S1E95: Politics of hate fuelling religious majoritarianism across South Asia: Asian Insider

  • 24 Mar 2023

Is there liberal opposition to what is going on, even in a more diverse India with a raucous democratic tradition?

Synopsis: Each fourth Friday of the month, The Straits Times' US bureau chief Nirmal Ghosh presents an Asian perspective of the biggest global talking points with expert guests. 

In this episode, we discuss how and why, across the complex region of South Asia, majorities are convinced that minorities are a threat.

South Asia is a region of some two billion, but right-wing politics and religious majoritarianism, the arms of the state and the media, are coming together to threaten democracy and the health and longevity of states. The politics of hate in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is fuelling, and feeds off, religious majoritarianism.

Nirmal Ghosh hosts Farahnaz Ispahani, a former journalist, former member of Pakistan’s parliament, and currently a senior fellow at the Religious Freedom Institute in Washington DC, and Salil Tripathi, author, journalist and member of the Board of PEN International.  

Highlights (click/tap above):

1:40 Why Pakistan is the worst among "religious majoritarian states" in South Asia; add to that a "nuclear-armed Pakistan with an economy in free fall"

3:40 On the history and similar trajectory in Bangladesh and also, how "the liberal Pakistani used to look up to India for its democratic roots and tradition, when now… if you're Muslim, you can't be safe in India."

9:05 How the religious right and the political right have come together to make the majority feel they're under threat from the minority

12:16 How this trend is happening, as our guest expert offers daily life examples in India

17:15 On how the media in these South Asia countries could amplify divisions

Produced by: Nirmal Ghosh (nirmal@sph.com.sg), Ernest Luis, Hadyu Rahim and Fa’izah Sani

Edited by: Hadyu Rahim and Fa’izah Sani

Follow Asian Insider with Nirmal Ghosh every fourth Friday of the month:

Channel: https://str.sg/JWa7

Apple Podcasts: https://str.sg/JWa8

Google Podcasts: https://str.sg/wQsB 

Spotify: https://str.sg/JWaX

SPH Awedio app: https://www.awedio.sg/

Website: http://str.sg/stpodcasts

Feedback to: podcast@sph.com.sg

Follow Nirmal Ghosh on Twitter: https://str.sg/JD7r

Read Nirmal Ghosh's stories: https://str.sg/JbxG

Register for Asian Insider newsletter: https://str.sg/stnewsletters

Asian Insider videos: https://str.sg/wdcC


Discover more ST podcast channels:

In Your Opinion: https://str.sg/w7Qt

Asian Insider: https://str.sg/JWa7

Health Check: https://str.sg/JWaN

Green Pulse: https://str.sg/JWaf

Your Money & Career: https://str.sg/wB2m

ST Sports Talk: https://str.sg/JWRE

#PopVultures: https://str.sg/JWad

Music Lab: https://str.sg/w9TX

Discover ST Podcasts: http://str.sg/stpodcasts

Discover BT Podcasts: https://bt.sg/pcPL


Special edition series:

True Crimes Of Asia (new): https://str.sg/i44T

The Unsolved Mysteries of South-east Asia (5 eps): https://str.sg/wuZ2

Invisible Asia (9 eps): https://str.sg/wuZn

Stop Scams (10 eps): https://str.sg/wuZB

Singapore's War On Covid (5 eps): https://str.sg/wuJa


Follow our shows then, if you like short, practical podcasts!


See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.