How the World Sees Us

Our rulers do not seem to be overly concerned about how the rest of the world sees us. They, our rulers, launch a fusillade if an opposition leader criticizes the rulers in a foreign country. Their patriotism is questioned. There is no harm, however, in the Prime Minister going abroad and telling foreign audiences that before he came to take charge of India, the country had made no progress. Progress started only after he came on the scene. Some may say it is a matter of perception. Well may that be. But then others, too, have their perception of present-day India. And that perception is none too flattering. It may be worthwhile to take a brief look at what others say about India.
The New York Times thinks India is fast descending into a state of mobocracy. Referring to the felicitation of some lynch convicts by a central minister, the NYT said (the minister) “feted and garlanded eight men who were part of a Hindu lynch mob that the authorities said beat an unarmed and terrified Muslim man to death.” The following day, after yet another lynching, the same paper said pithily: “It has become the year of the lynch mob in India. Dozens of people have been beaten to death, often in cold blood, by crowds of bored (unemployed) young men ……Suggestions of who to kill rip so fast through villages via social media…” The Economist was no kinder: “In the cow belt of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh ‘cow protectors’ armed with bats, swords and guns look for vehicles that are transporting cows across state borders.”
The Government is desperately trying to get foreign investment to tone up the sagging economy. Would foreign investors be willing to risk investing their money in a country which is perceived to be “fast descending into a state of mobocracy”?  In the wake of the Supreme Court directive that the Parliament pass a separate law specifically against lynching and the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh hinting at enacting such a law, a “leader” of the RSS says: “If the practice of eating cow meat is stopped, many such crimes of ‘Satan’ could be stopped.,” In plain language it means that stopping of lynching is contingent on stopping beef eating. No senior leader of the RSS or the BJP is known to have pulled up the said leader for his remarks. The lynchers will take it as a sign of maunam sammati lakshanam.

Wednesday, 25 July, 2018