Narendra Modi Stokes Divisions in India: The Economist

Hundreds of thousands of people in India are protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Population Register (NPR), and National Register of Citizens (NRC) announced by PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.
Hundreds of thousands of people in India are protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Population Register (NPR), and National Register of Citizens (NRC) announced by PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.

The article headlined “Intolerant India” explains that the Modi government has changed the citizenship laws to make it easier for the followers of all the subcontinent’s religions, except Islam, to acquire citizenship.

By Rakesh Raman

One of the most reputed magazines of the world – The Economist – has said that the Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi stokes divisions in the world’s biggest democracy.

In a hard-hitting article written against Modi, the magazine said in its January 25th, 2020 edition that India’s 200 million Muslims fear that Modi is building a Hindu state.

The Economist
The Economist

The article headlined “Intolerant India” explains that the Modi government has changed the citizenship laws to make it easier for the followers of all the subcontinent’s religions, except Islam, to acquire citizenship.

At the same time, the article adds, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants to compile a register of all India’s 1.3 billion citizens, as a means to hunt down illegal immigrants.

The exercise to make the register aims to single out and target Muslims – most of whom do not have the papers to prove their citizenship. After identifying millions of Muslims, according to The Economist, the Modi government plans to declare them stateless.

The government also has ordered the building of camps or detention centers to detain those caught in the net. The Economist further says that Modi government’s move has sparked widespread and lasting protests, as a large number of Indians have begun to speak out against Modi for his apparent determination to transform India from a tolerant, multi-religious place into a chauvinist Hindu state.

Meanwhile, billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros also said on January 23 that Modi is creating a Hindu nationalist state (Hindu Rashtra) to harm Muslims in the country.

The octogenarian Soros – who has donated more than $32 billion to his philanthropic organization the Open Society Foundations – added that Modi is imposing punitive measures on Kashmir, a semi-autonomous Muslim region, and threatening to deprive millions of Muslims of their citizenship (through the newly announced citizenship laws).

In order to oppose the new anti-Muslim citizenship laws announced by the Modi government, hundreds of thousands of Indians have been protesting in the streets for the past couple of months.

Even the Supreme Court of India – which is controlled by the Modi government – has refused to grant stay on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), which has triggered nationwide protests.

The 89-year-old Soros was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Regarding nationalism, he said that the biggest and most frightening setback has come in India where a democratically elected Modi is creating a Hindu nationalist state.

In order to fight authoritarian governments, Soros has announced to start a global university with an investment of $1 billion. It will also handle other emerging issues such as climate change.

In a Q&A session during the event, Soros covered an array of issues including the autocratic rule of China’s Xi Jinping, India’s Narendra Modi, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, and the U.S. President Donald Trump.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications and research reports on different subjects.

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