Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is radically reshaping India, dismantling its secular democratic foundations and replacing it with an authoritarian, Hindu majoritarian system built around his strongman aura.

Under Modi, India is transforming into a Hindu rashtra — a Hindu nation-state — shedding what’s left of its vaunted secularism. (Image Credit: Russian Presidency)

On his way to completing his second term as prime minister, Modi is set for a third. Once a pariah barred from the U.S. due to the anti-Muslim pogroms that took place under his watch in 2002, Modi has been feted by successive U.S. presidents since becoming prime minister in 2014.

His transformation from infamy to strongman mirrors the rightward shift in India and the mainstreaming of Hindu nationalism. And it symbolizes the hollowness of the West’s claims of putting human rights first.

Who is Narendra Modi?

Born on September 17, 1950, Modi is a lifelong member of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) — a Hindutva (Hindu nationalist) group inspired by European fascism.

Learn more about Modi’s vision for a “New India” in our podcast The Pivot.