Why are Indian politicians so anti-Hindu

Prime Minister Narendra Modi : The Indian Trump

"Our country has been very discredited," complained the speaker on the stage in Madison Square Garden in New York. He promised 20,000 cheering listeners that he would work hard to get the economy going again. But it was not US President Donald Trump who inspired her with dangerous rhetoric; the speaker was India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who spoke to his supporters in New York in 2014, almost a year before Trump made his first campaign speech.

Modi, a member of an ultra-right Hindu organization whose founders took Nazi Germany as a model, anticipated elements of Trump's rise: the populist won the 2014 election by vilifying religious minorities, hate speech against the media and corrupt elites. And with machism: the slender politician boasted of his - fictitious - 142-centimeter chest. With his keen sense of trends, Modi perceived the political potential of an indefinite dissatisfaction with the economic development of the subcontinent and the ruling class. The major corruption scandals related to licenses for multinational companies that rocked the country in 2010 were cleverly exploited by Modi. He recognized early on that globalization had again reached its limits with the financial crisis in 2008. India changed course under Modi. Domestic companies like Flipkart or Ola are pushing international companies like Amazon or Uber out of the market - with the help of the Indian government.

Earlier than Trump, Modi also recognized the new power of social media. The Prime Minister maintains two Twitter accounts to communicate directly with his 24 million “followers”. On Twitter, he is 46th - ahead of footballer Neymar and musician Kayne West. The conventional media is often left with only copying what Modi broadcasts on Twitter or in his weekly radio addresses. He rarely gives press conferences and hardly ever interviews - especially not journalists who are critical of him.

Even political mistakes slip silently from Modi

Within two and a half years, Modi has fundamentally changed India, which fondly calls itself the largest democracy in the world. The politician, who ingratiates himself with the masses as the son of a poor tea seller, is so firmly in the saddle of power that observers rub their eyes. Even political mistakes that would cost other politicians their careers slip silently from Modi. The opposition is powerless and leaderless, the media hardly dare to object. A climate of fear has spread. Human rights organizations, writers and artists who express themselves critically are insulted as anti-nationalist and threatened by the right-wing mob. Modi's internet trolls don't spare anyone. Even legends like Bollywood actor Aamir Khan felt this: When the film star complained about the increasing intolerance in the country in 2015, the Indian Muslim was advised to emigrate to the hostile neighboring country Pakistan. Khan now has only good words for Modi.

A new spirit has gripped India. The otherwise liberal Supreme Court recently ordered the singing of the national anthem in cinemas. Local governments that do not fit modes are dumped coldly. The human rights organization Human Rights Watch expressed concern about the development in its latest report. At the same time, India's economy is weakening, the jobs and "growth for all" promised by Modi are missing. And the prime minister is a master of manipulation who can direct the discontent of the masses on the weak: Muslims, Christians, students, the casteless. Whenever sectarian violence showed its ugly grimace, Modi always looked the other way.

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