ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Two Concerns

EPW’s editorial “Anger, Aspiration, Apprehension” (24 May 2014) has correctly raised serious concerns about the prime minister elect from the Bharatiya Janata Party, Narendra Modi. Apart from the influence of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in politics, at this stage I have two more concerns about the future of India. First, several of his slogans and speeches during and before the election campaign point out how certain communities will be affected in the new regime. His continuous reference to “Hindustan” (the land of the Hindus) does create a negative psychological impact among non-Hindus. I wonder if his reference to India as Hindustan is a deliberate attempt to please the majority and to provoke the minority? If the prime minister of India continuously refers to India as Hindustan that can only widen communal divides. The blame for this will be easily pinned to the minorities and not to the majority community.

My second concern is his condemnation of the “Pink Revolution” during his election campaign, referring to the growing export of meat. India has become one of the world’s largest exporters of meat and this is an important source of growth for the agricultural sector. Modi, as the prime minister, should keep his personal food preferences at home and let the rule of law and market govern meat production. Most of the contribution to the meat sector comes from the Muslim minority and his condemnation again displays his disrespect for their livelihoods. Livestock sector can substantially boost growth of the agricultural sector in India and also can increase the incomes of minorities who at this stage belong mostly to the lower income class.

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