seek Christophe Jaffrelot He recalls that Narendra Modi is a pure product of the Hindu nationalist movement, also called the RSS: “He joined this movement when he was seven years old. He was a member of the movement, and rose through all the ranks until he became the organizing secretary of Gujarat, his original state in western India. This movement created a political party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, and moved into politics until becoming the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001.“.

In 2002, Muslims in India suffered a massacre led by Hindu nationalists, who accused them of being a Pakistani fifth column. “After 14 years as head of state, he became the Prime Minister of India in 2014 for a term of ten years.“In Gujarat, Narendra Modi implemented a racist policy, which he then expanded across the country:”The Gujarat model is primarily religious polarization. It works to mobilize the Hindu majority, which represents 80% of India's population, against Muslims, for electoral purposes. This year, the election campaign began in earnest when Narendra Modi inaugurated the Ayodhya temple last January. Hindu nationalists have wanted to build this temple on the ruins of a mosque since they demolished it in 1992“.

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Exclusive interview with Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy She is an Indian writer of “little things,” to use the title of one of her allegorical novels God of small things For which she won the famous Booker Prize in 1997. A feminist and very committed to the left (her work has been praised by Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky), she criticized the caste system in India that restricts individuals in their choices and prevents them from liberation. themselves. She opposed the rise of nuclear power in India and criticized Gandhi for defending a certain social status quo. Today she is finally highly critical of the current regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The interview was conducted at Arundhati Roy's apartment in New Delhi Frederic MartelSoft power product. This interview we are broadcasting this morning will be supplemented by a full program on India under Modi that will be presented by Frédéric from 6pm to 8pm on Soft Power.

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