Ukraine War, August 14, 2022: News media add to threat to democracy in India; Hindu nationalism 75 years after partition

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To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.

Dispatches

1) Barkha Dutt, “In India, 75 years after independence, democracy dies in prime time,” Washington Post, August 14, 2022 (7:00 a.m. EDT);

2) Murali Krishnan (New Delhi), “India at 75: How Hindu nationalism overshadows the promise of secularism; India is gradually being transformed from a secular multicultural nation to a Hindu supremacist state, activists and minority groups say,” Deutsche Welle (DW.com) August 12, 2022.

Analysis

It is easy for many people to overlook the extraordinary degree to which democracy is under threat not only in the United States but around the world.

Butt reminds us of the degree to which the news media are contributing to the grave threat to democracy which exists in India. In reading about Indian television news programs, one is struck by the similarities with what is going on in the United States.

The legal separation of India took place 75 years ago.

The independent countries of India and Pakistan came into existence on August 15, 1947.

Winston Churchill vehemently opposed independence for India in the belief that Muslim and other religious minorities would be better protected if India remained part of the British Empire. Having served in India, Churchill had more than a passing familiarity with the deep religious divisions which existed in the country.

Notwithstanding Churchill’s apprehensions, under visionary leaders India has built a vibrant secular democracy over the last 75 years.

Whether that process will continue under the Hindu nationalist leadership of Narendra Modi is open to question, as Butt in her description of Indian television programming appears to suggest.

Krishnan  provides a comprehensive and nuanced overview of the development of democracy in India.

Today, given what is going on in the world,  all news developments lead back to Ukraine, and we must ask where India stands on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

India should be standing with the democracies of the world against Russian aggression.

But it isn’t.

While India has always trued to adopt a neutral stance vis-à-vis the Soviet Union and Russia, in part because of the close relationship between Pakistan and China, it is  still sad to see the largest democracy in the world sit on the fence in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and refuse to take part in the sanctions regime.

The health of Indian democracy may be related to this issue, or could be affected by this issue.

Given the Russian challenge to international law and the U.N. Charter, it seems that everything comes back to the question of Russian aggression, and how the civilized nations of the world are going to prevail against Russian barbarism.

The outcome of this struggle will affect not only the West but also “the South”, as India could itself learn one day in the face of a newly assertive militarism on the part of China.

The Trenchant Observer

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