Narendra Modi and the Indian election: Why the corporates love a fascist
‘Modiji, is like Lord Krishna’, an elderly woman admirer of Narendra Modi, the Hindu Right’s Prime Ministerial candidate in India’s forthcoming elections, tells me outside the Hindu temple in Neasden, North London, ‘he is everywhere and everyone loves him – people like me love him because he is traditional and young people love him too.’ In a way it is true, like Lord Krishna (or the ‘blue god’ as UK’s multicultural school curriculum calls him), Modi is indeed everywhere -at least on the internet. He is on Facebook, twitter, tumblr, stumbleonit. You name it, and he is there: speaking directly to his admirers.
It is true also that he is a traditionalist of sorts. His version of tradition comes largely from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), an organisation modelled on Mussolini’s Black Brigades, where Modi began his political life, and from the Sangh Parivar the sinister ‘family of organisations’ to which belong both the RSS and Modi’s political party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), along with cultural organisations and a number of other violent paramilitary outfits such as the Shiv Sena and the Bajrang Dal.
In Gujarat, where Modi has been Chief Minister since 2001, these ‘traditions’ led to the state-sponsored massacres of Muslims in February 2002 in which some 2,000 people were murdered and 200,000 displaced. Court cases are still being heard which accuse Modi of complicity, including one filed by Zakia Jafri, whose husband Ahsan Jafri, a former MP, was brutally murdered in the violence. The family of two British citizens, Saeed and Sakil Dawood, who were murdered in Gujarat while on holiday in 2002 are also pursuing a civil case against Modi.
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