Modi’s India: Democracy or Dictatorship?

He has been dubbed an ultranationalistic dictator who is dividing the country. His controversial ‘anti-muslim’ citizenship reforms have deprived millions of people of their rights and any criticism of his government is quickly silenced. But what shaped Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s political view and ideology? In this film, we gained access to the secret RSS movement, a powerful faction promoting the rise of Hindu nationalism, and investigate what is happening to Gandhi’s dream of a united nation.

Formed in the 1920s and inspired by extreme right-wing organizations like the German Nazi party, the RSS movement promotes India as an exclusively Hindu nation. It runs training camps for children aged 3 to 15, where Formed in the 1920s and inspired by extreme right-wing organizations like the German Nazi party, the RSS movement runs training camps for children where they are taught to fear and hate Muslims. It’s here that most of the members of the ruling BJP did their basic training. Narendra Modi joined at the age of eight. Their influence can be sensed everywhere.

While Hinduism has long been associated with a message of peace and spirituality, it has now become synonymous with violence and oppression. In this new India, militias, put in place to protect sacred cows, lynch people suspected of eating beef. Clinics produce ‘perfect children’ of a ‘superior race’. A recent law bans inter-religious marriages. And political opponents are systematically arrested and imprisoned. When Hindu extremists attacked Muslim neighborhoods in New Delhi for three days, the police and the army did nothing. They were even suspected of having participated in the lynchings. 

But despite the risks, more and more people are disobeying and mobilising. The 2019 citizenship reforms, which disenfranchised millions of Muslim and Christians, had many questioning if Modi had gone too far. Can India under Modi ever be anything more than an ‘electoral autocracy’?


  • Year: 2021
  • Duration: 55 mins
  • Production: Babel
  • Director: Emmanuelle Beaujard
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA
  • Country of production: France

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