Time Magazine, the popular American weekly has published its international edition with a headline calling PM Modi as, “India’s Divider in Chief”. The cover of the May 20 issue carries a caricature of PM Modi and the controversial title pertains to an article written by Aatish Taseer with the headline being, “Can the World’s Largest Democracy Endure Another Five Years of a Modi Government?”
In light of this, several citizens and leaders are outraged as the article, talking about “Modi’s failed economic miracle” is very biased and fails to mention the important reforms like GST, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), and the formulation of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) under Modi government. The healthy economic growth despite the odds in the global economic climate also goes unmentioned. However, the most disheartening aspect of this is that not one leader from any of the opposition parties has come out to state the gross disrespect of the country’s elected leader.
This muteness makes one go back to 2012 when a similar article was published by Time Magazine featuring the then Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, titled, “The Underachiever-India needs a reboot. Is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh up for the job?” The report titled ‘A Man in Shadow’ by Krista Mahr, read how the country’s economic growth has gone down and that the prime minister is busy fending off corruption charges. In the aftermath of this international insult, several prominent BJP leaders had come out supporting Manmohan Singh, even though they were the main opposition to the Congress-led UPA rule.
The then Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, a leader of the BJP had expressed his disapproval at the magazine cover. Unwelcoming the interference from an American publication, he had stated, “We are all children of one nation and he is our Prime Minister. If something’s wrong, we will all sit together and resolve it but we can’t give that right to anybody else.” He continued further by stating that, “The Prime Minister of India does not need a certificate from Time magazine. The prime minister of the country has to be respected by everyone”
Along with Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the then Madhya Pradesh BJP president Prabhat Jha stated, “No foreign magazine has the right to look down upon the Prime Minister of India. There could be ideological differences with the PM, but they would be dealt within the country.” He had further stated that “It must not be forgotten America uses magazines like Time to wage ideological warfare against other countries.”
Even when they were in the opposition, BJP leaders had shown a token of solidarity. They realized the nation and its sovereignty came above everything, especially internal differences. The political parties can dispute one another and challenge each other on the basis of the policies or governance, but in front of the world, they were united as one nation. Unfortunately, the opposition today doesn’t realize this. For them, internal politics have become so important that deriving electoral benefits have become the priority, over and above the national integrity.