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I dislike Hindu nationalists. I really do. So, I am not all keen to see Narendra Modi elected as Prime Minister of India, if that ever happens.

Modi is a person that people will have an opinion on. The 2002 Gujarat riots still follow him around like a shadow. His incompetence as a leader got him into some serious trouble. Yet, that was his only mistake in my opinion in 2002 – gross negligence. I don’t think there is any evidence that he was responsible, directly or indirectly, in ‘mass murders’.

However, the tone of a recent article in the NY Times almost seems to think that he is a mass murderer, and that the Bharatiya Janata Party is some sort of terror group. The BJP has its nutcases and they can say some pretty stupid things, but the NY Times says “Not coincidentally, mass rioting broke out last week in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous and politically important state, after a legislator from Mr. Modi’s party circulated a fake video of two Hindus being lynched by a Muslim mob.”

I did some research of my own and I found that the video that was circulated was indeed fake. The video showed two youths being killed in Pakistan by the mob. However, what the NY Times fails to mention is that two Hindus ACTUALLY were killed by a Muslim mob, after an altercation had broken out on a non-religious issue (a car accident involving a Hindu and a Muslim). To settle the score from the road accident, two Hindu brothers did kill a Muslim with a group of seven, which the NYT is not shying from mentioning. But it does not mention that Muslim mobs retaliated in the same fashion! I am not justifying violence from any side, but there are two sides to every story.

Furthermore, this statement

In almost any advanced country, Maninagar would be unremarkable. But in a country where roads are often atrocious, more than half of the population has no access to toilets and electricity is fitful at best, Maninagar is almost an idyll. Even the richest neighborhoods in New Delhi and Mumbai lack such services.

Drive past M.S. Car Repair Shop, however, and this scene turns decidedly darker. Here, the roads are potholed and crumbling, the houses are tin-roofed shacks, trash is everywhere and the stink of sewage is pervasive. The reason for the difference in this small part of Maninagar? Religion, say its residents.

“Only Muslims live here, and you can see for yourself that it’s not nearly as nice,” said Mohammad Yusuf while repairing a punctured inner-tube on an ancient bicycle. “It should be a lot better, but it’s not.” “

Wait a minute! You are going to take the word of a car mechanic against reports that Muslim majority towns have developed tremendously under the Modi administration and that at least four BJP Gujarati politicians are Muslim?!

Something is fishy about this reporting. The entire tone of the article seems to be that the majority Hindus in India are making life of minority Muslims miserable. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe the NYT needs to hire some more responsible journalists.

 

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