The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) saga is reverberating worldwide, showing India in a poor light.
The New York Times, in an editorial on February 23, urged the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, to rein in his ministers and his party, and defuse the current (JNU) crisis, or risk sabotaging both economic progress and India’s democracy.
The newspaper was referring to statements from the Home Minister, Mr Rajnath Singh, and another BJP leader, Om Prakash Sharma, that appeared to defend the attacks on the student community.
In a stinging remark, the editorial pointed out that “Mr. Singh apparently does not realize that, in a democracy, voicing dissent is a vital right, not a crime.”
The newspaper did not even refer to the devious means the ruling dispensation and its sympathisers had followed (such as doctoring a video and photoshopping images) while seeking to muster evidence against the students.
They are incidents that put India’s integrity and credibility at stake and could potentially cause long-term damage to the country.
My earlier posts on the issue:
G Joslin Vethakumar