Episode 5: Exploiting Religion in India

In Narendra Modi’s India, to be Indian is to be Hindu. By connecting the national identity to the dominant faith in the country, the Prime Minister has led a campaign to disenfranchise millions of people who don’t share his beliefs, particularly the minority Muslim population, which represents 14 percent of the country. By blurring the line between politician and spiritual leader, Modi has secured an unprecedented mandate to carry his policies, which tend to affect adversely those who don’t share his faith.

GroundTruth Fellow Soumya Shankar was one of the first reporters on the ground in Kashmir during the recent military takeover by Modi’s government, reporting on the tactics used to secure control of the territory and the protests by its residents. Shankar also traveled to the border with Bangladesh, where thousands of people, mainly Muslims, are being denied their right to vote and even their very citizenship, as Modi tries to redefine Indian identity along religious lines.

Read Shankar’s dispatches from the ground

Follow the entire series

Subscribe to the GroundTruth podcast on your favorite platform

Also available on NPR One, Google Podcasts, and Radio Public