Modi ‘Pushed India Away from Secularism’, Says Time Magazine

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The prime minister is featured among 100 most influential people of 2021; Mamata, Adar Poonawalla are others from India to find places in the list

Team Clarion 

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made it to the list of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people globally of 2021 but for all wrong reasons.

A scathing profile of the PM written by Fareed Zakaria, a noted journalist associated with CNN, says Modi has “pushed the country away from secularism and toward Hindu nationalism.”

The profile says that PM Modi is the third pivotal figure after former Prime Ministers Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi in the history of India since independence in 1947. He is “dominating the country’s politics like no one since them.”

The Time lashes out at Modi for “eroding the rights” of India’s Muslim minority and targetting journalists critical of government policies.

It also accuses the Modi government of “crippling India’s thousands of NGOs and advocacy groups”.

Zakaria advises that Modi must decide if that is what he wants as his legacy.

The other Indians in the list are West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla.

Banerji, Time says, “has become the face of fierceness in Indian politics.”

“Of Banerjee, it is said, she doesn’t lead her party, the Trinamool Congress – she is the party. The street-fighter spirit and self-made life in a patriarchal culture set her apart,” the profile says.

From the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Poonawalla, the head of Serum Institute, world’s largest Vaccine producer, “sought to meet the moment.”

“The pandemic is not over yet, and Poonawalla could still help end it. Vaccine inequality is stark, and delayed immunisation in one part of the world can have global consequences-including the risk of more dangerous variants emerging,” it says.

The list includes US President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and Meghan, former US president Donald Trump and co-founder of the Taliban Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

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