Modi stokes divisions in world's biggest democracy: The Economist

New Delhi (IANS) Narendra Modi stokes divisions in the worlds biggest democracy", The Economist said in its cover story on Friday.

In the cover story titled "Intolerant India", one of the world's most respected news magazines, The Economist said "Narendra Modi's sectarianism is eroding India's secular democracy" in reference to the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

"Narendra Modi stokes divisions in the world's biggest democracy", the article said adding that "India's 200 million Muslims fear the Prime Minister is building a Hindu state".

"By undermining the secular principles of the constitution, Mr Modi's latest initiatives threaten to do damage to India's democracy that could last for decades," it said.

The article has warned that a "sustained persecution" of one group is a threat to all and puts the political system "at risk".

"By perpetually firing up Hindus and infuriating Muslims, the BJP makes fresh bloodshed more likely," it added.

The Economist called the Citizenship Amendment Act as NDA government's "most ambitious step yet in a decades-long project of incitement".

The government's policies may have helped the Narendra Modi to win elections but the same have proven to be "political poison" for the country, it added.

It warns that Modi's initiatives, including the implementation of CAA, could lead to bloodshed.

The cover story says that by creating divisions over religion and national identity; by constantly insinuating the Muslims as "the dangerous fifth state", the BJP has succeeded in keeping its support base energised and taken the focus away from a faltering economy.

The magazine adds that the proposed National Register of Citizens will help the saffron party further its divisive agenda as the exercise could "drag on for years, inflaming passions over and over again, as the list is compiled, challenged and revised".

In the process, the magazine claims, Modi will project itself as the saviour of the 80 per cent Hindu population of the country.

"The citizenship row is only the latest in a series of affronts, from the BJP's lionising of vigilantes thought to have killed Muslims to the collective punishment of the people of the Kashmir Valley, who have suffered arbitrary arrests, smothering curfews and an internet blackout for five months," the article added.

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