Sir, – Your editorial “Modi stokes the tensions” published on India’s Independence Day (August 15th) has deeply hurt the Indian community in Ireland.
Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, is the democratically elected leader of India, the world’s most populous and most diverse nation. His dynamic leadership, exemplary personal character and integrity, furthering inclusive development and people-centric governance, have transformed India into the fastest growing G20 economy, now the fifth largest GDP and a global hub of innovation with 115 unicorn companies and 100,000 start-ups. Mr Modi is respected globally for his initiatives on many contemporary global challenges, and has been honoured with the privilege of addressing the US Congress twice and the highest civilian awards by 13 countries, including seven Muslim-majority countries.
Mr Modi has been working tirelessly, 20 hours daily, to empower the weakest and most vulnerable Indians and give them self-confidence and dignity. His flagship missions have led to construction of 120 million toilets and 40 million affordable houses; fresh tap water connections to 120 million homes and fresh electric connections to 29 million homes; the opening of 480 million new bank accounts with zero balance requirement and cashless healthcare coverage to 500 million poor. The past nine years under Mr Modi have also witnessed construction of 320,000km of rural roads, over 70,000km of national highways, 620,000km of optical fibre cables, 500km of new metro lines, the creation of 100,000MW renewable energy capacity, the establishment of over 300 new universities, 74 new airports and remarkable growth of indigenous technologies and sustainable development solutions. Now India operates world’s largest direct benefit transfer programme and the largest real-time payment platform, accounting for 84 billion transactions, about 46 per cent of the entire world, last year. Thanks to Mr Modi’s paradigm change from the past trickle-down to ground-up approach, 135 million people moved out of poverty in the past five years.
Mr Modi’s thrust on transparent e-governance has ensured that not even one case of corruption has been attributed to the central government since 2014. Digital payment directly to the poor in their bank accounts linked with unique ID have eliminated significant leakage which occurred in the past and weeded out about 100 million fake or unscrupulous beneficiaries. This has posed an existential threat to the well-entrenched, elitist, family-centric political-media middlemen ecosystem which thrived in the pre-Modi decades. It is natural for these elements to indulge in vicious personal vendetta against Mr Modi.
Instead of spreading the partisan rhetoric of “Modi’s critics”, The Irish Times must, for the sake of professional honesty and objectivity, at least verify if there is any official statement of Mr Modi and the BJP leadership to merit preposterous allegations such as “Hindu supremacy” and “xenophobia”, which are, incidentally, European notions, alien to the tradition and the ethos of Hinduism. – Yours, etc,
Ambassador of India
Embassy of India,