Thursday 30 May 2019 7:44 AM UTC
NEW DELHI May 30: Weeks after a controversial cover story that labelled Prime Minister Narendra Modi “divider-in-chief”, TIME magazine, after the BJP’s massive election victory and return to power, has done a turnabout with a new headline: “Modi Has United India Like No Prime Minister in Decades”.
The latest article, published on the TIME website on Tuesday, asks how a “supposedly divisive figure not only managed to keep power, but increase his levels of support?” Its answer – “A key factor is that Modi has managed to transcend India’s greatest fault line: the class divide”.
The author, Manoj Ladwa, describes PM Modi’s second term as “a victory for meritocracy, and for opportunity, thanks to a slate of welfare policies for the country’s extreme poor”. He also highlights the Prime Minister’s rise from “one of India’s most disadvantaged social groups” as aspirational.
Mr Ladwa goes on to describe the demonetisation of 2016 as “short-term pain” that led to “long-term gain” and praises PM Modi and his government for “digitization that has empowered the poor”, increased tax revenue (as a result of demonetisation) and schemes like the Jan Dhan Yojana.
“Through socially progressive policies, he has brought many Indians, both Hindus and religious minorities, out of poverty at a faster rate than in any previous generation,” writes Mr Ladwa, the founder and CEO of Britain-based media company India Inc., which publishes India Global Business.
The previous article by British-born writer Aatish Taseer had criticised the Modi government as one in which “minorities of every stripe-from liberals and lower castes to Muslims and Christians-have come under assault” and which has lead” India down the road to a profound anti-intellectualism”.
The article was seized by opposition parties for attacks on PM Modi and the BJP during their campaign.
The BJP had termed the TIME article as an attempt to malign PM Modi’s image and had accused author Aatish Taseer, the son of journalist Tavleen Singh and late Pakistani politician and businessman Salmaan Taseer, of pursuing Pakistan’s agenda.
“Time magazine is foreign, the writer has also said he comes from a Pakistani political family. That is enough for his credibility,” the Prime Minister said on May 18, the day before polling for the final phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections were to take place.
The Prime Minister and his council of ministers will take oath on Thursday. PM Modi, in his speech to his party and the NDA, described his new government as being “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas (With everybody, for everybody and with everybody’s trust)” and also called on NDA leaders to earn the trust of minority communities in India.
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