Modi engineered a vigilante-police state, one in which the righteous were punished and perpetrators rewarded.

The New Face of India Is the Anti-Gandhi

The violence, insecurity, and rage of Narendra Modi.

Modi cannot be held solely responsible for such rage and despair, even if he amplifies it.

His supporters, at home and in the West, the West itself, which chooses to ignore the violence in India, and a complaisant liberal intelligentsia, concerned more with its career prospects than with standing up to Modi, have to share the responsibility.

There is also much continuity between Modi’s India and what preceded it, including the way in which the Congress stood aside during the 2002 massacres and their aftermath, selectively exploiting the culpability of Modi and his government but never genuinely interested in justice; nurturing Hindu majoritarianism under the guise of nationalism; promoting the enrichment of a select few.

From this hollowed-out form of success, bereft of love, spirituality, and justice, meaning can only emerge from banality and hatred.

Modi’s contradictions and lies channel the confusions of his supporters perfectly. In a manner reminiscent of the vanguards of China’s Cultural Revolution.

they accuse the old elites of holding back the nation and the culture from true greatness. They attack those responsible for the ruined past, the uncertain future, and the endless present.

They assail the “anti-nationals” who stand in their way, beating and molesting people while shouting, “Bharat Mata Ki Jai.” They demand people say it to prove they are not traitors, emboldened by a meeting of the BJP in March, led by Modi, that declared a refusal to use the slogan as tantamount to disrespecting the Indian constitution.

They hammer, with swords and guns and smartphones and double-digit growth, at the doors of the beef-eaters, the environmentalists, the university students, the feminists, the Dalits, the leftists, the dissenting writers, the skeptics, the “anti-nationals”—anyone who will not declare, both fists clenched, “Bharat Mata Ki Jai!” They have a rage that must burn itself out, and all that stands between them and the ashes of their rage is the astonishing, amazing phenomenon of a world that can still produce, from the crushed bottom layers of Indian society, people who, with every bit of the dignity and courage they can muster, resist the lure of their silent, lonely, aloof, admired, and unloved leader