Modi government under attack for “authoritarian drift”

The "authoritarian drift" of the Modi government has come under sharp criticism by two of the world's leading newspapers which squarely blamed it for "the lynch mob mentality" witnessed in New Delhi in recent days.

By: PTI | New York | Updated: February 22, 2016 9:12 pm
jnu, jnu row, jnu protest, freedom of speech, kanhaiya kumar, jnu leader kanhaiya kumar, foreign news of jnu, new york times, new york times on jnu, new york times on pm Modi The newspaper New York Times carried an article on the events in Delhi after the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, JNU student leader. (Source: New York Times website)

The “authoritarian drift” of the Modi government has come under sharp criticism by two of the world’s leading newspapers which squarely blamed it for “the lynch mob mentality” witnessed in New Delhi in recent days.

“India is in the throes of a violent clash between advocates of freedom of speech and the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and its political allies on the Hindu right determined to silence dissent,” the New York Times (NYT) said in an op-ed piece.

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The confrontation “raises serious concerns about Modi’s governance and may further stall any progress in Parliament on economic reforms”, it said.

The newspaper carried a separate article on the events in Delhi after the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, JNU student leader, on charges of sedition and said that the message was clear–violence in the name of ultra nationalism is
acceptable.

“Not even the courts are safe spaces. Challengethe state, or the BJP, at your peril.”

The article was re-tweeted by tennis great Martina Navratilova with her comment, “what passes for sedition in India-ultra nationalism easily turns into violence at worst, bullying at best.”

France’s leading daily ‘Le Monde’ said in an editorial that “the horizon of Indian democracy has been oddly clouded” since the coming to power of Modi.

The arrest of a student leader and a former professor of JNU, both accused of sedition, “is the latest illustration of the authoritarian drift of the Hindu nationalist government determined to silence criticism”.

It was “paradoxical” to see the Hindu nationalists defend the Indian flag they have long denigrated with their preference for the saffron flag, the editorial said.

The NYT said that the responsibility for the “lynch mob mentality” lay squarely with the Modi government. Indian citizens have the right to voice their “outrage at government threats to the exercise of their democratic rights”.

The newspaper asked Modi to rein in his ministers and his party, and defuse the current crisis, or risk sabotaging both economic progress and India’s democracy.

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  1. K
    Kai
    Feb 22, 2016 at 4:40 pm
    If NYT supports freedom of speech let them paste posters of Osama on white house...leftist loonies
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    1. Z
      Zina
      Feb 22, 2016 at 7:40 pm
      New York Times has had a bad couple of years. They are competing with Guardian and mishandling news and they have themselves admitted so. Now, like Indian express they want to increase market share through sensationalism. ----Congress party has arrested people for sedition when Sonia hi’s rule and they never covered it so how fair is their news.
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      1. A
        Anand
        Feb 23, 2016 at 1:33 am
        This is not a surprise for me, it all lobbing against current Indian Govt on the name of RSS and Hindutva. These are main culprits who do not want India to grow at all... they will try their best to do so... So ignore these lobbing news traders!!
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        1. A
          Anand
          Feb 23, 2016 at 1:34 am
          We have got a strong Govt this time after 60 long years... we will work on our agenda to grow India... All these evils will go away very soon...
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          1. B
            Bijan Mohanty
            Feb 23, 2016 at 1:59 pm
            Rupee all time low since Modi came to power. Sign of brilliant economy as per you ? Great. Go on giving solace to yourself. Narendra Modi is taking Indian economy and Indian banking to an inevitable disaster.
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