A Missive to Modi

A.J. Bryant
5 min readAug 2, 2021
Photo by Ving N on Unsplash

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

Sir, I was born in the great land of India, but I left on June 15, 1980. I was adopted by a white family residing in the United States. I returned to India in 2001 with my family.

Then I interned with an Indian NGO in 2011, where I fell in love with a woman named Sasmita. Now we’re married.

I know you don’t count me as a ‘true Indian,’ because I’m not a Hindu, nor do I live in India. But I have Indian blood. I will always have affection for her.

In graduate school in Washington, D.C., I studied peace and conflict resolution. It was at American University that I first heard your name. You were then, the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat. To say you were controversial is an understatement.

You were lauded for the economic development of the state. But under your watch, hundreds of Muslims died in the 2002 Gujarat riots. It was an orgy of Hindu-Muslim violence. I’ve read accounts of survivors in human rights reports.

I even wrote a long paper about the search for justice. Justice, which remains elusive for thousands of Gujaratis. Many blamed you for the pogrom.

This unfazed you. Even when the US government banned you from the United States, because of your involvement, that made no difference.

You were a beloved figure in India, mobilizing hundreds of millions of Indians. They voted for you in 2014 and your ultra-nationalist Hindutva platform.

You crushed the opposition, becoming India’s Prime Minister. And you won another five-year term in 2019 with an even larger vote share.

Since you’ve been in power, you’ve worked to destroy decades of democratic tradition. Instead of a secular Republic, you are trying to make India a Hindu nation.

You’ve made life hell for the free press and demonized Muslims at every opportunity. A veritable army of radicalized Hindu believers salivates over your every word.

You are a lot like my country’s former President, Donald Trump. In fact, you are friendly and the same in one regard. You both seek and crave power and influence above all other things.

A.J. Bryant

Adopted from Kerala. I write about adoption, my intercultural marriage, and contemporary India. Prawns are my love language. @adoptedkeralite