Tag Archives: Nick Cohen

Fṛm Đ Obzrvr │ Tory devotion to ‘dear friend’ Modi says so much about needy post-Brexit Britain

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is greeted by Priti Patel and minister of state for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hugo Swire, in London in 2015. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA
Indịn Prîm̦inistr Narendra Modi z grītd bî Priti Ptél n ministr v stet fr ɖ Foṛn n Comnwelʈ Ofis, Hygo Swîr, in Lundn in 2015. Foṭgraf: Joṇʈn Brêdi/PA

Tori dvośn t ‘dir frend’ Modi sz so mć abt nīdi post-Brexit Britn

(Transcription of an article published in the Observer on Sunday 29 May 2022)

India’z abhoṛnt dmestic poḷsiz r v no inṭrest t ɖs despṛt guvnmnt

Nick Cohen

Nic Cown, Súnde 29 Me 2022

Narendra Modi n ɖ Hindutva rît r trnñ ɖ wrld’z larjist dmocṛsi intu ɖ wrld’z ugliist dmocṛsi. Mŭzlimz r dnaid ɖ s’kṛti v fl sitiznśp. Ɖ indipndns v ɖ Indịn corts, ɖ sivl srvis, ɖ ilectṛl sistm n ɖ mīdia hz bn hoṛbli compṛmîzd az ɖ Baratīa Janata parti criets, f nt a wn-parti stet, ɖen at līst a stet ẃr onli wn parti cn win.

Far fṛm criṭsîzñ Modi, or mntenñ a dipḷmatic distns, Britn’z Cnsrṿtiv guvnmnt z indorsñ Modi’z poḷsiz n preɉdisz.

Indịn opziśn poḷtiśnz hv bn in ɖ YC fr confṛnsz orġnîzd bî ɖ Indịn diasṗra n mītñz wɖ poḷtiśnz n acdemics. Nt wn repriznttiv fṛm ǎr rūlñ parti wz amñ ɖ hundṛdz ɖe met. Cnsrṿtiv ministrz n bacbnćrz gev evri apiṛns v tecñ a c’lectiv dsiźn nt t ingej wɖ eni oponnt v ɖ Modi reźīm.

On 16 Me, ɖr wz a rspśn in parḷmnt fr Salman Crśid, a formr Indịn cabiṇt ministr, Pradiot Manicia, ćer v India’z Indijṇs Pṛgresiv Rījnl Alayns, n uɖr opziśn figrz enwn cnsrnd abt India wd b plizd t inṭvy. Cnsrṿtiv MPz sd ɖe wd atnd. Bt ɖe nvr śoud p. Lebr poḷtiśnz sd Priti Ptél hd ordrd a bôcót. I pt ɖ aḷgeśn t ɖ Cnsrṿtiv MPz cnsrnd, bt ɖe dd nt rplî t mî īmeilz.

Ś cōlz Modi “ǎr dir frend” n prezz hiz “dnamic līdrśp”. Bt mbi ɖ ordr cem fṛm an oṗretr b’lo hr pêgred. Britiś-Indịn acṭvists sd a bôcót dd nt nīd t b instgetd bî enwn az grand az ɖ homsecṛtri. Britiś BJP acṭvists nīd mirli tel a Cnsrṿtiv MP wɖ a stroñ Indịn vot in hiz or hr cnstitẏnsi t stir clir, n ɖe wd obe.

Telñli, nt wn v ɖ Britiś oponnts v Modi I inṭvyd wd g on ɖ record. Īvn in ɖ YC, crosñ ɖ BJP brñz trolñ fṛm its acṭvists n, in wn nasti ces, dmandz ɖt ɖ critic’z peṛnts b xpeld fṛm ɖer tmpl.

Crśid n Manicia r nt wel-noun in ɖ YC, bt Rahul Gandi hz ɖ glamr v roylti. Az ɖ sun v Rajiv n Sońa, gransun v Indira n gret-gransun v Jawaharlal Neru, Britiś poḷtiśnz śd wont t mīt him fr ɖ śir s’lebṛtivaly. Wns agn, nt a sngl Cnsrṿtiv ministr or MP wz in parḷmnt last wīc t grīt wn v Modi’z most artikḷt oponnts.

Ẃn Gandi cem t Lundn in 2018, ɖ Cnsrṿtiv Frendz v India sd it wd host an ivnt fr him in parḷmnt. In ɖoz dez, Tōriz wontd gd rleśnz wɖ India bt wd nt tec sîdz in its p’liticl struglz. Or so ɖe sd. Jst bfr Gandi wz dy t spīc, ɖe cansld ɖ rspśn. Indịn jrṇlists rportd ɖt ɖ BJP hd md its unhapinis noun. N in Tori srclz, ẃt ɖ BJP wonts, it gts.

Fr Cnsrṿtivz hu criṭsîz ɖ îdnttipoḷtics v ɖ left, ɖs òt t b ɖ momnt ẃn ɖe si ɖ left’z fes lcñ bac at ɖm in ɖ mirr. Lîc “anti-impirịlists” n Izḷmizm, or ɖ pro-Izreli rît n Zaynizm, ɖ Cnsrṿtiv parti z nǎ so alînd wɖ ɖ BJP ɖt it z alawñ ɖ most opresiv vrśnz v rlijn n eʈniṣti t dfîn ɖ hol v a rlijn or eʈniṣti. Hinduizm z no longr a spirićl bt a naśṇlist crīd.

Indịnz r no longr ɖ cuntri’z 1.4 biłn inhabitnts bt Hinduz n apruvd mnoṛtiz, huz ples z gaṛntìd, bt nt Mŭzlimz, hu fes rlijs tsts fr mîgṛnts bfr biyñ aśurd v sitiznśp.

Ɖ seklr îdiylz v 20ʈ-snć̣ri India r tù īẓli dsmist az a wstn impziśn. Ɖe wr az mć a riax́n agnst ɖ wst az wstn: sṗsificli a riax́n agnst ɖ Britiś empîr’z atmts t dvîd n rūl ɖ subcontinnt on ɖ besis v eʈniṣti. Nǎ dvîd n rūl z bac wɖ a dmonic eṇji, wɖ a larj porśn v scepgotñ srvd on ɖ sîd.

Ɖ cansl-culćr v s’cterịnizm foloz. Britiś Cnsrṿtiv poḷtiśnz r nǎ taṣtli agriyñ wɖ ɖ BJP ɖt Hindu naśṇlizm oponnts r nt “tru” Indịnz or Hinduz bt r, in ɖ intiṃdetri frêz v Boris Jonsn’z alîz, at ɖ tîm v Brexit, “ɖ eṇmi wɖn”.

Ɖr r dīsnt deṃcratic rīznz fr Tōriz t apil t Indịn votrz. Ɖ refyjīz fṛm ɖ Africn naśṇlist prṣkśnz in Yganda, Ceńa n Tanẓnīa hv bn modl meriṭcrats. Idi Amin n hiz cntmprriz stript ɖm v evrʈñ in ɖ 1970z, bt ɖe fled t Britn n wrct hard t enśur ɖer ćildṛn cd prospr.

Naćṛli, ɖ Cnsrṿtiv parti cd apil fr ɖer s’port. Īqli naćṛli, cnsrṿtizm apilz t ɖ mor rīsnt influx v hî-cást Indịn pṛfeśnlz. Ɖ nośn ɖt mnoṛtiz hv a dyti t vot fr left-wñ partiz z itslf a spīśīz v resizm. In hapi ssaytiz, yr eʈnic or rlijs îdntti z nt yr desṭni n it z t ɖ credit v ɖ Cnsrṿtivz ɖt Indịn votrz d nt ʈnc it z ɖ resist parti v leftiś nîtmer.

F plizñ Indịn votrz mīnz nt biyñ oṿīgr t cnfrunt BJP simṗʈîzrz in ɖer mdst, ɖt z deṃcratic poḷtics fr y. It’z hardli az f anti-Hindu fīlñ on ɖ left z’nt olrdi drîvñ ɖm intu Cnsrṿtiv armz. Ɖ dsperñ Lebr MP Navendu Miśra rout in 2021 v a “hîrarci v resizm” in ɖ Lebr parti, n sm grūps, most noṭbli Hinduz v Indịn heṛtij, biyñ “fer gem”.

N ɖen ɖr z Brexit. Ɖr z olwz Brexit. Despṛt fr a treḑīl wɖ India t śo it hz nt śuvd its cuntri intu an unmiṭgetd ic̣nomic n stṛtījic fełr, ɖ Jonsn admiṇstreśn wl bît its tuñ f sîḷns wl hlp it s’kr a treḑīl wɖ India.

Ẃɖr it z steyñ sîḷnt ǎt v nseṣti or ćôs z an opn qsćn. Jrñ hiz tur, Gandi spouc wel abt hǎ ɖ BJP wz “stranġlñ” ɖ indipndns v evri ptnśl sntr v opziśn. “Ɖr z nt a sngl insttyśn ɖt z nt undr atac n it z sisṭmaticli dn. Ɖ jūdiśri, ɖ pres, ɖ byrocṛsi, ɖ ilex́ncmiśn… evri sngl insttyśn z sisṭmaticli biyñ fild bî ppl hu hv a ptiklr îdioḷji.”

Wɖ a fy modiḟceśnz t rflect locl srcmstansz, ɖt dscripśn wd aplî az wel t Boris Jonsn’z Britn. Ɖ Tōriz r nt in an alayns v ilectṛl or dipḷmatic cnvińns. Ɖe r in luv.

Instroduction to Ñspel