Mitch Joel WARNING... LONG RANT! It takes a lot for me to both get angry and publish about it. Canada’s…
India September 2022-2023
India: The Modi Question (video episodes 1 & 2)
A look at the tensions between Indian PM Narendra Modi and India’s Muslim minority, investigating claims about his role in the 2002 riots that left over a thousand dead.
(BBC) Narendra Modi is the leader of the world’s largest democracy, a man who has been elected twice as India’s prime minister and is widely seen as the most powerful politician of his generation. Seen by the west as an important bulwark against Chinese domination of Asia, he has been courted as a key ally by both the US and the UK.
Yet Narendra Modi’s premiership has been dogged by persistent allegations about the attitude of his government towards India’s Muslim population. This series investigates the truth behind these allegations and examines Modi’s backstory to explore other questions about his politics when it comes to India’s largest religious minority. (17 January 2023)
Why Modi Can’t Make India a Great Power
Government-Backed Intolerance Is Tearing the Country Apart
By Sushant Singh
(Foreign Affairs) … 1,000 miles away from New Delhi, in the northeastern state of Manipur, India is caught in a conflict that suggests it is in no position to serve as an international leader. Over the last four months, ethnic violence between Manipur’s largest community, the Meiteis, and its second-largest minority, the Kukis, has killed hundreds of people and rendered 60,000 people homeless. Mobs have set fire to over 350 churches and vandalized over a dozen temples. They have burned more than 200 villages.
…the events in Manipur threaten Modi’s goal and vision of a great India. The state’s violence has forced the Indian government to deploy thousands of troops inside Manipur, reducing the country’s capacity to protect its borders from an increasingly aggressive China. The conflict has also hampered India’s efforts to be an influential player in Southeast Asia by making it hard for the country to carry out regional infrastructure projects and by saddling neighboring states with refugees. And the ongoing violence could give other Indian separatist and ethnic partisan groups an opening to challenge New Delhi’s primacy. If these organizations do begin to rebel, as some of them have in the past, the consequences would be disastrous. India is one of the most diverse countries in the world, home to people from thousands of different cultures and communities. It cannot function if these populations are in intense conflict.
The Delhi G20: Which World Order Will Run the Table?
Lisa Van Dusen
(Policy) In this time of avid geopolitical power consolidation, the G20’s role as a diplomatic Venn overlap — between the rules-based international order/US-led G7 and the aspiring world order/China-led BRICs group — portends a summit in Delhi next weekend that could be the most important for the group in more than a decade.
India lands spacecraft near south pole of moon in historic first
Vikram lander touches down at lunar south pole shortly after 6pm India time
(Th Guardian) India lands spacecraft near south pole of moon in historic first
India has become the first country to successfully land a spacecraft near the south pole of the moon, in a historic moment that drew cheers at watching parties around the country.
The successful landing marks India’s emergence as a space power as the government looks to spur investment in private space launches and related satellite-based businesses.
With nuclear-armed India emerging as the world’s fifth-largest economy last year, Modi’s nationalist government is eager to showcase the country’s rising standing as a technology and space powerhouse. A successful moon mission dovetails with Modi’s image of an ascendant India asserting its place among the global elite and would help bolster his popularity ahead of a crucial general election next year.
India’s Big Reforms Come With Controversial Baggage
Bloomberg Economics Daily newsletter
“We are not big-bang reformers,” the top economic aide to India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told me in 2011. Montek Singh Ahluwalia’s take was that all the major economic policy initiatives were already done.
Fast forward 12 years, and Sanjeev Sanyal, economic adviser to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, couldn’t have given a more different answer. In a recent interview, he spoke of the need to tear down the entire “architecture of bureaucracy” that’s held back Indian development—including, eventually, the building in which he (and Ahulwalia before him) works.
“Those buildings actually embody the old Soviet culture—five-year plans, bureaucratic licenses,” Sanyal said. A former Deutsche Bank economist, he left the banking industry and returned to India excited by the “opportunity to do some very big structural reforms.”
Sanyal laid out an arc of economic transformation that India surely needs. But it’s also apparent that the Modi administration’s program has deeply controversial and divisive elements, along with nationalistic baggage from the Soviet-style era. And that risks hindering India in what some dub its “carpe diem moment.”
India’s Supreme Court suspends Rahul Gandhi’s defamation conviction
The Congress leader was convicted in March for mocking PM Narendra Modi’s surname and later removed as a member of parliament.
(Al Jazeera) The Supreme Court of India has suspended opposition Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi’s conviction in a defamation case, an order that will allow him to return to parliament and contest national elections due next year.
Gandhi was convicted in March in a case brought by Purnesh Modi, a legislator from the western state of Gujarat belonging to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), over comments he made in 2019 when he asked why “all thieves have Modi as [their] common surname”.
Shocking video emerges of sexual assault in India’s Manipur state amid ethnic violence
(CNN) A graphic video showing two women forced by a baying mob to walk naked in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur has sparked outrage after it emerged on social media and prompted the country’s leader Narendra Modi to break his silence on the months-long inter-ethnic conflict tearing the state apart.
The viral video depicts an incident from May 4, according to the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) but police only made arrests once the footage went online this week.
Manipur: why is there conflict and how is the government responding?
As violence between the Meitei and Kuki communities continues in north-east India, campaigners criticise the authorities’ reaction and both sides warn of civil war
Whither the Gs? Summitry in a Time of Disruption
(Policy) Having been at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, hosting the G20 summit in September, with his participation at the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit in South Africa in between, Modi will have an opportunity to play the role of conciliator/mediator whether or not Putin attends either event.
Indian opposition parties form ‘INDIA’ alliance
More than two dozen Indian opposition parties have banded together to form an alliance to challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in parliamentary elections next year. The name of the group, the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, spells out INDIA, and is an attempt to counter the BJP on its nationalist platform. A total of 26 parties came together for a two-day meeting in the southern city of Bengaluru. “The main aim is to stand together to safeguard democracy and the constitution,” explained Mallikarjun Kharge, president of the main opposition Congress party.
India’s New Parliament Is Symbol of Modi’s Nationalist Vision
Critics contend that minority groups are being left out of Modi’s plan to remake central Delhi and his articulation of the new India.
By Kai Schultz, Sreeja Biswas and Satviki Sanjay
(Bloomberg) Now, as India increasingly asserts itself as a global power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the citizenry to shed a “mentality of slavery.” His plans include a controversial $2 billion project to modernize the capital and soften the influence of foreign aesthetics. Major government offices constructed under the British Raj are to be replaced — including Sansad Bhavan, whose rowdy halls, which once echoed with the distant sounds of bombs hurled by freedom fighters, may soon become a museum.
C. Uday Bhaskar: Why the deepening US-India bond should give China pause
The US and India have had a shared but muted strategic and security concern since the end of the Cold War in the rise of China
How much New Delhi will benefit from Washington’s embrace is unclear, but Beijing faces the prospect of a growing coalition aimed at resisting it
(SCMP) Though China was not explicitly referred to in the joint statement signed by US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington on June 22, it is the catalyst that has elevated US-India relations to a special strategic partnership.
…the US and India have not entered into a formal military alliance – a template with which Washington is more familiar – where the world is divided into allies and adversaries. India does not fit into either box, though it bears remembering that for greater part of the Cold War, the bilateral relationship was described as one of “estranged democracies”.
Geopolitics have been churned in unexpected ways since February last year, with the war in Ukraine posing new and seemingly intractable concerns, both ongoing and potential. The US-India joint statement has many domains that have been identified for potential cooperation, ranging from jet engine technology and advanced drones to artificial intelligence and semiconductors.
The degree to which this will enhance India’s comprehensive national power is uncertain since Delhi’s ability to accommodate and appropriately benefit from the US embrace is still a work in progress.
What Did Prime Minister Modi’s State Visit Achieve?
Modi’s state visit led to positive outcomes for both India and the United States, demonstrating how important the bilateral relationship has become to the two countries.
(Council on Foreign Relations) Modi was not only feted with a welcome ceremony and state dinner, but was also invited to address Congress for the second time during his prime ministership. These high-profile events were intended to reflect the two countries’ shared commitment to peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and signify that the United States sees India as a critical partner. Judging by the attention paid to Modi’s arrival and the deals announced, both countries came away with winning outcomes, singly and jointly.
The India Quandary
(NYT editorial board) India is a democracy in which the world’s biggest electorate openly and freely exercises the fundamental right to choose its leader. Its population is the largest in the world, and its economy is now the fifth largest in the world; its vast diaspora wields huge influence, especially in American business. With its history of close relations with Moscow, long and sometimes contested border with China and strategic location in a highly volatile neighborhood, India is destined to be a critical player in geopolitics for decades to come. Mr. Modi, the prime minister since 2014, commands sky-high popularity ratings and a secure majority in his Parliament, and is in the enviable position of leading a country with a relatively young, growing population.
… But Mr. Biden cannot ignore the other, equally significant, changes in India during the last nine years: Under Mr. Modi and his right-wing, Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, India has witnessed a serious erosion of the civil and political rights and democratic freedoms guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. Mr. Modi and his allies have been accused of policies that target and discriminate against religious minorities, especially India’s 200 million Muslims, and of using the power of the state to punish rivals and silence critics. Raids on political opponents and dissenting voices have become frequent; the mainstream news media has been diminished; the independence of courts and other democratic institutions has been eroded — all to a chorus of avowals from the B.J.P. that it is acting strictly within the law.
Narendra Modi denies religious discrimination exists in India
(Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi denied that discrimination against minorities existed under his government during a press conference with U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday, despite rights groups and State Department reports of abuses.
Asked at the press conference what steps he was willing to take to “improve the rights of Muslims and other minorities in your country and to uphold free speech,” Modi suggested they did not need to be improved.
Modi’s moment in Washington
After meeting with Biden on Thursday, Modi also addressed a joint session of Congress at the US Capitol – his second speech before US lawmakers since coming to power in 2014. He spent a large chunk of time talking up India’s democratic bonafides, referring to his country as “the mother of democracy” and nodding to the state’s 2,500 political parties.
Modi also reinforced that “diversity is a natural way of life,” a clear pushback to critics who say that the Indian head of state has eroded democratic norms at home by giving a pass to Hindu vigilantes (more on that below).
Regarding the war in Ukraine, he called for respect for “territorial integrity and sovereignty,” but he failed to refer to Russia and instead made sweeping references to the need for “diplomacy.”
‘India is now a linchpin’: US looks to Narendra Modi’s visit to counter China
The Biden administration will try to strengthen US-India ties while the Indian leader looks to shore up votes for next year’s election
(The Guardian) The symbolism of the visit will be hard to avoid. As Narendra Modi arrives in Washington DC on Wednesday – the capital of a country he was once prohibited from visiting for almost 10 years – he will join the ranks of Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Volodymyr Zelenskiy as one of the few leaders to address a joint session of Congress more than once.
Sorry, America. India will never be your ally.
By Barkha Dutt
(WaPo opinion) Of course, India’s growing cooperation in the Quad raises hackles in Beijing. And yes, India’s issues with China are grave. Just three years ago, India lost 20 soldiers in a deadly mountain clash with Chinese troops along their common frontier in the high Himalayas.
But don’t think for a moment that India will take its cue from America on China; New Delhi wants to manage the relationship on its own terms. Indians have held 18 rounds of talks with the Chinese to resolve the border dispute. Meanwhile, India remains a key participant in the Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. As a founding member, India holds the second-largest number of voting shares after China, which at 30 percent effectively enjoys veto rights.
There’s no question that the United States and India have much in common. They are both open and argumentative societies. Diversity is the strength of both nations.
Even so, it’s not the romance of shared values that is bringing the two countries together. It’s the reality check of geopolitics.
PM Modi to Create History on His First Official Visit to USA; Everything from State Dinner to Bilateral Talks to Diaspora Meetings
PM Modi’s official US visit in 2023 is highly anticipated to create history, as he will be addressing a joint meeting of the US Congress at the Capitol on June 23. This is one of the most prestigious honors that White House accords to the political heads of foreign countries in good relations with America. The Indian American community and corporate honchos of the US, including CEOs of top conglomerates are gearing up to welcome him. …
The schedule of Modi’s first state visit to USA is full of events starting with the International Yoga Day celebration at the UN headquarters in New York City on June 21. On the same day, he would fly to Washington DC … June 21 will end with a private dinner that the Bidens will host at the White House in honor of PM Modi, following an event with Dr. Jill Biden, an advocate of educational opportunities. The pre-dinner event is likely to culminate in a discussion on the prospects of creating a bridge between US universities and the top institutes in India.
Can India Become a Green Superpower?
The Stakes of the World’s Most Important Energy Transition
(Foreign Affairs) India made a dramatic announcement at the UN Climate Change COP in Glasgow: it planned to reach net-zero emissions by 2070. India is the world’s largest country by population and its third-biggest polluter. If India meets that goal, the planet will have a fighting chance to stay within the two-degree target. One estimate found that India’s net-zero achievement could reduce warming by 0.2 degrees Celsius, a remarkable figure for the efforts of just one state. …
India is trying to develop as fast as it can while eliminating greenhouse gas emissions, and traditionally, states cannot develop and decarbonize simultaneously. Every state that has gone from poor to rich has done so by dramatically increasing its energy consumption, and India is unlikely to be an exception.
India as It Is: Washington and New Delhi Share Interests, Not Values
By Daniel Markey
(Foreign Affairs) It has been a ritual for decades. Whenever American policymakers travel to India, they sing paeans to the beauty of Indian politics, to the country’s diversity, and to the shared values connecting—in the words of multiple U.S. presidents—“the world’s oldest democracy” and “the world’s largest democracy.” This rhetoric may be gauzy, and it is certainly grandiose. But to Washington, it is not empty. In the view of U.S. policymakers, common democratic principles will be the foundation of an enduring U.S.-Indian relationship, one with broad strategic significance. The world’s two biggest democracies, they say, can’t help but have similar worldviews and interests.
Yet again and again, India has disappointed American hopes. Gandhi, for example, frustrated Roosevelt by prioritizing India’s struggle for freedom against the British Empire over the war against imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. New Delhi not only refused to align with Washington during the Cold War; it forged warm ties with Moscow instead. Even after the Cold War ended and India began strengthening its relations with the United States, New Delhi maintained strong connections to the Kremlin. It has refused to work with the United States on Iran, and it has made nice with Myanmar’s military regime. Most recently, it has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
If making democratic values the cornerstone of the U.S.-Indian relationship has always been a dubious strategy, today it is clearly doomed—because the very notion of common values has itself come to look fanciful. Ever since Narendra Modi became the Indian prime minister nine years ago, India’s status as a democracy has become increasingly suspect.
Why India and the U.S. Are Closer Than Ever
Defense deals and tech ties underpin Modi’s visit to Washington.
(Foreign Policy) Washington is rolling out the red carpet for Modi. … It’s not just pomp and symbolism, however. The United States wants to bring India deeper into its manufacturing and defense orbit, with the added benefit of helping wean New Delhi’s military off Russia and U.S. supply chains off China. Although both sides have been tight-lipped on planned announcements, a number of expected agreements on semiconductor chips and fighter jet engines have been in the works for months, bolstered by visits to New Delhi by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in the weeks leading up to Modi’s trip. This week, the two sides reportedly sealed a deal for India to buy more than two dozen American drones.
Plug R&D gaps to make the most of US cooperation
An enabling ecosystem can’t be nurtured with the existing structural constraints in R&D funding and higher education.
C Uday Bhaskar, Director, Society for Policy Studies
(Tribune India) THE India-US bilateral relationship is all set to be infused with summit-level political attention and policy deliberations during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s June 21-24 state visit to the US. The agenda includes a ceremonial welcome at the White House by US President Joe Biden and an address by PM Modi to a joint session of the US Congress. Such protocols have a symbolism that is indicative of the priority being accorded by the US to the country and the individual leader being hosted.
… India will have to nurture an ecosystem that is R&D-friendly across the board. This will iron out another structural constraint related to education that is hobbling the current indigenisation effort. The pace of technological change and knowledge expansion is dizzying and this is being driven by a young demographic profile across the world in leading centres of higher education.
Why Modi gets rockstar treatment when he travels abroad How much is the diaspora fuelling him?
(The Conversation) On June 22, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make his first official state visit to the United States. And if his visits to Australia last month, to Canada in 2015 and to Texas in 2019 are any indication, he’ll be given a rockstar welcome.
Of course, Modi has his critics too, who point to the populist leader’s far-right policies and human rights abuses.
Yet, as the prime minister of the world’s largest democracy, Modi remains one of the world’s most popular leaders – not just at home, but among the tens of millions who make up the global South Asian diaspora. … With India having one of the highest remittance rates in the world, how much does overseas support contribute to Modi’s popularity and success? And what kind of an impact could a progressive element of that diaspora have on Indian politics?
The Modi Decade
From the expansion of India’s infrastructure to rapid technological diffusion, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nine years in office have included plenty of worthy achievements. Unfortunately, they have also featured flawed policies in a wide range of areas.
(Project Syndicate) Last week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government inaugurated a new parliament building in New Delhi. It was supposed to symbolize the vision of a “new India” that Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claim they have been realizing during nine years in power. But the building has proved highly controversial, with 20 opposition parties boycotting the inauguration ceremony – the latest manifestation of the seemingly irreparable breakdown in relations between the opposition and the government.
As a member of the opposition, I, too, have strongly criticized the Indian government’s policies, rhetoric, and functioning. But the fact is that Modi reportedly enjoys the highest approval ratings of any world leader. As we approach the beginning of an election year, it is worth considering the sources of this support. The Modi government can claim some notable accomplishments. The most obvious has been the rapid construction of much-needed infrastructure, including new airports, ports, and highways, enabled by streamlined procedures, quick approvals, and extensive reliance on private contractors. The infrastructure boom has changed the face of many parts of India, and the work continues, with large new investments in modernizing India’s railway network – one of the world’s largest, but among its creakiest.
Odisha Train Tragedy: An Unaccountable Central Government Enabled by Big Media
There was a time when the mainstream media would ask questions of the regime. Now it attacks those who dare to ask.
Indian train crash: police open criminal negligence case
Ministers accused of trying to shift blame for Friday’s disaster in which 275 people died
(The Guardian) The signalling system is used across India’s entire 40,000-mile network. On Monday, the railway board ordered a widespread examination of the system, with all 19 zones across the country required to submit safety reports by next week.
The government also requested that the central bureau of investigation (CBI), a government agency, begin a criminal investigation into the collision, an indication that arrests could be made. A CBI team travelled to the site on Monday evening, seeking to establish if any criminal tampering was involved in the signal failure.
The commissioner of railway safety has also launched an investigation, and a report is expected within two weeks. The chair of the railway board will brief the prime minister and top officials on developments in the investigation on Tuesday.
Political opponents accused the Modi government of trying to shift focus on to an investigation into criminal negligence by an individual, rather than shouldering responsibility for the disaster and examining endemic safety issues on the railway network.
India train crash investigators to look at possibility of sabotage after wreck in Odisha kills hundreds
The crash happened in Odisha on Friday when the Coromandel Express passenger train hit a stationary freight train and derailed. The derailed train’s coaches fell onto an adjacent track where another train, the Howrah Express, coming from the opposite direction, rammed into the derailed coaches.
A government official said Sunday that a technical signaling failure might have led to the crash, but on Monday, investigators said they were likely to look at the possibility that someone could have deliberately tampered with the automatic signaling system — generally considered safe and effective — to cause the disaster.
India’s Railway Ministry recommended Monday that the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI), the country’s top police agency, which probes high-profile criminal cases, should investigate Friday’s train crash.
Signalling system error led to deadly train crash: India official
Error in the electronic signalling system blamed for the deadliest crash in two decades as families scour hospitals and morgues for missing relatives.
At least 288 killed in India’s deadliest train crash in decades
An extensive search-and-rescue operation ends as an investigation is under way into the triple train pile-up that injured more than 1,100.
As India is set to host Quad Summit in 2024, innovative measures & renewed focus on policy and action are warranted.
C Uday Bhaskar
(The Quint) …the Quad nations (Australia, India, Japan, and the USA) met on the sidelines of the G7, and the joint statement issued on 20 May by the four leaders is a significant indicator of reiterating their collective resolve to uphold international law and ensure that the Indo-Pacific remains a free and open domain.
China and Saudi Arabia boycott G20 meeting held by India in Kashmir
Indian presidency of group becomes mired in controversy as tourism session hosted in disputed territory
The meeting, a tourism working group attended by about 60 delegates from most G20 countries taking place from Monday to Wednesday, required a large show of security at Srinagar international airport.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti claimed India had turned the region into the equivalent of the Guantánamo Bay prison simply to hold a meeting on tourism. She also accused the Bharatiya Janata party, the party of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, of hijacking the G20 for its promotional purposes.
Last week Fernand de Varennes, the UN’s special rapporteur on minority issues, issued a statement saying the G20 was “unwittingly providing a veneer of support to a facade of normalcy” when human rights violations, political persecution and illegal arrests were escalating in Kashmir.
Modi’s Hindu nationalist party loses India’s Karnataka state ahead of national vote
(NPR) India’s main opposition Congress party wrested control of the crucial southern Karnataka state from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party, according to a near complete vote count Saturday that boosted its prospects ahead of national elections due next year.
The poll results are expected to energize the largely divided opposition that is banking on forming a united front to challenge Modi in next year’s general election in which he will seek to extend his prime ministership for a third consecutive term. They will also help prospects of the Congress party, which was routed by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party in the last two national polls and is striving to regain its political prominence nationwide.
Opposition wins big in southern India
(GZERO media) India’s opposition Congress Party swept last week’s Karnataka election, booting the ruling BJP party from the only state it controlled in southern India. Expect this to have ripple effects ahead of 2024, when uber-popular PM Narendra Modi will seek a third term in office.
The result is a bigger deal than you might think. For one thing, Karnataka is home to Bengaluru, India’s tech hub, which Modi tried to woo with a whopping 19 campaign stops in the state over seven days. The PM hoped that if the BJP could stay in power in Karnataka, he could target neighboring Telangana and Tamil Nadu, where the BJP’s Hindu-first message has so far fallen flat.
It’s also the best news that the once-dominant Congress has gotten since Modi and the BJP swept to power in 2014. The party, which admits it cannot beat Modi alone, has now demonstrated that it can flip BJP-run states, so it can lead a coalition of opposition parties to have at least a fighting chance of defeating the BJP in next year’s general election.
(Bloomberg politics) Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi’s Congress party won a crucial state election, boosting its chances of unseating Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a national vote next year. Though Congress still faces a long road ahead, the victory in Karnataka was one of the most significant since Modi took power nearly a decade ago.
The Upside of Rivalry
India’s Great-Power Opportunity
By Nirupama Rao, India’s Foreign Secretary from 2009 to 2011. She also served as India’s Ambassador to China and the United States. She is the author of The Fractured Himalaya: India, Tibet, China, 1949–1962.
(Foreign Affairs, May/June 2023) As India prepares to hold the G-20’s 18th summit, the government has put up signs and posters across the country that speak about international harmony. In announcing India’s G-20 vision, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote that his country would catalyze a new mindset within humanity, help the world move beyond greed and confrontation, and cultivate a “universal sense of one-ness.” The theme, Modi said, was “One Earth, One Family, One Future.” Rather than war and rivalry, the prime minister declared, the greatest challenges humanity faces today are climate change, terrorism, and pandemics—issues that “can be solved not by fighting each other, but only by acting together.”
To Western officials, these hymns to cooperation and shared challenges surely sound off-key. But India has limited patience for U.S. and European narratives, which are both myopic and hypocritical.
The divisions of the Cold War have not been revived; instead, today’s world is a complex network of interconnections where trade, technology, migration, and the Internet are bringing humans together as never before. Europe and Washington may be right that Russia is violating human rights in Ukraine, but Western powers have carried out similarly violent, unjust, and undemocratic interventions—from Vietnam to Iraq. New Delhi is therefore uninterested in Western calls for Russia’s isolation. To strengthen itself and address the world’s shared challenges, India has the right to work with everyone.
Book review: Is India’s Rise Inevitable?
a new book by the economist Ashoka Mody that is well positioned to become an exemplar for the glass-half-empty view of India. India Is Broken methodically demolishes the bumper-sticker version of India’s story that CEOs and politicians conjure at glitzy international conferences such as the World Economic Forum in Davos. It takes readers on a tour of India’s dark underbelly, where corruption has triumphed over compassion, and democracy exists in theory but rarely in practice.
By Milan Vaishnav
(Foreign Affairs) Of the many tropes that have cluttered foreign policy analysis in recent decades, few are as widespread or as enduring as the inevitability of India’s rise. Built on a foundation of liberal democracy, fueled by a population of more than a billion people occupying a vast territory, and enabled by the United States’ desire to find a counterbalance to an expansionist China, India has been inching toward the geopolitical spotlight. Now, a confluence of recent events has convinced some observers—and arguably India’s own leadership—that its moment has finally arrived.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), India is set to be the world’s fastest-growing economy in 2023. Its GDP is expected to expand by 6.1 percent, well above the emerging market average of four percent and five times the pace of the industrialized world’s average of 1.2 percent. Amid China’s protracted slowdown, COVID-19 missteps, and rising labor costs, global firms interested in relocating their manufacturing facilities, including Apple and Foxconn, are considering expanding operations in India.
This year, India will simultaneously hold the presidencies of the G-20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a Eurasian political and security group historically dominated by China and Russia—a symbolic victory for its efforts to be seen as a leading, rather than a balancing, power on the global stage.
On closer inspection, the narrative hyping India’s inexorable rise appears less assured. Reckoning with India’s contradictions is an exercise in cognitive dissonance. Economically, it is a mixed bag. On the one hand, India is on track to become the world’s third-largest economy by the decade’s end. On the other, India’s services-heavy development model is hamstrung by weak job growth, premature deindustrialization, and a vast informal sector.
… Even India’s refusal to unequivocally condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has not damaged the country’s international standing. To the contrary, Western interlocutors are convinced that the combination of Russia’s Ukraine quagmire and China’s flagrant aggression on the Sino-Indian border makes the time ripe to wean India off its addiction to Russian arms and consolidate its anti-China posture.
Politically, meanwhile, India is touted as a shining democratic beacon in the Asia Pacific. But it is also one of the world’s most disappointing illiberal backsliders, with growing religious majoritarianism, weakening separation of powers, and a muzzled media. Few democracies can rival the array of affirmative action measures that India’s constitution affords historically disadvantaged minorities or match the diversity of its top leadership. Yet Muslims in Indian cities are increasingly ghettoized, women make up a minuscule share of the workforce, and manual scavenging—in which workers remove human excrement by hand—is a legally prohibited, yet widely observed, form of blue-collar employment.
Even with India’s demographic edge, its rise is not inevitable. … “India has been inching toward the geopolitical spotlight” for some time, and many are convinced that “its moment has finally arrived”—but there are inherent frailties in India’s economic and political systems that will likely constrain its growth. Moreover, Arvind Subramanian and Josh Felman note, although India’s population is large, its market of middle-class consumers remains surprisingly small, meaning that demographics alone will not turn India into the next China (Why India Can’t Replace China – The Barriers to New Delhi’s Next Boom December 2022)
Why Rahul Gandhi’s parliament expulsion could backfire on Modi
(Al Jazeera) It has united India’s opposition for the first time since Modi came to power. Gandhi must now unite the nation.
For the first time since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power nine years ago, India’s opposition parties appear to be uniting in opposition to the existential threat that the country’s democratic structure and norms face from the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).
The immediate reason for this sense of urgency is the expulsion of Rahul Gandhi, the biggest leader of the largest opposition party, the Indian National Congress, from parliament after a lower court in the state of Gujarat convicted him in a three-year-old defamation case. The court gave him a two-year jail sentence.
Exclusive: India resists calls for more air access in drive to be global aviation force
By Aditi Shah and Tim Hepher
(Reuters) – India dampened foreign airline hopes for more access to its airports on Tuesday, with its aviation minister urging domestic carriers to fly long-haul and help establish new hubs as it seeks to recapture control of Indian travel from foreign rivals.
It is also asking aerospace companies to step-up local production and will soon finalise rules to safeguard rights of lessors on repossession of jets, in a bid to level up with major global aviation markets, Jyotiraditya Scindia told Reuters.
The South Asian nation is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world where demand for air travel is outstripping the supply of planes, but the bulk of international traffic is captured by global carriers with efficient hubs.
U.S. Finally Confirms an Ambassador to India. Here’s What Indians Think of Eric Garcetti
(TIME) Garcetti’s job isn’t likely to be easy, having already provoked the ire of some Indians due to comments he’s made in the past. During Garcetti’s confirmation hearings in 2021, he said he would “actively raise” human rights issues in New Delhi, in response to a question about the Citizenship Amendment Act, which the Indian parliament passed in 2019. The law, a cornerstone and campaign promise by the ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), grants immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh a shot at applying for Indian citizenship—but only if they are Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, or Buddhist. It was criticized for making Muslims from those countries into “illegal migrants” and seemingly relegating India’s Islamic community of some 200 million people into second-class citizens. Widespread protests against the law erupted across the South Asian nation in 2020.
… India’s relationship with the U.S. significantly improved in 2022: Biden met with Modi twice, strengthening trade ties between the two countries, and reinforcing the regional Quad security dialogue with Japan and Australia. Yogesh Joshi, a research fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Institute of South Asian Studies, says Garcetti is likely to prioritize this warming alliance, which may see his pursuit of a human rights-focused agenda in New Delhi take a backseat.
Eric Garcetti: US envoy to India confirmed after two-year battle
(BBC) The US has not had an ambassador to India since January 2021 even though the two countries have strong security and trade ties.
Analysts say Mr Biden is eager to further bolster ties with India – a major trading partner – as Washington tries to tackle its neighbour China’s growing influence in the region.
Mr Garcetti’s appointment also comes at a time when Russia has become a major irritant between Delhi and Washington. India’s neutral stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has frustrated the US.
Delhi has not explicitly condemned the war but has talked about the importance of “the UN Charter, international law, and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states”.
India is also the biggest market for Russian military equipment and continues to import huge quantities of crude oil from the country, ignoring bans in the US and parts of Europe.
Modi’s Final Assault on India’s Press Freedom Has Begun
By Anuradha Bhasin, executive editor of The Kashmir Times.
(NYT) On the evening of Oct. 19, 2020, as reporters and photographers for The Kashmir Times rushed to meet deadlines, government officials and the police swept into the newspaper’s offices in the city of Srinagar, chased out the staff and put a lock on the door that remains to this day.
To me, the raid was punishment for daring to question the policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India. The newspaper, for which I am the executive editor, has been an independent voice in the state of Jammu and Kashmir since it was founded by my father in 1954, weathering several tumultuous decades of war and military occupation. But it may not survive Mr. Modi.
G20 meeting ends without consensus over Russia’s war in Ukraine
At meeting of world’s largest economies, China and Russia refuse to sign statement condemning Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
India abstains in UN General Assembly on Ukraine resolution over its inherent limitations in reaching goal of securing lasting peace
India among the 32 nations that abstain as the 193-member General Assembly adopts the resolution
(Tribune, India) India has abstained in the UN General Assembly on a resolution that underscored the need to reach “comprehensive, just and lasting peace” in Ukraine, as it questioned whether the world was “anywhere near a possible solution” acceptable to both Moscow and Kyiv a year into the Ukrainian conflict
C Uday Bhaskar: Polarisation has deepened
For India, the Putin invasion of Ukraine was and is a complex challenge and the Modi government has walked the politico-strategic tightrope in a deft manner in the first year by way of ensuring that its ties with both the US and Russia remain on an even keel. However, this may prove to be more difficult in the second year when New Delhi is seeking to burnish its own profile as the G20 president.
The more immediate security concern for Delhi is the Chinese incursion in Ladakh. Besides, the Ukraine war has placed India in a difficult position, given the strategic and military dependence on Russia. The resumption of diplomatic talks with China (External Affairs Ministry Joint Secretary Shilpak Ambule’s Beijing visit) is encouraging.
The texture of the Beijing-Moscow relationship in the second year of the Ukraine war may prove detrimental to Delhi’s aspirations for demonstrating strategic autonomy and becoming a credible interlocutor in the current impasse.
Nouriel Roubini: India is a big global player – but there are problems it must tackle
Now Modi’s government has modernised it must make growth sustainable, inclusive and fair
(Project Syndicate/Guardian) One must credit the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, for implementing policies that have modernised India and supported its growth. Specifically, Modi has made massive investments in the single market (including through de-monetisation and tax reform) and infrastructure (not just roads, electricity, education and sanitation, but also digital capacity). These investments – with industrial policies to accelerate manufacturing, a comparative advantage in tech and IT, and a customised digital-based welfare system – have led to robust economic performance after the Covid-19 slump.
In some ways, this concentration of economic power has served India well. Owing to superior financial management, the economy has grown fast, despite investment rates (as a share of GDP) that were much lower than China’s. The implication is that India’s investments have been much more efficient; indeed, many of India’s conglomerates boast world-class levels of productivity and competitiveness.
But the dark side of this system is that these conglomerates have been able to capture policy making to benefit themselves. This has had two broad, harmful effects: it is stifling innovation and effectively killing early-stage startups and domestic entrants in key industries; and it is changing the government’s Make in India programme into a counterproductive, protectionist scheme.
India Is Speaking Loudly and Carrying a Bigger Stick
By Michelle Jamrisko
(Bloomberg New Economy newsletter) India, which is preparing to welcome the world’s finance titans in Bengaluru later this week, is using its fresh platform as Group of 20 host to push a range of changes to the traditional global order.
In a challenge to the decades-long norms led by the US and other Western powers, India has nominated itself as leader of the Global South — developing countries largely located in the Southern Hemisphere — and argued that these countries deserve greater say in international matters.
India enjoyed a free and vibrant media. Narendra Modi’s brazen attacks are a catastrophe
The prime minister’s cynical raids on the BBC are the latest populist clampdown on a press and broadcasting ‘elite’
Since Modi and his Hindu nationalist BJP party came to power in 2014, he has pursued a relentless campaign to curb the independence of India’s media. “Criticise us and we’ll come after you,” is the banner under which the government operates. As the Editors Guild of India put it, the BBC raids (which the government, in BJP Newspeak, calls not “raids” but “surveys”) are part of a well-established “trend of using government agencies to intimidate and harass press organisations that are critical of government policies or the ruling establishment”. The government – and many BJP-controlled state administrations – have also sought to intimidate journalists through the use of sedition and national security laws.
Debt in focus as G20 finance chiefs meet in India
(Reuters) – G20 finance and central bank chiefs meet in India next week at the first-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to discuss rising debt troubles among developing countries, the regulation of cryptocurrencies and the global slowdown. The Feb. 22-25 meeting in the Nandi Hills summer retreat near Bengaluru…will be followed by a March 1-2 meeting of foreign ministers in New Delhi.
As global borrowing costs rise, India – whose neighbours Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh have all sought International Monetary Fund support in recent months – wants to put debt relief at the forefront of discussions at the finance talks.
New Delhi also supports a push by the IMF, the World Bank and the United States for the so-called Common Framework (CF) – a G20 initiative launched in 2020 to help poor countries delay debt repayments – to be expanded to include middle-income countries, though China has resisted.
Jayati Ghosh: The Crisis of India’s Oligarchy
(Project Syndicate) The meteoric rise and spectacular fall of billionaire Gautam Adani should serve as a cautionary tale about the excessive influence of oligarchs in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s India. While it is too soon to assess the political fallout, the fate of the Adani Group is an indictment of Modi’s development strategy.
Over the past two decades, Indian multi-billionaire Gautam Adani’s close ties to Prime Minister Narendra Modi have helped the Gujarati businessman become Asia’s wealthiest person. Adani’s meteoric rise, which in some ways eclipsed that of his political mentor, also made him the poster boy for India’s growth story – until allegations of fraud and stock manipulation brought his eponymous business empire to its knees. With his conglomerate losing $110 billion in market value within days, Adani has become a cautionary tale about the perils of cronyism in Modi’s India.
The World’s Biggest Democracy Is Jettisoning Freedom and Tolerance
By Lydia Polgreen
(NYT) … India is indeed the nation of the moment. It is a critical player in just about every major issue facing the planet. Its economy is now bigger than that of the country that colonized it, making it the fifth largest in the world. It is expected to outrank China in population this year, if it hasn’t already. The Ukraine crisis has shown how desperately great powers around the world want to count on it as an ally. There will be no successful solution to climate change without India. It holds the presidency of the Group of 20, and its summit in Delhi this year promises to be a major moment on the global stage for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Apple reportedly plans to make up to a quarter of its iPhones in India — a huge endorsement of the country’s growing technology manufacturing prowess. India was the toast of the Davos World Economic Forum this year; the writer Fareed Zakaria declared that it “might be the most optimistic country in the world right now.” …
“India: The Modi Question,” which was made by the BBC tells the story — now familiar to anyone who follows Indian politics — of how riots broke out in Gujarat in February 2002 after dozens of Hindu pilgrims died in a fire on a train. The cause of the fire was disputed, but some people blamed Muslims, prompting spasms of violence targeting them. More than 1,000 people died, and an estimated 150,000 lost their homes. An overwhelming majority of the victims were Muslims.
Even though the documentary…could not easily be watched in India, the government cracked down hard. It used emergency powers to ask that Twitter and YouTube block links to bootlegged clips, and the platforms quickly complied. …
Under Modi’s government, violence against Muslims in India has risen and is often unpunished. His government has enacted laws and policies that target Muslims, including changes to citizenship rules that disadvantage Muslims and revocation of the special status of Kashmir, a Muslim-majority region contested by India and Pakistan.
But it would be a mistake to think only Muslims are under threat in India. The government has systematically cracked down on all manner of free speech and dissent, increasing its emergency powers to block information it wants to keep from the Indian people and making it easier to hold dissidents under murky antiterrorism laws.
India’s Modi lashes opposition as Adani allegations persist
PM rails against critics over Adani Group accusations
Opposition says government unduly close to tycoon
Conglomerate accused of stock manipulation
(Reuters) – Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that Indians will not swallow “lies and abuse” against him, as opposition critics accuse his government of giving undue favours to a business group led by billionaire tycoon Gautam Adani.
Modi spent a nearly 90-minute speech to parliament mainly listing governments achievements and without naming the under-fire Adani Group. However, opposition lawmakers who are demanding an investigation into the business group interrupted him several times shouting slogans.
Gautam Adani’s woes were in banks’ plain sight
(Reuters Breakingviews) Anyone who did a bit of due diligence on Adani knew that reputational concerns could hinder the company’s ability to rally external support if its access to capital was ever in doubt. Meanwhile, the downside from the banks’ entanglement with Adani continues to rise. On Tuesday, opposition politicians demanding a probe into the group disrupted India’s parliament for a fourth day. Domestic lenders are downplaying the risk of default, but foreign banks look less comfortable with the man whose rise they helped finance. The question of why they were doing his business will only grow louder.
More Than 500 Indian Scientists, Academics Slam Govt for Blocking BBC Documentary on Modi
(The Wire) The justification that the documentary “undermines the sovereignty and integrity of India” does not withstand scrutiny, they said in a statement.
They said that the removal of the two-part documentary, titled India: the Modi Question, violates the right of Indian citizens to access and discuss important information about society and government.
They also slammed the decisions taken by university administrations to prevent the screening of the documentary. “This violates the principles of academic freedom. Universities should encourage open discussions on social and political questions. Such discussions are crucial for the proper functioning of a democratic society. It is unacceptable for Universities to block the expression of some views, merely because they are critical of the government,” the scientists and academics said.
Narendra Modi’s Censorship Has Reached an Alarming New Level
In India. On American social media. He even muzzled the Internet Archive.
(Slate) Modern-day Indian democracy has no compunction about mass censorship. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has weakened the country’s once robust press, persecuting adversarial reporters and independent outlets. Though such hostility has become so pervasive as to become old news itself, the government’s latest attack on free speech and journalism has been greeted with widespread alarm—and for good reason.
Last week, the BBC broadcast the first hour of a new two-part documentary, India: The Modi Question, to TVs across Britain and on its website; the second half of the series aired Tuesday. The doc as a whole probes Modi’s stints in political power, from his time as chief minister of the state of Gujarat to his current tenure as prime minister, and his mistreatment of India’s Muslims along the way. Given the overwhelming international documentation of Islamophobic persecution under Modi’s watch, it couldn’t have been a surprise that The Modi Question features ample reporting on the now–prime minister’s history of bigoted governance; the BBC is hardly the first outlet to spotlight this. Yet just days after the first portion aired, Indian government ministers disparaged the film as “propaganda” with a “lack of objectivity” and a “colonial mindset.” (In response, the BBC pointed out that its movie included responses from members of Modi’s political outfit, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, and that the government declined its request for a reply.)
C Uday Bhaskar: In Indian Constitution vs Collegium Debate, Can the Govt & Judiciary Reconcile?
While SC system nominating own peers needs review, so does legislature intimidating judiciary for subaltern position
The run-up to the 74th Republic Day has been discordant in a visible manner as evidenced in recent weeks, with the interpretation of the Indian constitution and the inviolability of its ‘Basic Structure’ being contested by the leading lights of the legislature.
Independent journalists in India are being targeted for their critical reporting
(NPR) Investigative reporter and Washington Post columnist Rana Ayyub “at this point of time, the kind of press censorship that we are witnessing in India, where journalists are being silenced, arrested for stories they have not even reported – when one of India’s leading industrialists close to Narendra Modi has taken over one of the few independent press bodies’ news channels in India and when the prime minister of the country has not taken a single press conference in the last eight years, who does not believe he needs to address the media – I feel like there is nothing like press freedom in the world’s largest democracy of 1.3 billion people. We need to have a robust press, and that is absent because most of the mainstream media is literally repeating the government’s line, and the ones who are independent, who are critical, are paying a price for doing that.”
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky seeks India PM Modi’s help with ‘peace formula’
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday said he sought India’s help with implementing a “peace formula” in a phone call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I had a phone call with PM Narendra Modi and wished a successful G20 presidency,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter. “It was on this platform that I announced the peace formula and now I count on India’s participation in its implementation.”
On foreign policy, India is reliably unreliable
The shifting balance of power obscures the continuity in India’s global ambitions
(The Economist) When India formally takes the helm of the g20 on December 1st, it will do so as a prominent, sought-after actor on the world stage. Having refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it was praised this month for its contribution to a joint declaration of leaders in Bali that did so implicitly. It then helped create a fund at the UN climate talks in Egypt to compensate developing countries for climate-related damage. This week Jon Finer, America’s deputy national security adviser, described India as “very high” on America’s list of partners that “can truly help move forward a global agenda”.
Supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party often attribute India’s growing stature to a more assertive foreign policy that dispenses with the deference and dithering which, they say, characterised the approach of previous governments. Mr Modi, a charismatic Hindu nationalist who claims to want to be the “world’s guru”, is said to epitomise that change. “In India’s case, nationalism has in fact led to greater internationalism,” said the foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, in a landmark speech on the evolution of Indian foreign policy. Yet setting aside its nationalist rhetoric, the Modi government’s approach and objectives abroad are remarkably similar to its predecessors’. …(pay wall)
C Uday Bhaskar: Geopolitical rift at G20 meet
As India assumes the G20 responsibility on December 1, the historical recall with November 17, 1962, when Delhi had to face the ignominy of a national security meltdown in dealing with China cannot be ignored. While India has the pedigree and the potential to play a valuable global role, this cannot be at the cost of jeopardising its own core national interests that are abiding.
The major strategic dissonance in Bali was the tension between US and China
The baton of the G20 president was formally handed over to PM Modi in Bali by the Indonesian President Joko Widodo on November 16 and the outcome of this summit is relevant to India at many levels that are interlinked. The G20 agenda, much to the dismay of the host, was overshadowed by the bilateral meeting between the US President and his Chinese counterpart, as also the long-drawn-out war in Ukraine and a missile strike on Poland. However to his credit, President Widodo was able to ‘herd the cats’, as it were, and steer the deliberations towards a final joint communiqué which is a remarkable demonstration of his resolve in dealing with all kinds of high-octane challenges and political minefields in the months preceding the Bali summit. …
The most critical part of the joint statement issued by the G20 Summit was more geopolitical in nature, and from the Indian perspective, there was also an implicit acknowledgement of PM Modi’s exhortation to Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding war not being an option in this day and age. The relevant section asserted: ‘The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible. The peaceful resolution of conflicts, efforts to address crises, as well as diplomacy and dialogue, are vital. Today’s era must not be of war.’
On the front lines of the fight against strongman politics
(CBC Radio Ideas) The world’s largest democracy, India, has seen its relatively stable democratic freedoms decline with the rise of Narendra Modi.
The suspension of historical autonomy and further restrictions on political freedoms in Jammu and Kashmir; the marginalizing of religious minorities — especially Muslims — as Modi’s political rhetoric enfolds a Hindu-first narrative; and the implementation of a national register of citizens which has critics fearing generation-long residents of India will be stripped of their citizenship, are all examples cited by critics as examples of Modi’s shift toward authoritarian governance.
India’s New CDS: Will Gen Chauhan Inherit Rawat’s Monumental Military Legacy?
While Rawat soldiered on as Chief Adviser to the Raksha Mantri, quite evidently, this was an overload of high order
C Uday Bhaskar
(The Quint) The Modi government appointed Lt Gen Anil Chauhan (Retired)as the next Chief of Defence Staff(CDS) on Wednesday, 28 September, thereby filling a critical post in the highest echelons of the national security lattice that has remained vacant since the tragic death of the first incumbent, General Bipin Rawat in an ill-fated helicopter crash in December last year.
The fact that the government took almost 10 months to arrive at this decision is reflective, presumably, of the internal deliberations that may have taken place to identify the new incumbent, who will now inherit many transformative challenges in re-wiring the Indian military and enhancing its combined efficacy as India’s second CDS.
Hindu nationalists now pose a global problem
The recent UK violence should serve as a wake-up call. Hindu nationalism is no longer a worry just in India.
Somdeep Sen, Associate Professor of International Development Studies at Roskilde University
(Al Jazeera) … The scourge of Hindu nationalism has gone global.
… Undoubtedly, the rise of Hindu nationalism globally has much to do with the rise of Modi.
Since becoming prime minister in 2014, he has overseen a highly controversial citizenship reform that discriminates against Muslim asylum seekers, scrapped the constitutionally guaranteed autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir and built a temple at the location of a historic mosque demolished by Hindu hardliners in 1992. All while going after opposition leaders, activists and critics.
Modi’s success in delivering on Hindutva’s promises at home has inspired his supporters in the diaspora to exude a sense of chauvinistic pride abroad.
However, world leaders are guilty too, of legitimising Modi, giving this subsection of Hindu expatriates the conviction that their bigoted vision has some global cache. From Trump to former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and from former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, multiple right-wing politicians have presented themselves as “friends” of Modi.
Hindu nationalism cannot be ignored any more as a domestic, Indian issue. The movement has gone international – and is taking an increasingly violent form in other countries too. It is now a threat to democratic principles, equality and human rights everywhere. India under Modi will not address it. The world must.
The New India: Expanding Influence Abroad, Straining Democracy at Home
As India rises, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has faced little pushback as he weaponizes institutions to consolidate power and entrench his Hindu nationalist vision.
By Mujib Mashal
(NYT) On the margins of a summit meant as a show of force for a Russian leader seeking a turnaround on the battlefield, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India leaned in with a different message.
“Democracy, diplomacy and dialogue” — not war — is the answer, he told Vladimir V. Putin as the cameras rolled this month, before declaring that the two would speak more about how to bring peace in Ukraine.
That assured interaction in Uzbekistan was the latest display of India’s rise under Mr. Modi. An ambitious and assertive power, India has become increasingly indispensable in the search for answers to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, from diplomacy to climate change to technology and trade to efforts at diversifying supply chains to counter China.
It is India’s credentials as the world’s largest democracy that Mr. Modi rides on the global stage. But at home, diplomats, analysts and activists say, Mr. Modi’s government is undertaking a project to remake India’s democracy unlike any in its 75 years of independence — stifling dissent, sidelining civilian institutions and making minorities second-class citizens.
What is Hindu nationalism and how does it relate to trouble in Leicester?
Hindutva is the predominant form in India and has been associated with rightwing extremism