A Short History of the New India
Author(s): K. S. Komireddi
Reviewed by: Karim Kocsenda, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Komireddi’s excellent book begins with a personal account of him going to a Muslim school before leaving an India of old. The author recalls what became of India after the British-led partition of the subcontinent, and the brave decision of many Muslims to remain in India. He reminisces about Nehru’s egalitarian treatment of the Muslim minority during occasional Hindu and Sikh violence against it. However, he explains, by 1990 Nehru’s Congress party metamorphosized ‘into a sump for Nehru’s parasitical progeny to luxuriate in. The party’s commitment to secularism had long ago ceased to be a conviction’ (xxiii).
Komireddi’s preface introduces the story of his childhood friend, Murad, a Hyderabadi Muslim man who was among 200 men falsely framed, imprisoned, and tortured for an explosion inside Makkah Masjid. The explosion was later discovered to be the work of a militant Hindu group. Murad’s story was, for Komireddi, the beginning of a fascination with stories of Muslim (and other minority) persecution in India. Persecution which began at least a decade before the Gujarat massacres in 2002, and which appears to have reached its apex in Modi’s India.