BC author exposes Modi’s designs to create Hindu nation through his latest Punjabi novel

Nadeem Parmar

Burnaby-based writer Nadeem Parmar pulls no punches when it comes to criticizing what is happening in the world’s so-called largest democracy under a right wing regime.

His novel 2025 (Beeh Sau Pachi) predicts that India is going to be turned into an intolerant Hindu theocracy in two years.

A seasoned novelist, who has written extensively on Indo-Canadian history and the Air India tragedy of 1985, Parmar tries to tell the story through a young Punjabi woman character who can foresee how India, which is known for its diversity, is being transformed into a monolithic nation by the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The story has its origin in the famous Indian farmers’ protest which received global attention. The protest was successful in forcing Modi to roll back controversial agriculture laws that the farmers felt threatened their livelihood.

Modi is associated with the RSS, a Hindu supremacist group of which his ruling right wing BJP is a part. RSS was established in 1925 to create a “Hindu nation”.

Parmar’s novel looks deeply into that possible scenario, warning that Modi is determined to make it happen by 2025. It finds mention of real life events such as growing attacks on religious minorities and political dissidents, including scholars, under the Modi government. In fact, Parmar could not find a publisher in India, partly because of the environment of threats and intimidation; finally he got it self-published.

“I tried to reach as many as half a dozen publishers, including some in Canada. A few did not even respond, while others suggested that I rather go for self-publishing”, he told this writer. 

Ironically, despite the fact that Parmar had written a poem in protest against the 1948 assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, he was among those who welcomed Modi at the Ross Street Sikh temple during his official tour in Vancouver in 2015.

“I was about 12-years-old when it happened and couldn’t stop writing a poem addressing his killer Nathuram Godse”.

Many of the Modi supporters, including a few of his MPs, glorify Godse. Notably, the RSS was briefly banned for its suspicious role in Gandhi’s murder.

Parmar does not want to comment as to whether he regrets his decision to welcome Modi back then, but says that he was there only because of his involvement in the Komagata Maru gallery project at the Ross Street Sikh temple.

Komagata Maru was a Japanese vessel carrying more than 300 Indian passengers that was forced to return from Vancouver under racist immigration laws in 1914. 

“I have always believed and continue to believe in secularism.”

Gurpreet Singh is a journalist

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