The famous American magazine plans to publish a cover story later this month criticizing Indian Prime Minister Modi, but his party just attacked the author for being part Pakistani by saying that “nothing better can be expected” from those people and claiming that he was “pursuing Pakistan’s agenda” despite him actually being part Indian as well, thereby revealing the BJP’s deep-seated bigotry and continuing with its fearmongering campaign that anyone who dares to publicly criticize the country’s leader is “anti-national” or possibly even a “foreign agent”.
The BJP’s bigotry was once again on full display after party spokesman Sambit Patra attacked a Time Magazine author during a press conference on Saturday for an article that he wrote that’s very critical of the country’s Prime Minister. India’s “Economic Times” quoted Patra as saying that Aatish Taseer’s forthcoming cover story about “India’s Divider In Chief” shouldn’t be taken seriously because the “article’s author was a Pakistani and that nothing better can be expected from Pakistan”, even implying that Taseer is a foreign agent after “accusing its author of pursuing Pakistan’s agenda”. Interestingly, Taseer is also part Indian through his mother’s side and has spent extensive time in his maternal homeland, though he’s denied this crucial component of his personal identity by the country’s ruling party simply because he exercised his freedom of speech about what purports to be the “world’s largest democracy”.
The BJP’s reaction was to be entirely expected, however, because it already previously implied that the opposition’s dissent is treasonous and even went as far as to claim that they’re “acting as an external public relations arm of the Pakistan government” as the country cannibalizes itself over the entirely speculative issue of “Pakistangate“, or “who Pakistan really supports” (modeled off of the Russiagate hysteria that India’s new American ally is afflicted with). India is obsessed with the idea of Pakistan somehow “interfering” in its elections and “hacking” the vote, which is why the ruling party reacted so ridiculously to Taseer’s article, though because of the Indo-American military-strategic partnership, it refrained from attacking the US publication itself for the editorial decision to run that story in the first place and instead went after the author in the most ad-hominem way possible.
Casual observers unfamiliar with contemporary Indian society and the BJP might not think much of what Patra said and would probably be inclined to dismiss it as harmless rhetoric from one rival country to the other, but the reality is that Modi’s party is blowing very loud Islamophobic dog whistles by hinting that anyone with a Muslim family member (like Taseer’s father) and/or any connection whatsoever to Pakistan is a fifth columnist dedicated to doing the global pivot state‘s bidding. Furthermore, by conflating well-articulated criticism of Modi to “pursuing Pakistan’s agenda’, the BJP is dangerously pushing the notion that all opposition is treasonous and plays into Pakistan’s hands one way or another, possibly winking to its “Saffron supporters” that the state will turn a blind eye to politically motivated lynchings like they already do to religious ones. The end result is that India is continuing its descent into dystopia and looking less like a real democracy by the day.
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.