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TIME throws a ‘Divider in Chief’ bomb at Narendra Modi

PTI New York | Updated on May 10, 2019 Published on May 10, 2019

Also calls him a ‘reformer’; says Cong has little to offer

The TIME magazine has featured Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the cover of its international edition with a controversial headline and a secondary one that reads ‘Modi the Reformer,’ as the country enters the final phase of the mammoth general election.

The American magazine’s May 20, 2019 international editions covering the Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia and South Pacific feature the Modi cover story with the main headline ‘India’s Divider in Chief’ while the US edition has a cover story on Democrat Elizabeth Warren who is running for the White House in 2020.

The article ‘India’s Divider in Chief’ is written by Aatish Taseer, son of Indian journalist Tavleen Singh and the late Pakistani politician and businessman Salmaan Taseer.

The article said the opposition Congress has little to offer other than the dynastic principle. The article ‘Modi the Reformer’ is authored by Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group, a global political risk research and consulting firm.

The cover features a portrait of 68-year-old Modi.

The articles inside the magazine have the titles ‘Can the World’s Largest Democracy Endure Another Five Years of a Modi Government?’, written by Taseer, and ‘Modi Is India’s Best Hope for Economic Reform’, by Bremmer.

Taseer’s article notes that “If in 2014 he (Modi) was able to exploit differences in order to create a climate of hope, in 2019, he is asking people to stave off their desperation by living for their differences alone. Then he was a messiah, ushering in a future too bright to behold, one part Hindu renaissance, one part South Korea’s economic programme. Now, he is merely a politician who has failed to deliver, seeking re-election. Whatever else might be said about the election, hope is off the menu.”

“Not only has Modi’s economic miracle failed to materialise, he has also helped create an atmosphere of poisonous religious nationalism in India,” Taseer added.

On the Congress, he said it has no more political imagination than to send Priyanka Gandhi — Rahul Gandhi’s sister — to join her brother’s side. It would be equivalent to America’s Democratic Party fielding Hillary Clinton again in 2020, with the added enticement of her daughter Chelsea as Vice-President.

On the other hand, Bremmer’s article notes that while Modi’s economic record is mixed, “India still needs change, and Modi remains the person most likely to deliver. He has improved relations with China, the US and Japan, but it’s his domestic development agenda that has done the most to improve the lives and prospects of hundreds of millions of people.”

Published on May 10, 2019

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