Narendra Modi’s New India is Pakistan by another name

The prime minister’s speech in parliament last week showed that the BJP’s objective now is to more than distort our distant memory: it is to deny our immediate experience.

“The future is certain. It is the past that is unpredictable.”

That old Soviet epigram feels increasingly like an epitaph for Narendra Modi’s New India. The squalid present we inhabit—replete with death, disease, disparity, discrimination, joblessness, sectarian strife, communal disharmony, cronyism, institutional degeneration, constitutional debasement—is nothing like the sleek vision of the future that mesmerized so many Indians eight years ago. So the regime that engineered our national nightmare, too sinister to self-examine and too vain to self-correct, has resorted to exonerating itself by recasting the past. And it isn’t the remote past, over which so much blood has already …


Kapil Komireddi

Kapil is a journalist, book critic and author. His first book, Malevolent Republic: A Short History of the New India (2019), was published to critical and commercial acclaim in India, the UK and the US. He has written from South Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East—including Syria, Pakistan and Palestine—and his work appears, among other publications, in The New York Times, The Critic, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, The Economist, TIME, CNN, The Guardian and Le Monde diplomatique. He is a frequent contributor to The Spectator and an international affairs panellist on Monocle24 radio.