Skip to main content

Is India run by "embattled, authoritarian, repressive regime" supported by vigilante groups? Asks Newsweek

Minorities protest against Modi during his US visit
By Our Representative
In a scathing commentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's governance ahead of his visit to the United Kingdom (UK), to take place in November second week, the powerful international journal "Newsweek" has wondered if "India is being run by an embattled, authoritarian and repressive regime, supported by vigilantes."
In an opinion article by John Elliott, titled "Narendra Modi’s Rule in India Threatened by Holy Cows" and a photograph showing the family of lynched Dadri victim Mohammad Akhlaque with a sub-title "Modi Islamaphobia India", the top weekly said, such a view "contrasts sharply with the friendly open “make in India” economic-growth face that Modi displays on his frequent visits abroad — and will do again in the UK next month."
The importance the weekly gives to the opinion article is proved by the fact that it chose to reproduce an article which first appeared on the "Riding the Elephant" blog. An India hand, Elliott is the author of "Implosion: India’s Tryst With Reality" (HarperCollins, India).
Newsweek said, "India has been hit by waves of growing religious and social intolerance since Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party was elected 18 months ago. This has flushed out some of the Hindu nationalist party’s most stridently anti-Muslim voices, and has also sharply increased liberal concern about where a Modi-led India is heading."
It commented, "For the most part, Modi and his fellow ministers have done little to restrain the extremists though; facing the possibility of failing to win the state of Bihar’s current assembly elections, they have been trying to defuse a row over eating beef that has escalated into a national issue."
"So serious has this issue and other examples of prejudice and intolerance become — and so silent was Modi and his fellow ministers — that Pranab Mukherjee, the country’s president, has broken tradition by speaking forcefully on a current topic. He has twice called for restraint in recent days, expressing 'apprehension about whether tolerance and acceptance of dissent are on the wane',” the weekly underlined.
"The events have confirmed the worst fears of those who opposed Modi’s election last year. They have also damaged India’s image abroad, which has already been hit in the past two or three years by evidence of widespread rapes, caste-based repression and violence and endemic corruption", the weekly pointed out.
Giving examples of lynching of Mohammad Akhlaque in Dadri in September on rumour of beaf eating, and the killing of MM Kalburgi, the 76-year old Kannada writer in August, the weekly said, "The lack of official condemnation of this and other similar killings, and the failure of the Sahitya Akademi to condemn the slaughter and commemorate the life of one of its awardees, led to a stream of protests from other authors."
"This became linked with protests against the government’s inaction over the beef row, and numerous writers have demonstrated by returning awards given by the Akademi, which has increased national publicity over the issue", the weekly said, adding, "Modi was slow to comment on the killings and the broader beef issue, and when he did speak on the Dadri death, he only said it was 'saddening and unfortunate'.”
The weekly believed, "A prime minister might be expected to be more outspoken about such a crime, but it fitted with his approach to all controversial anti-Muslim events and extreme Hindu nationalist remarks since a government minister soured the government’s image and undermined the apparent supremacy of its economic agenda last November when she implied that non-Hindu’s (i.e. Muslims) were illegitimate."

Comments

thanks for picking up my blog article, but a slight correction please:

I did not say that "India is being run by an embattled, authoritarian and repressive regime, supported by vigilantes". I said that this was the implication of what has been happening, and made that statement in order to point out how it "contrasts sharply with the friendly open “make in India” economic-growth face that Modi displays on his frequent visits abroad – and will do again in the UK next month".

John Elliott
Counterview said…
We have corrected the header.-- Counterview Representative
thanks, and for the headline
je

TRENDING

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

Modi wants Pak govt be held responsible for JeM terror strike: World doesn't agree

By Sandeep Pandey*
I went to participate in a candle light homage paying event at Dr BR Ambedkar's statue organised by about 200 Dalit students on Hazratganj main crossing in Lucknow on February 16, 2019 evening, two days after the dastardly terrorist act in Pulwana, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), in which 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel was killed.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”

Anti-liquor march: Women padyatris "resolve" to occupy Karnataka state assembly

By Abhay, Swarna Bhat*
At a huge public convention held at Siddaganga Mutt on the Republic Day, January 26, 2019, in the presence of Sanehalli Sri Panditaradhya Swamiji, padyatris of the Madya Nishedha Andolana decided to intensify the ongoing liquor ban movement. A resolution passed at the convention, in which thousands of rural women joined in, the marching women declared that on reaching Bengaluru will “occupy Vidhan Soudha” on Mahatma Gandhi’s martyrdom day, January 30.