CONVINCED of his invincibility and riding an unchallenged authoritarian streak, Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have overplayed his hand with India’s livid farmers who staged a huge ‘tractor rally’ in the capital on Tuesday. The largely peaceful protest was planned to coincide with India’s annual Republic Day pageantry, and police had to permit some 100,000 tractors and many more people into the precincts of the protected city.
The notoriously pro-Modi TV channels, however, used stray images of scuffles between police and protesters — inevitable in any rally of this size — to project it as a violent invasion of the Indian capital. The patently middle-class claim was more a cover-up for the lethal street violence that majoritarian mobs periodically stage against helpless minorities and working classes with active support of police.
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