The New York Times: In a turbulent region, the foundations of morality in India are eroding

The New York Times said (The New York TimesIndia, as a traditional center of gravity in South Asia, has a special history of promoting a culture of tolerance, but the decline in human rights in recent years in that country has weakened its moral foundations, opening the door to exacerbating ethnic and sectarian tensions in the region.

The newspaper confirmed – in a report Mujib Meshaal, its South Asia bureau chief, says that as the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attempts to remake the country into a Hindu nation, with Modi declaring himself a “Hindu hero” in the history of playing the victim, the country is losing its regional influence.

By marginalizing the Muslim minority at home, the Modi government has also weakened its traditional leadership role in encouraging harmony in a region with many fault lines, and this may open opportunities for China, which has already used investment promises and access to its hard-to-reach economy to build stronger relationships with its neighbors. its Indian competitor.

According to Yashwant Sinha – who was foreign minister when Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party was last in power in the early 2000s – this frankly partisan approach to societal issues has created a very special situation with regard to this moral ground for India’s dealings with neighboring countries.

Which makes – according to the newspaper – calls for tolerance urgent in a region where sectarian violence in one country often turns into fuel for narrow nationalism in another, as happened recently after the outbreak of sectarian violence between Hindus and Muslims in Bangladesh and then in India following the desecration of a copy of the Noble Qur’an. During a Hindu festival.

Mujib Mishaal asserts that the way India – the largest and most diverse country in the region – traditionally manages its affairs has served as a compass to guide the rest of the region’s countries, and even when sectarian violence erupted within its borders, it gave birth to great leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and emerged by ending centuries of colonial rule through the principle of Nonviolence.

Hindus first

But the policies of Modi’s party (Bharatiya Janata) deviated from this path – according to the newspaper – similar to the erosion of the United States’ global position on human rights during the era of former President Donald Trump. An unfavorable situation, as the party refused to rein in the extremist elements in its ranks, which sometimes caused violent outbursts.

The director of the India Initiative at the American “Hudson Institute”, Aparna Pandey, believes that the Hindu nationalist ideology of the ruling party has made India more introverted.

“If you are promoting a nationalist vision, it is difficult to ask your neighbors not to do the same… Then you will see every country in South Asia becoming more nationalistic, and this creates a strategic challenge for India,” she says.

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