Tuesday, July 18, 2017

New York Times: Under Modi, growth has slowed, jobs haven't materialized, virulent intolerance takes over

By Our Representation
In yet another scathing editorial, the powerful US daily, “The New York Times” (NYT), has said that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, India’s “growth has slowed, jobs have not materialized, and what has actually been unleashed is virulent intolerance that threatens the foundation of the secular nation envisioned by its founders.”
Titled “India’s Turn Toward Intolerance”, and approved by NYT’s Editorial Board, the unsigned editorial contrasts this with 2014, when Modi’s landslide victory “was borne on his promises to unleash his country’s economic potential and build a bright future while he played down the Hindu nationalist roots of his Bharatiya Janata Party.”
NYT has been critical of Modi for over the last two years. A little more than a month ago, in an opinion piece, NYT had sharply attacked the Government of India, saying press freedom in India has “suffered a fresh blow” because of the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) Monday raid on “homes and offices connected to the founders of NDTV, India’s oldest television news station.”
The latest editorial complains, “Since Mr. Modi took office, there has been an alarming rise in mob attacks against people accused of eating beef or abusing cows, an animal held sacred to Hindus. Most of those killed have been Muslims.”.
“Mr. Modi spoke out against the killings only last month, not long after his government banned the sale of cows for slaughter, a move suspended by India’s Supreme Court”, it says, adding, “The ban, enforcing cultural stigma, would have fallen hardest on Muslims and low-caste Hindus traditionally engaged in the meat and leather industry.”
"Since Modi took office, there has been an alarming rise in mob attacks against people accused of eating beef or abusing cows"
The editorial notes, “It would also have struck a blow against Mr. Modi’s supposed priorities: employment, economic growth and boosting exports. The $16 billion industry employs millions of workers and generated $4 billion in export income last year.”
Calling the BJP’s decision to name Yogi Adityanath, “a Hindu warrior-priest, as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state”, the editorial terms the development “disturbing”. It recalls, Adityanath abused India’s Muslims as “a crop of two-legged animals that has to be stopped” while addressing a rally, even as calling for a "religious war.”
The editorial especially takes strong exception to the India’s film censor board, “headed by a Bharatiya Janata Party stalwart”, barring a “documentary film about one of India’s most famous sons, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen.”
The documentary “cannot be screened unless the director cuts the words ‘cow’, ‘Hindu India’, ‘Hindutva view of India’ – meaning Hindu nationalism – and ‘Gujarat’, where Mr. Modi was chief minister at the time of deadly anti-Muslim riots in 2002”, the editorial says.

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