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

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

TN woman's No Caste, No Religion struggle 'follows' ideals of Marx, Ambedkar, Periyar

By Sheshu Babu*
In these days of rising communal tensions, a courageous woman from Tamil Nadu achieved her dream of obtaining 'No Caste, No Religion' certificate through persistent struggle. This is quite a significant achievement. It comes alongside some colleges in West Bengal introducing 'humanity', 'agnostic' , 'secular' or 'non-religious' in the application forms for online submission for students who are unwilling to disclose their faith.

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

US Kashmiri diaspora body: World leaders, UN 'not acting', India enjoys total impunity

Counterview Desk
Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly session, to begin on September 17 in New York, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, secretary-general of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, a non-profit organization based in Ohio, US, claiming to focus on providing information on Kashmir, has regretted that despite "violent" behaviour of Indian authorities in Kashmir, they enjoy "total impunity" across the world.

Modi used to 'run errands' during Emergency, his role was that much: Top JP associate

By Rajiv Shah
In a sharp exposure, well-known Gujarati critic, journalist and activist Prakash N Shah, who had been among the main contact persons of Jay Prakash Narayan (JP) in Gujarat, has recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “merely running errands” during the Emergency (1975-77) period, adding the PM’s stature has been “sought to be unnecessarily inflated”, though adding, he is not saying this to “belittle him.”

Jharkhand riverine terminal: 485 families 'displaced', lose land, livelihood in Sahibgunj

Counterview Desk
Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposes to inaugurate on Thursday India’s second riverine Multi-Modal terminal (MMT) at Sahibganj in Jharkhand, built at a cost of Rs 290 crore reportedly in a record time of about two years, several civil rights organizations* have said that the government has failed to address the high-profile terminal’s social and environmental concerns.

Now clampdown on rally, arrest of pro-freedom activists in Pak-occupied Kashmir

Counterview Desk
In a fresh evidence, international human rights organizations are not just confining their attention on the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), whose special status was taken away by the Government of India in early August, leading to an unprecedented clampdown on the region. They have simultaneously begun focusing on the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), where the situation is said to be worsening.
Thus, the International Human Rights Council ((IHRC) Hong Kong (HK), a top human rights organisation, said to be working towards to the promotion peace, equality, fundamental rights and social justice “as enunciated in the UN Human Rights Charter and other instruments of human rights”, has noted now a new wave of independence movement has struck PoK.  With offices in US, UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong, and having Kirity Roy and Lenin Raghuvanshi as IHRC office bearers from India, in a statement, it has claimed that on September 7 one of the biggest pro-Independenc…

Govt of India 'moves' to hold Assam-type foreigners' tribunals across India, warns report

Counterview Desk
A People’s Tribunal on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has warned in its interim jury report that two recent notifications of the Government of India may lay down the groundwork for triggering an NRC process in different parts of the country, pointing towards recent moves towards this.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk
“Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

New sample suggests high pollution off Vadodara effluent channel, 'requires' action

Counterview Desk 
Gujarat’s top environmental group Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) has sharply criticized the Gujarat Pollution Control Board’s (GPCB’s) “on-serious, casual letter” dated September 5, which allegedly suggests that the top state state agency does not favour taking any action Central Gujarat’s effluent treatment plant, Vadodara Enviro Channel Ltd (VECL).