By: Karan Thapar
Published in: *The Wire*
Date: April 12, 2024
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLy3YOJeogA

"Of course, Modi's a dictator; he's dragging India back to the dark ages;
his return to power would be a disaster for India": Finance Minister
Nirmala Sitharaman's husband, the author and economist Parakala Prabhakar.

In a devastating critique of the 10 years of Narendra Modi’s prime
ministership, the Finance Minister’s husband, the author and economist
Parakala Prabhakar, has said: 'Of course, Modi is a dictator' adding 'our
democracy is in crisis, our social fabric is torn, our economy is in peril
and we are being dragged back to the dark ages'.

Dr. Parakala says 'a return to power of the present government would spell
disaster for India'. However, Dr. Parakala believes this is unlikely to
happen and also adds that Narendra Modi and the BJP will struggle to get
more than 220-230 seats in the forthcoming elections.

Explaining his electoral analysis more fully, Dr. Parakala says Modi and
the BJP could lose 50-60 seats in north India and perhaps 10-12 in the
south (that is after taking into account any seats they win in Andhra). Dr.
Parakala also says that if Modi is restricted to 230 seats he neither has
the talent nor the people to help win allies to cobble together a majority
and, therefore, he is destined to sit in the Opposition.

In a 45-minute interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire, Dr. Parakala says
that if, however, Modi wins a third term 'what is happening in Manipur is
likely to happen in every state in the country'. He says 'if it doesn’t
fall in line the entire opposition leadership could be sent to jail'.
Speaking in some detail about the situation facing India’s 200 million
Muslims if Narendra Modi wins a third term, Dr. Parakala says they would
face 'tiraskar', which he translates as 'rejection'. Dr. Parakala foresees
a two-stage process.

First, Muslims would be reduced to a subordinate status as second class
citizens but then they could actually be pushed out of the country or
forced to leave. In fact, Dr. Parakala says what happens to Muslims could
also, in some shape or form, happen to all minorities.

When he was asked if he meant not just Christians but also Buddhists, Sikhs
and Jains, his answer was 'why not?'. Asked what is likely to be history’s
verdict on the 10 years of Narendra Modi’s prime ministership, Dr. Parakala
said: 'He has set India back in terms of economy 20-25 years, in terms of
polity to pre-independence days and in terms of social fabric back to

Dr. Parakala said the big difference between Indira Gandhi’s Emergency of
75-77 and the situation that could follow a third Modi victory is that the
Emergency was a result of one woman’s concern with her future whereas
post-2024 it will be a project to make India a Hindu Rashtra and reverse
its federalism. Therefore, whilst Indira Gandhi’s Emergency ended after 21
months the 'disaster' that possibly looms ahead for India will be a lot
more difficult to reverse. I am only giving you the big broad points made
by Dr. Parakala. There’s an awful lot more in this interview, both in terms
of analysis and news, which I am leaving you to find out for yourself by
watching the interview. I do not want to inaccurately paraphrase or precis
Dr. Parakala. You should hear him in his own words by watching the full

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