Stories about Narendra Modi

Kashmir is not equipped to deal with COVID-19

Despite the alarming spread of COVID-19 across the globe for months, several nations with high population densities, like India, failed to enact timely preventive measures. On March 24th, Narendra Modi ordered 1.3 billion Indians to self-isolate and announced a nationwide lockdown. This followed his earlier plea for Indian citizens to clap for healthcare workers in the country, saying it would serve as a, “symbol of our effort, of our self-restraint and our resolve to fulfill our duty in service of the nation.”  This resulted in a cacophonous din of clapping from balconies across the country, something which has widely been criticised ...

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The problem with Iran’s statement on Delhi’s anti-Muslim violence

At the expense of sounding morbid, one can say India’s state-abetted anti-Muslim pogrom in New Delhi earlier this month presented an opportunity for Iran. In the context of downward trends in Indo-Iran ties in recent times, the potential for Iran to establish its credentials as a Muslim power in South and West Asia through a strong stance on India’s brazen anti-Muslim policies has risen considerably. However, Ayatollah Khamenei’s recent statement on the Delhi pogroms failed to build upon strong rhetoric from Iranian state clerics last August when India annexed occupied Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). It, in fact, has harmed Iran’s thus-far ...

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Is America’s outlook towards Pakistan changing?

Predictably, President Donald Trump’s 36 hour visit to India generated a lot of hype not only in the country but also in the United States (US). Despite the trade deal remaining elusive, both parties seem to have gained from the optics of the visit. In his election year, President Trump will benefit from the pomp and show that his campaign will showcase to the domestic audience as proof of his international publicity and stature. The visit will also help him gain the support of the four million strong Indian-American community. Similarly, although some might say that Narendra Modi fiddled around ...

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India is at war with secularism

Let’s not call what happened in Delhi communal riots or a sectarian conflict. Let’s call it what it was: a systematic attack against the Muslims of India. What  happened in Delhi between February 23-25 was an organised and planned offensive against the Muslims. Both Hindus and Muslims are among the 42 people who have been declared dead so far; evidently, violence, once it begins, assumes its own character and does not discriminate on the basis of religion. Ever since protests erupted against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in December last year, a parallel campaign has been running, aimed at increasing divisiveness and furthering the agitation. The CAA redefines Indian citizenship on the ...

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A spectacle of egos: Dissecting the Trump-Modi modus operandi

While American President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were busy tooting each other’s horns this week, Delhi was burning. The Hindu-Muslim riots were emblematic of the violence and sectarian divide which has gripped India in recent times. Yet, it appears that Trump and Modi are rather unbothered by this escalation. Trump said that the incident was “up to India” to handle and that Modi had worked “really hard” to ensure religious freedom, while Modi simply addressed the matter through one tweet. Although both Trump and Modi claim to be teetotalers, to me at least, they always look drunk ...

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In conversation with Pervez Hoodbhoy – Part 3: South Asian politics and culture

This conversation with Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy is presented as a three part series. Part 1 covers Pakistan’s education system. Part 2 discusses Pakistan’s language conundrum . Part 3 includes a conversation regarding South Asian politics and culture. ~ South Asian Politics and Culture Hassan Mirza (HM): Was India ever a proper democracy? Pervez Hoodbhoy (PH): India was a secular democracy in its first few decades but, like Pakistan, is now becoming a majoritarian democracy. That’s very dangerous for minorities. There’s a real danger of the two countries becoming mirror copies. For example, last year I arranged a talk by the anti-Modi Indian liberal politician, Mani Shankar Aiyar, at Forman Christian ...

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In conversation with Pervez Hoodbhoy – Part 1: Pakistan’s education system

This conversation with Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy is presented as a three part series. Part 1 covers Pakistan’s education system. Part 2 discusses Pakistan’s language conundrum . Part 3 includes a conversation regarding South Asian politics and culture. ~ My correspondence with Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy began a few years ago, and I have presented our email exchanges here so that they can be of service to a wider audience. Professor Hoodbhoy’s sincerity and commitment towards improving Pakistan’s institutions is unquestionable and, whatever one may think of his views on certain topics, there is always a lot to learn from him. Therefore, I hope this correspondence not only enlightens readers about the ...

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How the internet ban has crippled Kashmir: A first-hand account

Since 2012, Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) has been witnessing the deliberate disruption of internet connectivity, cell phone services, and access to social media on an increasing scale. These disruptions are caused by the Indian authorities who allege that these services spread rumors and ‘fake news’, providing outside forces with a chance to disrupt the internal situation in Kashmir; thereby giving rise to violent protests. In order to prevent rumor mongering, the authorities claim that these deliberate blackouts, the longest of which have occurred in Kashmir as compared to any other part of India, are useful in pacifying or preventing the protests. However, no empirical evidence to support this ...

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Sadhguru – BJP’s spiritual henchman

One could argue that the term ‘guru’ has come to become one of the most misused and abused words in India today. Traditionally, Indians have seen gurus as a source of wisdom, whose sage advice was often sought by kings. Ancient Indian texts are filled with stories in which rulers use the advice provided by gurus as a guiding principle when determining state policy. But it appears that this mindset has not remained confined to the past. Modern India now has its own set of gurus, and they too derive their legitimacy through political patronage. In turn, they try to endorse the political deeds of the ruling ...

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We are fighting to protect India’s soul from a majoritarian regime

There were many question marks surrounding Narendra Modi when he was making a bid to become prime minister of India back in 2014. Would he be able to devote his attention towards the development of the country? Would his slogan ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’ (together with all and development for all) translate into a reality? At the time, many went against their instincts and voted for him, confident that his past would not hinder the construction of a new beginning in Delhi. But few could have foreseen the dark turn the Modi regime would take in the years to come. Sometimes our worst fears really become a reality, and India today ...

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