with Narendra Modi's victory announced, “tyranny will get worse”

Glowing orange flowers, almost incandescent, invaded the front yard from the latest edition of the Indian monthly Caravan. The impact, in the form of thorn bushes, appears to include a copy of the Indian Constitution. The title is affirmative, explicit, categorical: “Tyranny will get worse.”

Since the flower in question is the lotus, it is usually associated with the idea of ​​resilience and purity in our latitudes. However, in contemporary India, the lotus has become a symbol of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which is seeking a third term in office at the end of the major legislative elections taking place in India to date. June 1.

“Autocracy consolidation varna byHindutva [idéologie nationaliste hindoue] destroy the Republic”, editorialist Hartosh Singh Bal said on the inside page of the magazine Caravan. THAT varna correspond to the four main castes associated with Hindu tradition.

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Officially abolished in the Indian secular republic inherited from Gandhi, system varna never really goes away. What's worse, most of them have been rehabilitated, precisely by the GovernmentHindutva, the Hindu supremacist ideology that is the BJP's doctrine and the compass of Narendra Modi's consolidation of power.

“Modi is most often attacked because of his governing record. Other times, these failures are enough to overthrow the existing government. But why today almost no one believes that Modi will lose power?”

Part of the answer, he explained Caravan, lies in the foray the BJP has made over the last ten years to control the institutions that make India's democracy function. The Supreme Court, the election commission, anti-terrorism agencies… These prominent guardians of the Constitution have been transformed into checkers of existing powers.

So, the paper explains, any criticism of the Modi government and its Hindu nationalist policies, especially those that are discriminatory against religious minorities, is now equated with criticism of the Hindu religion, of the nation, of India.

Therefore, Caravan, read largely by India's enlightened elite, it is an exception in a media landscape that, through media owners affiliated with the Prime Minister, was largely won by Narendra Modi. “In making a choice in the voting booth, regret the magazine, it seems that questions of identity, particularly the ubiquitous Hindu identity, will trump all other considerations.”

Serena Hoyles

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