- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Hindu nationalist, banned from U.S., leading candidate for prime minister
Question of the Day
NEW DELHI — A Hindu nationalist leader is his party’s top candidate to become India’s next prime minister, despite being banned from entering the U.S. because of accusations his government was involved in deadly anti-Muslim riots.
Narendra Modi, who has won three successive elections as chief minister of the western state of Gujarat, has a reputation as an efficient, incorruptible administrator in a county where corruption is rampant.
But he is tainted by accusations that his government was complicit in Gujarat riots in 2002 in which more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed. The accusations could deter support by smaller regional parties, which are key to cobbling together a coalition government.
Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, which led a coalition government from 1998 to 2004, has yet to name its prime minister choice for parliamentary elections next year. Because of the riot charges, the BJP is in a quandary whether it should pick its most reliable vote-getter and risk alienating allies.
Mr. Modi has not directly responded to questions about his national political ambitions, but on recent trips to New Delhi, he has wasted no time wooing key political constituencies, including women and the business community.
He also has not been shy about criticizing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government and taking potshots at Rahul Gandhi, the ruling Congress Party-led coalition’s presumptive prime ministerial candidate. Mr. Gandhi’s great-grandfather, grandmother and father all served as prime minister.
Mr. Modi’s political success could create a dilemma for the Obama administration.
The Obama administration has kept the ban in place, but Britain and the European Union recently ended their decade-old boycotts of Mr. Modi.
“The U.S. had entertained many an individual with a dubious human rights record on its own soil,” said Sumit Ganguly, a professor of political science at Indiana University in Bloomington. “Modi, obviously has his own baggage. However, the U.S., if it suits its own interests, will find some way to rationalize granting Modi a visa.”
Despite the visa ban, Mr. Modi frequently addresses supporters in the U.S. via videoconference.
The Wharton India Economic Forum at the University of Pennsylvania canceled its invitation to Mr. Modi to address its meeting last month following a protest by university faculty and students.
“He is not suited for the job of prime minister as he remains, and will remain, a deeply polarizing figure, whose politics is predicated upon the marginalization of minorities,” said Suvir Kaul, a professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, who took part in the protest.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
- Boko Haram takes credit for abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls, threatens to sell them
- Al Qaeda core degraded, but 'more aggressive' affiliates still pose threat to U.S.
- Political uncertainty and violence in first Iraqi election since U.S. withdraw
- Egypt judge sentences 683 Islamists to death over Morsi-tied violence
- Doctor's killing in latest Afghanistan attack puts NGOs in crosshairs
TWT Video Picks
By Drew Johnson
Inept government shouldn't be entrusted with the power to kill its citizens
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- U.S. evacuates embassy in Libya amid violent clashes between militias
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Obama: U.S. should 'embrace an economic patriotism that says we rise or fall together'
- CANNON: With Russia, different airline crash, same results
- Joan Rivers: CNN should be 'ashamed' of its Israel, Gaza reporting
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq