The pandemic has exposed the violent inequality at the heart of Indian society. Just a few months after far right Prime Minister Modi arrogantly declared victory against the coronavirus, India overtook the United States as ground zero for the devastating pandemic. As cremation pyres sprung up in car parks and families desperately searched for oxygen canisters on the black market, the super wealthy of India fled.
Modi’s BJP and its fascist RSS core have over the last few years abolished the special semi-autonomous status of Kashmir, vilified Muslims and effectively stripped millions of their citizenship and unleashed a wave of intercommunal violence. In the face of these far right attacks there has also been resistance, from the mass protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act to the farmers protest this year. This session will look at Indian politics today, unpacking the far right BJP government under Modi, the authoritarianism towards the left, the oppressed, and Kashmir and the impact of the pandemic on politics.