Modi Has Dictatorial Tendencies, Says Noted Historian Ramachandra Guha


“The ideology of the RSS can be summed up in six words: ‘We shall show Muslims their place.’ Nothing more, nothing less.”

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “authoritarian instincts and dictatorial tendencies,” noted historian Ramachandra Guha has said.

“Let us have no illusions about the prime minister’s character and personality. He has authoritarian instincts and dictatorial tendencies,” Guha told Karan Thapar’s program The Interview on The Wire.

Guha is also an environmentalist, writer and public intellectual whose research interests include social, political, contemporary, environmental and cricket history, and the field of economics. He is an important authority on the history of modern India.
The interview was conducted against the backdrop of Prime Minister Modi’s rabid anti-Muslim statements during an election speech in Rajasthan’s Banswara at the weekend.

Modi called Muslims “infiltrators” and “the people who have many children”.
“Earlier, when their [Congress] government was in power, they had said that Muslims had the first right on the country’s assets. This means to whom will this property be distributed? It will be distributed among those who have more children. It will be distributed among the infiltrators. Should your hard-earned money go to the infiltrators? Do you approve of this?” media reports quoted Modi as saying.

Modi was referring to remarks by his predecessor Manmohan Singh wherein the two-time prime minister mentioned all the marginalised communities – women, children, SCs\STs, OBCs, and minorities. However, Modi conveniently omitted all other sections and picked up only the Muslim community to target the Congress party.
Guha told Karan Thapar that the intention of Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah “is to suppress all free speech and hold the entire spectrum of the media landscape captive to their interests.”
Guha also came down heavily on the avowed stance of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). “The ideology of the RSS can be summed up in six words: ‘We shall show Muslims their place.’ Nothing more, nothing less. They live here, they eat here, they cohabit here, they work here, fully on terms we the Hindus set for them,” he said.

Another form of majoritarianism which is not a formal political domination is demonisation, vindictiveness, and spitefulness treating those who do not belong to the Hindu faith, as not just others but as someone inferior and subhuman, the historian said.
When asked whether the BJP government’s actions would weaken the social fabric of the federal system, Guha said if Modi and Shah would get a third term – still a big if – they would go even harder at undermining, weakening and destroying state governments that they don’t control.

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