Since the past five years, there has been a resurgence of right wing ideology over the political front, all over the globe, including USA, UK and India. After witnessing a failure of communist models, the people are moving from a socialist regime to a capitalist one. To paraphrase a favorite Marxist term, ‘the left is withering away’.
However, there is one front which remains largely leftist, which is the media. The leftist-liberal media establishments across the world have used words as their instrument of war against the right wing fervor. Focusing especially on India, the prominent international media platforms such as, the Time Magazine, the New York Times, The Economist and The Guardian have never spared an opportunity to insult or mock PM Modi in particular and India in general. India on the other hand, believes actions to be louder than words and has given a befitting reply to them with the 2019 elections, politely illustrating that we can handle our business and they needn’t be concerned for us.
The saga of disgracing India has been a precedent for a long time. On many occasions, having the typical ‘orientalist’ attitude which looks down upon developing countries, The New York Times has ridiculed India whenever the country has performed tremendously on the international front. In 2014, the New York Times had published an offensive cartoon, showing a rustic man in a turban along with a cow, essentially aiming to make fun of India’s success in its very first Mars Mission. Continuing in their penchant to belittle India under PM Modi’s leadership, the magazine had published another cartoon depicting India as an elephant in 2015, to mock the stand India has taken at the Paris Climate Summit. The stand was to make developed countries with higher per capita emissions effect deeper emission cuts than developing nations that typically have significantly lower emissions, which was a valid enough stand.
Thomson Reuters Foundation, while reporting a positive story about how ‘India has the highest number of women pilots in the world’, could not hide its bigotry and racism, and even though the percentage of female pilots in India is twice as high as in most Western countries, ended up adding that this move is despite the “patriarchal society which typically frowns on women in such jobs”.
In the run up to the elections, the international media, clearly perturbed at the thought of another right wing government at the centre in India had done everything in its power to dissuade the citizens. It began with the British imperialist news daily, The Guardian, who took it upon themselves to graciously outline the negative aspects of Modi government. The article talks about India’s economy and how PM Modi isn’t doing much for the poor in the country and in the same attempt as an economic analyst, talks about how Congress’ ‘minimum income scheme’ is extremely beneficial. The subheading of the article reads, “Unlike his predecessors, the Indian prime minister has in five years never held a traditional press conference. What has he got to hide?” The Guardian failed to mention that PM Modi has given interviews to every major media organization in the country. The media portal did not stop here, it further published an article authored by Kapil Komireddi titled, “Five more years of Narendra Modi will take India to a dark place” An extremely derogatory article calling the Prime Minister a bigot and said that the idea of Modi being a technocratic leader was just a myth. The British news daily which probably still lives in the imperialistic era has its facts incomplete on various developments like Digital India and Make in India that boosted innovation in the country.
Another UK based platform, ‘The Economist’, was recently under fire for publishing a fallacious editorial piece denigrating the Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi. The article titled “Agent Orange: Under Narendra Modi, India’s ruling party poses a threat to democracy”, made several allegations against PM Modi including critiquing him for his pre-emptive strikes on Pakistan. The magazine even stated that his election the first time round itself was a mystery and the leader quickly needs to be changed. However, all the allegations were devoid of any objective analysis. In response to malicious propaganda, prominent Indian-American economists, Arvind Panagariya, Jagdish Bhagwati and Pravin Krishna have in a letter written to the editors of ‘The Economist’ countering the claims made in the article.
The most recent write up on these lines has been the TIME Magazine story, which carried a caricature of PM Modi on its cover, quoting the Prime Minister as “India’s divider in chief”. The controversial title pertains to an article written by Aatish Taseer with the headline “Can the World’s Largest Democracy Endure Another Five Years of a Modi Government?” , based on the argument that PM Modi has failed to deliver on his economic agenda promised in 2014 and therefore chose ‘religious nationalism’. However, it fails to mention the important macroeconomic reforms and the formulation of the Monetary Policy Committee under the Modi government. The healthy economic growth despite the odds in global economic climate also goes unmentioned, clearly indicating a bias in the views.
International media always tries to portray India in negative light and leaves no stone unturned to malign India’s image with their global propaganda. Despite the fact that India has made significant progress since its Independence, the international media, in its racist mentality still presents India as a backward country. This mentality is now coupled with the ‘left liberal’ attitude, which has put “India’s condemnation” at the top of their list of priorities. This election result has successfully proved that Indians do not get wavered by their fancy words and fallacious arguments because the citizens have witnessed firsthand, what it is like to be a citizen in India led by the Modi government- and they seem to like it.