Wednesday, April 04, 2012

TIME magazine should pull Narendra Modi off the list

Reuters' Arko Dutta's iconic image of Qutubuddin Ansari begging for mercy during the riots.
TIME magazine has shown extremely poor editorial judgement by including Narendra Modi in a voting list of 2012’s “influential” people who are “leaders, artists, innovators, icons and heroes.”

As Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat, Narendra Modi is an elected leader - a sad outcome of India’s flawed democracy without law and order - but he is no innovator, no artist, no icon and certainly no hero. India and the world must be rescued from people like him.

If you don’t know much about him, here’s one really good reason he should be off that TIME list. Once you’ve read it, remember to vote against his inclusion.

In 2002, over 1,000 people were butchered on the streets of Gujarat by frenzied Hindu mobs while Narendra Modi was at the helm. An investigative magazine carried out a sting operation interviewing Hindu fundamentalists who all revealed Modi’s complicity in the riots.

According to the magazine Tehelka, “Several rioters, senior Sangh Parivar functionaries and the state government’s special prosecutor were caught on camera revealing in detail the role played by Modi in the carnage.” You can read more here.

Sadly, Narendra Modi has not yet been prosecuted for his role in the murderous violence and he has used his time since 2002 to destroy evidence against him, silence his critics and set up an aggressive PR machinery to whitewash his image.

How nicely TIME has fallen into the trap.

The magazine cops out by saying that Modi is “associated” with the ugly legacy of the 2002 Gujarat riots while featuring him under a list looking to short-list heroes, icons and others.

So heres what you can do about it.

Join this campaign to vote against his inclusion in the list. Click ‘No Way.’ Please do it now because there are only 3 days left and his legions of blind supporters are also at it.

You can also send @TIME a tweet to tell them that his inclusion was a dumb choice to begin with.

(I have voted and now I’m going to brace for the hate-filled comments to this post.)