Does Western media’s anti-India articles cater to India’s self-serving political ideologies?

The pot-bellied colonial ego comes out forcefully in some of the recent headlines

By Om Prakash Dwivedi

As India goes for the second phase of polls on April 26, 2024, it is important to unite to fight the colonial mentality and colonial structures that continue to survive and thrive, albeit in different forms, in different alliances. 

The rise of our national pride has been repeatedly questioned and punctured by many foreign media channels. How else does one see the deluge of anti-India articles in several foreign media platforms, at a moment when India is celebrating its festival of democracy in the wake of the 18th Lok Sabha elections?

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The pot-bellied colonial ego comes out forcefully in some of the following headlines:

“Reporting in India ‘too difficult’ under Modi says departing Australian journalist” – The Guardian

“Narendra Modi Is Preparing New Attacks on Democratic Rights” – Jacobin Magazine

“Is India’s BJP the world’s most ruthlessly efficient political party?” – Financial Times

“Will the outcome of India’s election increase intolerance” – Deutsche Welle

“Modification of India is almost complete” – TIME Magazine

“Modi Is Making India’s Election All About Himself” – Bloomberg

These headlines are not only racial but also prejudiced, teeming as they do with self-serving ideologies. Several other articles have critiqued and questioned the fate of India, which are unabashed iterations of cultural and moral gatekeeping of the West. It is ironic to see colonial plunderers talking of authoritarianism and democracy at a time when India’s economy has seen unprecedented growth. What is worse that the Congress is also mocking India’s rise in its bid to woo the voters.

Recently, Sam Pitroda tweeted a compiled list of anti-Indian articles published in foreign media platforms as a desperate attempt to drive home the point that India needs an alternative. One can pity him for all his hard work and wonder if he and the party could have done this kind of research work to repair the lost glory of the Congress party. Bereft of any idea to counter the Modi guarantee, it seems that the party people have decided to restrict themselves to amuse the masses on social media platforms and keep ringing the fake alarm bells. Ten years of exile have taught them nothing to come out of their ivory towers and strike a connection with the masses.  

That is why it can be easily summed up that Modi’s unwavering popularity is not by happenstance. The last ten years have witnessed a constant policy churning to meet the needs of millions of Indians, including several Global South countries, thus energising his popularity and establishing him as a leader with a firm grip, who knows the pulse of the nation, a leader who can connect with masses through his Mann ki Baat (heartfelt talk).

The nation waited too long for a strong leader at the Centre. Even 55-plus years of the Congress rule in India failed to learn this art of conversation. Impaired by  (pseudo)secularism and rooted in nepotism, the nation was sacrificed for the sake of one family’s well-being. What so many parties could not achieve, Modi did that single-handedly. 

It is heartening to see so many global leaders recognising India’s rise to power during his regime. For example, the Brazilian President, during the Covid period, Jair Bolsonaro, acknowledged India’s help, referring to its two million vaccine doses as “Sanjivani”. That sums up India’s firm position on the global map, which has started sending out ‘sanjivani’ to its neighbours and other countries.

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India’s relationship with the Arab nation has reached the acme of political rectitude with the result that PM Modi was awarded the highest honour from five Arab nations. One can add to this that India has comfortably aligned itself with both the QUAD (with the United States and its allies) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (with China, Russia, and their allies). These are just glimpses of the fairy tale of our aatmanirbharta, that Modi weaved in the last ten years, and which the Western media define as ‘authoritarianism’ and the ‘death of democracy’ since they can no longer impede India’s meteoric rise.

The foreign funding that was pumped into India through unidentified sources to keep the nation in a perennial state of chaos and communal violence has been blocked by the Modi government. It is for no strange reason that the nation has started identifying itself with the “Modi hai to mumkin hai (If it is Modi, it is possible)” slogan. Who could have ever dreamed of the Article 370 abrogation of Jammu & Kashmir, the imposition of which resulted in the killings of innocent people from both sides, eventually forcing many of them to leave their homes?

Apparently, the nation has found its lost narrative of self-confidence. While the Congress and its alliance parties continue to parrot the colonial masters, the new India refuses to pledge its allegiance to them, and rightly so. Remember, united we stand, divided we fall, the same old colonial divisive policy that is operational nowadays. The choices we make will determine not just our future, but the future of a new India, including the diaspora community. 

Let us remember that it is not about one family but the nation as a family. It is a moment that we must utilise to invest in India’s future and, therefore, it is also a moment to invest in the guaranteed return of India’s growth. We are the future!  

Contributing Author: Om Prakash Dwivedi tweets @opdwivedi82. His interests lie in the field of postcolonial theory.

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