On July 30, four million residents of the Indian state of Assam were effectively stripped of their nationality after their names were excluded from the recently formed National Register of Citizens.
Indian authorities claim to have initiated and executed the process to identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, which shares several hundred miles of its border with Assam, but it has exacerbated fears of a witch hunt against the Bengali-origin Muslim minority in the state.
Assam is the most populous of India’s northeastern states. As part of a labyrinthine bureaucratic exercise, 32.9 million people and 65 million documents were screened over five years at a cost of $178 million to ascertain which residents of Assam are citizens.… Seguir leyendo »
A fair and independent electoral process, an independent judiciary, a Parliament with a noisy opposition, a relatively free press and an army that has stayed away from politics have defined India since it adopted its Constitution in 1950.
India stood apart in the developing world as a country where the Constitution served as the basis for the operations of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. But it has taken just four years of the Bharatiya Janata Party government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the country to realize how fragile that achievement was, how close it has come to being subverted.… Seguir leyendo »
On Saturday, Rahul Gandhi, the heir of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, is to formally take over as the president of the Indian National Congress. His family has run the Congress party for four generations. His father, Rajiv Gandhi; his grandmother Indira Gandhi; and his great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru governed India as prime ministers for a combined total of 38 years.
Mr. Gandhi, 47, is succeeding his mother, Sonia Gandhi, who has been at the helm of the party for the past 19 years. The Nehru-Gandhi dynasty outrivals the Kennedys’ for longevity. Mr. Gandhi is taking over at a time of decline in the fortunes of the Congress party, which suffered a devastating defeat by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party in 2014 and controls a mere five out of 29 state governments.… Seguir leyendo »
On a recent evening I was watching the video of a news feature a Hindi language television network broadcast about Yogi Adityanath, who was elected chief minister of India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, last month. The frame shows a man with a shaved head cloaked in saffron, the color of Hindu monasticism, sitting on a saffron-backed armchair. A voiceover described the scene: “Whoever comes before him sits at his feet, but he makes sure every supplicant goes away satisfied; he does not discriminate.”
Until he became chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Adityanath, 45, was primarily known as a firebrand Hindu leader who had created a volunteer force, the Hindu Yuva Vahini, or Vehicle for Hindu Youth, a group repeatedly accused of stoking and participating in religious violence.… Seguir leyendo »