Narendra Modi is riding the Hindu chariot: Author Mihir Bose at Kasauli Litfest | books | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Nov 21, 2017-Tuesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Narendra Modi is riding the Hindu chariot: Author Mihir Bose at Kasauli Litfest

“Modi is riding the Hindu chariot without adhering to the true beliefs of Hinduism. Hinduism has survived because there’s no central point in it and it’s the ultimate federal religion. But Modi is encouraging that there is a central Hindu belief.”

books Updated: Oct 09, 2017 20:47 IST
Oindrila Mukherjee
Author and former sports editor of BBC, Mihir Bose at Khuswant Singh Literary Festival in Kasauli on Sunday.
Author and former sports editor of BBC, Mihir Bose at Khuswant Singh Literary Festival in Kasauli on Sunday.(Ravi Kumar/HT)

The theme of the sixth edition of the Khushwant Singh literary festival at Kasauli is “70”. Author Shobhaa De talked about turning 70 this year. A session discussed Khushwant Singh’s insights for Indians at 70. The former sports editor of BBC, Mihir Bose, at 70 is from the generation of the midnight’s children. As old as independent India, Bose is at a standpoint from where he has a clear view of the India today.

His latest book, “The Indian Spy: True Story of the Most Remarkable Secret Agent of World War II”, was discussed at the opening session of the concluding day of Khushwant Singh Literary Festival in Kasauli on Sunday.

Author of over 20 books, ranging from Bollywood to cricket, Bose has no love lost for the increasing intolerance in Indian society under the Bharatiya Janata Party rule.

His article, “70 years after independence, the India I know is losing its way” appeared in The Guardian, a British publication. In it, he talked about how “since Narendra Modi’s astonishing election victory in 2014, the country seemed to be turning its back on the tolerant, secular society India’s founding fathers wanted”.

“A man emerged by convincing people that Hindus haven’t done well. What has the majority community lost?” he questioned.

According to Bose, the Indian intellectual class, possibly influenced by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and the Congress, thought that India should be a sovereign socialist republic in line with what is stated in the Constitution.

He added, “The BJP, on the other hand, is trying to construct a different intellectual class that is not influenced by westernised notions.”

RECLAIMING HISTORY

Bose is also the author of “From Midnight to Glorious Morning? India since Independence”. His outlook on the current scenario is simple.

“Modi is riding the Hindu chariot without adhering to the true beliefs of Hinduism. Hinduism has survived because there’s no central point in it and it’s the ultimate federal religion. But Modi is encouraging that there is a central Hindu belief,” he said.

He added that the PM was trying to build a new India, by reclaiming history and veer it from the domination of the Congress.

‘COMMUNALISM WAS A BAD WORD’

Growing up in Mumbai and with friends from all backgrounds, Bose said communalism was considered a “bad word” in society. Identifying yourself by religion or caste was uncommon.

“One of my oldest friends is a Muslim. But we never looked at it that way. It did not even come to our minds. We went to a Jesuit school. He married a Parsi woman,” he said, adding that his friend told him how Mumbai’s residential areas were prime examples of the widespread intolerance. Where all religious faiths coexisted in harmony in one building, brokers are selling or leasing out flats based on religious identity and even eating habits.”