Author: Siddhartha Deb

Siddhartha Deb grew up in Shillong. Deb began his career in journalism as a sports journalist in Calcutta in 1994 before moving to Delhi to continue regular journalism until 1998. His first novel, The Point of Return, is semi-autobiographical in nature and is set in a fictional hill-station that closely resembles Shillong. His second novel, Surface, also set in Northeast India, is about a disillusioned Sikh journalist. His first non-fiction book, The Beautiful And the Damned: A Portrait of the New India was published in June 2011 by Viking Penguin. He has also contributed to The Boston Globe, The Guardian, The Nation, New Statesman, Harper's, the London Review of Books, and The Times Literary Supplement. He currently teaches creative writing at The New School in New York.

May 27, 2016 /

Modi’s contradictions and lies channel the confusions of his supporters perfectly. In a manner reminiscent of the vanguards of China’s Cultural Revolution or the nativists flocking to Donald Trump, they accuse the old elites of holding back the nation and the culture from true greatness. They attack those responsible for the ruined past, the uncertain future, and the endless present. They assail the “anti-nationals” who stand in their way, beating and molesting people while shouting, “Bharat Mata Ki Jai.” They demand people say it to prove they are not traitors, emboldened by a meeting of the BJP in March, led by Modi, that declared a refusal to use the slogan as tantamount to disrespecting the Indian constitution. They hammer, with swords and guns and smartphones and double-digit growth, at the doors of the beef-eaters, the environmentalists, the university students, the feminists, the Dalits, the leftists, the dissenting writers, the skeptics, the “anti-nationals”—anyone who will not declare, both fists clenched, “Bharat Mata Ki Jai!”