Time, the American news magazine, featured Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the cover page of his May 20 issue with a headline that could create controversy across India during the election season.
The headline says “India’s Divider in Chief”. This title is a reference to the article published in the magazine by Aatish Taseer, with the headline “Can the world’s largest democracy endure another five years of a Modi.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Author Aatish Taseer is the son of Indian journalist Tavleen Singh and late Pakistani politician and businessman Salmaan Taseer.
“Not only has Modi’s economic miracle failed to materialize, he has also helped create an atmosphere of poisonous religious nationalism in India,” Taseer writes.
The writing-up compares the idea of secularism of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru with the prevailing social “stress” under Modi that “showed no desire to foster brotherly feelings between Hindus and Muslims,” read the article.
In addition, the article it also recalled the riots in Gujarat that claimed lives from scores of people. The entire article is based on the relations between Hindu-Muslim and blames Modi for being pro-Hindu.
Time magazine also carried a secondary article, authored by Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group, a global political risk research and consulting firm, that reads “Modi the Reformer” as the country enters the final phase of the mammoth general election.
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”.
Outlining the achievements of the Modi-led government, Bremmer talks about the Goods and Services Tax enacted in 2017, “unprecedented amounts” of money directed towards the country’s new infrastructure, expansion of the Aadhaar biometric identification system that began under the previous Congress–led government.