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29 Oct, 2015

Meet India’s new nationalists muzzling dissent – The Indian Express

They are young, urban, and online. They communicate frequently, organise efficiently, and pursue their agendas across multiple fronts, both physical and digital. They identify as nationalists, which in practice makes them nativists. They typically blame and excoriate an amorphous other — Chinese expansionists, Western cultural imperialists, Islamic fundamentalists — for their country’s ills and claim to draw their values from a period prior to the arrival of the insidious external influence. They have risen on the back of their country’s rapid economic growth and been emboldened by opportunity and education. They agitate, in the words of Evan Osnos, “not in pursuit of liberal democracy but in defence of sovereignty and prosperity”.

These new nationalists maintain strength in numbers, and move swiftly to muzzle dissent. Their preferred mode of attack is to question their opponent’s credentials and eventually label them a traitor or agent of the other. They are revisionists, vilifying votaries of the existing social order as soft on threats to the nation, both internal and external. If necessary, they are willing to threaten or resort to violence to achieve their aims.

Read the rest: Meet India’s new nationalists | The Indian Express