Prime Minister Narendra Modi has once again been featured in TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People 2020 list. Modi has emerged as a central figure in India and worldwide, ever since his party has been in power.
This time, TIME Editor, Karl Wick wrote the profile for Modi. Wick talked about the present state of democracy in India, stating that free elections are not a key to democracy as they only highlight the candidate who fetched the maximum number of votes. The most important are the rights of those who did not vote for the winner.
India has been the world's largest democracy for more than seven decades, with a population of 1.3 billion people belonging from different religions including Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and other religious sects, and all have abided in the country that has been lauded by many world peace leaders.
However, Narendra Modi has brought all that into doubt, writes Karl. He says that unlike other Prime Ministers who have been elected that have come from the nearly 80 per cent of the population that is Hindu, only Modi has governed in favour of the majority. The leading party, at various levels, have targeted the minority communities.
"First elected on a populist promise of empowerment, his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rejected not only elitism but also pluralism, specifically targeting India's Muslims."
In addition, the ongoing pandemic gave rise to issues that directly and indirectly targeted communities, holding them responsible for the outbreak at times. The party has left no room for dissent and those who questioned were held, considering the arrests made regarding the February 2020 Delhi Riots.
"All this is nothing but a threat to the world's largest democracy that seems to be falling deeper into shadow," Karl wrote.
Modi has been a recurring name on the Time Magazine's '100 most influential people' list and has appeared four times on the list since coming to power in 2014. His name has appeared on the list in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2020.
While the ruling government has been under growing criticism, a recent India Today-Karvy Insights Mood of the Nation (MOTN) survey found that PM Modi remains the most popular leader in the country.
According to the survey, 66 per cent of the people believed that Narendra Modi should be the next Prime Minister of India.