India burns


Indian police hunt Chennai youth who burnt the national flag and posted picture on Facebook PHOTO/International Business Times/Duck Duck Go

It will soon overtake China as the most populated country on the planet. It is home to arguably the world’s most diverse and oldest human civilisation. The so-called ‘crown jewel’ of the British Empire, the European-dominated world system would not have come into existence without its people and resou­rces. Today, it represents one of the major pillars of the global capitalist order.

And it is burning.

India, Pakistan’s alter ego, stands at a crossroads. In contrast to Pakistan, the modern Indian polity has been formally structured around the notion that the subcontinent is a rainbow of infinite colours, all of which are equal to any other. However contradicted it may have been, the idea of India as a secular republic has remained dominant for decades, both within officialdom and society at large.

Until now.

I need not go over what most informed observers already know about the RSS, BJP and the political project known as Hindutva. It is now more than just an aspiration to create a majoritarian tyranny; over the past three decades it has remade the body politic and the Modi government is now rewriting history in a way reminiscent of what the Zia regime did on this side of the border in the 1980s.

But there is something else going on in India today, with which only those Pakistanis willing and able to transcend their own state’s narrow nationalism can make common cause. India is burning, yes, but where some fires cause despair, others are reason for hope.

Dawn for more

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