TIME Magazine features PM Modi on cover , calls India's him Divider in Chief


 Time Magazine has put Prime Minister Narendra Modi on its cover for May 20 issue and called him India’s “Divider in Chief”. The headline comes with a caricature of Modi and talks about rising populism in democracies like India, Turkey, Brazil, Britain and the US.The latest international cover for Time magazine has set social media on fire, with its cover page being widely shared by both the critics and supporters of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


Calling him “India’s Divider in chief”, Time magazine’s cover story asked: “Can the World’s Largest Democracy Endure Another Five Years of a Modi Government?”


The article opens with the sentence: “Of the great democracies to fall to populism, India was the first.” Under Prime Minister Modi, “nation’s most basic norms, such as the character of the Indian state, its founding fathers, the place of minorities and its institutions, from universities to corporate houses to the media, were shown to be severely distrusted.”


It also compares former prime minister Jawarharlal Nehru, who has been blatantly criticised by Modi in his speeches, ideas of secularism with the prevailing social "stress" under Modi who "demonstrated no desire to foster brotherly feelings between Hindus and Muslims."The article is based on Hindu-Muslim relations and blames Modi for being pro-Hindu and not working in the interests of Muslims in the country.


With the biggest elections in the world underway in India, the cover became a flashpoint for social media debate.Many social media users commented that the magazine cover was proof that the world was now aware of the rise in communal disharmony in the country.

A Twitter user  @raakeshchavan wrote: “Looks like even Time Magazine has the same views. Now whole world knows that we have a divisive PM in @narendramodi”


Another Twitter user @IndiaAfzal added: “Very true. PM Modi has been nothing but ‘India’s Divider in Chief’. His divisive politics has damaged the social fabric of the country very severely.”

Others shared an old Time magazine cover in which Modi appeared from 2015, with the headline: “Why Modi matters”


 @anchalsingh30 also shared a picture of the two covers side-by-side, adding: “All bhakts [Modi supporters] who shared news of Modi receiving international awards should also share this news of #Modi being called Divider in Chief by #TIME magazine #BJP”


Other social media users, however, questioned the changing stance of the magazine and put their complete support behind the Prime Minister. Many pointed towards the development projects that had been launched in the past five years.


Twitter User @vamanan81 wrote: “Prime Minister Modi treats every citizen of India in the same way. He does not divide them on the basis of their religion. Your view that he is a divider is based on your perversity. It is far from the truth. But one cannot expect devotion to truth from you.”


Another Twitter account @AmWithModi tweeted: “Yes. In today’s corrupt world it’s difficult to ‘endure’ our incorruptible PM, the messiah for the poor. Endless development works done - railway tracks in remote areas, bank accounts, life insurance, free houses, medical facilites for the poor etc.


 @rama1966 added: “Yes, @narendramodi has divided nepotism from governance, has divided inefficiency from deliverance, has divided corruption from government deals. India’s democracy can take care of itself. We don’t have to endure but will embrace, engage and enjoy another five years of Modi government.”


This isn’t the first time that Narendra Modi has been criticised in Time. In a 2012 article, the magazine described him as ambitious, controversial and shrewd politician. Many on Twitter addressed Modi as "real chief of tukde tuke gang."


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