Is India Going The Way Of 1930's Germany

| April 15, 2002

Is India Going The Way Of 1930's Germany? From Foreign Policy In Focus and MotherJones
Is the India's government accountable to its people? Not according to Arundhati Roy in an interview with After leaving India's prison, Roy's decision to pay the fine for contempt of court has drawn criticism from many, but given Roy the power speak for the rights of her countrymen. 'Today the court is in retreat from democracy,' says Roy, whose charge of contempt is not uncommon. Roy questions the Sardar Srovar dam project and other impositions on political freedoms, asserting that a series of judicial decisions lays the framework for emerging political and social ideologies. Roy is not alone in these sentiments. Rising violence against India's Muslim population has largely been ignored and is perhaps even supported by Indian politicians, reports Arun R. Swamy, of Foreign Policy In Focus. Targeted attacks on Islamic mosques by Hindu fundamentalists may be edging toward fascism, as religion is being used to justify destruction and violence. Swamy charges that recent riots in Gujarat were not only disturbing because of the calculated efficiency of the attacks which 'identi[fied] Muslim homes and businesses through the use of public records,' but also because of the complicity of the Indian government, whose lack of response has held little accountability to the perpetrators. Civil liberties have the potential to be further trod upon with the passage of the Prevention of Terrorism Bill in which the 'government will have most of the tools it requires to gradually reduce the space for dissent.'
--Mary Matze

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