Time magazine calls Modi 'India's Divider-in-chief
Popular American News magazine Time has featured Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the cover of its May 20 international edition with a headline that may create controversy across India amid the election season.
The headline in the cover reads "India's Divider in Chief" and carries a portrait of the Prime Minister. A secondary headline on the cover reads "Modi the Reformer." The title "India's Divider in Chief" pertains to the cover story in the magazine, written by Aatish Taseer, with the headline "Can the World's Largest Democracy Endure Another Five Years of a Modi Government?"
The write up compares former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's idea of secularism with the prevailing social "stress" under Modi, who "demonstrated no desire to foster brotherly feelings between Hindus and Muslims," as per the article. Besides, the article also recalls the 2002 Gujarat riots that claimed many lives. The entire article is based on Hindu-Muslim relations and blames Modi for being pro-Hindu.
This is not the first time that Time has come out with critical commentary about Modi. In an article published in 2012, the magazine had described Modi as a controversial, ambitious and shrewd politician. The article was written by Aatish Taseer also criticises the Congress, saying that it has little to offer other than dynastic politics, and termed Modi "lucky" as the opposition is "weak".
Interestingly, Aatish Taseer is the son of popular Delhi-based journalist Tavleen Singh who has been a pro-BJP journalist for a long time. Another article in the magazine looks at how Modi's reign in India has had a positive effect on the country and why the country needs a strong face like him to push economic reforms.
Many view this as a change of stance from the Time Magazine which had Modi on its 2015 issue cover where it said "Why Modi Matters" and also carried an in-depth interview of the Prime Minister. In this issue's cover story written by Taseer, the article explores how Modi's ascension to power was followed by a series of incidents that promote hate-mongering among different religious communities. The article also looks into how nationalism has been used as a clever strategy by the BJP in the election campaigns but has had debilitating effects on the country.