Skip to main content

International media chain Huffpost expresses "distaste" for Modi, compares him with ultra-nationalist Milosevic

Counterview Desk
One more powerful western media chain has strongly thrown its weight against the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who it predicts will win the current Lok Sabha polls. Top online newspaper Huffington Post, with presence in a dozen countries, including the US, UK, France, Japan and Brazil, has compared Modi with Slobodan Milosevic, Yuglosav ultra-nationalist who was president of the country from 1997 to 2000 and was charged with genocide in connection with the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo by the International Criminal Tribunal. Milosevic died in 2006 in jail.
Published in the UK’s online edition, the headline by Huffpost, as it is called in short, itself is stunning: “ We Must Not Turn a Blind Eye to the Election of Narendra Modi, India's Milosevic?”. Written by Mehdi Hasan, political director of the Huffington Post UK, the commentary wonders if British foreign secretary will express "deep distaste" if, “as the polls suggest, Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is declared prime minister of nuclear-armed India after 12 May? Will the EU have the guts to downgrade diplomatic ties with the world's biggest democracy?”
The context of the commentary is significant. “When Jörg Haider, the leader of Austria's far-right Freedom Party, joined the country's coalition government in 2000, the res­ponse from the rest of the European Union was swift. Every other member state agreed to introduce diplomatic sanctions against Austria. Our then foreign secretary, Robin Cook, expressed ‘deep distaste’ at Haider's rise to power”, the writer says.
Saying that Modi, 63, is a card-carrying member of the “far-right, Hindu nationalist RSS”, the Hasan quotes Prof Chetan Bhatt, director of the Centre for the Study for Human Rights at the London School of Economics to say that "The RSS is a secretive, militaristic, masculine cult; a distinct Indian form of fascism that was directly inspired by Italian Fascist youth movements", adding, "Its founders greatly admired Hitler and Mussolini. In Modi's Gujarat, Adolf Hitler is glorified in secondary-school textbooks.”
The commentator accuses Modi, as Gujarat CM, turning a “blind eye to a horrific wave of violence against Gujarat's Muslim-minority population in February 2002, after a fire on a train which killed 59 passengers, most of them Hindu pilgrims, and which Modi blamed on terrorists.” He adds, “It is estimated that as many as 2,000 people were killed in the anti-Muslim pogroms that followed, and tens of thousands lost their homes.”
Hasan quotes a “chilling report” published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in April 2002 documenting how the orgy of killing, burning, raping and looting had been "actively supported by state government officials". He adds, “It spoke of how a pregnant Muslim teenager had had her womb ‘cut open with a sharp weapon... the unborn baby was taken out and both mother and the child were burnt dead’. Several witnesses were told by police: ‘We have no orders to save you’.”
Also recalling how the Supreme Court described Modi as a "modern-day Nero", fiddling while Gujarat burned, Hasan says, “The National Human Rights Commission concluded that ‘there was a comprehensive failure on the part of the state government to control the persistent violation of the rights to life... and dignity of the people of the state’,” adding, “The bloodstained buck stopped with the BJP chief minister.”
Saying that “Modi has never apologised for the violence, nor has he expressed remorse”, the commentator goes on, “On the contrary, he explained away the killings as springing from ‘the natural and justified anger of the people’; dismissed relief camps for displaced Muslims as ‘baby-making factories’; and (I kid you not) compared his own sadness over the massacres with that of a driver who runs over a puppy.”
Huffpost doesn’t stop here. It predicts, “A Modi-led India won't be safe for the country's 176 million Muslims - or 25 million Christians. Since the election campaign began, one of his hard-right allies has said the chief minister's opponents would have to leave India and move to Pakistan once he was elected PM. Another suggested that Muslims could be prevented from buying property in Hindu-dominated areas”.
Despite all this, the top commentator regrets, “David Cameron's government has been reaching out to Modi, the leader of one of India's most business-friendly states. In October 2012, the UK lifted its travel ban on Modi and our high in India held his first meeting with the chief minister - even though three British citizens were murdered in the Gujarat violence” and Barry Gardiner, the shadow environment minister, “disgracefully praised Modi as a hugely important figure", defended his role in the 2002 killings.

Comments

TRENDING

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.