The BJP President Amit Shah’s game is straightforward. He is eager to do a Tripura in Kerala. The Tripura results were the biggest shock I had experienced in 50 years of covering politics.
I had barely registered that the sword of Damocles hung on the heads of over four million people, mostly Muslims, in Assam by a very Orwellian sounding National Register of Citizens, when a friend from New York drew my attention to similar happenings in Israel.
Two mutually reinforcing images from last week may well define the next phase in national affairs. It is too early to call them game changers but they have considerable potential.
Encouraged by the spontaneous outpouring of sympathy and resolve across the country after Gauri Lankesh’s murder, I began to ferret out my last year’s notebook. The thousands who came out in marches need a regular formation to lean against – a non-doctrinaire Left. Are such movements stirring globally? I fell back on my coverage of events, including elections in the US, Spain, France, the UK and the mayhem in virtually every West Asian country.
This is a true story. I am revisiting it with a purpose: so that it collides head on with the nation’s 70th anniversary celebrations. Absolute, undiluted joy on this occasion would require total amnesia of that which accompanied independence: Partition.
The only role at this juncture for Indian Muslims in India’s electoral politics is to enable Hindu consolidation. This may not occur to the Muslim voter but this is the consequence of his politics.