Until recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign to portray India as a rising power seemed to be ticking along despite troubles at home. Much of the world remained quiet, or cautious, in recent months as India began locking up hundreds of opposition politicians and activists without charge across the country. Business executives say they are too afraid to speak out about shortcomings in the government’s economic strategy. The press complains of government intimidation.
Still, there was President Trump last week, embracing Mr. Modi in New Delhi… But as the leaders celebrated each other in India’s capital, Hindu mobs began going after Muslim protesters in neighborhoods just a few miles away while the police looked on or joined in. And it was those images – the return of sectarian violence on the streets, not the carefully crafted show of international partnership – that set the tone for India on the world stage over the past week.
On Wednesday, Freedom House, a nonpartisan democracy advocacy organization, flagged India as a major concern. “The Indian government has taken its Hindu nationalist agenda to a new level with a succession of policies,” the group said, “threatening the democratic future of a country long seen as a potential bulwark of freedom in Asia and the world.”…
Modi’s image as a world statesman has taken battering since his second term began – By Tavleen Singh (Mar 1, 2020, Indian Express)
Modi’s Government Taking Hindu Nationalist Agenda To ‘New Level’ – By Muneeza Naqvi (Mar 5, 2020, Bloomberg)
Threat to India’s Muslims no longer an ‘internal issue’ – By Tariq A. Al Maeena (Mar 7, 2020, Gulf News)
India’s Muslims are punished for asking to be Indian – By Vidya Subrahmaniam (Mar 7, 2020, Al Jazeera)