IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing
a rally in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
The editorial board writes on Mr. Modi's silence on the recent "horrifying rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl" at Kathua, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, and also on another case of a rape in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, in which a state lawmaker from his party is the main accused: "Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India tweets frequently and considers himself a talented orator. Yet he loses his voice when it comes to speaking out about the dangers faced by women and minorities who are frequent targets of the nationalist and communal forces that are part of the base of his Bharatiya Janata Party."
The editorial board observes that "Mr. Modi’s silence is as perplexing as it is distressing." Referring to the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape case in Delhi, the editorial says: "He (Mr. Modi) seems to have failed to learn the lesson of his predecessors." The then government led by the Congress party, lost the 2014 parliamentary elections for its heartlessness. "The B.J.P. won the elections in large part because Mr. Modi promised to make the government more responsive to the needs of Indians who were left behind by a government dogged by corruption scandals and widely considered rudderless," the board noted. "Instead, he (Mr. Modi) has exhibited a pattern of silence and deflection that is deeply worrying to anybody who cares about the health of the world’s largest democracy," the NYT board members conclude.
Read full editorial here.