Twilight Prisoners: The Rise of the Hindu Right and the Fall of India

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    Siddhartha Deb

    Publisher: Haymarket Books

    Year: 2024

    Format: Paperback

    Size: 232 pages

    ISBN: 9798888900888

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An incisive, lyrical, and deeply reported account of India’s descent into authoritarianism.

Traveling across India, interviewing Hindu zealots, armed insurgents, jailed dissidents, and politicians and thinkers from across the political spectrum, Siddhartha Deb reveals a country in which forces old and new have aligned to endanger democracy. The result is an absorbing—and disturbing—portrait. India has become a religious fundamentalist dystopia, one depicted here with a novelist’s precise language and eye for detail.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party—a formation explicitly drawing on European fascism—has deftly exploited modern technologies, the media, and market forces to launch a relentless campaign on minorities, women, dissenters, and the poor. Deb profiles these people, as well as those fighting back, including writers, scholars, and journalists. Twilight Prisoners sounds the alarm now that the world’s largest democracy is under threat in ways that echo the fissures in the United States, United Kingdom, and so-called democracies the world over.

What People Are Saying

"Siddhartha Deb has been one of the clearest, most articulate, and consistent voices documenting the rise of Hindu nationalism and its organic links to neoliberalism in India." Arundhati Roy

“Siddhartha Deb is one of our greatest writers; in both fiction and journalism, he relentlessly challenges genres and received ideas. As a book about India, and simply as a book about contemporary global politics, Twilight Prisoners is in a class of its own, going deeper than anyone else dares into the history of India’s crimes against its people. In its portraits of titanic contemporary figures of resistance, it also provides something vanishingly rare: a margin of hope. A great and necessary book.” Nikil Saval, author of A Rage in Harlem: June Jordan and Architecture
"It has always been hard to capture what is happening in a country as continentally large as India. But Siddhartha Deb has the largeness of mind and spirit to see the great processes afflicting India and to show us the humanity and dreams of people who refuse to surrender." Vijay Prashad, author, with Noam Chomsky, of On Cuba

"Through a meticulous examination of historical events, personal narratives, and critical analysis, Deb unveils a stark portrayal of the impact of Hindu nationalism under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As Deb navigates through the complexities of modern India, he sheds light on the challenges faced by marginalized communities, the erosion of secular values, and the unsettling rise of authoritarianism in a country once celebrated for its diversity and pluralism." Spring Magazine
Praise for Siddhartha Deb

“One of the most distinctive writers to have emerged from South Asia in the last two decades.” Pankaj Mishra

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