US news magazine Time has featured Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the cover page of its May issue with a headline that may create controversy across the India amid the election season.
The headline reads Indias Divider in Chief and carries a caricature of the prime minister.
Of the great democracies to fall to populism, India was the first, says the opening sentence of the article.
In the cover story titled Can the World’s Largest Democracy Endure Another Five Years of a Modi Government? the writer Aatish Taseer talks about rising populism in democracies as far apart as Turkey, Brazil, Britain and the US the case in point being India.
Populism has given voice to a sense of grievance among majorities that is too widespread to be ignored, while at the same time bringing into being a world that is neither more just nor more appealing, the article says.
The article which is highly critical of Narendra Modi states that the after the 2014 elections, basic tenets of the Indian states considered to be normal such as the character of the Indian state, its founding fathers, the place of minorities and its institutions, were shown to be severely distrusted.
After 2014, the article states, the achievements of independent India such as secularism, liberalism, a free presscame to be seen in the eyes of many as part of a grand conspiracy.
The author accuses the prime minister to be silent about 2002 Gujarat pogrom proving him to be a friend of the mob. The article accuses the administration of being silent on cow lynchings
It is to be noted that the magazines editorial view of Modi has shifted over the years. PM Modi made the list of the Timess 100 most influential people in 2014, 2015 and 2017 but failed to make the cut in 2019.