Prime Minister Narendra Modi might be making good impressions in his travels abroad, be it riding the social media wave in the glass-walled offices of Silicon Valley, or wooing world leaders in high profile meets. But the situation back home isn't doing much for global perceptions of India.
The cries of "acche din" have long since drowned in the bedlam that has hounded the BJP government over the last few months. Shocking incidents of intolerance against the minorities and an uneasy alliance with a belligerent Shiv Sena aren't doing BJP any favours in shedding its communal image.
The lynching of a Muslim man in the backdrop of 'beef politics' and Shiv Sena's anti-Pakistan rhetoric — from the cricket field to a Ghulam Ali concert — has raised questions over BJP's promise of an inclusive society. The recent murder of Dalit children has rocked the country and people are asking questions, tough ones. A few ministers have answered, both in the case of Dadri lynching and Dalit killings, but with a disregard for political correctness and sensitivity, digging up further controversy instead.
With India's internal troubles all over the media and Shiv Sena's 'ban-everything-related-to-Pakistan' stance, our neighbours have joined the debate.
According to a report in The Dawn on Friday, a prominent Pakistani daily, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has submitted a resolution to the National Assembly secretariat and has urged the government to bring anti-Pakistan activities of Shiv Sena in international light. The PPP wants Shiv Sena be declared an extremist organisation.
"The house... vehemently condemns the recent chain of incidents of hostility against Pakistani nationals on diplomatic and cultural fronts," the report quotes the resolution. The PPP believes Shiv Sena's action could disrupt the peace process between India and Pakistan and even 'endanger peace in the region as well as the world'.
The two countries have since long faced-off on the issue of Kashmir, leading to instability in the region. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had even talked up the issue and expressed his concern for Kashmiris in his United Nations General Assembly address and urged India to withdraw security forces from the region.
Another piece in The Nation, has also picked up the issue of rising intolerance in India under the BJP government. The article mentions BJP Minister VK Singh's much controversial 'dog' remark over the Dalit killings, calling the former General a "man who while commanding the Indian army left a long charge-sheet of atrocities against Kashmiris."
“The Modi government blames others for terrorism but the regime itself is involved in terrorism against its citizens and sponsoring it in neighbouring countries especially Pakistan,” the piece quotes PTI Punjab organiser Chaudhary Sarwar.
Earlier, when Shiv Sena activists disrupted a meeting between chiefs of Indian and Pakistan cricket boards, the Pakistan media labelled the party a 'monster.'
"The threat posed by the hard-line right wing Shiv Sena group seems to be growing into a monster that may prove very hard to control," said an editorial piece in The News International. The piece, titled 'Shiv Sena Madness', accused the BJP ally in Maharashtra of attacking anyone opposed to Shiv Sena's "extremist Hindu ideology" and targeting Pakistan and Pakistanis. "For the sake of India, its image and the region, New Delhi needs to act," it further went on to say.
And the sentiment only seems to be growing.
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Updated Date: Oct 23, 2015 18:21:06 IST