Thursday, October 15, 2015

Modi and the Hindu Hard-Liners - Editorial - The New York Times

The New York Times Editorial is trying to be politically correct in separating Modi from his own party's Hard liners, even though by all standards of judgement, Modi's all moves and especially his silence after the mob lynching of a Muslim on mere rumors of an allegation that is not legally a crime --- exposes without any shadow of doubt that Modi's full sympathy, if not full support is with the rabble-rousers. It is significant that International Media has editorially taken note of the turmoil India is going through. But any simplistic diagnosis as a mere slap on the wrist will not do justice to the suffering of the millions, as the hardliners persist in vigorous following up of their declared agenda of ethnic cleansing of  200 million Indian Muslims, now with the connivance of hard-line Hindutva BJP government.

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai


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The Opinion Pages | EDITORIAL

Modi and the Hindu Hard-Liners

By OCT. 14, 2015

Since he was elected in May 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India has been adept at appeasing his Hindu hard-line base while, at the same time, promising economic growth and development to a wider national and international audience. But that balancing act is in danger of teetering, imperiling not only the economic development Mr. Modi has promised but also India’s open, inclusive democracy.

The latest alarming sign of the Hindu right’s growing boldness was the Sept. 28 lynching of a Muslim man by an angry mob. The attack, which occurred in the village of Bisada, just 30 miles from India’s capital city, New Delhi, was instigated by local Hindu men, many linked to the governing Bharatiya Janata Party.
On the strength of a baseless rumor that a cow — considered sacred by Hindus — had been killed in the area and that a local Muslim family was eating beef, a furious mob descended on the family’s home, killing 52-year-old Mohammed Ikhlaq and severely injuring his son. Another son, Sartaj, an active member of India’s Air Force, admirably appealed for calm after the attack.
Indians took part in a vigil in memory of the Muslim man who was killed by a mob earlier this month.CreditAltaf Qadri/Associated Press
Although Mr Modi denied that his party had anything to do with the episode, his public aloofness as officials in his government and extremists across the country have aggressively pushed a Hindu nationalist agenda is partly to blame. So are the prime minister’s efforts to make cow slaughter a divisive political issue. During his election campaign Mr. Modi had warned Hindu voters that if the Congress Party gained control, it would expand a “pink revolution” of cow slaughter.
Last week, at a political rally in Bihar, where hotly contested state elections began on Monday, Mr. Modi slammed the opposition politician Lalu Prasad, suggesting he was possessed by a “devil” for “insulting” Yadavs, an important clan in Bihar, by suggesting they eat beef. In contrast, Mr. Modi boasted that “I come from the land of Gujarat,” where “people worship cows.”
Faced with mounting outrage at his silence on the brutal lynching, Mr. Modi finally managed to refer directly to the attack on Wednesday, calling it “sad” and “unwelcome.” In comments to a Bengali-language newspaper, he declared: “The B.J.P. has never supported such incidents.” This message is welcome but it comes late.
Mr. Modi should keep in mind the wise words of India’s president, Pranab Mukherjee, in an eloquent plea for sanity last week. “We cannot allow the core values of our civilization to be wasted,” Mr. Mukherjee warned, adding, “This civilization has celebrated diversity, promoted and advocated tolerance, endurance and plurality.”

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