The BJP's convoluted "Hindutva" ideology, a curious and contradictory mix of cultural revivalism, economic Darwinism and militant nationalism, has always been rooted in anger. Much of it has been directed against India's liberals, leftists, Dalits (as "untouchables" now call themselves) and the Muslim, Christian and other minority communities. The BJP's view is that they have milked the system and public sympathy for undue benefits, which the Congress and other parties have showered on them for electoral, and not national benefit.
On account of his strident nationalism, rooted in right-wing Hindu ideology, and the pro-market policies he espouses, Narenda Modi's critics fear the emergence of 'soft fascism' in India while for those very reasons his fans hail him as Kalki -- the last avatar of the Hindu divinity Vishnu who will bring peace and prosperity in abundance to the hapless motherland.
Hello from Dharamsala, India, where I'm attending a gathering of The Mind and Life Institute with the Dalai Lama, and where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wasn't bothered by this week's news that the NSA had accessed 70.3 million calls in France and tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone -- because he doesn't own a cell phone or use email. EU leaders are less sanguine and are sending a delegation to Washington for talks to set new guidelines, like Merkel's demand for a "no-spying" pact similar to one America has with the UK. As Obama said in Berlin in 2008, true partnership and progress "require allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other and, most of all, trust each other." We've got the listening part down; trust -- not so much. If only the NSA had spied on the Department of HHS and reported back to the White House about the state of the Obamacare rollout instead.
While the the melodramas of the moment which too often define the media culture played out, America's Asia-Pacific Pivot continued over the past week with major developments. In a host of seemingly disparate events ranging across many thousands of miles, a multi-faceted geopolitical strategy played out on multiple fronts.