The Crooked Timber of New India : Essays on a Republic in Crisis
‘It is close to nine years since the Narendra Modi-led BJP swept into power. A new era began in May 2014, or so we were told… But India is, in fact, facing a crisis. Our polity, society and economy are all broken. The signs are all around us.’
At a time when a compromised media and the ruling party’s digital army work 24/7 to overwhelm our public discourse with pro-establishment noise, Parakala Prabhakar is an unabashedly critical voice, determined to speak truth to power. In these essays written over almost three years—from 2020 to 2023—he looks closely at facts and data and analyses events and public statements to show why he fears for the future of our democracy, social harmony and economy.
In the Prime Minister’s Independence-Day speeches from 2014 to 2022, and the speeches of the RSS chief; in the unemployment and inequality statistics that the government supresses; in the partisan role of investigative agencies and the income tax department; in the new BJP’s ‘tiraskar’ or clear rejection of India’s Muslims as citizens and voters; in the mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic—in these and many more developments, Parakala Prabhakar finds unmistakable evidence of religious majoritarianism, a creeping authoritarianism and serious economic mismanagement. And he shows us why silence and complacency are no longer an option for any citizen invested in the future of our Republic.
This no-holds-barred, urgent book helps us connect the dots and see the true picture of the ‘New India’ being fashioned before our eyes.