India on Friday reacted sharply to a New York Times editorial, criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to name Adityanath Yogi as UP CM. “All editorials or opinions are subjective. This case is particularly so. The wisdom in doubting the verdicts of genuine democratic exercises, at home or abroad, is questionable,” Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesman Gopal Baglay said at a weekly briefing.
In the editorial, titled ‘Modi’s Perilous Embrace of Hindu Extremists’, the paper said Modi has played a “cagey game, appeasing his party’s hard-line Hindu base while promoting secular goals of development and economic growth”. It noted that there were “worrying signs” that Modi was willing to humour Hindu extremists while adding that he had refrained from overtly approving violence against the Muslim minority.
The paper noted that Modi “revealed his hand” when emboldened by a landslide victory in recent elections in India’s largest state of Uttar Pradesh, his party named Yogi as the state’s leader. a “The move is a shocking rebuke to religious minorities, and a sign that cold political calculations ahead of national elections in 2019 have led Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party to believe that nothing stands in the way of realising its long-held dream of transforming a secular republic into a Hindu state,” the editorial said. It noted that Yogi has made a political career of demonising Muslims. The editorial said that Uttar Pradesh badly needs development and not ideological showmanship. ENS