每日英語跟讀 Ep.832: Violence in India Threatens Its Global Ambitions
Until recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign to portray India as a rising power seemed to be ticking along despite troubles at home.
Much of the world remained quiet, or cautious, in recent months as India began locking up hundreds of opposition politicians and activists without charge across the country. Business executives say they are too afraid to speak out about shortcomings in the government’s economic strategy. The press complains of government intimidation.
Still, there was President Donald Trump last month, embracing Modi in New Delhi, where streets were dotted with posters declaring the “world’s oldest democracy meets the world’s largest democracy.”
But as the leaders celebrated each other in India’s capital, Hindu mobs began going after Muslim protesters in neighborhoods just a few miles away while the police looked on or joined in.
Freedom House, a nonpartisan democracy advocacy organization, flagged India as a major concern.
“The Indian government has taken its Hindu nationalist agenda to a new level with a succession of policies,” the group said, “threatening the democratic future of a country long seen as a potential bulwark of freedom in Asia and the world.”
In a rare move, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights filed a petition in India’s Supreme Court to challenge a citizenship law that critics say discriminates against Muslims. Some of India’s closest partners have begun criticizing its treatment of Muslims and migrants, with condemnations coming in from Iran, the United States, Bangladesh and elsewhere.
“If India loses that secular, democratic identity, then it loses what makes it different than other countries in Asia. We are all watching the riots in Delhi and worry they are going down a dangerous road that makes it harder for us to be a strong advocate for India,” said Rep. Ami Bera, a California Democrat who is the longest-serving Indian American in Congress.
One area where international officials believe that India may be particularly hurting itself is in its campaign to be granted a permanent seat at the U.N. Security Council along with other nuclear powers. Speaking on condition of anonymity, several diplomats, including some from countries that have publicly pushed for an Indian seat on the Security Council, say that their governments are now reluctant to push the issue after India’s domestic unrest has laid bare the effects of Hindu nationalism there.
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/351636/web/