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Is the world always conspiring to pull India down? Are the big powers, especially in the democratic West, fearful of India’s rise? Is there, to use a term fashionable among the faithful lately, a Christo-Islamic plot against the rise of a Hindu India? Does the rest of the world hold India and other countries, say China, to different standards?

All of the above are untrue, except the last, and for that there is a reason: The size and dynamism of China’s economy. The truth is, for seven decades now, almost all of the rest of the world has wanted India to succeed.

Barring traditional adversaries Pakistan and China, it is difficult to name a nation that didn’t wish India well, or benefits from its failure. This, despite the fact that we’ve by now built a chronic habit of raising expectations every decade or so, and letting ourselves, and our global admirers, down. That, precisely, is the mood right now.

India’s economic stall is a setback indeed. The bigger problem, however, is the precipitous fall of its moral stature, with struggling social indicators, falling rankings on democracy and corruption scales, spontaneous, peaceful nation-wide protests against CAA/NRC, and an establishment discourse that is getting angry, vengeful and exclusivist by the day.

In three decades of Davos since the Cold War, whether or not India was among the flavours of the season, it was always looked at with a sense of expectation, and awe at the growing ease with which it was able to manage its diversity, change governments democratically, and globalise its thinking, economically and strategically. These three decades have seen the world rocked by several major crises, precisely because of the failure of many other countries and regions to do this, from the Balkans to the Middle-East to pockets in Africa.

India’s economy grew in the post-1991 phase impressively, and that further enhanced Brand India. Look at this chaotic country that becomes socially and politically more stable by the year, and is now one of the engines of global growth. China kept way ahead of India, but it wasn’t setting an example with its authoritarian political economy that anyone wanted to, or could afford to, follow. Not even Putin’s Russia and Ayatollahs’ Iran.

India was the opposite. An inspirational example to the rest of the world, that big, diverse nations could grow not “in spite of” democracy, but because of it. Imagine, if a nation as diverse as India did not have its liberal, democratic, inclusive political and social culture, where would it end up?

It could break up like the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia or the Middle-East. Or go the authoritarian way of Russia, Turkey and China. A growing and increasingly secure and stable India, with its poverty, diversity and a million problems, was a valuable ambassador for democracy and liberalism.

That, unfortunately, is under threat now. India’s friends and fans of decades now look askance at us. The question you hear most often is, so what is going on in India? Is it going to get worse? How did you get here? No one, no foreign power, political, corporate or opinion leader, is celebrating India’s stall. But the alarmed SOS, particularly from our friends is: India, we have a problem.


Also read: Modi-Shah’s BJP govt has failed India’s youth and is now stuck fighting them


We are not at a stage which you could describe as a fall from grace. Not yet. Because our friends are also incorrigible optimists, and inured to the idea of India flattering to deceive every now and then.

They draw comfort from what they see as a brave pushback from at least some of India’s institutions, occasionally even the judiciary and some media, the youth and, of course — I say it bracing for the consequences — widespread protests by women, students and the Muslims. The message you hear often: You have problems. But in which other country, in such an environment, would you still have men and women, Muslim and Hindu, gathering in the streets, reading the Preamble to their Constitution?

One instinctive hyper-nationalist counter to this would be, oh, what else would you hear if only people you are talking to are like yourselves: Editors, woolly-headed intellectuals and, that favourite slur, Left-liberal. You would expect them to detest India’s first democratically-elected government of the Hindu Right.

Two things need to be underlined, however. First, people in this category have traditionally been the biggest Indophiles. They’ve also been at the forefront of hailing India’s post-1991 rise, and back its battle with terrorism emanating from Pakistan. In these decades, they’ve treated Pakistan as a global migraine, university of jihad, a classical nuisance state.

Today, they watch in silent bemusement as Imran Khan grandly compares India going the way of Germany in the 1930s under the Nazis. They don’t agree, nor would they wish it were true. But they don’t know how to defend India. They exchange stories of visa troubles for academics and journalists, pressures on media, and ask why India is acting like China.

And second, it isn’t just the intellectual/policy/media universe that is abuzz with these new doubts. The global corporates are concerned too: You used to have policy predictability, now it’s a yo-yo. New taxes and regulations pop up, some disappear soon, many linger. Your tax and regulatory processes, and top of it all, your judiciary, are muddled, and now the return of old socialist fixations such as import-substitution, swadeshi, and a small-trader mercantilist ideology. On top of all that, your ministers admonish us. In short, in one sense or the other, most see India’s transformation into a prickly state. They don’t like it.

The next counter would, perhaps, be the one of the obsolescence of soft power and the rise of hard power instead that a new history began post-2014, and this India doesn’t bend over backwards to please others. We run into two problems again.

First, that you could make that transition if you had built that kind of hard power in the first place. Those who know better in the international strategic community, and are not impressed by our news TV channels, know that while the post-Pulwama 26/27 February action demonstrated a hard resolve on India’s part to retaliate and risk escalation, the lack of capability to deliver a decisive, unilateral punishment on a much smaller power like Pakistan was severely exposed. India, therefore, is getting caught up in its own rhetoric to prematurely declare itself as a new hard power, while giving up what was its strength so far. The message: There are perils in flaunting something when you haven’t got it.

And second, as any marketing person would tell you, all brands, including nations, have some essential brand attributes. For China, it is a hard state, uncluttered, efficient governance, ethnic homogeneity, a super-power’s military, and the ‘distinction’ of carrying out the largest number of executions in the world each year and also keeping it a state secret.

For Pakistan, our favourite reference point these days, we’d rather not even talk. But India’s core brand attributes are democracy, ease of living with diversity, a chaotic, cluttered but inclusive governance, and an argumentative, opinionated society. And it’s by no means a soft state. It can’t be, if it is the only large, diverse state to emerge after World War II to not only stay intact, but emerge stronger. All others, from the Soviet Union to Pakistan, the hardest of hard states, broke up.

We can dismiss it all as Western prejudice with India, and especially with Hinduism. It won’t change the fact that a combination of identity politics and economic decline has severely damaged Brand India. Collaterally, it has dented Brand Modi as well. We need to take a deep breath, whisper mea culpa and start repairs. Of course, we can always say, do we care? At 4.8 per cent growth and the highest unemployment in 45 years, it simply won’t work.


Also read: Discovery of Pakistan – How Modi & Shah have dramatically re-hyphenated India with Pakistan


 

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82 Comments Share Your Views

82 COMMENTS

  1. 2 rupee Journalist like Shekhar Gupta who are nothing but the doormats of 10 Janpath can do no justice to an article. Presstitutes of 10 Janpath and the Khan Market gang were in the habit of getting free air travels, hotel splurges, foreign holidays, free booze and what not before 2014. But here comes Modi and stops all that and the blood sucking parasites suddenly become venomous cannibals.

    The Print sucks.

    • Exactly Modi ji doesn’t care about print, huff post, wire, guptas, dutts and poories. They are free to bark on Modi ji.

  2. The Geneva convention on refugees Article 33 provides that: No contracting state shall expel or return a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.The govt. has followed this in CAA . The provisions of the Constitution do not apply to illegal immigrants;The conferring of citizenship is a prerogative of every country except in the case of asylum seekers whose life is threatened in their country.

  3. Nothing is true in this article, it is written by some tukde tukde gang supporter .He may have been paid to write against government

  4. When was the London Economist positive about India.Same was the case with London Times and GuardianThese publications have been visualising the collapse of the Indian Nation like that of the USSR and Yugoslavia in due course.As for New York Times and the Washington Post , their views are based on the reports of correspondents like Rana Ayub and Barkha Dutt.As a one time resident in both these countries I can vouch for the supercilious nature of the British high-brow and the blissful ignorance of the American media.That said ,one agrees with the concern about the Economy.Mr.Modi needs to do the repair job expeditiously.As the Prime Minister he should facilitate better communications and interaction with the public including the minorities.We need to remove the mistrust of the minorities and redress their insecurities.One should ignore the goings -on in places like JNU,Jamia,
    and the AMU.These will always raise a hue and cry whatever the Govt.does.

  5. The constitution Apple’s to citizens not to illegal migrants.The choice to give them citizenship is a prerogative of the country.European countries are not allowing Syrian and other middle East refugees to enter their countries.America is constructing a wall to stop MEXICANS.There is a clear distinction between illegal migrants in our country between thos seeking asylum as their lives are threatened and those who entered for economic and other reasons.It is our duty to give asylum to thos whose lives are threatened.If all are given asylum it will encourage more illegal entry.

  6. The provisions of the constitution apply to its citizens not to those who entered our country illegally.The European countries are vying with each other in refusing to grant asylum to Syrian and other Muslim refugees.USA IS constructing a wall to prevent MEXICANS and other South Americans from seeking asylum in their country.Their immigration laws are so tough and they give citizenship to highly qualified applicants .Citizenship is a privilege and every country makes rules according to its needs, culture and requirement.The laws in the constitution are for its citizens and the same cannot not be applied to refugees.If all illegal migrants are given Citizenship,firstly it will be a burden on our economy, secondly it will encourage more illegal entry.The Hindus and othe minorities are not mere illegal migrants but people who are seeking asylum as tbeir lives are threatened .Giving them citizenship is giving them life .It is our duty.The others are already getting back to where they came from according to reports from our border posts.

  7. Not only this we are meddling in others politics
    Forgain minister’s statement that he does not wish to meet paimila has been condensed by barnee Sanders
    Similarly assuming that in America news corporation are controlled by owners like in India is wrong
    Washington post and nwt not gonna change their coverage by simply snubbing bejos or protesting Infront of their offices
    And see the hypocrisy of India there has not been one strong statement on aksai chin even after China tried to internationalise Kashmir in unsc

  8. We are all Brand India and not just the government. To improve Brand India individuals can:
    1) Be courteous to other Indians (even those with differing views) online and offline
    2) Be financially honest and respectful to foreigners who travel to India. Just because they have dollars does not mean they are all rich
    3) Don’t like, retweet, repost and forward social media posts that criticize others religion, culture, nationalities, race
    4) Foreigners generally know what is happening in India socially and economically, so do not deny, justify and lie
    5) Ordinary citizens of Islamic countries do not hate India or Hindus. so do not believe lies propagandists tells you
    6) Respect all people online and offline and maintain non-casteist, gender neutral rules in your house
    7) Do not participate in conversations about a community, religion, race or nationality, people may laugh at you but they will think about what you have said
    8) Ignore the trolls; your anger and attention is their oxygen; they are getting paid to argue and waste your time
    9) Stay away from angry people; they make you angry and bitter too
    10) Study a short education skills course online every year so Brand India is future ready
    11) Make your children learn computer languages; there are free courses online
    12) Note books are costly these days, so at the beginning of the school year buy a few for a financially weak child

  9. This is deracinated coward speak. Shekhar, have some self respect and self confidence. Your entire mindset is the result of the lefty brainwashing throughout your schooling and your profession – you have become a lefty zombie yourself. Your generation is a lost generation. There is a new generation taking over India that has no time for cowards like you. This is the generation of Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli who stare down the world eye to eye and believe in themselves to be the best. We believe in ourselves, we are proud of our 6000+ year old civilization and heritage, we work hard and we are enterprising. We know that the world needs us and will come to us. This self confidence of the new generation scares you because you and your ilk have been bred on a diet of empty slogans and pusillanimity. We are the generation of doers, not gabbers like you – get out of our way or you will be swept away.

  10. Narendra Modi government enjoys the country’s trust is echoed in the finding that if elections were held today, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance would have sufficient numbers to form government. The survey finds that if elections were held today, the NDA would win 303 seats and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance 108 in the Lok Sabha, where the majority mark is 272. India Today

  11. I generally agree that some parts of the world have a more negative view of India than before. But having lived in the us for more than 30 years and being a subsriber to NYT for more than 20 i have yet to see any positive coverage of india. The NYT uses india for any exotic news which can allow them to signal virtue.
    As far as positive views go … how has it actually hwlped india? A strong economy will bring positive coverage from the west….saudi arabia and china have proved that. Fault the modi govt for messing up the ecobomy…rest of the stuff doesnt matter and the world moves on pretty quickly… coronavirus is the next one. Notice that the worls has moved on from the hongkong protests.

  12. What is brand india and why is it damaged ? Just because modi wants to make india hospitable for these prosecuted minorities of Pakistan ?

    You guys are purely insane and clown of the civil society and I feel extremely abhorred these days when I see articles of corrupt , shameless and fanatic journalists like you who try to interpret everything as per their own terms and conditions..

    What’s a loathsome kind of professional you are ?

    You guys are man with empty brain

    • Well written remarks… However poor article, Shekhar uncle has thought journalism is anti establishment all the time…
      Looks like lutyens paid article…

    • You are right .Including these news channels are traitors .They have some vested interest .
      They want to see India weak .
      CAA and NRC are absolutely MUST for the nation. This is the only way Bangladeshi illegal immigrants would be thrown out

  13. Narendra Modi government enjoys the country’s trust is echoed in the finding that if elections were held today, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance would have sufficient numbers to form government. The survey finds that if elections were held today, the NDA would win 303 seats and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance 108 ign the Lok Sabha, where the majority mark is 272. India Today

  14. Very good article. But I differ with Shekhar Guptaji on one aspect. He considers loss of soft power more important than the economic downturn. I think exactly the opposite. I shall tell the P.M. “ It is economy, Sir”. CAA is a mistake, no doubt. But it’s effect is transient. Implementation of CAA cannot be done unless NCR is carried out and NCR is not feasible. Furthermore, even if some illegal immigrants are identified by employing most disruptive, destructive and senseless method of NCR, by which every citizen is required prove his/her antecedents, the fundamental issue remains unresolved. : ‘ What then?’ What shall the government do with those who have entered India illegally, say in 1971? What about their children born in India? This is a futile exercise. The government will not be able to move an inch ahead. CAA is mere tokenism and slogan making. No doubt this has brought disrepute to the country, but this will not last long. Of more importance is repairing the economy. China is more intolerant then India by any standards. Yet it is more respected because it is an economic superpower.

  15. Great article.. Not the kind of narrative we need at this time when world is looking up to us.
    Not sure your article is read by those holding power, can you meet Me. Modi and give him the message?

    • + Misuse of Democracy + Misuse of free speech. We didn’t see any one – No Congress/Left/Secularist/Didi/ Yadavs/ Muslims/SC-ST-OBC’s when Kashmiri Hindus genocide happened – Rape/Killing. No Owasi’s Gandhi’s, Didi’s heart melt – May be Kashmiri hindus were Brahmins?

  16. If brand India was loosing under modi, then CEO of Amazon would not have come to india only few days earlier and would not have announced that his company will invest some 5-6 Billion USA dollars in india. Instead he would have said that his company will wind up operations in india as it is no longer a promising profitable land as made out by journalists of India and the West. who wear and see every thing with the dark glasses that see darkness engulfing around as Indian voters have deprived themselves of the Government which gave sub 3-4% growth for decades.

  17. Older generation still needs the certificate of the white man. Why really do you bother too much of what others say? Why so mu much insecurity?

  18. Dear shekhar, i hope you do understand that we all know that there is a leftist fanatic cabal, which now exists in only 2 places 1. Jnu & couple of muslim universities & social science departments infested by commies in delhi univ & mumbai univ 2. Ndtv, print, india today, toi, ht a few remnants of the old commie power over media. Now all you people, due to your long careers & ideological closeness to like minded people in NYT, Washington Post & Guardian, can definitely make noise & punch above your weight in certain situations. At this point thats exactly what you & your ilk is doing. But you please understand, this government & its supporters DO NOT bother about what NYT or The Economist writes about The PM. I am certain that the PM will also not bother about this noise if it interferes with his Nation Building agenda. You can make noise Shekhar, and so can your hate filled friends at NDTV, but the good intentions of the people of this country will drown out this din you are making. My advise to You & Shivam & Jyoti is clear – stop worrying about 2024….thats 4.5 years away. Spread your canards, get Time magazine to do some cover, get some ill informed western liberal to sau something against Modi in 2024. Modi is in power till then, and everyday You, TOI Editor, Vinod Sharma, NDTV staff, India Today promoters & staff…. All of you will wake up to this reality.

    • Basic question is… Is he really building nation? What makes you feel he is really building the nation… Can you give any example!

      • I wont waste a single minute of my time on someone who cant even post using his own name! And if you cant see nation building by making toilets, cleaning rivers, ujjvala scheme, ayushman bharat, removal of article 370, abolition of triple talaq.. Then you will never see it. You are just an opponent and will remain one. Not much time should be spent on you.

        • Lol. But thats what you did right ?

          I am posting with my name. What makes you feel he is really building the nation… Can you give any example!

          • LOL yes that what I did, couldnt restrain myself. But If I had already done, are you a little dim to ask again?

    • Well said! Did India today talked to everyone who voted for BJP? Do this people know millions of Hindus and Citizens watching 24×7 tamasha by muslims, Congress leaders provocation and incitement on the name of Religion, Secular constitution, Mullah’s daily sermons how Muslims are left behind. Does Congress, Left, secular media and scholars reading and telling truth about CAA and NRC etc. Answer is NO. Only petty politics and main idea to be in news one or another way. If CAA is not affecting India Muslims then why all these tamasha – Just for muslim EGO. For 72 years Islam in danger now Constitution danger? Yes economy id down so the world economy. People producing multiple kids and Job is only Govt. problem? Its shame on gutter politicians and secularist.

  19. As one ages.a person bcomes more mature and wiser.but alas thats not the case……with Mr gupta…his biased attitude is blinding him ….We all know wt davis (WEF) “IS” and “WHAT” it stands for..and WHAT is achieved there…
    This guy goes to davos and becomes the know all …about what the world thinks of india..as if davos and its participants are the barometer of what brand india is…
    BTW..from shekhar’s pov..imran khan and donald trump were the star attraction of davos…he spent an entire episode of cut the clutter on wt trump said…

    • Shekhar is telling us what he is hearing, you are in one corner of India fed only with self appreciation and you feel good about it. That’s not progress

  20. “Brahmanism” – The root cause of all problems. It is by nature exclusionary and discriminatory. It won’t stop until it enslaves all others and retains the exclusive right to rule.

    • In fifty years, Many times I have heard this word “Brahmanism”. What is it? So far as we know, the Indian nation is governed by the constitution which guarantees “SC/ST/BC/ Minorities” supremacist rights over “others”. Then there is the draconian SC/ST Atrocities Act, which regards all non-SC/ST as criminals by birth.

      • Yes, Well said! In some states like Tamil Nadu – Brahmins are new untouchables – 95% jobs/College seats etc. goes to SC/ST/Muslim/OBC quotas. Same people are on street to protect constitution?

  21. In the past our friends (and foes) abroad have been critical of India’s failings, particularly in social realm. Criticism per se is not bad, it allows us to focus on shortcomings instead being engrossed in self-congratulatory narcissism; the present dispensation however has no stomach for criticism, be it from inside or out. Our legions of friends abroad had often held India as an example of how a poor, diverse and often a chaotic nation has been able to remain stable and develop, albeit at a slow pace, because of its strong roots in democracy and liberal values of inclusiveness, freedom and harmony among communities, and a deep assimilative culture. Today the same friends feel let down and thus upset, because we are heading towards a theocratic authoritarianism. How do they defend us when we are politically heading the same way as Pakistan, China or Middle Eastern states? It’s blithe to say, we don’t care what others think of us but that is being foolishly myopic when we live in an interconnected world of not only trade & commerce, but in free exchange of ideas in all areas of human endeavour. We need the world as much as the world need us.

  22. One can adopt a frog in the well attitude and that looks acceptable till the time one remains inside the well.

    Shekhar has come out with a layered summary and unfortunately it’s all true. In my interactions with folks fromUS., EU, what has always come across is a certain level of respect for India. This is now starting to get replaced by a bewilderment, with the govt messing up the economy, strange decisions like demonitization, and the inward looking attitude. Modi’s
    Initial hype was around his lofty promises around economy. It’s clearly going downhill pretty fast.

  23. Well written Gupta ji.

    I remember the quote from Namaste London which sums up our character, we have the second largest army but we still bow down and say Namaste.

    Being inclusive doesn’t make us small but humble.

  24. The world has a message for Modi: Brand India is severely damaged. The Indian history is full of examples of Indian selling out India. Without India bashing one cannot be recognised intellectual India. The Dhumes, Vashnis and the likes feed their perception to the western media received from their peers in India. George Soars after making a lot of money in Indian markets suddenly talks about that 370 and CAA hearting India. Not one of them has ever talked about the moneys stolen by previous dispensations. Nor would they talk about lessons world needs to learn from Lebanon and and now Belgium.

  25. Mr Gupta if India needs to move fwd it needs to learn from China and not West. China is a primarily non-christian, non-muslim country – atheist country. Similarly we are primarily country of Hindu and other Dharmics, a similarity here.

    • The bhakts will learn nothing. Neither from China nor from the West. They will continue to wallow in their closed-loop reasoning while the country burns.

  26. This article is a usual rant of a sickular but with added malice after a visit to Davos so that new background can be added to the old arguments. Why could Shekhar not explain and clarify the factual positions on CAA and NRC to anyone who he met and expressed concern about India’s social cohesion? Not only CAA and NRC has been painted as anti Indian Muslims by these sickulars, bu they have not bothered to ask hard questions on Pakistan- why there is a minority persecution? What happened to Nehru- Liqayat Ali Pact? Why not Pakistan pass a similar law for allowing any persecuted Muslim to come to Pakistan, if it is so worried about the Muslims suffering in India? How is that both Afghanistan and Bangla Desh have offered their citizens living illegally in India to come back? How do countries in Europe deal with illegal migration? Do they not know who are their citizens and who are illegal migrants? Total rubbish is being talked about India and sickulars like Shekhar keep quiet and come back to tell us the stories of India going down lower on the world’s morale compass!

    • Try to get an European visa and you will know how difficult it is. in Indonesia, Malaysia and all the Arab countries, the employers keep your passport and hand it over when you leave the country. Shekhar knows this well but he is batting for his people who pays his bread and butter.

      • I have a resedential permit in Malaysia. Most of legal workers in Malaysia and Indonesia have their passports with themselves (not with the employer!).

        Lot ofvIndians have RP in UAE as well

    • I have not understood your logic. Even if an Indian asks Pakistani government why they are not they treating minorities as Nehru Liyaqat treaty, will they answer? It is the duty of Pakistani citizens to ask their government such questions. Some of them do ask if you follow their newspapers. But theirs is not a democracy – it is not safe for them to ask. Having a stable democracy is conducive for business. Even Pakistanis do not want to invest in their country. I know of an well known IT company set up by 3 Pakistani-origin techies, which is having its development center in India, but they have no operation in Pakistan. Think of it, offices in 18 countries but not in Pakistan.

  27. Mr Modi is two-in-one – – Mr Jekyl and Dr Hyde. I hope I have got the names correct ; I am alluding to a famous book, you know. That book was about a man who behaves kind and benevolent sometimes, and mean and destructive at others. Mr Modi does not fit that description exactly, I admit. He is NEVER kind and benevolent in an all-encompassing manner like Jawahar Lal Nehru sometimes was. Mr Modi is kind and benevolent in a very restricted sense, like to his close friends, the two Ambani brothers. Mr Modi can be, not mean and destructive really, but vengeful and prejudiced in an all-encompassing manner, like to the entire AAP government of Delhi, entire Kerala government, entire Mamta Banerji government. Actually he can also be mean and destructive in an all-encompassing manner, like to the Muslims. In this he is not alone, I must add to be fair to him. He shares this hostility to the Muslims with entire Hindutva brigade.
    The problem for India is that the world has seen this, the less complimentary side of Mr Modi and his party, and it is a universal fact that the negative impressions are very difficult to reverse. Though this is a recent phenomenon, India will continue to suffer in the estimation of the world as long as Mr Modi remains in power. His welcome in India and abroad is over.

  28. As i have seen,the western media has never a good word for India.They are quick to report on our small lapses and make a mountain out of
    a mole hill .like for example exaggerating stray cases of rape and calling us a Rapist country, Their expectations and standards aredifficult
    to understand,They would be friendly with us as long as it is beneficial for them and they can trade with us or we are willing to share their
    political ideologies Brand India perhaps we have moved from snake charmers to slightly better say a 2nd largest democracy or software labor provider and so on.
    Your concern is quite valid and identity politics and economic decline could be viewed very critically and will work in favor of our
    neighbor only.The present government should pause ,look back and need to rework their priorities to steer the country clear from the present global impasse.

  29. In short, we need to discard our collective superiority complex as a nation. We Indians are not divinely destined to become a superpower. For that outcome we need the prosperity, well-being and upliftment of all Indians – irrespective of religious or personal preferences. When all Indians prosper, India will too. For that we need peace internally. A divided citizenry is hardly going to get us to economic prosperity. We as a people must force this government to abandon this divide and rule policy else disaster awaits down the road.

  30. The Hercules of Hindutva on his knees. This govt. has only Plan A, that is to thrust its Hindutva ideals down the throat of nation, even if it meant chocking the nation to death. My fear is that they have sown the seeds of hatred. It will take a long time to weed it out, even for an inspirational leader.Undoing the mistakes and bringing harmony is a challenge….. if..if… we overcome the present situation. An ideology that admires Hitler, Godse and Savarkar would lead the nation to self destruction. Today the enemy is the ideology of the rulers and it is from ‘within’ . Raising the bogie of Pakistan, whenever a blip shows on internal political radar has gone too far.

  31. 1. This column underscores fact that a dissenting voice is a foundation of democracy and right to express a dissenting opinion is vital for a strong democracy. I say that author of this article Shekhar Gupta is articulating dissent of a section of society and that is fine. 2. My view is that if our economy is facing a slowdown then that is not something new or something which has not happened before. No one should use economic slowdown to say that brand Narendra Modi is losing its value due to slowdown; in fact that may be a huge blunder on part of leaders of Congress and opposition parties. 3. In fact many see a great opportunity in this economic slowdown. 4. One problem is that those who are having strong views against RSS, BJP and Narendra Modi are not ready to see things in proper perspective and they will oppose everything which NDA govt. will do to deal with the economic slowdown. Of course it is accepted that it is their (that is the dissenters’ and critics’) right to say whatever they wish to say with regard to prevailing political-economic scenario. 3. I say that we are a generation which has seen steep fall in fortunes of the Nehru dynasty and our next generation will like to see a whole new setup in which political dynasties will have a far lesser role to play. Since, Narendra Modi has not created a dynasty, we are happy.

  32. It’s truly worrying. But as it happens in indoctrinated states, the bhaktas will refuse to even examine the decline. They would start abusing anyone who tries to flag an issue. The only hope is the common man and the few remaining media and judicial personals who are raising some sane voices.

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