TIME magazine is at it again. This particular publication seems to have a phobia of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. What else explains its concerted campaign against the democratically elected leader of India? TIME magazine regularly publishes shoddy pieces which seek to project PM Modi as some sort of a devil who is running all over Indian Muslims. In its recent hit job, the magazine has even claimed that the Indian Prime Minister is snatching Muslim citizens’ rights. Of course, it did not explain how this was being done. However, the cherry on the topping is the fact that while PM Modi has been portrayed as a communal fascist, the Taliban’s Islamist leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has been called a ‘charismatic’ leader.
TIME on Wednesday unveiled its annual list of ‘The 100 Most Influential People of 2021’. TIME’s profile of Modi says that in its 74 years as an independent nation, India has had three pivotal leaders – Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Modi. “Narendra Modi is the third, dominating the country’s politics like no one since them.” But that’s not where TIME’s diatribe against PM Modi ends. It’s where it begins.
Narendra Modi – TIME’s Bugbear
The TIME Magazine says, “Despite mishandling COVID-19—the death toll has been estimated to be much higher than the official count—his approval rating has slipped to a still sky-high 71%. When he was elected, many believed that Modi would finally move India off its socialist past and into a capitalist future. He’s done some of that but more determinedly, he has pushed the country away from secularism and toward Hindu nationalism.”
Narendra Modi’s assessment has been penned by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. In it, the CNN anchor goes on to say, “In addition to eroding the rights of India’s Muslim minority, Modi’s government has imprisoned and intimidated journalists who shine a light on its abuses and has passed laws crippling India’s thousands of NGOs and advocacy groups. It was responsible for 70% of Internet shutdowns on the planet in 2020. Two international think tanks concluded this year that under his watch, India has veered away from democracy, toward what V-Dem Institute calls “electoral autocracy.” Modi must decide if that is what he wants as his legacy.”
Before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, TIME Magazine had published a highly condemnable cover story featuring Prime Minister Modi. The cover story labelled PM Modi as “Divider in chief”. Last year, meanwhile, TIME Magazine was befuddled by India’s amazing handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, under the leadership of PM Modi. In her article titled ‘How prepared is India for the Coronavirus outbreak?’, Sanya Mansoor tried to insinuate that India has been underreporting its Covid-19 figures.
Taliban’s Mullah Baradar – A Moderate and Charismatic Leader
TIME Magazine, without an iota of shame, and in complete indifference to the agony of Afghan people, published an assessment of Afghanistan’s new deputy Prime Minister, and a high-ranking Taliban functionary – Mullah Baradar, in which it went head over heels for the man.
The Magazine said, “Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is revered among the Taliban as a founding member of the movement in 1994, a charismatic military leader and a deeply pious figure.When the Taliban swept to victory in August in Afghanistan, it was on the terms Baradar negotiated. He was said to be making all the major decisions, including the amnesty offered to members of the former regime, the lack of bloodshed when the Taliban entered Kabul and the regime’s contacts and visits with neighboring states, especially China and Pakistan.”
TIME added, “A quiet, secretive man who rarely gives public statements or interviews, Baradar nonetheless represents a more moderate current within the Taliban, the one that will be thrust into the limelight to win Western support and desperately needed financial aid. The question is whether the man who coaxed the Americans out of Afghanistan can sway his own movement.”
Needless to say, Time Magazine seems to be fascinated by violent Islamist extremism than a vibrant Indian democracy, which is a model for the world to learn from. The West is simply in no position to condescendingly lecture India on the virtues of democracy and freedom. It lost the right to do so long ago. Western societies are being torn apart by divisions. Publishing shoddy hit jobs against India’s Prime Minister will in no manner solve the rather gigantic problems of the West.