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.

ALSO READ

India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”