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TIME MAGAZINE'S ATTACK ON MODI & MANMOHAN - THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BJP & CONGRESS

by IRC-ADMIN - May 15 2019 5:08PM

Time Magazine, the popular American weekly has published its international edition with a headline calling PM Modi as, “India’s Divider in Chief”. The cover of the May 20 issue carries a caricature of PM Modi and the controversial title pertains to an article written by Aatish Taseer with the headline being, “Can the World’s Largest Democracy Endure Another Five Years of a Modi Government?”. The same had been done to the previous PM Manmohan Singh by the Time Magazine calling him an underachiever. Although both seem to give a potential opportunity for the opposition during their particular times, there has been a millennial difference between the attitudes of the two oppositions. Through this article, IRC would like to analyze the reactions from BJP and Congress and why the Time Magazine got it wrong.

HOW BJP REACTED WHEN IN OPPOSITION

Several citizens and leaders are outraged at the article, talking about “Modi’s failed economic miracle” is very biased and fails to mention the important reforms like GST, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), and the formulation of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) under Modi government. The healthy economic growth despite the odds in the global economic climate also goes unmentioned. However, the most disheartening aspect of this is that not one leader from any of the opposition parties has come out to state the gross disrespect of the country’s elected leader.

This muteness makes one go back to 2012 when a similar article was published by Time Magazine featuring the then Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, titled, “The Underachiever-India needs a reboot. Is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh up for the job?” The report titled ‘A Man in Shadow’ by Krista Mahr, read how the country’s economic growth has gone down and that the prime minister is busy fending off corruption charges. In the aftermath of this international insult, several prominent BJP leaders had come out supporting Manmohan Singh, even though they were the main opposition to the Congress-led UPA rule.The then Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, a leader of the BJP had expressed his disapproval at the magazine cover. Unwelcoming the interference from an American publication, he had stated, “We are all children of one nation and he is our Prime Minister. If something’s wrong, we will all sit together and resolve it, but we can’t give that right to anybody else.” He continued further by stating that, “The Prime Minister of India does not need a certificate from Time magazine. The prime minister of the country has to be respected by everyone.”

Along with Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the then Madhya Pradesh BJP president Prabhat Jha stated, “No foreign magazine has the right to look down upon the Prime Minister of India. There could be ideological differences with the PM, but they would be dealt with in the country.” He had further stated that “It must not be forgotten America uses magazines like Time to wage ideological warfare against other countries.”

Even when they were in the opposition, BJP leaders had shown a token of solidarity. They realized the nation and its sovereignty came above everything, especially internal differences. The political parties can dispute one another and challenge each other based on the policies or governance, but in front of the world, they were united as one nation. Unfortunately, the opposition today doesn’t realize this. For them, internal politics have become so crucial that deriving electoral benefits have become the priority, over and above the national integrity.

ARTICLE DOES CONTAIN SOME FACTS

….and the ideology Nehru bequeathed to the newly independent nation was secularism. This secularism was more than merely a separation between religion and state; in India, it means the equal treatment of all religions by the state, although to many of its critics, that could translate into Orwell’s maxim of some being more equal than others. Indian Muslims were allowed to keep Shari’a-based family law, while Hindus were subject to the law of the land. Arcane practices–such as the man’s right to divorce a woman by repudiating her three times and paying a minuscule compensation–were allowed for Indian Muslims, while Hindus were bound by reformed family law and often found their places of worship taken over by the Indian state. (Modi made the so-called Triple Talaq instant divorce a punishable offence through an executive order in 2018.)

Nehru’s political heirs, who ruled India for the great majority of those post-independence years, established a feudal dynasty, while outwardly proclaiming democratic norms and principles. India, under their rule, was clubbish, anglicized and fearful of the rabble at the gates. In May 2014 those gates were breached when the BJP, under Modi, won 282 of the 543 available seats in Parliament, reducing the Congress to 44 seats, a number so small that India’s oldest party no longer even had the right to lead the opposition.

CRAP CLAIMS WITHOUT FOUNDATION

(A) Most of all, his ascension showed that beneath the surface of what the elite had believed was a liberal syncretic culture, India was indeed a cauldron of religious nationalism, anti-Muslim sentiment and deep-seated caste bigotry. The country had a long history of politically instigated sectarian riots, most notably the killing of at least 2,733 Sikhs in the streets of Delhi after the 1984 assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. The Congress leadership, though hardly blameless, was able, even though the particular profession of secular ideals, to separate itself from the actions of the mob.

Modi, by his deafening silences after more recent atrocities, such as the killing of more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, in his home state of Gujarat in 2002, proved himself a friend of the mob~ Like all so-called intellectuals, Taseer displays “intellectual arrogance” in boasting to know more about history and contemporary events than others. Anyone with an elementary knowledge of events of 1984 post-Indira Gandhi’s assassination would be aware that top Congress leaders of Delhi, many of them confidants of Rajiv and his late brother Sanjay, instigated Congress mobs to massacre innocent Sikhs in Delhi and elsewhere. Rajiv Gandhi made comments like “when a big tree falls, the earth shakes….” The Congress was fully complicit in the murders of Sikhs, and they can’t escape it. In a span of just a few days, thousands of Sikhs lost their lives.

It was nothing short of a pogrom as far as Gujarat is concerned, besides a few instances where some leaders were said to have instigated mobs, by and large, it was a series of small-scale events which continued over many months. It was not a single event, as more than 1/4th of the victims were Hindu. It is also common knowledge that the ghastly burning of the train in Godhra by a Muslim mob that resulted in the murder of more than 50 innocent Hindus was what led to the post-Godhra violence. It was the media silence blaming the victims for their deaths that saw people reacting most brutally. But it can’t be compared 1984, as unlike then when the victims were just Sikhs, in the case of Gujarat 2002, there were Muslims and Hindus who both suffered.

Foreign media’s obsession with India is not new. They always portray India in a negative light and leave no stone unturned to malign India’s image with their lies and propaganda at a global level. The foreign media’s incipient hatred for India is very well known. Even though India has made significant progress since its Independence, the international media still presents India as a backward, land of snake charmers and many other derogatory labels are allocated to India. It shows the racist mentality of the foreign press.

Before TIME Magazine, The New York Times had ridiculed India’s stand at the Paris Climate Summit where India had asked developed countries to make deeper emission cuts.  Earlier also, the New York Times published an offensive cartoon making fun of India’s success in its very first Mars Mission. Previously, Thomson Reuters Foundation, while reporting a positive story about how ‘India has the highest number of women pilots in the world’, the publication could not hide its bigotry and racism, and ended up adding “patriarchal society which typically frowns on women in such jobs”.

It should be noted here that while the Congress is going to all possible lows to throw out Modi from power, the BJP has been graceful in the opposition too is bringing in narratives to bring down the government. Even when we say that politics without boundaries, there need to be several unsaid boundaries to hold the nation first. The BJP over the years has precisely done the same.

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