As the Lok Sabha elections, 2019 reach their penultimate phase, TIME Magazine in its issue dated 20 May 2019, has carried its cover story on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, carrying the title ‘India’s Divider In Chief’.
The story, written by novelist and journalist Aatish Taseer, asks if the world’s largest democracy can “endure another five years of a Modi government.”
“Of the great democracies to fall to populism, India was the first,” the story proclaims at the onset as it goes on to delve into history starting from India attaining Independence, to the many years of Congress rule starting from Nehru’s prime ministership, right up till Modi’s ascension to power.
The myriad aspects of Modi’s tenure that it makes references to include attacks on minorities by lynch mobs, Modi’s record on women’s issues, the demonetization move, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur’s candidacy, among others.
‘A Politician Who Has Failed to Deliver’
The piece opines that Modi’s economic miracle has “failed to materialise,” and instead “an atmosphere of poisonous religious nationalism” has been created in the country.
“… Modi will never again represent the myriad dreams and aspirations of 2014. Then he was a messiah, ushering in a future too bright to behold, one part Hindu renaissance, one part South Korea’s economic program. Now he is merely a politician who has failed to deliver, seeking re-election. Whatever else might be said about the election, hope is off the menu.”TIME cover story.
Besides the cover story, TIME’s latest issue also carries another piece, titled ‘Modi the reformer’ by Ian Bremmer.
Notably, in May 2015 too, Modi was featured on the cover of TIME magazine, carrying the title ‘Why Modi Matters’. It was accompanied by an interview with the PM and carried the tagline “The world needs India to step up as a global power. One year in, can Prime Minister Narendra Modi deliver?”
In the past few days, the international media has actively been discussing Modi’s prime ministership and his shot at the second term in power in the run-up to the elections. On 14 April, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board had published an opinion piece titled ‘Modi’s Reform Disappointment’. Meanwhile, The Economist on 2 May had published a piece titled ‘Under Narendra Modi, India’s ruling party poses a threat to democracy’.