Monday, July 26, 2010

A Reactionary Radical in the "World's Largest Democracy"?

"The politics of mass markets and vote banks is leading to majoritarianism and eventually fascism," writes Arundhati Roy, quoted by Isaac Chotiner in his panning of her latest book — The Reactionary. She says of her book, "These essays show how the institutions of democracy--the courts, the police, the ‘free’ press, and, of course, elections--far from working as a system of checks and balances, often do the opposite."

Mr. Chotiner is clearly appalled that Ms. Roy "has no use for democratic institutions," and yet in his opening paragraph, he lends support to her anti-democratic thesis, reminding us that "the country under review... is dominated by two political parties, one of which can charitably be described as having fascist tendencies, since it envisions a religiously homogenous nation and makes no secret of its contempt for people who do not fit its definition of purity." He continues, "If this party regains power in the near future, the country’s next leader will likely be a man whose American visa was revoked for 'violations of religious freedom.' During his tenure as a regional chief minister (the rough equivalent of a governor), his government carried out communal riots in which more than one thousand members of religious minority groups were massacred."

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.