After The Economist writes on BJP's Bihar loss, PM Modi writes of India's 'social strengths' in special issue

Against the backdrop of the 'intolerance' debate, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India has tremendous social strengths, including pluralism.

FP Staff November 19, 2015 07:25:55 IST
After The Economist writes on BJP's Bihar loss, PM Modi writes of India's 'social strengths' in special issue

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of the  "intolerance" debate, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India has tremendous social strengths, including pluralism. This news comes barely days after The Economist reported that it's "odd that Modi should allow the impression to spread that India does not care whether or not it projects an image of tolerance."

It is for the second time in the last 10 days that Modi has touched upon issues relating to diversity and pluralism, as he faces criticism over the issue of intolerance in the country.

After The Economist writes on BJPs Bihar loss PM Modi writes of Indias social strengths in special issue

PM Narendra Modi. AP

Modi referred to pluralism in India in an article in the prestigious 'non partisan' magazine - brief excerpts were tweeted by its Europe business correspondent based in Paris.

"India has tremendous social strengths, including pluralism..." Modi was quoted as having said in the article in the latest edition of the magazine whose cover has caricatures of world leaders including Modi with a title, "The World in 2016."

The article figures in a 30th edition special section with contributions from Modi, IMF chief Christine Lagarde and Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousafzai among others.

The Prime Minister also referred to the "great expectations" from his government which completes 18 months next week.

"There is a sense of great expectation from our government. Inevitably, some of these expectations run ahead of us," he said.

Modi also touched upon the impact of India's growth on environment.

"We are conscious that our growth...will have some environmental impact," he said, days ahead of the Climate Change summit in Paris.

Modi last Friday said that India's diversity was the country's "strength and pride" and underlined the importance of peaceful co-existence.

"India is full of diversity. This diversity is our pride and it is our strength. Diversity is the speciality of India." he said, adding that despite the country being home to diverse religions, over 100 languages and 1,500 dialects Indians have proved how to live together. This takes from the theme he stressed in his recent speech to an 'invitation only' crowd at Wembley Stadium, London.

This is not the first time Modi has featured prominently in the London based newspaper. Most recently, The Economist has been following Modi in Bihar and his trip to London quite closely. In no less than three back to back issues while the Bihar election was on, The Economist commented on the ‘intolerance’ debate, the Dadri lynching and what a win or loss in Bihar would mean. Now that the elections are done and dusted, this is from the latest issue after the Nitish Kumar led Mahagathbandhan won a thumping majority.

The latest one-pager on Modi in The Economist titled Wallop says the the Indian prime minister’s “prestige is damaged” in Delhi. “Party managers’ insistence on “collective” responsibility for the loss in Bihar is a charade. He and Mr Shah have run the party with an iron grip, laid down the electoral strategy and directly recruited RSS members as campaign foot-soldiers.”

In an earlier issue dated 7 November, The Economist contrasts the deafening cheers that led to Modi's landslide election victory in 2014 and then the "sense of alarm" that has spread since the lynching in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, of a man who was suspected to have been storing beef in his refrigerator.

The Economist says it is a "disturbing notion" that defeat as well as victory in Bihar might make Modi lean closer to the "extremists". "Worse however is the thought that perhaps he agrees with them," says the weekly column 'Banyan.' Since online access to The Economist is limited and often paid use only, we are not including a link here. This article appeared on page 38 of The Economist dated 7 November with Angela Merkel on the cover.

With PTI inputs

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