Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seemingly for all the wrong reasons, was included in TIME’s 100 list of the most influential individuals for 2020. The annual list, which lists 100 of the most popular musicians, celebrities, presidents, titans, and pioneers of the year, was released.
In the group of world leaders, Karl Vick, who is a TIME editor at large, named Modi among the world’s 100 prominent individuals. Stressing that India has been the largest democracy in the world for more than seven decades, the author also stressed that Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and other religious groups compose the population of 1.3 billion.
“Actually, the secret to freedom is not free elections. Just some say who got the most votes. The interests of those who did not vote for the winner are more important,” Vick wrote when referring to Modi’s victory in last year’s Indian general election. He then pointed out how Modi trampled the country’s secular picture where people belonging to different faiths once existed in peace. For each other, and recognition. Both [the country’s minorities] have lived in India, which was greeted by the Dalai Lama (who spent much of his time in shelter there) as “an example of peace and prosperity.” [But], Narendra Modi called all that into question,’ said Vicks.
“His Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, first elected on a populist pledge of emancipation, opposed not only elitism but also pluralism, especially targeting the Muslims of India.” The author called the “crucible of the pandemic” in the country” presence for stifling opposition,” causing the thriving democracy of the world to fall into “deeper shadows.”
The Indian prime minister has been internationally criticized for handling minorities under his watch, especially Muslims who have been constantly threatened by Hindu extremists. In a recent report, Human Rights Watch also observed that, since the Hindu nationalist BJP government headed by Narendra Modi was first elected in 2014, Muslims in India have become “increasingly at risk.”
The residents of Indian Occupied Kashmir have been facing the worst lockdown in the world since August 5 , 2019, when the BJP government revoked the territory’s special status and placed a curfew that is still in force.