American weekly news magazine,TIME, has featured Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the cover of its May 20, 2019 edition. The cover has been backed up with a controversial story about the Prime Minister and the state of the country in the hands of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
While talking about the 2014 Lok Sabha victory of the BJP and Narendra Modi, the article says, ‘The nation’s most basic norms, such as the character of the Indian state, its founding fathers, the place of minorities and its institutions, from universities to corporate houses to the media, were shown to be severely distrusted. The cherished achievements of independent India –secularism, liberalism, a free press – came to be seen in the eyes of many as part of a grand conspiracy in which a deracinated Hindu elite, in cahoots with minorities from the monotheistic faiths, such as Christianity and Islam, maintained its dominion over India’s Hindu majority.’
The article accuses the Narendra Modi-led BJP government of creating an intentional religious divide amongst the Hindus and the Muslims.
‘Modi’s victory was an expression of that distrust. He attacked once unassailable founding fathers, such as Nehru, then sacred state ideologies such as Nehruvian secularism and socialism; he spoke of a “Congress-free” India; he demonstrated no desire to foster brotherly feeling between Hindus and Muslims. Most of all, his ascension showed that beneath the surface of what the elite had believed was a liberal syncretic culture, India was indeed a cauldron of religious nationalism, anti-Muslim sentiment and deep-seated caste bigotry,’ reads another portion of the article.
The article has pinpointed various accounts of ‘Hindu Nationalism’ whilst taking into account events such as the destruction of the Babri Masjid back in 1992. The article also raises questions about ‘mob lynchings’ among other things. The article claims that Modi has not delivered on his 2014 promises and that his power in the office can be attributed to a ‘ragtag coalition of parties, led by the Congress, with no agenda other than to defeat him.’
Narendra Modi had featured on the cover of TIME magazine on May 18, 2015. Modi also featured in TIME Magazine’s list of ‘100 Most Influential People’ three times in 2014, 2015 and 2017.