October 26, 2015

If intolerance continues, US liberal press will isolate Modi again – Indian writers returning awards are right: Aatish Taseer

The Times of India

[. . .] Do you think PM Modi could have handled Dadri differently?

I thought his silence after Dadri was revolting – for me, it was a turning point. Here’s this man, pronouncing on every little thing – and 50 kilometres from Delhi, a man is lynched, because of hysteria his cohorts whipped up, and he doesn’t have a word of comfort to offer the dead man’s family? Nothing to say to millions wondering what this means? He waits a week before breaking his silence with an utter banality. And we’re subjected to primitive statements from his ministers.

I wish i could say his silence was calculated – but i think it was an aspect of the bigotry that comes as second nature to the Modi government. They can’t open their mouths without something ugly tumbling out.

It’s not that Modi wanted Mohammad Akhlaq lynched – he just didn’t care that he was.

This, in a leader, is a terrible failing.

You approved of Modi during the elections though.

It was a very moving election. We were emerging from a terrible time under UPA and millions invested this man with a hope for change. It was not Modi i approved of – it was the mandate. I felt the man so many Indians believed in should be given a chance.

But my dispatches are full of unease. I knew BJP had a cultural agenda but what i thought was, as Pratap Bhanu Mehta says, ‘opportunism would tame fanaticism’. I also felt Modi’s fear for his international image would force him to keep his nutcases in check – but i was wrong.

It turns out we might have the worst of two scenarios. Nutcases running amok – and the economy puttering along. Neither riches, nor sanity!

Full text at: http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/the-interviews-blog/if-intolerance-continues-us-liberal-press-will-isolate-modi-again-indian-writers-returning-awards-are-right-aatish-taseer/