You may or may not have heard about Narendra Modi, who has a shot at becoming the next Prime Minister Of India. This blog is learning too:
From a previous Walter Russell Mead piece:
‘Modi is the controversial Chief Minister of Gujarat and the presumptive PM candidate for the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, whose main rival, Rahul, is the heir apparent to the Nehru-Gandhi line in the ruling Congress Party. Rahul is maturing politically, but his party is beset by corruption scandals and struggling to manage the most dangerous economic crisis in decades. Indian big business has lost faith in Congress and doesn’t think Rahul is the one to fix things.’
Big business in India is generally a fan of Modi and he’s made serious economic progress in his home province of Gujarat. His opponents claim his BJP party’s ideology is still too closely aligned with Modi’s time an RSS worker (a paramilitary Hindu nationalist group). Particularly cited is a 2002 violent outbreak in Modi’s home province, largely between Hindus and Muslims, in which it’s charged the BJP and Modi didn’t do enough to quell the ‘communal violence’ that erupted.
Modi defends himself here in a NY Times piece (it’s tougher to trust the Times beyond a knee-jerk liberal Leftist response these days).
Mead from a more recent piece, as diplomacy can be a delicate balancing act, and if he becomes more popularly accepted, American interests and our government will likely follow:
‘For now, the US, on the other hand, is sticking to its current Modi policy: avoid. Top American officials have not met him on visits to India. ‘
From The Times Of India:
‘Modistas and leftists continue to duke it out in America. A coalition of secular groups that has been campaigning against efforts by Modi camp followers to politically rehabilitate the Gujarat chief minister in the US have torpedoed an upcoming speech by [the] controversial politician.’
The US must be realizing that we need the world’s largest Democracy and now changed its policy. The position now is that if Mr. Modi is elected Prime Minister of India next year, they can work with him. How condescending! Mr. Modi’s popularity in his country and the world is growing.’
Is there any fire beneath all that smoke?