With its May 10 issue, the TIME magazine, landed in a controversy by calling Narendra Modi India’s “Divider in Chief”. The TIME cover story came in the middle of the Lok Sabha elections and riled up Modi supporters across the country. Now, days after the election results gave Modi a thumping majority, TIME has come up with another article, but this time it says Modi has united the country like no other Prime Minister.
The opinion piece titled “Modi has united India like no Prime Minister in decades” has been written by Manoj Ladwa, who managed the campaign “Narendra Modi for PM” in 2014.
The latest article was published on the TIME website on Tuesday. The articles states, “A key factor is that Modi has managed to transcend India’s greatest fault line: the class divide”.
The writer, Manoj Ladwa, has credited Modi’s emergence as a unifier to his origins in a backward caste — a factor missed or deliberately omitted by Western media obsessed with what they call upper caste domination.
“Narendra Modi was born into one of India’s most disadvantaged social groups,” he explained. “In reaching the very top, he personifies the aspirational working classes and can self-identify with his country’s poorest citizens in a way that the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, who have led India for most of the 72 years since independence, simply cannot.”
“Yet despite the strong and often unfair criticisms levelled at Modi’s policies both throughout his first term and this marathon election, no Prime Minister has united the Indian electorate as much in close to five decades,” he said referring to Indira Gandhi’s massive 1971 victory.
This story stands in contrast to the one published earlier this month. The story published by journalist Aatish Taseer slammed the Modi government for the several lynching cases, Yogi Adityanath’s appointment as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister among other things.
The previous story turned into a major election issue as the Opposition sided with the author for calling Modi a “divider”.
The BJP, on the other hand, picked on Taseer’s background and said he is a Pakistani, nothing better can be expected of Pakistan.
However, in the latest story, Ladwa writes about Modi: “Through socially progressive policies, he has brought many Indians, both Hindus and religious minorities, out of poverty at a faster rate than in any previous generation.”
This story was first published in India Today.