Skip to main content

Now, CNN calls Modi a "deeply polarizing figure" and "unproven commodity" on world stage

By Our Representative
One of world's leaders in online news and information delivery, Cable News Network (CNN), has described India’s Prime Minister in waiting Narendra Modi as “a deeply polarizing figure and an unproven commodity on the international stage.” In an analytical article for its CNN’s international edition, titled “Who is Narendra Modi? Meet India's pro-business, Hindu nationalist PM-in-waiting”, Tim Hume and Sumnima Udas quote analysts, experts, bloggers and journalists to predict that Modi’s “arrival in the country's top office will bring a marked change in direction for the world's most populous democracy.”
Saying that India’s “modern character has been defined by the inclusive, secular and liberal approach of the Congress Party, which has governed for most of the post-independence era”, the article underscores, “The only question is how great a departure Modi's premiership will be from what has come before.” Quoting influential quarters in New Delhi, it adds, “His vision for India is not the kind of inclusive, secularist vision that we have been used to -- it is a much more right-wing, pro-Hindu vision.” In fact, his arrival may mean an “increase in social tension with groups that are not included in his vision."
“The greatest concerns about a Modi premiership revolve around his ability, as a hardline Hindu nationalist, to lead a country as culturally and religiously diverse as India”, the CNN article says, adding, “Since he was a boy -- the third of six children born to a family of grocers in the city of Vadnagar -- Modi has been a supporter of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing pro-Hindu social movement. His track record with India's 180 million-strong Muslim community, the country's second largest religious group, has come under intense scrutiny.”
“Less than a year after Modi assumed office in Gujarat in late 2001, the state was wracked with anti-Muslim violence, in which more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed”, says the article, recalling Gujarat riots, adding, “Modi was criticized for not doing enough to halt the violence, but a Supreme Court-ordered investigation absolved him of blame last year. Modi subsequently expressed regret over the riots but was criticized for not apologizing. The U.S. State Department denied Modi a visa in 2005 over the issue, and has since not said how it will handle a future visa application from him.”
“The tensions are not merely a relic of the past. As recently as September last year, more than 60 people were killed and tens of thousands displaced in religious riots in the Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh state. Most of the affected were Muslims”, the article says, adding, “Amid what many see as a rising tide of intolerance drummed up by Hindu nationalist groups, some Muslims fear what a Modi-led government means for their community.” It quotes “an unnamed Muslim man” to say "We all remember what he did in Gujarat. For Muslims, Modi represents death."
Quoting the Pew survey (click HERE), the article says, “The 63-year-old former tea seller's immense popularity -- a Pew survey ahead of the elections found nearly 80 per cent of respondents held a positive view of him -- stems in large part from his reputation as a tough, ‘can-do’ administrator, the man with the medicine to kickstart India's stuttering economy.” In fact, the CNN thinks, “The so-called ‘Gujarat model’ of development means a focus on infrastructure, urbanization and eradicating red tape -- seen as a much-needed tonic for a country ranked 179th in the world by the World Bank in terms of ease of starting a business.”
“A sharp contrast to the traditional approach of the outgoing Congress Party -- which has focused on promoting inclusive growth involving a raft of welfare schemes -- it's proven highly attractive to business. India stocks have risen almost 18% this year at the prospect of a Modi-led government”, CNN writers say, adding, “India's largest conglomerate, the Tata Group, relocated a car plant into the state four years ago, a move the company's former chairman Ratan Tata credits in part to Modi's involvement.”
Wondering why Modi is so popular despite not being charismatic, the CNN quotes another expert, Dilip Dutta, director of the South Asian Studies Group at the University of Sydney, to say, “The promise of economic development is just as enticing to the public, and resonates particularly with the aspirations of the 100 million young voters who were eligible to cast their ballots for the first time in 2014.These young voters are exposed through electronic media to the whole world, and have a dream of moving forward -- not lagging behind as their fathers and grandfathers have for decades."
Quoting yet another political analyst Mohan Guruswamy of Delhi's Center for Policy Alternatives, the article says, “Modi's record in Gujarat has been overhyped. There is no 'Gujarat model,' and there are other states with faster economic growth," he said during an interview in the build-up to the election. Moreover, many feel that economic development in the state has been unequally distributed, and not matched with corresponding gains in human development. It really is a model that favors people who already have access to things like education and business possibilities. He offers very little to the poor, to the weaker section and I think that this is a major weakness."
Wondering whether Modi will be “too autocratic”, the article says, “Modi's hard-nosed, occasionally abrasive leadership style will also present a marked departure for a country accustomed to a more consensus-driven approach, analysts believe.” Quoting analysts, it says, Modi as an “extraordinarily ambitious man, quite ruthless in the pursuit of his ambition," adding, he will lead a "right-wing, authoritarian corporate state” as closer to the model in China, and questions whether his “divisive, autocratic tendencies will translate well in a country as boisterously democratic as India.”

Comments

TRENDING

Bill Gates as funder, author, editor, adviser? Data imperialism: manipulating the metrics

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  When Mahatma Gandhi on invitation from Buckingham Palace was invited to have tea with King George V, he was asked, “Mr Gandhi, do you think you are properly dressed to meet the King?” Gandhi retorted, “Do not worry about my clothes. The King has enough clothes on for both of us.”

Displaced from Bangladesh, Buddhist, Hindu groups without citizenship in Arunachal

By Sharma Lohit  Buddhist Chakma and Hindu Hajongs were settled in the 1960s in parts of Changlang and Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh after they had fled Chittagong Hill Tracts of present Bangladesh following an ethnic clash and a dam disaster. Their original population was around 5,000, but at present, it is said to be close to one lakh.

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.

Stagnating wages since 2014-15: Economists explain Modi legacy for informal workers

By Our Representative  Real wages have barely risen in India since 2014-15, despite rapid GDP growth. The country’s social security system has also stagnated in this period. The lives of informal workers remain extremely precarious, especially in states like Jharkhand where casual employment is the main source of livelihood for millions. These are some of the findings presented by economists Jean Drèze and Reetika Khera at a press conference convened by the Loktantra Bachao 2024 campaign. 

Mark Lee: A spiritual leader who thought conventional religions are barrier to liberation

  By Harsh Thakor*  The Krishnamurti Foundation of America (KFA) lost Roger Edwin Mark Lee, who was a devoted disciple of Jiddu Krishnamurti, one of the greatest and most self realised spiritual philosophers of our time. Mark passed away due to pneumonia complications on April 6, 2024, at he Ventura Community Memorial Hospital in California. His exit was an irreparable loss to the spiritual world.

Fossil fuel projects: NGOs ask investors to cut TotalEnergies’ main sources of finance

By Antoine Bouhey, Lara Cuvelier, Helen Burley*  Reclaim Finance has joined 58 NGOs from around the world, including Banktrack, in signing an open letter calling on banks and investors to stop participating in bonds (loans granted by investors and facilitated by banks) issued by TotalEnergies. The 58 NGO signatories include 350.org , Amazon Watch, BankTrack, Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCOR, Papua New Guinea), Justiça Ambiental (Mozambique) and Friday for Future (Uganda), Oil Change International and Urgewald (Germany).