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‘Bitter polemic targeting PM’ — Indian embassy in US slams Washington Post article on Modi

In an opinion essay in The Washington Post, author Kapil Komireddi accused PM Modi of crushing dissent & making decisions such as the scrapping of Article 370 and Covid lockdown.

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New Delhi: The Indian embassy in Washington DC has accused author Kapil Komireddi of “targeting” Prime Minister Narendra Modi through his essay in The Washington Post. The embassy’s response, written by its press secretary Stephen Mani, appeared in the newspaper Saturday.

In a tweet, Komireddi said, “The Indian embassy in Washington has responded to my essay in Washington Post detailing the unrivalled cult of personality built by Narendra Modi with a letter denouncing me for “insulting” Indians by “targeting the prime minister”.

Komireddi’s opinion essay — India, the world’s largest democracy, is now powered by a cult of personality — appeared in The Washington Post on 19 March.

‘Bitter polemic targeting Prime Minister’

The Indian embassy said that the essay was “a bitter polemic targeting the prime minister of India. Its depiction of the people of India as powerless and malleable was downright insulting to them.”

The embassy details how Modi’s policies have only prioritised policy direction to aid fighting the Covid pandemic and managing its socio-economic fallout along with fighting national security challenges at the border. “If a society judges its leader positively and his political colleagues speak well of him, that should hardly be a cause for concern,” the embassy in its response said.

It also denounced Komireddi for citing the ongoing farmers’ agitation against the central government’s three new farm laws, the abolition of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and 2018 demonetisation as examples of Modi building his “personality cult”. “Making decisions on long-pending issues is hardly caprice; it is testimony of serious governance,” it said.

It also said that the “New India” criticised by the author had successfully managed the pandemic by feeding over 800 million people, putting money in 400 million bank accounts and giving vaccines to 80 countries. “Elections have articulated the real sentiment of the people. Personal attacks will not change that reality,” it said.

Also read: This is a new Modi. He’s betting on growth and taking big risks on the economy

India now ‘cautionary tale for established democracies’

In his essay, Komireddi argued that while Modi’s glorification may have started to embolden Hindu nationalism by showcasing him as a successful proponent, it has now imposed a steep cost on Indians.

Komireddi said that while Modi campaigned as an “inclusive modernising technocrat in 2014” to escape the shadow of the likes of Gandhi’s assassin Nathruam Godse,he “cannonized himself as the Father of what his admirers call the New India” after he was elected to power.

Komireddi said that the demagogue status given to Modi by top BJP leaders including Chief Ministers like Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Ministers like Kiren Rijiju has furthered the cause of Modi’s personality cult with these leaders extolling his virtues. The author also argued that a digital army keeps his personality cult going by “pumping out lies about the prime minister’s accomplishments”.

The essay also accused Modi of crushing dissent and routinely bypassing Parliament and making decisions like the scrapping of Article 370, demonetisation and the Covid induced lockdown without consultations. “But country that was once a source of inspiration for aspiring democrats has become, under Modi, a cautionary tale for established democracies,” it said.


Also read: If Modi govt doesn’t control vigilantism, history will compare it to Indira Gandhi Emergency


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  1. PM Modi should get rid of all these spokespersons in Indian Embassies and replace them by a dedicated BJP IT cell. By all accounts, the BJP IT Cell has had phenomenal success in getting its word across and convincing domestic audiences to start riots, lynch Muslims, spread propaganda and spread the word about Prophet Modi. I am pretty sure that this tactic would work outside India too as Indians do not have a monopoly on gullibility. Just look at the number of Americans who bought into bizarre conspiracy theories like QAnon, Tom Hanks and Hillary Clinton eat babies, Trump won the election, Elvis Presly is alive etc. etc.

    Hence, whenever any foreign newspaper or think tank like Freedom House, V-Dem etc. writes something that is negative about India, the BJP IT Cell can be used to spread WhatsApp messages countering them. After all, fake call centres have sprouted up all over India and have duped Americans into believing that they are calling from the US Tax authorities and have siphoned money off naïve Americans haven’t they? Perhaps the running of these overseas BJP IT Cells can be outsourced to some enterprising Patel chap in the US or UK. In any case, India has become a Patelocracy with the Patel paisa running the show hasn’t it ?

  2. I am a little surprised that an erudite veteran of the MEA like Jaishankar has taken to repudiate each and every article that is critical of his boss. I had high hopes on him to put some style and substance into the external affairs policy of India, especially after the off-the -cuff way Modi had handled it. But Alas! Modi cannot be persuaded to see beyond his own nose and nothing will prevent him from being a legend in his own lunchtime.

    • Mr Barbdewyre: Well, Jaishankar has stepped into the shoes of Ms Sushma Swaraj (RIP) and is in exactly the same sorry predicament as Ms Swaraj.

      In almost all foreign capitals, it was an open secret that when it came to foreign policy, shots were called by Modi and not by Ms Swaraj. The latter did the administrative low level tactical work such as visas, evacuations, cutting a few ribbons here and there whilst speaking in chaste, Sanskritised and difficult to grasp Hindi. Jaishankar, despite being a highly educated professional diplomat does pretty much similar tactical work. He has found himself being reduced to an errand boy for the Gujarathis who run India.

      For instance Jaishankar, under the orders of the Gujarathis was asked to not participate in a meeting where a prominent Modi critic Ms Pramila Jayapal was present as a member in the US House Foreign Affairs Committee. Jayashankar, very unprofessionally and uncharacteristically for a diplomat insisted that Ms Jayapal be not present in the meeting with the Committee. Eliot Engel, the Chairman of the Committee, regarded this as an affront and declined to meet Jaishankar.

      Result:India does not get its views across.

      I work in international relations and in this trade have an aphorism:

      “If you are not at the table, you may end up on the menu”

      This is the danger of allowing serious matters to be decided by a singularly incompetent Delhi university “graduate”.

  3. Mr Arundhati: You do not back up your exceptionally ludicrous claim:

    “.. Kapil Komareddy is a professional and high decibel anti-Modi baiter whose objectivity is in question ..”

    with a single shred of evidence.

    Of course, your own posts show an utter lack of objectivity and a great amount of sycophancy – the limp disclaimer “I am no Modi fan” notwithstanding. You simply bristle in at any criticism of an elected autocrat who is presiding over economic ruin and the weakening of the already fragile unity of the nation. Should politicians not be criticised, lampooned and scrutinised Ms Arundhati? Should they be venerated like Gods?

    In any case, to your pathetic and puerile statement regarding Mr Komireddi’s alleged lack of objectivity, well, I will simply cite Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011), author and journalist:

    “What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof”

    Ignoring your lack of rigour and rectitude for a moment and moving over to the other preposterous suggestions you make about India’s importance to America as a counter to China and how the US ostensibly “nurtures” Mr Komireddi.

    Fact is Ms Arundhati, Mr Komireddi is a free-lance journalist who writes in a number of publications, for instance, the UK based “Guardian” and also the US based Foreign Policy. Honestly Ms Arundhati, do you really believe that the US is a tinpot dictatorship where Mr Komireddi’s journalism will result in major policy changes and “loss” for the US ? Foreign policy in the US is formed by the experts and analysts in the State Department who do a lot more research than merely reading newspaper articles. Likewise, I don’t think UK foreign policy is determined by journalists – although they are important in shaping public perceptions.

    Nonetheless, it needs to be borne in mind that there is a chorus of voices that gets louder and louder that the India story under Narendra Modi makes the country very unattractive in Western countries. I subscribe to the publication “Foreign Policy” and there are many experts who voice serious concerns about the viability of QUAD with an India run by a man who is best described as an autocratic cult leader. India’s democratic credentials as well as its underequipped and underfed army raise questions of “inter-operability” with the other QUAD members.

    The sad fact is that in the autocratic Modi regime in India, even foreign policy is not handled by professionals but by MoShah. The late Ms Sushma Swaraj (RIP) realised in foreign capitals, everyone knew that she did the tactical, administrative stuff whilst MoShah called the shots. Mr Jaishankar’s position is no different – he too is nothing more than a glorified errand boy. Proving, essentially the point that Mr Komireddi makes : India is essentially a 1 man show that is driven by Narendra Modi and the personality cult he has assiduously created.

    Remember D.K. Barooah, the sycophantic Congressman who in 1974 said:

    “India is Indira. Indira is India.”

    History has repeated itself Ms Arundhati.

    • India’s best period was MMS’s first term. Dr. Kalam was also admired internationally, because he projected a civilised nationalism. I remember him making a speech in the EU Parliament ending with a Tamil quotation from the Thirukurril, and he got a standing ovation. India was spoken with glowing hopes,. The international media praised India. I felt elated at the time and felt we were going to to be someone in the world (that is, in a civilised way as projected by Kalam, and not in a nasty way).

      But all that is frittered away. The economy is in tatters, and there is flight of capital. It has gone out of their hands, they have given up. Lynchings and rapes, hate speeches and vigilante violence are their concept of nationalism. That is not going to be accepted in the west. It has destroyed India’s image. On foreign policy, they are clueless. They have made enemies in the neighbourhood. Still they are oblivious, concentrating on what they do best – create commuanalism in Bengal and Kerala to win elections.

      I agree the other countries in Quad are uncertain about India. The RSS-BJP want India to be like Nazi Germany; in Modi’s first term, they thought they were going to be Israel, but it did not happen; then came the Rohingyas, then they wanted to be like Myanamar; at the same time, they were touching Trump’s feet; due to the recent democracy downgrade, they want to be anti-west, and hold China as the model of a strong state; now they have made China top trade partner after a weak boycott; at the same time, they want to be in Quad to oppose China !

      Having pinned all their hopes on him, Modi’s followers are unable to digest the reality of failure . If a bank is failing, people pull out their money. But here the psychology is different. People want to believe in an alternative reality. Why do you think that is ? They think the economy is flourishing way beyond MMS’s days. They think negative people are maligning Modi due to jealousy of his genius, but Modi gets stronger day by day, and this will continue for ever. In fact, they make Modi’s failures success points. Probably in their hearts, they know he is a failure, but they have nowhere to go. It is too late to disown him.

      It is like the madman in the asylum believes the others are mad.

      I would like to see Foreign Policy. Who publishes it ?

  4. The response of the Indian embassy will be like those tweets by Tendulkar and Saina Nehwal over Rihanna and Greta – done under the duress of the RSS-BJP, making things worse !

    The response will have no credibility, it will only confirm India is going down.

    Some BJP supporters said ‘Rihanna, who ?’ Some will say now ‘Kommireddy who ?’

    But you will find they cannot refute him, and they cannot ignore either. They will come out with some clumsy response which only confirms Kommireddy !

    My suggestions to bhaktks is to stop raging about everyone being against Hindus and get real. You and Modi – and you and Modi alone – have brought India down internationally. Such a situation never happened under MMS, or any other PM of India. You cannot blame liberals and minorities either.

    In a democracy, the public transfers its collective will and desires to a leader or a party, for a period of time, and then he and the party are judged. You don’t transfer your collective power to an uneducated megalomaniac for an indefinite period, without any assessment, and hope he will raise your fortune. When you buy shares in a company, you don’t do it thinking it will give infinite performance indefinitely. You assess its performance from time to time. If a company is going down, you cut your losses.

  5. Ms Arundhati : In your spectacularly naïve and singularly mediocre response to Mr/Ms NM below, you bray:

    “.. Indian immigrants to the West can not and should not be a consideration when defining India’s strategic interests and foreign policy .. “

    Alas, Ms Arundhati, you seem to be completely oblivious to the strategic and tactical manner in which many countries leverage their diaspora in other countries. Indeed, in international relations, the role of diasporas in shaping, shifting, supporting, modifying and even opposing policy choices in both their homeland and country of domicile is recognised and utilised to the hilt. Diaspora can be a powerful policy lever for both the home country and the country of domicile. In some cases the diaspora even influences electoral outcomes in both countries.

    Some examples:

    IRISH AMERICANS: Irish-Americans influence policy in Northern Ireland for both the USA and the UK. Irish American lobbying was instrumental in getting the Good Friday agreements of 1998 that ended the bloodshed in Northern Ireland. Presidents Joe Biden and John F Kennedy have Irish heritage and the former will have more than a passing interest in Irish politics.
    CUBAN AMERICANS: Extremely conservative and right-wing Cuban Americans are not only a crucial voting bloc for the Republican party but also an influential group that shapes US policy towards Cuba. Often, even to the detriment of US interests.
    JEWISH AMERICANS: Perhaps the most influential group would Jewish Americans in the US who shape US policy towards Israel and are arguably the most important tool in the foreign policy arsenal of Israel.

    The GOI never fully leveraged its diaspora until the Rajiv Gandhi government made policy shifts in the 1980s towards the Indian diaspora – better known as NRIs. Until then, the economic potential of NRIs as sources of much needed hard currency remittances were the only prism through which they were seen. But all governments from Rajiv Gandhi onwards courted the NRI not only for his dollars but also for the many trade, foreign policy lobbying, soft power leveraging possibilities that he could be tapped into.

    Indeed, PM Modi himself has reached out to his well-heeled Gujarati NRI backers in the US and UK for campaign finance. The Gujarati NRI dollar has been instrumental in the Gujarathification and more specifically, the “Narendra Modification” of Indian politics, which Mr Komireddy rightly rails about. The “Patel Paisa” has flown into the coffers of the BJP, the RSS and has shaped – or rather misshaped – Indian politics.

    So Ms Arundhati, rather than worrying about whether Indian immigrants should be factored in when defining India’s foreign policy, you should be more worried about how Indian immigrants in the West influence India’s domestic politics. And help turn India into an elected autocracy run by a Gujarati Führer with a pogrom under his belt.

    And finally Ms Arundhati – after reading the excellent article of Mr Komireddy, the hard-hitting comment of Mr/Ms NM and your own comment, well I must conclude that of the 3 of you, the mediocrity in question is neither Mr Komireddy nor Mr/MS NM.

  6. I am no fan of Modi. But I have noticed that ever since Modi became CM of Gujarat, there is a constant campaign to run him down. I need not list each item of campaign, for they are too well known. NYT and Washington Post have always been antagonistic to India in their editorial policies. It is hardly surprising that another paid Indian-origin lapdog is yelping for them. Facts do not matter to the polemicists. So don’t bother to reply to people like Komireddy and Washington Post with facts. Too naive to assume that they do not know facts. They rely on what suits their agenda.

    • Mr Gururaj: Didn’t Modi not organise a pogrom ? Not that Gujarathis regard a pogrom that results in the death of innocent Muslim women, children and men, rapes of women, destruction of property etc. as something that is a stain on a man’s character – they re-elected Modi with a thumping majority in Dec 2002, 8 months after the Godhra pogroms.

      Clearly, the Modi case shows that if you kill Muslims in India, you are assured Hindu votes. These are the hard facts that Hindutva supporters like you try to wish away and these are the facts that people like Mr Komireddy and newspapers like WaPo don’t let you forget.

      • No Modi did not organize a pogrom. Read the unlimited court cases on this, unless you have already formed an opinion. The communal clashes have been going on ever since the birth of India. The country was formed from a communal clash. I am not proud of it, but it is a reality. While Modi might not be perfect – he is not the demon that the western newspaper columnists make their readers believe.

        • You say Modi did not organize a pogrom. Then how did the Gujarat pogrom arise ? And the Delhi pogrom ? It occurred without any creator ?

          Who sent kar sevaks with trishuls on trains, just before the Gujarat elections in 2002 ? And why ? All other states banned movement of kar sevak trains to avoid the havoc Advani created earlier.

          Why did Modi announce immediately that Muslims had thrown petrol into the train – how had he already formed an opinion before the Ahmedabad Forensic Laboratory’s investigation
          ? (you ask this question to Kili but do not apply to Modi).

          The Ahmedabad Forensic Laboratory investigated and found the train was not burnt by petrol thrown from outside, but there had been a spillage from someone inside. I read excerpts in the Times of India and other newspapers. Soon HM Advani suppressed the report. Why ?

          ‘The country was formed from a communal clash. I am not proud of it, but it is a reality.’

          So you do not want to get out of it, you are contended if someone deliberately stokes communal clashes to win an election – because that is how we are.

          ‘While Modi might not be perfect – he is not the demon that the western newspaper columnists make their readers believe.’

          That is what you want to believe – communal pogroms are normal in India, and no one is responsible.

          Why do you think western newspaper columnists want to make their readers believe Modi is a demon ? Just for the hell of it ? Are they jealous of Modi’s genius ?

          The west banned Modi earlier. Now he is PM, they have to engage and live with him. But India’s image as a rising, democratic, economic power has gone with Modi. It is seen as country racked by religious fundamentalism, capable of imploding. It is not a safe destination for investment or tourism. It is a disappointment

    • ‘Facts do not matter to the polemicists.’

      Tell us what facts should be considered about Modi ? Should Gujurat and Delhi pogroms be forgotten ? Jalianwallah bagh led to 250 deaths. Modi had 10x that number killed to secure Gujarat election.

      Everything else has been a disaster as well – demonetisation, CAA-NRC, using Covid to attack minorities, migrant workers, the plan to sell off farming land to Adani, China taking land.

      You tell us the positive news.

    • ‘NYT and Washington Post have always been antagonistic to India in their editorial policies. ‘

      That is not correct. During MMS’s term 1, Thomas Friedmann used to write hopeful and encouraging articles in NYT. It was a joy to liberals in democratic countries that India was finding its potential.

      During MMS 1, there was the feeling that India had arrived on the world stage. That did not dissipate in MMS 2 either. MMS never boasted India had arrived on the world stage, others abroad said it. Kalam was President and he also projected India in a very favourable way, and there was no question he made people wherever he went feel attracted to India.

      In the case of Modi, he blows the trumpet and announces to his followers that India is now the vishwa guru. His nationalism is to allow his supporters to bash up minorities. The problem is the world does not appreciate Modi’s ‘Hindu nationalism’, they see it as self destructive and will go out of control. Modi’s bhakths abroad will fill Madison Square and rock, but that does not mean, others appreciated him.

      I agree now you will not find anyone projecting India that way in the international press. And you are right that happened ever since Modi became PM. However, they gave about 2 years benefit of the doubt to Modi. But with demonetisation and vigilante attacks and lynchings, it changed. India is now projected as heading in the direction of failing states – which is disappointing, alarming and nobody is happy about it. Modi and his apologists like you are responsible for that.

      When you know that positivism became negativism ever since Modi became PM, you should deduce what is obvious : it is due to Modi and the vigilantes and the mob violence he has encouraged. The RSS is running a state within a state, with an imitational ideology derived from 1930s Nazi Germany. It is out of tune with the world in 2021.

      By putting a disclaimer that you are not a Modi fan does not make your views objective. You are a fellow traveller. You may not be the vigilante and lyncher yourself , but you will look the other way, or you may write justifications for it.

      You are intelligent enough to understand, but you do not want to accept reality, because you put all your hopes in a demagogue.

  7. Truth, no matter the source or subject, always hurt those who do not want to hear it. It is best to tune out the zombie like followers and their thought process in such matters.

    • Mr Raghuram: Excellent comment !

      “Zombie like followers” is the apt term to describe these blinkered, blind Modi worshippers who brook no criticism of their Gujarathi Messiah. It is simply mind boggling how even educated Indians stop thinking and fall lock, stock and barrel for the false promises from a false Prophet.

  8. Kapil Komareddy is a professional and high decibel anti-Modi baiter whose objectivity is in question. I never thought he was balanced. [And I am no Modi fan]. It’s America that has to lose if it alienates India on such flimsy grounds. It needs all the allies it can muster at present to counter the inevitable and inexorable rise of China that challenges its view of the global order. Good luck liberal America with its fake human rights agenda. Keep nurturing the Kapils to your loss.

    • I concur. US has became a ground for pseudo-liberals and woke virtue-signaling crowd. It’s a matter of global concern as US influence is undoubtedly has massive impacts on demographic of other countries.

      • Mr Ayush: Kapi Komareddi is a freelance journalist and writes in the UK based Guardian as well. So does the UK now become

        “a ground for pseudo-liberals and woke virtue-signaling crowd”


        Clearly, you and Ms Arundhati have a hard time refuting Mr Komareddi’s description of Führer Modi and indulge in the usual beating about the bush. Typical gomutra guzzlers.

  9. The opposition has now been effectively been outsourced/relegated to foreign media and institutions like Freedom House etc.

    While there are plenty of points on which to criticize the Modi government, points raised by the author in the WaPo article are highly exaggerated.

    Net effect, government gets talking points and cries foreign conspiracy and mobilizes even more votes in their favour, opposition is forced to co-opt nonsensical views of foreign media and sinks even further, while the “comrades” constantly engaging in hyperbolies get contracted to write even more articles in other newspapers and increase their bank balance.

    This entire ecosystem is more dangerous for India, rather than “cult of personality”.

    • You are correct. This eco-system has to change. Liberal has to except reality and suck their pride to expand their little club of elite and narrow minded individuals. Otherwise, it’s unhealthy for India in long run.

      • Mr Ayush: The liberal has already accepted the fact that Ayothollah Adityanath and possibly Sadhvi Pragya Thakur are the Modi successors who will lead India into the much ballyhooed 5 Trillion dollar economy. Godse worship will be the new norm.

        Meanwhile, smart Gujarathis quietly move their funds out of the country…

  10. Quite early on in his essay referred to here, Kapil Komireddi says, about the Gujarat cricket stadium being named “Narendra Modi Stadium” ,… “Comparisons are inexact, but imagine if Donald Trump had renamed Lincoln Center after himself.”
    Who can disagree with Komireddi’s observation?!
    We must remember that Modi had already “displaced” Gandhi from the annual Calendar of Khadi Gramodyog soon after he assumed power in 2014.’Recently, we have seen Modi’s photo on the COVID vaccination certificates. Modi’s acolytes calling Indian army as “Modi ji ki sena”, and so on.
    Modi’s penchant for appropriating credit is established beyond doubt in last six odd years. In his political wheeling-dealing he comes across as a scheming and maneuvering run of the mill politician. His larger than real self-image makes him feel insecure, and drives him to ruthlessly suppress dissent and behave in a despotic manner

  11. EAM under Jaishankar is eroding India’s standing among world democracies. First it was his childish tantrums to downgrading of democratic freedoms in India by saying he doesn’t care for other’s opinions and now this embassy official trying to equate Modi’s criticism to India’s criticism! An erudite person like Jaishankar must know that western audiences, brought up on individual liberties and enterprise, do not equate the state’s stature with their leader’s reputation. During his presidency, Trump was hauled over the coals by RW, LW, judiciary and public. No Trump supporter or US minister claimed that blaming Trump was equal to blaming whole of USA. I hope Jaishankar (and other educated Indians) realise what they have done to their and their country’s reputation by allaying with the likes of the current lot occupying high govt posts in India. In India, PMs will come and PMs will go – NRIs have to stay in USA (and other western countries) Such amateurish articles by diplomats will harm Indian origin foreign citizens of those countries and other Indians who wish to migrate in the future.

    • NM

      Indian foreign policy is about India’s strategic interests. The west is no longer unchallenged in the global order. It better reduce its hypocrisy and self righteousness to secure its interests. That means not using mediocrities like Kapil. Komireddy to do its dirty work in the international media. And seriously, Indian immigrants to the West can not and should not be a consideration when defining India’s strategic interests and foreign policy!

      • At this time India’s strategic interests are only limited to upper caste Hindus interests, rest of the world should go to hell, why should India or more precisely why should Modiji care? Only dictators can give this type of arguments, China also gives the exact same arguments when CNN reporters show up unannounced in their country. LOL

        • Kili Jolsiyar : Apprently “mediocrity” is not just one sided in these comments. Your deranged rant is evidence of this.

          Kapil Komireddi is a known partisan hack who relies on hyperbole, histrionics and disinformation to peddle propaganda masquerading as intelligent critique. His disingenuous drivel apart from impressing people like you is irrelevant to people who actually matter – the Indian voter.

          Kapil Komireddi’s antecedents are not without his own hypocritical self-serving political interests as his family conmections in India make clear. His cheap hucksterim may impress the dull witted but not anyone paying attention. However i write this comment not to critique Komireddi but your asinine drivel.

          The most lazy and disingenuous attempt at perfidy is often used by the Indian left establishment but none is so pathetic a foil to discredit Narendra Modi than the false libel of “genocide” thrown Modi’s way. An outright fiction unsupprted by fact, laughed off in court rooms and ridiculed by academics is still the singular solace of the left establishment in India. When you have to employ falsehoods and fairytales in your politics the you Kili Jolsiyar are the fascist thug trying to fight with fictions to mask your hate and prejudice.

          Also, another point you made that it was Rajiv Gandhi who started engagement with the NRI to cultivate them for foreign policy purposes. This is untrue and indeed a misrepresentation of the amendment of the tax laws by Parliament. The first REAL attempt to engage the Indian diaspora beyond inward remittances was by Atal Bihari Vajpayee under the Pravasi Bharati program where Indian diaspora were asked to visit India and act as ambassadors of Indian culture and heritage.

          Your claim that Modi and his party along with the RSS mobilized Gujrati business “Patel Paisa” to fund his elections is again absurd and displays a propensity to believe fantasies and fairytales rather than facts. Foreign funding for political activity in India has been illegal since independence, and much more so after Indira Gandhi’s tenure. Further, any domestic entity funneling foreign money into politics in India would be violating several serious laws that would be impossible to hide. Finally, the idea that the BJP or indeed ANY Indian political party of any credibility needs foreign funds is the just ludicrous given how many billionaire Indian businesses and business houses are not to mention the immense wealth political parties themselves hold! There isnt enough money in ALL the NRI/Indians in the US to fund ONE election in Bihar, forget all across India. So that again is another falsehood on your part.

          In summary, you lack any credibility or indeed any moral authority to edify anyone about their “mediocrity” or some such drivel when all you liberal fanatics would be lucky to even be called mediocre if one were examine your electoral competence against any opposition in India. Your politics is not even mediocre, its abysmal and indeed the only word that would be appropriately describe the magnitude of your failures would be LOSER. As the Bible says – Judge not, lest ye be judged.


            Mazo: I was horrified to read your response to Kili Jolsiyar’s excellent comment where he excoriates the autocratic regime of Narendra Modi and the violence that has always come in the wake of the man himself. Kili touches on several valid themes but I will restrict myself to just one of them that he mentions: Modi and the 2002 pogroms. But the ardent Hindutva man and Modi worshipper you are, you too make a futile attempt to conjure yet another clean chit to CM Modi, the orchestrator and enabler of the 2002 Godhra pogroms. Yes, this very man that you seem to revere ensured that some of his constituents viz. Muslims were singled out and raped, beheaded, hacked into pieces, burnt alive with petrol and forced to flee from their homes. Modi deliberately decided to not protect his Muslim constituents but throw them to the wolves.

            You see Mazo, I am a Muslim who has lived in Juhapura, the Muslim ghetto of Ahmedabad. February 28th 2002 is seared into my memory.

            I am as patriotic if not more patriotic than the average Hindu; I would have passed every Tebbit test that India’s Hindutva crowd would have thrown at me. It might even delight you to know that I do not applaud when Pakistan wins a Test match. I am an utterly ordinary, educated, middle-class Indian raising a family and 2 children. I pay my taxes, do my civic duties as a citizen and do my best to be of help to my neighbours, friends and colleagues – regardless of their religion. It just so happens that I am a Muslim, my religion simply being one of the many facets of my identity. I do not wear my religion on my sleeve.

            And yet, the lives of many ordinary Muslims like me got upended on February 28th 2002.

            And that happened due to the fact that the very elected authorities in whom we had placed our trust were complicit in the violence heaped upon us. Thus, when the police tell Muslims feeling mobs “We have no orders to save you”, they were indeed speaking the truth. The BJP top brass wanted the violence. And the man on top does not have an iota of regret. Indeed, even the PM of India at that time Vajpayee supported Modi and refused to take action.

            As then President of India KR Narayanan mentioned in an interview with the Malayalam magazine Manava Samskriti:

            “There was governmental and administrative support for the communal riots in Gujarat. I gave several letters to Prime Minister Vajpayee in this regard on this issue. I met him personally and talked to him directly. But Vajpayee did not do anything effective. I requested him to send the army to Gujarat and suppress the riots. The Centre had the Constitutional responsibility and powers to send the military if the state governments asked. The military was sent, but they were not given powers to shoot .. I feel there was a conspiracy involving the state and central governments behind the Gujarat riots”

            You might say that the SIT exonerated Modi. But that has been contested by amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran and many others. I will not go into the details here. Suffice it to say that in Indian courts, the rich and the powerful seldom get convicted. After all, witnesses don’t get intimidated when testifying against the rich and powerful and all cases are free and fair aren’t they? Just ask the many innocent Muslims languishing in jail without as much as a charge being filed against them.

            I have read several of the well researched and powerful comments written by Kili Jolsiyar. In one of them he does mention that he is a Hindu. It is the presence of such Hindus who believe in the sanctity of human life, human rights and democracy that offer a ray of hope to Muslims like me. As well as to minorities like Sikhs, Dalits, Christians and other groups that have come in the crosshairs of India’s militant Hindutva.

            Mazo: Your attempts to kill 2 birds with one stone have failed miserably. Both Kapil Komireddi and Kili Jolsiyar make solid points that you will never be able to refute. They speak the truth and truth can be wished away. As the Mundaka Upanishad says “Satyameva Jayate”.

      • Ms Arundhati: My response to your comment to Mr/Ms NM appears a few inches above this comment.


      • Modi was given some benefit of the doubt, at least in the first 2 years of his first term. People in the west hoped they could engage with India, and Modi would go ahead with building the economy. But demonetisation took away the wind from India’s economy, and growth and incomes declined, so India is not an investment destination now.

        In parallel, we saw the start of lynchings, violent vigilantes, raping of Dalits and minorities, attacks on students and media, police brutality, use of IT for hate messages, all backed with murderous mobs. In the west, this was described as the product of ‘Hindu nationalism’. It is correct. The Indian media may not say it directly due to fear, but western media are not constrained. Modi cannot make an Income Tax department raid.

        After the first two years, Modi frittered away the good will and benefit of the doubt. He has shown that he cannot rise above a low level shakha pracharak.

        If military-junta ruled Myanmar behaves as Myanmar, that is not news. When a great democracy like India goes down, people notice and mourn. It is up to you to correct the rot, and not to defend those who have taken it down, and argue India is shining.

    • I am unsure about your understanding of geopolitics and strategic interests. Frankly, west never listened to our side of the story and warnings. 9/11 was the result of that. India is warning about rising pseudo-liberals and rising discomfort in domestic environment, will the the west listen? Nope. Until something bites them in the back. Also, stop putting west in the pedestal of epitome of democracy. They are not. All they see in India is our protests, our pot-holed roads, our snake-charmers and our slums. You seriously cannot expect a balanced review from that kind of mindset.

      • They also see pogroms, lynchings of Muslims and harassing of Christian nuns don’t they Mr Akash?

        Mr/Ms NM makes several valid observations which you simply seem to be intellectually incapable of refuting. Shaka education is not very different from madrasa education is it Mr Akash ?

        • My apologies for the typo in the reply to Mr Ayush. It should read Mr Ayush and not Mr Akash.

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