Skip to main content

Modi will stir up communal tensions to maintain popularity if economy fails: Influential UK weekly predicts

Modi riding paper tiger: As seen by "The Economist"
By Our Representative
Top British weekly, “The Economist” has expressed that fear that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “will try to maintain his popularity by stirring up communal tensions” in India as the economy begins to falter, recalling his role as as Gujarat chief minister, “when rioting there killed at least 1,000 people, most of them Muslims.”
Pointing out that “to this day, he has never categorically condemned the massacre or apologised for failing to prevent it”, the influential weekly, in an article ahead of Modi’s US visit, says, “India’s prime minister is not as much of a reformer as he seems”, insisting, “He is more of a nationalist firebrand”.
Published in the print edition of the daily dated June 24, 2017, the weekly says, when Modi became the prime minister in 2014, “opinion was divided as to whether he was a Hindu zealot disguised as an economic reformer, or the other way round.”
It insists, “The past three years appear to have settled the matter… Modi has pandered to religious sentiment at times, most notably by appointing a rabble-rousing Hindu prelate as chief minister of India’s most-populous state, Uttar Pradesh.”
Qualifying the economic reforms Modi claims to have undertaken all as “appearances”, which are “deceiving”, the weekly says, the goods and services tax (GST), “although welcome, is unnecessarily complicated and bureaucratic, greatly reducing its efficiency.”
It adds, “The new bankruptcy law is a step in the right direction, but it will take much more to revive the financial system, which is dominated by state-owned banks weighed down by dud loans.”
Then, the weekly says, “The central government’s response to a host of pressing economic problems, from the difficulty of buying land to the reform of rigid labour laws, has been to pass them to the states.”
Sharply attacking what Modi government considers its biggest economic reform, demonetization, the weekly says, it has proved to be “counterproductive, hamstringing legitimate businesses without doing much harm to illicit ones.”
“No wonder”, it says, “The economy is starting to drag. In the first three months of the year it grew at an annualised rate of 6.1%, more slowly than when Modi came to power.”
Pointing out that “India’s prime minister… is not the radical reformer he is cracked up to be”, the weekly insists, “He has not come up with many big new ideas of his own”, adding, “The GST and the bankruptcy reforms date back long before his time.”
Modi’s reputation as a friend to business rests, says the weekly, more “on his vigorous efforts to help firms out of fixes—finding land for a particular factory, say, or expediting the construction of a power station. But he is not so good at working systematically to sort out the underlying problems holding the economy back.”
In fact, says the weekly, “Modi has been just as careful to court militant Hindus as jet-setting businessmen”, adding, “His government recently created havoc in the booming beef-export business with onerous new rules on purchases of cattle, in deference to Hindus’ reverence for cows.”
Especially hitting out at UP chief minister, the weekly says, “Yogi Adityanath, the man he selected to run UP, is under investigation for inciting religious hatred and rioting, among other offences. ” It adds, “Modi himself has become the object of a sycophantic personality cult”.
Pointing to how “Hindu nationalist thugs” operating under Modi “intimidate those who chide the government for straying from India’s secular tradition”, the weekly recalls now NDTV which “dares to criticise the government has been raided by police on grounds that would not normally attract such heavy-handedness.”

Comments

Anonymous said…
What is really fearful is the possibility that, to create a 'Hindu Rashtra', the ruling BJP with Midi and his stand-up Amir Shah at the helm, will be willing to isolate India even from the world, thus taking us back to an ancient, caste driven idea of India doing its own thing. But with the nuclear capability to maintain its isolation.

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…

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

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.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.