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Modi down from American pedestal ‘Again’

16 1 0

Opinion |

The scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the recent weeks by two prominent writers in the US — the Washington Post’s Max Boot and the New Yorker magazine’s Dexter Filkins — is the latest indicator underscoring that the tide of American liberal opinion regarding India’s political economy has turned trenchantly critical, bordering on the unfriendly.

Boot and Filkins are influential writers and the publications with which they are associated are immensely prestigious, which makes them powerful opinion makers in America. Modi’s acolytes — the ‘core constituency’ — may shrug shoulders and smirk, ’Who cares?’ But it does matter in an interconnected world that India is getting increasingly marginalized in the mainstream democratic, liberal world opinion.

Broadly speaking, the criticism about India conflates a number of different economic, political and social issues. But a common thread is appearing, which is that Indian democracy has come under threat through the era of Modi’s leadership during the period since 2014.

India finds itself being bracketed with Poland and the Philippines as part of a global trend of illiberal rulers undermining democracy

Modi has been a controversial figure in the US, harking back to his decade as Gujarat’s chief minister and his blacklisting for the visa by the state department following the anti-Muslim riots of 2002.

Without doubt, the lurch toward Hindutva in........

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