An open letter to The Economist
   06-May-2019
On May 2nd, the Left-oriented magazine Economist published a biased piece on the outcome of 2019 Indian General elections. It claimed, as in its title of the said piece, that under Narendra Modi, India’s ruling party poses a threat to democracy. Though the Economist's Left bias was well known, a completely prejudiced piece without data and facts to prove did not go well with its readers, especially Indians who reside in America. Jagdish Sewhani, a resident of New York, writes a strong rebuttal to the Economist's article and asserts that a strong India under Prime Minister Modi is a guarantor of global peace and stability. Here is his open letter to the Editor of Economist. 

 
Narendra Modi was sworn in a India's 15th PM on  26th May 2014
 
Dear Mr Editor,
The Economist
 
I am writing to you with regard to the op-ed published by your publication “Under Narendra Modi, India’s ruling party poses a threat to democracy.” As an avid reader of The Economist I have experienced a deep decline in the journalistic standards and ethical values, which once was considered a prestigious publication.
 
As a person of an Indian origin,living in New York for the past several years, I have closely followed the political, economic and social developments in India. The progress made by India in the last five years under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is unparallel and historic. Facts speaks for itself.
 
The op-ed published by you is a fiction, rather than based on facts. I firmly believe that by writing such a fictitious article and asking people of India to vote against Modi, is a direct interference in India’s election. I demand that The Economic must tender an apology and reveal under whose influence it has done so. Let’s talk about some facts.
 
India as per the latest figures from all major international financial institutions including the IMF and the World Bank under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged as the world’s fastest growing economy. Not denying that India has a long way to go achieve the high level of living for the common people, Prime Minister Modi India has laid a strong foundation in that regard: from various social security measures, to providing health insurance programs to a significantly large segment of the population, to making basic necessities like electricity, housing, affordable food, banking and internet accessible to all.
 
India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made remarkable improvement in the business environment. Hope before publishing this fictious and one-sided op-ed you would have looked at the annual Ease of Doing Business report of the World Bank. Can you name one single country of the size of India that has jumped the rankings of Ease of Doing Business as much as India has done in the last five years. And what about the amount foreign direct investment that India has attracted under Prime Minister Modi. Here is a home work for you. Please prepare a list of top emerging economies on FDIs in the last five years. Let me know, what you find.
 
Let’s talk about freedom of press and the baseless and slanderous allegation of him being non-democratic and intolerant to criticism. Even these are relative terms and contextual in nature, can you find out one leader in modern history wherein the leader has been denied Visa by one big country – here I am talking about the visa denial by the US – and after coming to power, India under him has developed a strongest ever relationship with the United States. This is primarily because he strongly believes this is in the best interest of India, the United States and the world. I hope you must be aware of Nixon-Indira Gandhi relationship and how then India drifted fast into the Soviet Camps.
 
But for the ego clash of two leaders, had India and US joined hand together, world would have been a much safer and peaceful place now. And BTW, if anything Prime Minister Narendra Modi is intolerant to it is corruption and terrorism.
 
I hope you have the resources at your disposal to conduct research on the articles critical of Sonia Gandhi – the most powerful leader of India during the 10 years if UPA regime in major Indian publications. I guess you can count them on your finger tips or at the most list them on a page. Sitting in New York, every day I can find at least a dozen news articles, op-eds and television shows in major Indian media outlets critical of the policies and views of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
I will bring to your notice another example. Two senior leaders of BJP – Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha -- for the last five years have openly talked against the Prime Minister and his policies. They have joined the platforms of the opposition leaders. Still, they were never dismissed or expelled from the party. Can you name one political party in India, including the Congress wherein a senior leader critical of say Rahul Gandhi or Sonia Gandhi or party president would be allowed to stay in the party even for one single day.
 
On news media outlet. I will ask you one question. If an on-line publication like The Wire – which is small in terms of financial capacity – can run an open campaign against Prime Minister Modi, nothing stops other publications to do so. India, dear editor of The Economist has a free and strong vibrant press, wherein everyone has the freedom to write what they feel like. Your article tries to say that major publications like The Time of India, The Hindustan Times, India Today, NDTV are scared of Prime Minister Modi. Flatly wrong. They are writing and publishing what they believe in. By saying so, you are simply trying to demean the prestige and work ethics of these major Indian publications. I think, The economist should be ashamed of this.
 
I would like to bring to your attention, a few aspects of his foreign policy and national security aspect, as India under him has emerged as a strong power which is not afraid of bullying any longer. Doklam is one such example. Today, when India talks, world listens with attention and acts. Look at the global position of Pakistan, the nerve center of terrorism. It’s because of his diplomatic policies, Pakistan has never been as globally isolated as it is today. Not even after OBL raid. Before PM Modi came to power, please have a look at the global opinion towards One Belt One Road project of China. It’s India, under him, which took the lead in telling the world about the predatory economics of China. I know, it would be very tough for you to acknowledge this and the west today is taking the credit for this. But these are the facts.
 
His guiding principle of foreign policy is “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or the world is one family. And he has persistently worked on this aspect, be it his steps on climate change, solar alliance, international yoga day or free satellites to third-world countries. Within all its economic constraints, India under him has merged as a major donor – both in terms of financial and technical knowhow.
 
Dear Mr Editor, I am amazed at the last two paragraphs of your op-ed. You might be favoring a corrupt government, but people of India, under the 10 years if UPA rule, were bitter sufferers of a corrupt and inefficient government. Your biased mentality is reflected on the very fact that you have put Congress in Capital letter and BJP in small letters. Why?
 
Look at the audacity at which you interfering in Indian elections. Are you an Indian publication? What is your interest in asking people of India to vote against BJP. You very well know that the BJP is coming to power. So you are asking Indians to at least vote for a coalition government, which will definitely result in a weaker India.
 
I am sure, you very well know, who will benefit from a weak India. It is very sad state of affairs.
 
The world needs a strong India. In 2019, it’s only Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has the capability of leading a strong India. And I am hundred percent sure, people of India have already made up their mind. You will see the results on May 23. They will not be influenced by your blatant interference in Indian elections.
 
Jagdish Sewhani
New York