World’s biggest democracy is jettisoning freedom and tolerance, says New York Times

New York, February 13 (KMS): Under Narendra Modi’s government, violence against Muslims in India has risen and is often unpunished, writes Lydia Polgreen in New York Times.

The newspaper says that Modi government has enacted laws and policies that target Muslims, including changes to citizenship rules that disadvantage Muslims and revocation of the special status of Kashmir, a Muslim­ majority region contested by India and Pakistan.
“But it would be a mistake to think only Muslims are under threat in India.

The government has systematically cracked down on all manner of free speech and dissent, increasing its emergency powers to block information it wants to keep from ll1e Indian people and making it easier to bold dissidents under murky anti terrorism laws.

An Indian journalist friend of mine, one of many who have left the country in despair over the past few years, put it this way: ‘It isn’t just an attack on Muslims. It is an attack on all Indians because it deprives us of ideas, thoughts, dreams and a rich life of the mind.”‘

“The Biden administration, like Apple and oilier big tech companies eager to work in India, seems more than willing to bury ll1e Gujarat riots and mostly turn a blind eye to rising anti-Muslim sentiment,” the US paper writes under the headline “The World’s Biggest Democracy is Jettisoning Freedom and Tolerance”.

The newspaper further adds: “Last month, India ‘s vice president declared that he disagreed, sending shock waves through the political system and calling into question one of the bedrocks of Indian society: democracy guided by an immutable Constitution. One of the most cherished goals of the Hindu nationalist movement has been the elimination of secularism in the Constitution, something it sees as a foreign, Western concept of Parliament, can change the Constitution in any way it wishes, India could very well slide further into autocratic majoritarian rule.

“It seems likely that a furll1er emboldened Modi, bolstered by a third-term victory and the wind of history at his back, will seek to make fundamental changes to the structure of the Constitution and declare India a Hindu nation.”

“Modi’ssupporters argue that it is no coincidence that India is reaching its zenith after eight years of muscular, Hindu-centric rule.

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