PM Modi In Davos Vs Karni Sena In International Media

Pooja Chaudhuri

January 24th, 2018 / 6:51 PM

Karni Sena

Image Credit: NDTV, Zee News

The Prime Minister today returned to Delhi after attending the 48th World Economic Forum in Davos where he showcased a “New India” to global giants.

In his keynote speech, PM Modi raised questions on the future of humanity – if our progress is deepening our rifts and the false distinction between good and bad terrorists. He spoke about “real progress” which happens only when everyone is a part of the journey and presented an accepting India to the world, one where disputes are resolved through peaceful discussions. He concluded by inviting global chief executives to India to create a “heaven of freedom sans division”.

In all of this, PM Modi forgot to deliver the ‘mann ki baat’ of the more than 1.3 billion Indians. His attempts to ‘make India proud’ at the global forum were overshadowed by the world’s perception of ‘India’s pride’ in the recent past.  

Violence against “Padmaavat”, a film about a mythical Hindu queen, started late Tuesday and went into the night in the main city of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat. – Daily Mail UK

Conservative Hindu groups, such as the Shri Rajput Karni Sena, held protests this week against the film’s release, including blocking traffic in parts of the country. – Reuters

Extremist Hindu groups torched buses and vandalised a theatre in the western state of Gujarat on Sunday. – BBC

Indian films that touch upon the historical relationships of Hindus, India’s majority religion, and Muslim leaders are often controversial. – Reuters

Often Hindu outrage is stoked by little more than rumors, including deadly riots and vigilante violence over false claims that Muslims were killing cows sacred to Hindu culture. But this time with the film, the reason for the outrage is even more puzzling. – The Washington Post

The violent reaction to the film’s release further suggests a groundswell of conservatism in Modi’s India. – The Washington Post

Ground reality

The central government has distanced itself from Padmaavat controversy when it should publicly condemn criminal acts by fringe outfits. State governments have backed fringe outfits when they should put them behind bars.

A mob yesterday vandalised public property and set ablaze a theatre and about 50 vehicles in Ahmedabad. Earlier, another cinema hall was vandalised in Gujarat by Karni Sena. Fringe groups have given threats on national television of even more violence, self-immolation, beheading Deepika Padukone and planting bombs in theatres. Recently, the leader of a Kshatriya group boldly threatened even the Prime Minister. Why have no arrests been made despite unlawful activities taking place even in broad daylight? The ruling party talks about elevating India to the likes of other developed nations. But with the rising conservatism in recent times, we have only gone back decades and this reflects in the way international media covers stories about India.

When the rule of law is not even upheld by lawmakers, where does that leave India’s democracy?

It is unfortunate that in a country grappling with the real issues of rampant poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, crimes against women, corruption, the public discourse has been shifted to issues of no significance, used only as diversion tactics.


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