Hasan, I saw your show on student loans.
It was amazing.
I’m actually gonna do an episode
about the Indian election.
-Are you out of your mind?
You’re being stupid now.
Indian elections are a definite no-no.
There is a lot of garbage outside,
and that garbage
is going to come on your face
if you open your mouth on Indian politics.
You cannot talk about Narendra Modi.
You cannot talk about Priyanka Gandhi.
You cannot talk out in the open.
-What about on the Internet?
-Never on Internet!
You are an NRI.
You are an ABCD.
You are an American-born desi.
You don’t know the Indian politics.
It is the world’s largest democracy,
and I’m gonna talk about it.
Politics is like a jalebi,
round, round, round,
you don’t know where it ends,
where it starts.
Democracy is for people with power,
people with muscle power and money power.
-It is not for you and me.
-It’s for gangs.
You’re going to make millions
of people angry.
With the Hindus, with the Muslims,
with the Sikhs.
They are going to kill you.
You will be no more.
There will be an accident.
You will be burnt to death.
Do you want a problem?
-No, I don’t want a problem.
-Then why do you want to do it?
You can talk about anything else.
-Talk about cricket.
-Talk about sneakers.
-That’s more comical.
-That’s more comical.
-Do you know, your name–
-Hasan means “nice” in Arabic.
India is not Arabia.
Your name rings a bell
that you are a terrorist.
-You’re maybe… a Pakistani agent.
-A Pakistani agent.
-I’m a Pakistani agent?
-[theme music playing]
Thank you so much.
I’m Hasan Minhaj. Welcome to Patriot Act.
Thank you guys so much.
Thank you. All right, tonight…
I want to talk about politics in India.
I know, I’m sorry.
I know, I know.
Look, talking about politics in India
can get you in a lot of trouble,
because I’m Indian
It’s very weird to be something
that people love
and then also be something
that people do not like.
Right, it’s like if one half of you
was Oreo cookie
and then the other half with Muslim.
There’s no winning.
It makes everything so much more
complicated and confusing.
And just a few weeks ago,
things got even worse
after a terrorist attack in Kashmir.
There has been a major escalation
in tension between Pakistan and India.
More than 40 people are dead
after a suicide bombing
rammed into a bus filled with troops.
A Pakistani-based terror group
has claimed responsibility for the attack.
This is the most serious escalation
between the two nuclear-armed adversaries.
Kashmir has been disputed territory
between India and Pakistan since 1947.
And here’s how controversial Kashmir is.
Look, no. Your eyes aren’t messed up.
You don’t need to get them checked.
That map is blurred because we were told
that we could not show a map of Kashmir
without Indian-approved borders
because if we did,
the Indian government would likely sue us.
So, joke’s on you, India,
because Americans couldn’t even find
Kashmir even if it were on a map.
Clearly, the stakes are incredibly high.
The bombing last month
was the deadliest terrorist attack
on Indian forces in Kashmir
in almost 30 years.
India responded by sending bombers
into Pakistan, which they say
hit terrorist strongholds,
but Pakistan reported
that India missed their targets
and just hit a bunch of trees.
And now, Pakistan plans
to file a complaint with the UN,
saying that the attack
on trees is eco-terrorism.
And India was like, “We would have hit
something if our maps weren’t so blurry.
And just so you know,
those trees are terrorists.”
Now India is adamant
that they hit their targets,
but people started asking
the Indian government for proof
and then Indian cable news was like,
“Release the pundits.”
He had nothing in mind, not his family,
only the country.
-That, I salute–
-[woman] No, but they want proof.
-I’m coming to that.
-But they want proof
what they destroyed.
This is a moment of celebration for India.
Not at all. You are liars!
-You are hysterical people!
Yes, people like you are a curse
on this nation.
Do you know that?
You are a curse on this nation.
You are a shameless person,
whoever you are.
This right here
is every desi living room talking
about politics. Okay?
you have Indian Andy Garcia beefing
with Indian Santa Claus.
“You’re a shameful man!”
While Indian Nancy Grace
moderates the debate.
And while they’re all shouting
at each other,
there’s just some random uncle
reading his Kindle.
He’s just like, “Kashmir.
This argument is never gonna end.
I might as well get some reading done.”
Now, you have to understand for India
and Pakistan, Kashmir is a loyalty test.
“Hey, how Pakistani are you?
How Indian are you?”
Right, and this test is coming
at an incredibly critical moment
in Indian politics.
Our top story on the 23rd of May,
we will know who will form
the next government of India.
More than 900 million people
will cast their votes.
It’s the biggest electoral show on Earth.
And this time, it’s all about this man,
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In less than a month,
India will be holding
their general election,
and everyone is talking about whether
the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi
will be able to stay in power.
But this election is about more than that.
Since Modi came to power,
India has grown more hostile
to minority groups.
Among a vocal minority,
there’s been a resurgence
in religious nationalism,
specifically Hindu nationalism,
the idea that India is a Hindu nation.
Which completely goes against secularism,
which is enshrined
in the Indian constitution.
And I know what you’re thinking,
“Of course Hasan Minhaj
would say that about Mother India.
After all, we all know he’s a spy…
In many ways, this election
is about what it means to be Indian.
And no, you can’t just marry into it.
is the largest democracy on Earth.
It has around 900 million eligible voters,
and you know if that many people
voted in America,
it would still come down
to 38 people in Florida.
India has 29 states in seven territories,
22 official languages
and every major religion.
Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains,
and overly optimistic
Who are like, “Hey, you never know.”
Even within Hinduism,
there are thousands of castes,
which is the social class
that you’re born into.
All of this makes India one
of the most diverse places on Earth.
And yet, the only thing
Americans know about India
is henna tattoos,
Gwen Stefani’s bindi phase and goat yoga.
[woman] So on your breath in,
just open to the heart space.
Lift the tailbone,
shift your gaze forward…
-and maybe kiss your goat. [laughs]
All of that diversity of India
can’t be captured
in a simple two party system.
India has a parliamentary system,
which is the nerdiest thing
that we took from the British.
The last election
had over 8,000 candidates
and roughly 464 political parties.
Usually to take power,
parties have to team up
and form coalitions to get a majority.
So coalitions can team up to win,
like LeBron with the Heat,
or they can team up and lose,
like LeBron with the Lakers.
For the last 30 years,
it’s been nearly impossible
to govern without a coalition.
But in 2014, the impossible happened.
A historic win for Narendra Modi
and the BJP party.
The BJP has won enough seats
for a majority and many, many more.
No single party has won a majority
in India since 1984.
Modi led the BJP, a right-wing
nationalist party, to a landslide win.
Modi’s victory was built on
his rags-to-riches story, charisma
and economic promises
for the poorest in India.
[man] He promised to generate jobs
for the roughly 12 million young Indians
who enter the workforce each year.
We want small workplaces
in factories to spread.
In every village, street and neighborhood,
we should see the impact of employment.
his campaign could be summed up
in one phrase.
[speaks foreign language]
It’s like he was getting ready
for an audition.
He’s like, “India first.
God damn it. Come on.
Give me some more Pitino.
Now, why does that sound so familiar?
Again, I’m for America First.
Trump even name-checked Modi in 2016.
What I’m about to show you guys
is 100% real.
This is a real campaign ad,
and we did not edit this in any way.
I look forward to working with
Prime Minister Modi.
[speaks foreign language]
[sitar music playing]
We love the Hindus.
We love India.
I’m Donald Trump,
and I approve this message.
I love the way Trump says, “The Hindus.”
It’s like he doesn’t know what they are,
but definitely thinks they have powers.
We love India.
We love the Hindus!
Come on, I can imagine
an Indian uncle at home watching this
on Zee TV like, “My man.
That’s what I’m talking about.
Now throughout the upcoming election,
you’re gonna hear a lot of people
comparing Modi to Trump, and I get why.
They both dislike the press, they both
use Twitter to attack their rivals.
They’re both strongmen with rabid fans,
and they both greet people
in very bizarre ways.
Now, you guys all know
Trump’s handshake, right?
Trump yanks people like he’s expecting
coins to come out of their mouth.
And if Trump’s a tugger,
Modi’s a hugger.
[audience clamoring, applauding]
I love how Modi just holds his hand.
It’s so gentle.
He’s just like… ♪ Tum Paas Aaye ♪
Look at Donald.
No, no. You can tell that Donald’s mad.
Because that hug smooshed the McDouble
in his pocket.
Like, “You got ketchup on my jacket.”
-♪Yun Muskuraye ♪
-“Look, stop it.
I already told you.
I love the Hindus.
But not touching,
I don’t even do that to Melania.”
comparing Modi to Trump
is way too reductive.
Modi is actually an incredibly charismatic
and astute politician.
He gives speeches all the time.
But he is the only Indian prime minister
to have never held a press conference
in his own country.
That way, he can never be questioned
about his controversies.
It’s like posting on Instagram,
but disabling comments.
And Modi has a history
of saying a lot with silence.
In 2002, when Modi was chief minister
of the state of Gujarat,
he received international condemnation
for not speaking out
or stopping violent riots.
Now, Modi said his response was adequate,
and a court agreed.
But almost 2,000 people
were still killed.
Ultimately, Modi follows the Lil Wayne
rule of diplomacy.
“Real G’s move in silence like lasagna.”
Now compare that
to the man running against Modi,
Rahul Gandhi, aka, India’s Michael Bublé.
Now, he has no relation
to Mahatma Gandhi,
but Rahul Gandhi is the president
of the Indian National Congress Party,
the BJP’s main opposition.
He’s political royalty.
His great-grandfather, grandmother
and father were all prime ministers,
greatness isn’t hereditary.
The BJP has called Rahul lazy, stupid,
entitled, even pappu.
In response to the insults, last summer
in Parliament, Rahul was like,
“This ends right here, right now
with love from pappu.”
-[speaking foreign language]
Modi is a man who will hug anybody.
Putin, Erdoğan, MBS, even Mark Zuckerberg,
and here Modi was like,
“Boundaries, Rahul, please.
Please, just don’t make me call HR.”
No one has turned down a hug that hard
since Seinfeld turned down Kesha.
I’m Kesha, I love you so much.
-Can I give you a hug?
-No, thanks. Yeah, no thanks.
-Please, a little one.
-[man] That was a nice woman.
-I don’t know who that was.
Now, the truth is the downfall of Congress
that propelled the BJP to victory
started long before Rahul Gandhi,
which is why I wanted to talk
to both parties about what happened.
But BJP officials did not respond
to any of our interview requests.
I don’t know why.
They left me on read, you guys.
But Shashi Tharoor,
a member of the Congress Party,
did agree to sit down with us.
He’s also a candidate
in this year’s elections.
I’m a member of parliament, second term
at the lower house
of the Indian Parliament.
So, politically, who would you be
if you we had to compare you
to political figures in the United States?
Are you like an Elizabeth Warren?
Do you mean in terms of ideology?
Because honestly, there isn’t quite
an equivalent, our systems are different.
-Are you more like a Chuck Schumer?
-Slightly left of center,
somewhere between Schumer
and Elizabeth Warren would about do it.
Does Kamala Harris count?
Okay, so you’re more of a Kamala.
Okay, all right.
I think you’re an Elizabeth.
I just love the way he talks.
He sounds like he’s the voice
of a wise moose in a Pixar movie.
He’s just like, “Hasan, my boy.
Avoid the cave during monsoon season.
It’s quite treacherous.”
And I’m like, I don’t know,
the moose has spoken.
Shashi has been very outspoken
about the rightward shift
of politics in India.
In many ways, this coming election
is about a battle for the soul of India.
We’ve had a party in power
for the last four and a half years,
which in many ways,
has represented a radical departure
from some aspects of what
India has always been seen as being about.
The India that you want
to see your kids grow up in
is India the people like me
An inclusive party that brings in people
of all regions, all languages
into a common platform,
that’s the India of the Congress Party.
I know you must be thinking,
that sounds like an incredible vision
The Congress Party sounds awesome.”
But the Congress Party has been mired
in numerous corruption scandals.
There are honestly too many to go through
but the 2G Scandal is a hall of famer.
How about this then? $40 billion.
That’s the ballpark figure being put
on the scale
of India’s worst ever corruption scandal.
A former telecoms minister is one
of 14 individuals,
along with three companies,
facing a variety of bribery allegations
in the sale of mobile phone licenses.
Just to put that number in perspective,
for that amount of money,
Aunt Becky from Full House
could have gotten 80,000 kids into USC.
This was a major scandal.
Time magazine ranked it the second worst
abuse of power of all time,
It’s actually the second tattoo
on Roger Stone’s back.
Now, the people involved
ended up being acquitted,
but the Indian courts
are a whole other episode.
The Congress Party has been a cesspool
So I had to ask Shashi Tharoor about it.
No party has a monopoly on virtue,
and no party
has a monopoly on corruption.
Are you saying, like, in Indian politics,
corruption is just everywhere,
both parties sort of have it?
In India, increasingly,
there is that perception.
To me, it feels like
describing the way HPV is.
You know how it’s like,
“Hey, come on. Everybody has it.”
[laughs] I certainly hope that’s not true.
It’s not just corruption charges
both major political parties in India.
As crazy as it sounds,
people in both parties have faced murder
and other serious charges,
including the wise old moose.
You called into question on Twitter
the motivation of the Delhi police
in pursuing you, first on the question
of whether you murdered your wife
and now whether you were involved
in pushing her towards suicide.
There isn’t a shred of truth in either
the charge that there was any foul play
or any crime was involved in the tragic
and premature death of my wife.
God, it’s so hard
to keep the candidates straight in India.
What’s their economic policy?
What about education?
What degree of murder
have they been charged with?
I’ve got a charge that has been, you know,
bandied about against me for some years,
and I find this utterly preposterous
that there is no sense
of any proportion or reasonableness.
It feels like every single politician
has some sort of relation
to either a murder charge or killing.
Even Suge Knight would look
at Indian politicians and be like,
“Yo, these people are fucking nuts.”
In any democracy,
voters get the leaders they deserve,
so you’ve got to essentially leave it
to the wisdom of the voters
to reject people who have credible charges
and accusations against them.
Great advice, Shashi.
If the 2014 election was a referendum
on the Congress Party’s massive failures,
the 2019 election is a referendum
on Modi’s economic promises.
He promised to put Indians to work,
is the highest it’s been in 45 years.
We actually don’t even know how bad it is
because Modi’s government
has been accused
of hiding unemployment data,
which is like advertising a sublet
on Craigslist with no pictures.
You know that shit is shady.
You’re like, “Let me see some pics.”
They’re like, “Trust me.
The place is great.”
Then there’s Modi’s
signature economic policy,
demonetization, an attempt
to get dark money out of circulation.
It sounds like a good idea,
but it ended up being a massive failure.
Even the Reserve Bank of India
was against it, but Modi did it anyway.
Now, I know a lot of you are thinking,
“But, Hasan, at least he tried.”
And let’s be real, Indians…
when have we ever given an A for effort?
You think I could go up to my dad,
“Hey, Abbu, I got a participation trophy.”
I’m sleeping outside for an A minus.
Come on, man.
The worst part
of the demonetization thing
is that it hurt poor people the hardest,
who account for two-thirds
of the population.
many farmers have financially suffered.
[woman] Protesters say farm incomes
as produce prices have failed to keep pace
with the soaring costs of key supplies.
Since this deceptive government has come,
we farmers are worse off,
we’re struggling for work and food.
[man translating] I got very little money
when I went to sell my rice crop.
How will I earn?
We’re making a loss.
Why is Larry the Cable Guy
for an Indian economic crisis?
[imitating Larry the Cable Guy]
“How will I grow my rice?
In my Chevy Silverado.”
[normal voice] But it goes beyond
Modi’s failed economic policies.
The BJP is currently trying
to strip almost four million
mostly Muslim immigrants
of their right to vote
in the state of Assam.
If they get away with it,
it will be the single largest
in recorded history.
But of course,
Hasan Minhaj, the Pakistani agent…
would come to the defense
of Muslim immigrants and to that, I say,
“How could I be a Pakistani agent
when I’m actually being paid by Qatar?”
Qatar is paying me oh-so well.
All of these things
have put Modi on very shaky ground going
into the 2019 elections.
That was until the conflict
in Kashmir reignited.
The ruling party, Janata Party
and other political parties
are fine tuning election strategies.
Sources suggest that it will be
the airstrike aftermath
and the nationalist fervor around it.
that will form the bulwark
of election campaigning for the BJP.
The nuclear showdown could not have come
at a better time for Modi,
who is doing everything he can
to project strength
in the most Indian way possible.
This is a new India!
This is an India
that will return the damage done
by terrorists with interest!
In classic Indian fashion,
Modi had to mix revenge and finance.
We will retaliate
with 6% interest!
And it will compound to 9%!
Then we will refinance.
And they’re like…
[speaks foreign language]
Modi is appealing to his base
with his “India First” agenda.
And at the same time,
he’s given new life
to the Hindu nationalist movement
because of his deep ties to the RSS,
a right-wing organization
that’s the ideological backbone
of the BJP.
[man] They are disciplined and determined,
and their numbers are growing fast.
They are the RSS, a network of volunteers
who are playing a critical role
in the election campaign of Narendra Modi.
Some fear that the RSS’ ultimate goal
is to force India to become less secular,
more religiously Hindu,
spreading it’s message through
its daily meetings,
which critics called militaristic,
accusations the RSS rejects.
This is how Modi’s gonna get elected?
Donatello’s just gonna hit a piñata?
He’s just like,
“This broom is a lightsaber.”
Look at him, he’s just like,
“I’m done with cardio for the day.”
Extremism, you burn so many calories.
Modi isn’t loosely affiliated
with the RSS.
he’s been a card carrying member.
He spent years working for the RSS,
and he’s pretty open about it.
I stayed connected to RSS since childhood.
The traditions and the discipline,
the hard-working nature I have,
RSS had a huge role to play in that.
Modi being connected to the RSS
should be concerning.
It’s easy to laugh
at the cosplay wing of the RSS,
but they have some concerning beliefs.
They have long relied on a book,
and I swear this is the real title.
It’s called Bunch of Thoughts.
Okay, that doesn’t sound like
the manifesto of a radical movement.
It sounds like the Medium post
you write after a divorce.
Just like, “I don’t know man,
Carol left me.
Here are a bunch of thoughts.
It’s a short 55-minute read.
Just leave me a comment.”
They’ve recently disavowed parts of it,
and I know why.
It gets pretty Mein Kampfy in a few parts.
Like when it says
there are three major internal threats,
the Muslims, the Christians
and the Communists.
Once again, you guys, Muslims.
We’re number one, baby.
Now, the RSS is extreme.
They’ve been banned in India several times
for stoking violence.
The toll of religious extremism
is something India has paid for
in the past.
A Hindu nationalist
assassinated Mahatma Gandhi.
Now I know people are like, “Of course,
Hasan Minhaj, the spy from Qatar,
is trying to divide India once again.”
But how could that be possible
when I’m already being paid by Iran?
Now, you know why
the Saudis don’t like me.
Hindu nationalists have been instigating
a culture of intimidation and violence
towards a lot of religious minority groups
[woman] Modi’s most extreme nationalist
supporters have routinely taken
to the streets using violence
and intimidation to press their claim
for a purely Hindu India.
You see this trend throughout the country,
but especially in the northern state
of Uttar Pradesh
which will be very important
in the election.
UP is the most populous state in India
with a bigger population than Brazil.
Yeah, and it has major electoral clout.
Modi is heavily pushing
his nationalist agenda there,
and he’s doing it through one of India’s
most hardcore political figures,
a monk named Yogi Adityanath.
Two years ago, Modi made him
Chief Minister of UP
and some believed he could succeed
Modi as prime minister,
which is very scary
because he’s a monk with a gun.
If you don’t have to commit crimes,
why do you have a revolver
worth 100,000 rupees?
Why do you have rifles
worth 80,000 rupees?
Yes, I have these.
As a monk,
my training is in both discipline
and in weapons.
Discipline and weapons.
He’s like, “I like to meditate,
but I also like to be strapped.”
If you’re a little confused,
I understand why.
This is an interview show
just shot on Judge Judy’s set,
and then apparently over here,
they just shoot Dancing with the Stars.
Now remember, this is the guy
who the BJP is counting on
to deliver votes, and he has
systematically used fear of minorities
as a cultural wedge issue.
Under Yogi Adityanath,
the state has changed the names
of places throughout the UP
from Muslim names to Hindu names.
And it isn’t just Muslims,
violence against all minorities
has gone up.
Take for example the phenomenon known
as cow lynchings.
Thousands of people have taken
to the streets across India
to protest against rising attacks
on Muslims and Dalits
by vigilante cow protection groups.
Cows are a holy animal in Hinduism,
and vigilantes want to protect cows,
are targeting Muslims
and a minority group called Dalits.
[man] Religious minorities
have traditionally been free to farm
and trade in cows, but there’s been
a crackdown by right-wing politicians.
The tough new stance
has not only fueled attacks on Muslims,
but also on lower-caste Hindu Dalits.
There were no reported lynchings in 2013,
but since then, 46 people have been killed
and 250 injured
in cow-related violence.
It’s gotten so bad, Dalits are routinely
victimized by the lynchings.
And The New Yorker reported that
communal violence has jumped 28%
during Modi’s rule.
of growing religious nationalism,
violence, disregard for institutions,
weak and corrupt opposition,
we’re seeing all of this around the globe.
Turkey, Hungary, Poland, Spain, Brazil,
the Philippines and now India.
Democracies are backsliding,
and it’s not just me saying this.
Indians feel that something is different.
What is at stake is nothing short
of the future of this country.
It’s not an ordinary election.
If 1977 was about deciding whether
India will remain democratic or not,
this election is about deciding whether
India will remain India or not.
Something much deeper is at stake here.
Something deeper is at stake.
Will India remain India or not?
Will India define itself through inclusion
As the election heats up,
it’s much easier for candidates
to exploit the conflict in Kashmir
for political gain
than to address the economy and deepening
divisions within the country.
But that doesn’t make sense.
We don’t need the threat
of nuclear warfare to flex nationalism.
That’s why we have cricket.
We know this.
We already know this, you guys.
That India-Pakistan match
is nuclear warfare.
And look, you gotta understand for me.
I gotta be honest with you.
I’ve always felt uncomfortable
’cause I have Indian
and Pakistani friends,
and I’ll be on both sides,
and I’ll just feel like I’m in the middle.
I’ll be at one friend’s house,
I’ll be at the Pakistani– “Pakistan’s
in the– [speaks foreign language]
[hums] ♪ Pakistan! ♪ “India won!”
“Pakistan won.” “No, India won.”
“No, Pakistan won.”
I’m like, “No, dude, the British won.”
And when it comes to this election,
India shouldn’t allow itself
to be divided again.
But what do I know?
These are just a bunch of thoughts.