New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made it to Time magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People 2020’ list. PM Modi is the only politician from India to have been featured in the ‘Leaders’ category.
Other world leaders who feature in the Time list include US President Donald Trump; Chinese President Xi Jinping; Joe Biden, presidential challenger to Trump in 2020 US elections; Kamala Harris, US Democratic vice presidential nominee for the 2020 election; Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; and Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
While featuring PM Modi in the influential people’s list, Time did not shy away from suggesting that Modi, as India’s PM, had “brought into doubt” India’s secular nature where “Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and other religious sects – all have abided in India”.
Time noted that “the Dalai Lama (who has spent most of his life in refuge there) has lauded the country as ‘an example of harmony and stability’.”
However, PM Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, labelled as Hindu-nationalist, has “rejected not only elitism but also pluralism, specifically targeting India’s Muslims,” claims the short write-up on PM Modi in Time, written by editor at large, Karl Vick.
“The crucible of the pandemic became a pretense for stifling dissent. And the world’s most vibrant democracy fell deeper into shadow,” it concludes, seeking to build a narrative on PM Modi’s rule.
Questioning the populist vote which PM Modi and his BJP got in two successive General Elections in 2014 and 2019 – the second one being a bigger mandate – Time argues “free elections only tell who got the most votes” and does not necessarily represent “those who did not vote for the winner”.
It may be recalled here that during his more than six years’ rule so far, PM Modi has stressed on taking all along the path of development with the motto: “Sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas,” meaning “together, for everyone’s growth, with everyone’s trust”.
In May last year as well, Time had in an article called PM Modi “India’s Divider in Chief”. However, just weeks later, the magazine published an article titled ‘Modi Has United India Like No Prime Minister in Decades’.