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The New India

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781408717882

Price: £25

ON SALE: 8th August 2024

Genre: Asia / Indian Sub-continent / India

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The New India is the unforgettable account of the struggle between modern forces and ancient ideas to shape the young country’s destiny. It reveals a picture of a nation on the precipice of dramatic change.

Based on six years of detailed research and on-the-ground reporting, the book builds – authoritatively, vividly, indelibly – to become the story of post-colonial India. Using hundreds of interviews, and letters, diary entries, Partition-era police reports, and an astonishing range of sources, Bhatia shows how history plays a recurring role in the present: in politics, in the minds of citizens, in notions of justice and corruption.

Bhatia examines the connections between the Delhi riots of 2020 and the emergence of nineteenth-century revolutionary secret societies, the rise of Hindu nationalism, whose early advocates drew lessons from Hitler and Mussolini, the political use of misinformation and religious targeting, and the Hindu fundamentalist ideology that sparked the creation of the world’s largest biometric project. As Bhatia shows, the evolution of this citizen database, in the hands of the BJP, now threatens to deny vast numbers of India’s 200 million Muslims their Indian citizenship. Electorates in democracies used to choose their government. Now, in India, the government is choosing its electorate.

India has rarely been seen as in The New India, a monumental work of narrative reportage that illuminates the ways in which a supremacist ideology remade the country over decades, resulting in the prodigious rise of Narendra Modi, and forcing many to ask what they truly understood about their neighbours and themselves.

Reviews

The most important book on India for many years
James Crabtree, author of Billionaire Raj
This meticulously researched book is an unusual account of the dismantling of democracy in the world's most populous country. It is a portrait of how medieval religious sectarianism, modern majoritarianism, deepening poverty, all lashed together by the world's most ambitious data gathering project is driving India towards an alarming, unique model of authoritarianism. A serious subject, seriously addressed
Arundhati Roy
The New India is a tour de force, and it will be one of the defining books of the Modi era. Rahul Bhatia's astonishingly granular and deeply empathetic reporting reveals an India well on its way to being an authoritarian dystopia
Samanth Subramanian
An important, timely and powerful account of India now. Rahul Bhatia's book is both rigorously reported and very readable. Highly recommended
Jason Burke
Really important, superbly researched, very well written
Peter Oborne, author of The Assault on Truth
Rahul Bhatia's The New India: The Unmaking of The World's Largest Democracy is an account of Hindu fascism from the inside, one with astounding resonances across all democracies currently threatened by fascism. It is one of the essential books for anyone interested in preserving democracy today
Jason Stanley, author of How Propaganda Works