Why does western media hate Modi so much?

It was 1994. I was attending a shoe fair in a remote town in western Germany called Pirmasens. It used to be a shoe manufacturing town, except that all the shoe factories had decamped to China and all that was left in Germany were shoe importing companies. The Westerners attending the fair didn’t like that at all. All the talk at the fair centered on breaking up China.

It’s been three decades since then and China is now the new, resplendent superpower of the world. It has left the old haggard superpower, the US, gasping behind. Talk in India is always about matching China. India is no match for China today. In 15 years, if it stays on track, it might get where China is today. Or, if it goes off-track, then India will remain what India is today.

One man, Narendra Modi, is holding India together. Give him some more time and he will put India on track. That’s a nightmare scenario for the West. White hegemony has ruled the world for three hundred years. Two Asian giants, China and India, both with a combined population of over three billion, and each a superpower in its own right, that’s a frightening thought to the West.

Native western (read white) populations are declining. If in twenty years, China becomes the number one nation in the world, as it is poised to become, and India the number three (after the US), white hegemony will be over. Countries in Africa and Asia and South America will look to China and India rather than to America and Europe. Three Muslim empires—the Ottoman, the Mughal, and the Persian—dominated the world three hundred years ago. The world will be once more under the rule of the so-called “coloreds”.

I admire Sonia Gandhi greatly. I hold her in the highest esteem and wish her a long and healthy life. But note that when enormous scams broke out when she was ruling India from 2004-14, western media was entirely gentle on her perhaps because she was white and originated from the West. Today Rahul Gandhi, rightly or wrongly, is seen as a flawed politician by many in India, but once again western media treats him with kid gloves.

I made a friend. She received her PhD from a leading Indian university and now teaches at a prominent college in London. I was struggling to have my articles placed in western media. She said, just write India-basing articles, and you will succeed. There are any number of Indians bashing Modi in western media. Some of these Indians are from India and some are those born in the West. What do those born in the West know about India? They anyway look down upon India. They don’t want to be Indian. How will they write objectively upon India?

DK Barooah was the president of the Indian National Congress in the seventies. He famously said in 1974 that India is Indira and Indira is India. I don’t subscribe to the notion that India is Modi and Modi is India. Modi might or might not have made mistakes during the pandemic. But he’s burning the midnight oil trying to redress them. Dr. Harsh Vardhan is wrong in calling Rahul Gandhi a vulture. That is simply unacceptable language. Vardhan must apologize.

But has Rahul reflected upon his habit of picking up tid-bits critical of Modi from foreign media and announcing them to the world. A notable publication, with its people sitting 10,000 miles away in America, forecasts Covid deaths in India and Rahul provides it affirmation. Why hasn’t this publication done the same exercise for Covid deaths in America?

Much is made of the lack of freedom of press in India under Modi. I can challenge any nay-sayer that India’s press is freer and fairer today under Modi than America’s is under Biden. America’s press often conveys a nauseating, propagandistic impression of America. If India under Modi had lost two wars (like America has done under successive presidents in Afghanistan and Iraq), India’s press would have torn Modi apart.

Yet America’s press rarely takes to task George W. Bush for his misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush’s approval rating today is over 60 percent. There’s nostalgia for him in America. He destroyed the economy but is hailed as a hero today. He killed more Muslims than any Indian leader has supposedly ever done, yet the US is the first country to take any “colored” country (read China and India) for their unfair treatment of Muslims.

This one-sided propaganda machine that emanates from the West is only meant to destroy the morale of countries like China and India. Modi understands the game so does not lash back. India is not an electoral autocracy under Modi as some obscure Swedish outfit called it. It’s a fully-functioning democracy. Indian leaders openly call Modi a butcher yet he never retaliates; he always works with his detractors and makes sure to congratulate them on their electoral victories (which are his defeats as well).

India is rising, but slowly. But rising it is. There are many Mir Jafars in India who want India to remain a secondary, even tertiary power. (Please note that I do not count Rahul Gandhi amongst them.) Getting your piece published in a reputable western publication is a matter of great pride for some. And that piece only gets published when, as my friend said, you bash India. And bashing India has to mean bashing Modi.

There is no DK Barooah in India today proclaiming that Modi is India and India is Modi. But western media seems to have clung to that adage. Let the full fury of western media, along with their Indian collaborators, be unleashed on Modi. The man is busy doing other things. He is trying to build India, slowly but surely. He is not taking his eye off the ball.



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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