“India’s ruling duo live on a different planet from the mass of Indians, so completely divorced are they from the lives of the vast majority who struggle to make ends meet. They love the company of Mukeshbhai and Mehulbhai, love to dress expensively and to strut around like peacocks, waving to cameras. One loves to travel and is obsessed with embracing powerful male heads of state (as long as the cameras are watching). The other obviously eats very well, unlike 85% of Indians, and tells us human rights are irrelevant. This sets the clock of modern society back several centuries, to before the days when the rights of the individual began to matter. They both seriously think they can arrogate the power of life and death over many millions of their fellow citizens by having the right to decide who is and isn’t a citizen, who will and will not be stateless. Basically this is because they see their citizens (*all* citizens) as subjects, not citizens. The detention centres will become embodiments of a religious hierarchy strongly reminiscent of the racial hierarchies of the Nazi state.

Shah’s own family migrated to Bombay from a princely state, the town of Mansa, which lay outside the jurisdiction of British India and thus of *India* as it was politically constituted at the time. His family were pure immigrants. Had India’s colonial rulers been half as reactionary as today’s home minister, they may well have seen him as an “illegal” immigrant, except that his great grandfather was a wealthy capitalist and of course the British placed no restrictions on the mobility of either capital or labor.”

–Jairus Banaji