Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s victory in the national elections will see India’s soul “lost to a dark politics”, and this is bad news for the country and the world, British newspaper The Guardian said in an editorial on Thursday. The editorial said Modi had threatened “independent India’s most precious facet: a functioning multi-party democracy”.
The newspaper’s criticism of Modi noted that he is a “divisive figure” but “undoubtedly a charismatic campaigner”, who “deployed with terrible effect false claims and partisan facts”. The Congress and the Nehru–Gandhi family, meanwhile, will have to “seriously rethink” how to defeat him, the editorial said.
The editorial said the Hindu nationalism movement that Modi is part of is changing India for the worse, with its focus on upper-caste Hindus, pro-corporate economic growth, cultural conservatism, “intensified” misogyny, and a “firm grip on the instruments of state power”.
The article made remarks about Indian Muslims being “political orphans”, their declining seat share in Parliament, and how Hindutva views them as second-class citizens. It said Modi had recklessly taken India and Pakistan close to war earlier this year.
But Modi’s victory, despite a “spluttering economy”, should perhaps not be surprising, the editorial said, citing a 2017 survey that showed that India had the greatest support for autocratic rule.
About the Bharatiya Janata Party, the newspaper said the party “pays lip service to reducing the yawning inequalities that disfigure India”, and the role of caste and religious conflict in India’s party system suits the outfit. The Opposition, meanwhile, needs to run a “distinctive campaign on an egalitarian platform”, and replace identity-based fights with “political competition over how to benefit all Indians”, the editorial said. “That will require an Opposition in India far savvier and more in touch with the country’s poor than exists today,” it said.
Pankaj Mishra in The New York Times
In an article for The New York Times, journalist and author Pankaj Mishranoted how Modi’s “raw wisdom” had made India suffer for five years, proving him to be “dangerously incompetent”. He wrote about threats to minorities and lower-caste Hindus, as well as dissenting journalists and women. Mishra said that during Modi’s rule, India had witnessed a “savage assault on not just democratic institutions and rational discourse but also ordinary human decency”.
In the article titled “How Narendra Modi Seduced India With Envy and Hate”, Mishra wrote that voters had chosen overwhelmingly to “prolong this nightmare”. “The sources of Mr. Modi’s impregnable charisma seem more mysterious when you consider that he failed completely to realize his central promises of the 2014 election: jobs and national security,” Mishra said.
The writer also said that corporate-owned media had “fervently built up Modi as India’s saviour”.“Since 2014, Mr. Modi’s near-novelistic ability to create irresistible fictions has been steadily enhanced by India’s troll-dominated social media as well as cravenly sycophantic newspapers and television channels,” said the author of the book Age of Anger. He added that the Opposition was right to suggest that the Election Commission had been “shamelessly partisan”.
Mishra said Modi had exploited the “long dormant rage” against India’s “self-perpetuating post-colonial rulers”, noting how previous governments had left “no possibility of dialogue with a metropolitan ruling class of...Godlike aloofness, which had cruelly stranded us in history while itself moving serenely toward convergence with the prosperous West”.
Meanwhile, satirical website The Onion also had a take on Modi’s huge victory. The Onion put up a photo of Modi accompanied with the headline, “India Continues Surge Towards Status as First-world Nation by Reelecting Racist Right-wing Authoritarian”.
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Mangaluru: A Belthangady resident Rawoof, who works as a helper at local Madrasa was on Monday in for a shock of his life when he was informed by his friends and relatives that his name was appearing in news channels and papers but for all the wrong reasons.
Rawoof on Monday received several calls from his friends and relatives informing him about his name appearing in news channels and papers calling to be a terrorist who made and received calls from Pakistan in Belthangady.
Reports were doing rounds in media that the NIA had arrested one terrorist from Belthangady for allegedly making and receiving satellite calls from Pakistan. Although the news was not verified or confirmed from any official sources or authority, media houses jumped to conclusion and soon name of Rawoof appeared in reports as the arrested terrorist.
After being informed by his friends and relatives, Rawoof immediately got in touch with Ullal MLA and senior Congress leader U T Khader who advised him to appear before Dakshina Kannada SP Laxmiprasad and to file a complaint in this regard at the earliest.
Rawoof appeared before Superintendent of Police and cleared his stance and added that he had no connection with Pakistan and that reports being shown in the media are untrue.
After verifying his details and backgrounds to the SP, Rawoof urged him to take strict action against the media houses who have casted him as a terrorist.
Rawoof also met Mangaluru Police Commissioner Dr. PS Harsha and informed him about the reports and added that the whole episode had caused mental harassment and torture to him.
Speaking to Vartha Bharati, Rawoof said "This whole thing has badly affected my mental peace. My family is being asked about my connections with Pakistan. All this, when I don't know anything about such stuff. The whole incident has disturbed me and my family completely".
He further added that he had faith on the police department who will take action against those found guilty.
MLA U T Khader also batted for action against media houses who casted Rawoof as terrorist even when the SP has confirmed that there is no criminal record and history of Rawoof.
Earlier in the day, SP Laxmiprasad had also rubbished the reports and had added that no such incident or case of satellite calls being made or received from Pakistan was reported nor the NIA had arrested any person in this regard.