Featuring Anita Desai, Hari Kunzru, Salman Rushdie, and more, at Literary Hub:
I am writing this as an act of love. I was born in India, and I love India with all my being. But this country that I love is facing the gravest threat to its democracy since its founding.
Indian democracy is one of the 20th century’s greatest achievements. Over 75 years, we built, against great odds, a nation that for the first time in its 5000-year history empowered women and the Dalits, people formerly known as untouchables. We largely abolished famine. We kept the army out of politics. After independence, many people predicted that we would become Balkanized. Yugoslavia became Balkanized, but India stayed together. No small feat.
But I write this today to tell you: things in India are more dire than you realize.