It all began when the Time magazine published a cover story ahead of the 17th Lok Sabha elections, Modi the “Divider in Chief”. Post the victory however, they carried an editorial piece with the title ‘Modi Has United India Like No Prime Minister in Decades’. This did garner attention for its spineless stand. However, it does raise the question, as to why foreign media drops headlines in esteem matters, faster than Arijit Singh’s new song.
Our neighbour, Pakistan’s prominent newspaper Dawn carried a piece that said, “With elections over, we hope Modi will rein in his anti-Muslim; anti-Pakistan rhetoric”. India’s enmity with Pakistan has been stretched for years. With surgical strikes being a common issue during elections, the country’s media only expects less hatred from the neighbours.
In a changing tide, the New York Times published an opinion piece titled, “How Narendra Modi Seduced India With Envy and Hate”. Many publications other than NYT have also mentioned the win accredited to Hindu ideology and dividing the country on the basis of religion. The saffron wave as they call it, has proven to be disastrous for other minorities, especially Muslims. Backing one similar terms was the editorial in The Guardian on Modi’s landslide was titled, “bad for India’s soul”. “The world does not need another national populist leader who pursues a pro-business agenda while trading in fake news and treating minorities as second-class citizens,” it said.
Citing the Time magazine issue, some media establishments only engaged in calling out a world leader by siting on their keyboards halfway across the globe. Most of the excerpts mentioned above are written by authors with an Indian name. Why does it take a desi element to present a videshi viewpoint? A hypocrite media screams lack of facts and in-depth research that do not back a pseudo-Indian take, even if it’s for another country. It is a known fact that media has the power to sway public opinion, but a half-written one only succeeds to leave a thread of doubt. Despite the hard hitting comments, and Modi coming out victorious, would international media engage in giving out their piece of mind, or settle for less dramatic journalism? Time to be factually opinionated and not overrated.