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The Resistible Rise of Hindu Fascism

To commemorate its founding 25 years ago, PS will be republishing over the coming months a selection of commentaries written since 1994. In this 2003 commentary, the Indian author and political activist Arundhati Roy warns that “India is again sipping from its poisoned chalice – a flawed democracy laced with religious fascism.”

NEW DELHI – One night a year ago, a friend called me. Weeping, she told me of her friend, a woman caught by a mob, her stomach ripped open and stuffed with burning rags. What Hindu scripture preaches this?

India’s Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, justified that deed as part of the retaliation meted out by outraged Hindus against the Muslim “terrorists” who had incinerated 58 Hindus on a train to Godhra. What Koran verse required those travelers to be roasted alive?

The more India’s Hindus and Muslims call attention to their differences by slaughtering each other, the less there is that distinguishes them. They worship at the same altar, apostles of the same murderous god, whoever he is.

25 years of the World's Opinion Page

Project Syndicate celebrates its 25th anniversary with PS 25, a collection of our hardest-hitting commentaries so far.

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