Modi’s Response to Farmer Protests in India Stirs Fears of a Pattern – By Mujib Mashal and Sameer Yasir
…. As India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, struggles to quell months of protests by farmers against new market-friendly agriculture laws, critics and analysts see a pattern of curtailing free speech that they fear is sending India down a dangerous path of intolerance.
In its response to other contentious policies – including citizenship laws that disadvantaged Muslims, its clampdown on the disputed Kashmir region and the farmers’ protests – Mr. Modi’s government has resorted to arrests, stifling of dissenting voices, and blocking of the internet. Groups that track internet freedom say India’s is slipping.
While some of the tactics are not new in India’s recent history, many fear Mr. Modi is taking them to new heights. Gyan Prakash, a professor of history at Princeton University, said the closest parallel was in the 1970s, during the period that in India is called emergency rule…. “But the B.J.P. onslaught is also very different and even more damaging to whatever remains of democracy in India,” he said….