George Soros calls out Modi on Kashmir, Hindutva

George Soros calls out Modi on Kashmir, Hindutva

The billionaire was speaking at the World Economic Forum at Davos

Sabrangindia                                                                      24 Jan 2020
Nothing stings Narendra Modi more than international condemnation. A public relations disaster in the form of scathing remarks from one of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful investors and philanthropists, therefore, deals a body-blow to his carefully crafted image as a leader committed to “Sabka saath, sabka vikas”.
The Hungarian-American billionaire was speaking at the annual economic summit being held at Davos in Switzerland and addressing the subject of how nationalism was making headway, he said the “biggest setback” was being seen in India.
“Nationalism, far from being reversed, made further headway. The biggest and most frightening setback occurred in India where a democratically elected Narendra Modi is creating a Hindu nationalist state, imposing punitive measures on Kashmir, a semi-autonomous Muslim region, and threatening to deprive millions of Muslims of their citizenship,” said Soros.
Over the last few weeks several top businessmen, economists and intellectuals have spoken up against Modi.
In November 2019, industrialist Rahul Bajaj took the bull by its horns when he said that people in India are fearful of speaking out against the Modi government and that he wasn’t sure if the government can accept criticism in the right spirit.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella too did not mince words when he expressed displeasure with amendments to India’s citizenship laws. “I think what is happening is sad, primarily as sort of someone who grew up there … I think it’s just bad,” Nadella told BuzzFeed at an event in New York.
“And even a story like mine being possible in a country like this – I think, if anything, I would love to see a Bangladeshi immigrant who comes to India and creates the next unicorn in India or becomes the CEO of Infosys. That should be the aspiration. If I had to sort of mirror what happened to me in the US, I hope that’s what happens in India.”
Meanwhile, in December 2019, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Economist Gita Gopinath had also warned that India needed to take urgent measures such as labour and land reforms and strengthening the financial system, to get its economy back on track lest the downturn have global fallout. On Monday, January 20, while releasing its World Economic Outlook (WEO) the IMF slashed global growth projections for 2019 to 2.9 per cent and for 2020 to 3.3 per cent. India’s growth forecast was also downgraded for 2019 to 4.8 per cent from 6.1 per cent on the back of sharp decline in consumer demand, stress in the NBFC sector and sluggish credit growth, reported Business Today. She told India Today that India could be responsible for 8- percent of the global slowdown!
These are hits that Modi’s “vikas-purush” image cannot afford to take. But will all this international criticism compel Modi to double down on his supremacist agenda and restore human rights of persecuted minorities across India, dignity to the people of Kashmir and Assam, and repeal the patently unconstitutional provisions of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)? Or will his hubris finally become his undoing?


Well, the world has changed as it should but perhaps they had a point as there is a Vaish — not one at the top of the class but a tea-seller from a shop that would be at the other end of the spectrum from those charming English tea shops in Devon — now running the country.  Of dubious education that has been challenged and a beginning in the ultra-nationalist RSS (once outlawed by India’s founding prime minister and known also for producing Gandhi’s assassin) Narendra Modi is at India’s helm.  His BJP party’s rise is linked to stoking up tensions between Hindus and minority Muslims, whose suffering has been well documented Police powers have been increased and Muslim Kashmir is now under direct rule from Delhi, while new laws are disqualifying Muslims from citizenship.  So reports The Economist in its special issue, The State of the World in 2020 (p. 53).
Better known is the pogrom of Muslims in Modi’s Gujarat when he headed the provincial government there, and his party’s role in the destruction of a 500-year old mosque built by Babur so that the fictitious birthplace of Ram would be holy to both religions
After the Indian rebellion against British rule, the British saw advantage in fostering division among communities in the infamous divide-and-rule maxim, now changed by Modi into suppress-and-rule, as the left-over Muslim community is poor and weak after the emigration of many to Pakistan following partition and independence in 1947.
Gandhi and founding Prime Minister Nehru’s vision of a secular India is enshrined in its constitution, which Modi and the BJP’s Hindu nationalist agenda subverts.  Its Hindutva, a Nazi-like ideology holding Hinduism supreme, wants India to be an exclusively Hindu nation noting that Hindu and Muslim cultures are different, without regard to the similarities.  As a video demonstrating the new ideology in practice points out, it is safer to be a cow than a Muslim in Modi’s India.
It is what one can expect when an ill-educated, charismatic tea-seller takes over the world’s largest democracy offering cultural superiority and its false pride, hare brained schemes like a deadline declaring old high denomination banknotes illegal causing chaos at banks.  Poorly managed plans like toilets and gas cookers for the poor are touted as successes.  But the toilets are not used because the plans did not include maintenance, and gas cooker distribution is riddled with corruption.  Meanwhile, the economy suffers and the country ranks 102 out 117 on the Global Hunger Index (between Sierra Leone and Niger) and far behind Bangladesh. 

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