Interview: Akeel Bilgrami on fascism and the ‘movement vacuum’
By Kunal Shankar – March 17, 2017
The Narendra Modi-led government is pathologically authoritarian in a way that approximates fascism, says Akeel Bilgrami, the renowned academic who teaches philosophy at Columbia University in New York. Describing the debate on whether the Central government is fascist or a government with fascistic tendencies as arcane quibbling over semantics, Bilgrami says the time has come for forging a broad centre-Left alliance of secular parties of the type that emerged during the Emergency, to fill what he calls a “movement vacuum”.
In a wide-ranging interview with Frontline in Hyderabad, Bilgrami reflects on the rise of the extreme Right worldwide, from Donald Trump in the United States to Nigel Farage in Britain. He was in the city to deliver a lecture on “Threat of Fascism”, organised by Hyderabad Collective, a network of professionals attempting to create a space for debate and analysis on pressing issues facing India today.