Following in the footsteps of the U.S., the cancer of intolerance has engulfed much of India. The new “howdy” Modi is rapidly becoming “adios” Modi as India’s prime minister attempts to stifle growing outrage over the anti-Muslim Citizenship bill.

Protests have erupted across India in response to the Indian Parliament’s decision to give favored treatment to Hindu and other non-Muslim migrants in India. Like most autocrats, Modi has suspended access to the Internet for 60 million people, fearful that social media may amplify the outrage. Last year the internet was shutdown 134 times, and this year 93 times, removing a bastion of democracy, free speech.

Much like “President Nixon’s enemy list” Modi has crafted an enemy list of dissidents including prominent reporters. A climate of fear has gripped India and the iron boots of India’s police and paramilitary has been unleashed on protestors.

The shutdown of the Internet has severely impacted small entrepreneurs who sell their products online.

This new law follows on the heels of the highly controversial decision revoking Kashmir’s autonomy, with many Kashmiris have been jailed without charge, journalists intimidated and negative economic news censored.

Repeated demands by prominent members of the opposition Congress Party, including Shashi Tharoor, a prominent member of parliament and a former diplomat, to visit Kashmir on a fact-finding mission have been denied. Sadly, India’s long traditions of democracy and secularism are under assault and the country is rapidly sliding into an authoritarian state.

Jagjit Singh

Los Altos, California

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