Commentary > A collective madness
  • Saiful Islam

    I am going to repeat most of the observations made by Namit and a few by other readers. Not being an Indian, but a Bangladeshi on a trip to India during the elections, I was observing the hype and hysteria, the media and talk shows, speaking with ordinary Indians as I travelled from Kolkata to Bangalore, through Mumbai and Delhi. I wrote back home, 3 weeks before the results were in with the calamitous prediction that Modi would win, based on (it doesn’t matter what the truth is) what every guide, taxi driver, cafe eater….the overwhelming majority said. They would because he;

    – had brought gas and electricity to their houses (though only 60% of plan was covered)
    – demonetised and gave a shock to the rich, squeezing black money out of the system (most economists dispute this)
    – gave Pakistan a black eye, bombing them (Pakistan got hold of an Indian pilot, India nil)
    – has brought India on the international stage (no change from previous)
    – he projects Hindutva (that’s right)
    Lastly, I watched Rahul’s 20 min interview on a channel…he was completely unconvincing, nice mannered but clueless. Modi won, like Trump because of Hillary!

  • Raja Panwar

    Modi, like all strongmen is following the template set by Erdogan. If you want to see India’s future see what is happening in Turkey. In India, institutions are weak and are being further weakened to the point they will become extra levers of power for the Prime Minister to take on dictatorial perogatives.
    What is especially unnerving is the support for the BJP from Indians in the USA and the UK. There is a wave of Hindu nationalism sweeping not just India but also the Hindu diaspora. There are some unintended comical aspects such as news report in an English language paper on the power of cow urine to scare away Frankenstein!! I’m not making this up. At first I thought it satire, but no. It was serious reportage. More embarrassing to India’s scientists are the claims of Indians developing TV technology, theory of the atom, etc.
    Relations with Pakistan and terror attacks have been used to catalyze Hindu nationalism. Efforts are well underway to create a singular Hindu identity and religious practices, and hybridity is out. If you are not with us then you are against us!
    Modi is here to stay and sadly India is increasingly resembling Pakistan and other Islamic states in West Asia.

  • Cama. NJ

    Well expressed fears. One can only hope they will not materialise significantly. But that’s a weak hope, because Hate & Vengeance are always stronger and longer lasting motivators than Love & Forgiveness. Even if the results of the recent elections don’t, just a cursory high-school level reading of history should make that clear.  

  • Smit

    You have hit the nail on its head. Amazing read. I’m struggling nowadays to converse with even my family members all well educated but extremely intolerant of any criticism for modi.

  • Venugopal

    I sincerely hope that things don’t get worse and people live peacefully. A very well written article !!

  • Sheeba Aslam Fehmi

    Lucid, well captured and brilliantly diagnosed that the inferiority complexed middle class is going through a catharsis through the bigotry and false glorifications of the mythological claims.

  • Rajat Bhatia

    India is suffering from a COLLECTIVE DELUSION driven by STORIES of a GLORIOUS PAST and FANTASIES of ACHE DIN which are unlikely to be delivered by fools like Modi and his ilk. The sad part is that the Congress and other opposition parties are even worse than the BJP / Sangh Parivaar. So this GAU MUTTAR and COW DUNG nonsense will continue unless the people wake up from their collective delusion

  • Amir Ehsan

    Your commentary is quite valid, As you have mentioned the educated middle class is equally effected by extremism. Which aggravate the situation . What is the reason in your opinion.


    Well argued one. But, why didn’t the writer speak about features like the Bangla CPM cadre voting for BJP and a “Devout” Christian like YSJagan taking shelter under the thick shade of Hindutwa? Virtual absence of the Left from the poll scene is a slow but steady process. Bickerings, both silly and harmful to the secular social fabric, among the so called “anti-Modi forces” could onlystrengthen the Hindutwa forces. And above all under the leadership of the faceless Congress party no one can fight, better organized, BJP. The only alternative India ever had, and still has, is in the ideologically armed Left.

  • Mani

    Excellent piece that reflects what many of us who have given our adult life span for positive social change have been feeling. Our failures look at us starkly as we grapple with the ground reality that was buildIng right under our feet while we looked at the slies with hope and a vision. Renewed collective struggles needed if we want to reverse the.mindsets and see a better country. We can only hope to leave the world a better place for our children and grandchildren…woh subaha kabhi toh ayegi…..

  • L Chheda

    BJP’s performance not only on the economy but almost on all front including decisions on defense related issue, foreign policy blunders became irrelevant against, by hook or crook managed mass media elevated populism using nationalism and Hindu psychic coupled with politics of hatred and using religious heads, saints particularly in north belt BJP cultivated support for authoritarian rule; high octane propaganda on social media; and a hopelessly divided political opposition, who undercut each other’s votes in India’s first-past-the-post system.

  • P S GUHA

    Very analytical writing. Congratulations. If you permit I can can put it on my Face Book wall. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest Articles

Forced migration, “development” pressures, political neglect and the climate crisis have assailed the Maldives’ less-populous atolls, eroding the country’s identity and driving thousands to the capital

Rampant ethnic chauvinism of the kind that has shattered Manipur’s civil society is ingrained in communities across the Northeast

In ‘Sovereigns of the Sea’, the histories of Omani sultans in the age of empire speak to the interconnectedness of Southasia, West Asia and East Africa