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HomeGeopolitical CompassSouth & Southeast AsiaPulwama, China and Atmanirbharta: Is Modi at the End of His Tether?

Pulwama, China and Atmanirbharta: Is Modi at the End of His Tether?

Author: Prem Shankar Jha

Affiliation: Financial World

Organization/Publisher: The Wire

Date/Place: August 21, 2020/India
Type of Literature: Article

Word Count: 1589


Keywords: Hyper-Nationalism, Modi, India. 


The article highlights the populist tactics used by Modi’s government to hold on to power, keeping public attention away from the pressing issues concerning Indian society. It has been more than a year since the deadly Pulwama attack in Kashmir, yet the Modi government feels the need to revive debates and discussions around it. The attack, which killed more than 40 of India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldiers was surrounded by questions on how an attack could be executed in a region otherwise heavily secured. The author argues that, considering the pre and post attack narratives, it is easy to believe that the attack was planted by the government. Moreover, the revival of this debate at a time when the Indian state of Bihar will be going to polls, validates the fact that the Modi government wanted to utilize this for election gains. A series of actions have exposed the Modi government’s policy of hyper-nationalism. By ignoring the intelligence warnings on Pulwama and thereby allowing it to happen, using the attacks at various occasions to divert public attention and garner support, and then reviving the debate close to Bihar elections, all these acts clearly show the tactics the Modi government is using to stay in power.  Moreover, Modi’s repeated use of the phrase “Atmanirbharta” (self-reliant) while the country’s economy is in shatters with unemployment rising day by day, indicates that Modi is far from providing a solution to the chaos he has created. Thus, hyper-nationalism remains the only way out. 

By: Usman Khan Pathan, CIGA Research Associate



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