Skip to main content

"The Economist" recalls Modi role in 2002 Gujarat riots, questions his silence on RSS-backed ghar vapsi

Modi with Sakshi Maharaj
By Our Representative
In a hard-hitting commentary, the influential British weekly, “The Economist”, qualifying the whole RSS-Sangh Parivar “ghar vapsi” (home coming) “offensive” and “threatening” to Indian Muslims and Christians, and “highly contentious”, has sharply questioned Modi’s “reticence” on the issue. The top weekly believes, while some reports want one believe that Modi tried to rein in the hardliners, the fact is, he cannot hope to antagonize them. After all, it is they solidly stood with Modi when he was “shunned internationally” following the 2002 Gujarat riots.
“It was the BJP’s right wing and RSS activists that stayed with him and provided the platform for his campaign”, the weekly says, adding, “He is in their debt, and also needs them to keep getting the vote out in state and national elections.” In its commentary in the print edition dated January 17, underlines, yet “another explanation for Modi’s silence is that he agrees with them, if not with their methods. He, after all, is an RSS veteran, steeped in its teachings.”
Titled “The Hindutva rate of growth”, “The Economist” wonders what made John Kerry, US secretary of state, say, when he attended Vibrant Gujarat Investors’ Summit (January 12-13) that he “hoped the Gujarat experience could be ‘extrapolated’ to the rest of India”, going so far as to call Modi a “visionary prime minister”. In a sarcastically remarks, “It seems churlish and irrelevant to recall that a decade ago America refused Modi a visa because of his failure to prevent appalling communal violence, mostly directed at the Muslim minority, in Gujarat in 2002.”
“The Economist” says, one should not forget that the party to which Modi belongs, the BJP, is India’s centre-right party, which is “socially conservative and economically liberal”, and which is the “political wing of the RSS, a mass organisation inspired by Hindutva, or Hindu nationalism.” It points out, in this context, how “some BJP members are driven by this ideology as much as by Modi’s modernising zeal.”
Recalling how BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj said that every Hindu woman should have at least four children to protect the Hindu religion, with another of his colleagues advocating five children per Hindu woman, “The Economist” suggests, while it may “flout government policy”, those in power also know how it also “panders to an atavistic fear that Hindus are producing fewer children than Muslims”.
Differentiating the current BJP rule from the one that existed under Atal Behari Vajpayee during 1998-2004, when the party did not have enough numbers to rule and was driven by coalition requirements, the journal says, “Today, the BJP government can govern without the votes of ‘secular’ parties in the lower house of Parliament.” That is the reason why the “RSS is enjoying a resurgence, and its ideologues have the wind at their backs.”
Pointing towards a parallel between Modi and two other Asian leaders, Chinese president Xi Jianping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, “The Economist” comments, Xi may be “pursuing many admirable aims – rooting out corruption and tackling difficult economic reforms”, but all this “is accompanied by intensified political repression”. As for Abe, “Modi’s friend”, he be promising “economic reforms” but is also pandering “to the Japanese right” by trying to “airbrush history.”
“The Economist” concludes, both the leaders “want to make their countries great again”, and to them “economic reform is the means to a nationalist end.” But as for Modi, to him “nationalism is of the Hindu variety.”

Comments

Unknown said…

An erroneous Election System has given the party (BJP) to capture thumping majority of seats in Lower House of Parliament by securing just around 31% of votes polled NOT eligible Voters List nor Total Population!

TRENDING

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Top ex-Gujarat babu tells Modi: Not yoga but solar system is our biggest source of energy

By Rajiv Shah  An email alert to Counterview from a top ex-IAS bureaucrat, termed as Gujarat’s turnaround man for revamping loss-making state public sector undertakings (PSUs), has sought to take a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark on the Yoga day – that the ancient Indian exercise provides an “infinite solutions” within ourselves, offering “the biggest source of energy in the universe.”

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.

Covid fear? Cremation rituals gone upside down, Dalits asked to do Brahminical rituals

By Abhay Jain, Sandeep Pandey*  As Covid consumes human life in a very conspicuous way we are confronted with additional problem of disposing of human corpses. Cremation grounds are lit with continuous pyres, graveyards are running out of land and now Ganga has become a mass grave potentially polluting its water.