[WSF-Discuss] Three Interesting Comments on Modi from China, US and Israel (from ones associated with the respective Establishments)

Sukla Sen sukla.sen at gmail.com
Thu May 22 08:06:23 CDT 2014

[While the first two articles essentially deal with the likely foreign
relations implications of Modi's victory - and the two together bring out
the conflicts of Chinese and US interests in the region, the third one
clearly sees in the victory a sort of historical vindication for Zionism
and its track record though it is rather cryptically mentioned only at the

["The Global Times (simplified Chinese: 环球时报; traditional Chinese: 環球時報;
pinyin: Huánqiú Shíbào) is a daily Chinese tabloid under the auspices of
the People's Daily newspaper ["an official newspaper of the government of
China"], focusing on international issues." (Ref.: <
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Times> and <

In the following comment, what takes the cake is this: "The opposition to
the BJP hold this view [that Modi will alienate minorities and fuel
confrontation as an "autocrat" after he assumes the office] out of the need
for partisan competition, while as for Western critics, their attack on
Modi is out of ideological concerns, because Modi's governance style and
philosophy are very close to Chinese practices."]


Modi ready to do business with China
By Liu Zongyi Source:Global Times Published: 2014-5-19 19:13:01

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance powered by Narendra Modi emerged
victorious, as expected, in India's general election. But its victory was
greater than expected, with an overall majority in the national elections
for the first time in 30 years.

This is a turning point in Indian politics because no party has managed to
get a simple majority since 1984 when the Congress party won over 400 seats
riding on the wave of sympathy after the assassination of former prime
minister Indira Gandhi.

Modi will be the next prime minister and the BJP could even form a
government without allies. This is Modi's victory. The prime minister-elect
has won a thumping endorsement from Indian industrial and commercial
circles, middle class, young people and the "low castes" due to his
resolute governance style, clean image, outstanding record, as well as his
low caste background, which sharply contrast with his counterparts from the

Modi is a controversial figure. Critics say his political career has been
stained with his authoritarian rule in Gujarat and actions during the 2002
riots, thus they argue Modi will alienate minorities and fuel confrontation
as an "autocrat" after he assumes the office.

The opposition to the BJP hold this view out of the need for partisan
competition, while as for Western critics, their attack on Modi is out of
ideological concerns, because Modi's governance style and philosophy are
very close to Chinese practices.

The BJP sweeping over half of the seats in the lower house of parliament
indicates that reforms promoted by Modi could be easily passed. But it
isn't important enough to worry about the prospect of Modi's "autocratic"

The BJP only has around one fifth of seats in the upper house, therefore
the odds are against Modi becoming an "autocrat." The prime minister-elect
will be committed to dealing with long-term Indian political maladies such
as rampant corruption, bureaucratism and low efficiency, that cannot be
healed overnight.

Given Modi's emphasis on Hindutva ("Hinduness") during the election
campaign, it's possible that he may fan religious conflicts, but at the
same time, Modi's conception of Hindutva also underscores that "India is
great simply by being India." The narrow-minded and extreme nationalist
stand of the BJP has changed and the major task facing Modi is to create a
stable domestic and neighboring environment to revive the ailing economy.

Modi promised he "will try to make India self-reliant and strong" in 10
years. Then he needs a peaceful and stable neighborhood to facilitate
domestic economic development.

Some Western media are fomenting discord between China and India. They
portrayed Modi as "India's Abe" who will take a tough stance against China.
Modi acted indeed aggressively on the Sino-Indian border issue during his
election campaign. He also vowed to establish a "web of allies" by
strengthening strategic cooperation with countries on China's periphery
such as Japan, Vietnam and Russia. But Modi is unlikely to act as
vehemently as Abe, as it would be of no benefit to India's economy at all.

The border issue is the biggest obstacle in bilateral relationship. But
China and India has established a spectrum of effective cooperation and
communication mechanisms including China-India strategic dialogue, special
representatives meet on border problem and trilateral talks among Russia,
India and China.

The Sino-Indian border issue was generated under the leadership of then
Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru, Modi and the BJP have no historical
burden over this, which may help solve the thorny issue.

The new prime minister will boost India's infrastructure and manufacturing,
and then there will be myriad of opportunities for Chinese enterprises. As
a right-winger in Indian politics, Modi is more likely to become India's
"Nixon" who will further propel the China-India relationship.

The West's hyping Modi's aggressiveness toward China in fact reflects its
own upset. It's noticeable that the US has taken a sharp turn in its
attitude toward Modi after knowing he will be the next prime minister. US
President Barack Obama congratulated Modi on his election victory and
invited him to visit the US despite a previous US decision to deny him a

Modi will not deliberately estrange New Delhi from Washington because of
the discrimination he personally suffered.

But the new Indian government will surely reflect on its relationship with
the US over the past decade in which India has only been a chess piece of
the US to contain China.

*The author is a research fellow of Shanghai Institutes for International
Studies. **opinion at globaltimes.com.cn <opinion at globaltimes.com.cn>*


Obama's Former Aide Calls For Softer Stance On India's Modi As China
Forecasts Stronger Ties With Subcontinent Under 'India's Nixon'
By Sneha Shankar <http://www.ibtimes.com/reporters/sneha-shankar>
on May 21 2014 2:37 AM

Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, who will be the next prime minister of
India, speaks with the media after his meeting with India's President
Pranab Mukherjee at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi on May 20,
2014. Reuters/Adnan

A former senior aide to U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a
softening of the country’s stance on India’s prime minister-designate
Narendra Modi, while a Chinese government think tank welcomed Modi by
calling him "India's Nixon" and expressed hopes of an improvement in
business ties between the two Asian economies.

Anish Goel, who advised Obama on regional issues as senior director for
South Asia in the White House's National Security Council for three years,
said that the relationship between a Modi-led Indian government and the
U.S. could improve over the coming years, and urged that the issue over
Modi’s visa be dropped.

"The United States has already taken the first step by inviting Modi to
visit Washington, which was absolutely the correct thing to do following
the BJP's election victory," Goel said,
Press Trust of India, adding: "The important thing now is that the United
States is ready to put the decision behind it and move forward. India
should too," referring to the U.S. State Department's decision in 2005 to
revoke Modi's visa.

Modi was criticized by various Western governments, including the U.S., for
his handling of communal riots in his home state of Gujarat in 2002. But,
in the months leading up to India's elections, many foreign delegates met
with him as a win for his Bharatiya Janata Party became an increasingly
probable outcome. And, last week, after the Modi-led BJP swept to power in
a landslide victory, Washington officially congratulated him and invited
him to the White House.

Meanwhile, Liu Zongyi, a Chinese government expert at the Shanghai
Institute for International Practices, expressed hope in a note that Modi
could bring China and India -- which have fought a war and are seen as
geopolitical rivals in the region -- closer.

“The Sino-Indian border issue was generated under the leadership of then
Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru, Modi and the BJP have no historical
burden over this, which may help solve the thorny issue,” Liu
wrote<http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/861112.shtml> in
the Global Times on Monday, adding: "The new prime minister will boost
India's infrastructure and manufacturing, and then there will be myriad of
opportunities for Chinese enterprises. As a right-winger in Indian
politics, Modi is more likely to become India's "Nixon" who will further
propel the China-India relationship.”

In 1972, former president Richard Nixon visited China to improve ties with
a communist nation during the Cold War, and his visit, which came to be
known as "the week that changed the world," is credited with reopening
dialog between the two countries that had been at odds with each other for

Modi, who is expected to hand over his post as chief minister of the
western state of Gujarat soon, and take over as India's prime minister on
Monday, has visited China three times and his government in Gujarat has
signed an agreement with a Chinese company to set up power plants worth
nearly $68 million in the state.


Terra Incognita: Why Modi matters
By SETH J. FRANTZMAN<http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jpost.com%2FAuthors%2FAuthorPage.aspx%3Fid%3D43&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNErQq_hQj6k4JlAbNG78D_N6Zm4RA>

05/18/2014 21:57
The world needs more leaders like India's incoming PM, not because of his
checkered past, but because we need to not fear national, linguistic and
religious pride and nation-states that respect their origins.

Indian leader Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate for India’s
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Photo: REUTERS
As it became clear that Narendra Modi of the opposition Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP) was going to win big in India’s massive national elections
commentators began to read the tea leaves. Some looked to Israel. “Israel’s
best friend in South Asia,” Palash Ghosh at International Business Times

Noting that the countries only established relations in 1991, he argued
that the BJP had been an architect of warmer Israel ties in the early 2000s
and pointed to Israeli business relationships that Modi had cultivated in
Gujarat, where he was state governor since 2001. But outside of the realm
of practical economic and political ties, the real reason Modi matters, in
terms of Israel and other countries, are shared affinities for preserving
uniqueness in a globalized multi-cultural world. Both India and Israel are
nation states emphasizing a national and ancient religion.

The BJP and Modi are often derided in the media as “hardline.” The BBC, for
instance, claimed that “the Hindu hardline party’s poster boy is often
called the BJPS’s brightest star.” The party is described as “Hindu
nationalist” and “right wing.” This is in order to separate it from the
party the media, in India and abroad, has adored; the Congress party that
has been run by the Nehru-Gandhi (no relation to Mahatma Gandhi) family
since independence.

In essence this royal dynasty of Nehru Gandhi (prime minister 1947-64), his
daughter Indira Gandhi (prime minister 1966-77, 1980-84), her son Rajiv
Gandhi (prime minister 1984-87), his Italian wife Sonia Gandhi and her son
Rahul Gandhi have sought to turn India into a personal fiefdom. Indira
Gandhi was not averse to using all the powers of the state to enforce her
rule through a “state of emergency” declared from 1975-77 in which India
basically became a one-party dictatorship; tossing opposition politicians
into prison through “administrative detention.” During that time the
government rolled out a “family planning” sterilization program that
affected millions and was criticized as semi-compulsory for how it targeted
the poor.

Under Congress India pursued ill-thought-out “five year plans,” along the
lines of typical socialist experiments, that led to economic failure,
chronic corruption and economic stagnation. Mass unrest also plagued the
country; Indira Gandhi ordered the military to raid the Sikh Golden Temple
at Amritsar in Operation Blue Star in 1984, in revenge for which her Sikh
bodyguards murdered her. Rajiv Gandhi’s involvement in the Sri Lankan civil
war also resulted in his assassination by Tamil extremists.

In comparison the BJP party, which was founded in 1980, sought to provide
India a mooring in its ancient and gloried Hindu history. In an article in
The Nation, the author, Bob Dreyfus, claims we should “worry about the
election of Modi” because he was once a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh (RSS), a massive volunteer society, sometimes called “paramilitary,”
which claims five million active members and runs 27,000 schools. The
organization claims that, “the RSS is a pro-Hindu organization, and being
pro-Hindu doesn’t mean it is anti-Muslim or anti-Christian. In fact the
basic founding principle of the RSS is ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ – the vision
of the whole world as one family. The guiding principles towards this
vision are voluntary service to the nation for socio-economic welfare and

The BBC has a different take: “[I]t was founded in the 1920s with a clear
objective to make India a Hindu nation, [and] functions as an ideological
fountainhead to a host of hardline Hindu groups.”

The ideological underpinning of Modi’s origins and the RSS are the concept
of Hinduvta (“Hinduness”).

When Modi went to Varanasi, a Hindu holy city, in April, he placed a
garland around a statue of Swami Vivekananda, a Hindu monk who led a
national awakening in the late 19th century. One author writes that he
“sought to place Hinduism within the context of resurgent nationalism’ and
emerged ‘as a proponent of a strong, virile and militant ideal of the Hindu

Alongside Vivekananda’s more humanistic nationalism, there emerged thinkers
who articulated a tougher stance. Madhav Sadashiv Golwalker claimed: “We
were the good, the enlightened people. We were the people who knew about
the laws of nature and the laws of the spirit. We built a great
civilization, a great culture and a unique social order.” Another leader of
Hindutva was Syama Prasad Mookerjee, one-time minister of industry; he died
in a prison cell in Kashmir, having been arrested while protesting for the
rights of Hindus to live in the disputed province.

ONE HAS to understand Hindutva against the backdrop of its struggles. It
began as a movement to revive the gloried history of Hindu rule in India
against the backdrop of British colonial rule, which many Hindus saw as
eroding their status and harming their religion and culture. During the
independence struggle these activists objected to Gandhi’s seeming
appeasement of Muslim nationalists. In the period before independence many
Muslims demanded not only autonomy but also requested the Indian National
Congress support various Muslim causes, such as the resurrection of the
caliphate after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in 1918.

Mookerjee, for instance, witnessed the mass slaughter of Hindus in Bengal
in 1946 during the Noakhali massacres, when Muslim mobs, fed by rumors at
the end of Eid al Fitr, attacked Hindus in the lead-up to the partition of
Bengal into what became Bangladesh. Gandhi’s response was to tour the area
and speak about peace, but those like Mookerjee understood that when
partition came, mass violence would result and fasting and talk of peace
would not help.

What the Hindutva activists demanded, especially after India was
partitioned and seven million Hindus and Sikhs were ethnically cleansed
from Pakistan and Bangladesh, was that India represent its Hindu past. In
essence they could not understand why Pakistan became a Muslim state, full
of Muslim nationalist and Islamist parties and suppression of minorities,
while the one Hindu majority state in the world had to be a fully
multi-cultural and secular state. While advocating for the primacy of Hindi
as a language and greater reverence to the country’s Hindu past; they were
active against the slaughter of cows, and other issues.

They also demanded that the country stop providing special status for
Muslim personal law (such as the right of a man to divorce his wife by
saying “I divorce you” three times). They demanded a uniform civil code so
that minority groups would not have special personal and marriage laws
while the majority Hindus had to live under a secular legal system. In 1992
many Hindutva activists participated in the attempt to reclaim the Ayodha
Babri Masjid, a mosque built over a Hindu temple in 1528. The resulting
riots led to the destruction of the mosque; but not the rebuilding of the
Temple, which has been caught up in archeological debates and legal tangles.

Modi has not stressed this controversial past in his election campaign. He
has always lived under the shadow of the Gujarat massacres of 2002 where
Hindus and Muslims rioted and many Muslims were killed in the state he
governed. Accusations that he was responsible through negligence, as Ariel
Sharon had been accused with regard to Sabra and Shatilla, led to him being
denied a visa to the US in 2006. He has talked more about “integral
humanism” and his party’s dedication to “create a strong, self-reliant and
prosperous India,” while using tame words such as “drawing inspiration from
our ancient culture and ethos.”

He focused on his humble origins, as a poor tea-seller at a railway
station, and how he turned Gujarat into an economic miracle. Voters agreed:
“Congress has been in power since independence, they say all the right
things, but look at the condition of the country,” one told The New York
Times. The Congress party talked about the “right to food” for the poor and
more subsidies, but Modi talked about an India where people don’t need
subsidies and bread handouts because they will be living a better life free
from the shackles of socialism. Congress romanticized rural India, while
its elites live ensconsed in wealth, while Modi was from urban India and is
seen as understanding the burgeoning urban classes.

In many ways the demonization of Modi and Hindutva is similar to that which
Israel’s Right, national-religious sectors and Zionism have been subjected
to. Both Israel and India were born the same year, and while Jews and
Hindus were expelled from Muslim states, they saw demands that their
countries function as liberal multi-cultural states next to a mass of
Muslim nations that are unabashedly religious and nationalist. The
insinuation is that it is somehow wrong or “hardline right wing” to have an
avowedly Jewish or Hindu state.

For instance, commentators claim that Modi will antagonize relations with
Pakistan – without asking why Pakistan bankrolled the terrorists who
murdered 164 people in Mumbai. No one blamed Pakistan’s “moderate” leaders
for antagonizing India.
The world needs more leaders like Modi, not because of his checkered past,
but because we need to not fear national, linguistic and religious pride
and nation-states that respect their origins. And minorities need Modi too;
because for all the talk of the secular and socialist elites; they did
nothing for India’s Muslims except keep them in poverty and reliant always
on government.

Peace Is Doable
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