As India’s election results are set to be announced, host Arif Rafiq speaks with Rana Ayyub, an investigative journalist, and Audrey Truschke, a professor of South Asian history, on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a “New India” and the danger it poses to Muslims and other minorities, free speech, and academic inquiry in India.
This episode takes a deep dive into the question of who runs India today. Ayyub provides insights into the ideas, people, and networks that propelled Modi to power—including his right-hand man Amit Shah and the shadowy extremist group, the RSS. Truschke addresses the RSS’s war against history—both in producing an imaginary view of the past featuring “Muslim” villains and “Hindu” victims as well in suppressing scholarship on India’s history
Ayyub and Truschke also assess how five years of BJP rule have impacted India and what another five years of it mean for India. And both guests detail the personal threats they’ve faced as a result of speaking out against India’s growing intolerance.
Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub), investigative journalist and author of “The Gujarat Files”
Arif Rafiq, “Modi’s Sacred Cows,” Foreign Policy, October 9, 2015
Arif Rafiq, “Beware the emerging ‘New India,'” TRT World, July 19, 2017
Arif Rafiq, “India’s secularism under threat,” TRT World, January 9, 2018
Rana Ayyub, “You know India’s democracy is broken when millions wait for election results in fear.” Washington Post, May 15, 2019
Siobhan O’Grady, “An Indian journalist has been trolled for years. Now U.N. experts say her life could be at risk.” Washington Post, May 26, 2018