Behind the violence in Gujarat, Gaza and Iraq is the banality of democracy

Article Date: 
11 Feb 2009

When last week in Ha'aretz the Israeli historian Tom Segev judged Israeli "apathy" towards the massacre in Gaza as "chilling and shameful", he brought on deja vu among Indians. In 2002 the Hindu nationalist government of Gujarat supervised the killing of more than two thousand Muslims. The state's chief minister, Narendra Modi, who green-lighted the mass murder, seemed a monstrous figure to many Indians; they then watched aghast as the citizens of Gujarat - better-educated and more prosperous than most Indians - re-elected Modi by a landslide after the pogrom. In 2007, a few months after the magazine Tehelka taped Hindu nationalists in Gujarat boasting how they raped and dismembered Muslims, Modi again won elections with contemptuous ease. Though prohibited from entering the US, Modi is now courted by corporate groups, including Tata, and frequently hailed as India's next prime minister.

Article Author: 
Pankaj Mishra
Article Source: 
The Guardian