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DC Edit | Why this spectre of foreign hand'?


Published on: April 2, 2023 | Updated on: April 3, 2023

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (ANI Photo)

Does Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s allegation that his political enemies are giving out bounties to malign him and that the "foreign hand" and its local collaborators are out to get him by hook or by crook somehow bring back memories of an Indira Gandhi smelling an international conspiracy at every step? If it does, it is interesting seeing as Mr Modi has had his political baptism in the anti-Emergency movement of the 1970s that ultimately led to the exit of the once-invincible Congress from the Centre.

The image of Mr Modi that his party, the BJP, and its public relations managers have nurtured over the years is one of a powerful leader of a confident nation. The government is celebrating India’s G-20 presidency as the mark of a nation that has arrived. It believes India has the ability to take on the mantle of a world leader. All nations listen when Mr Modi speaks on critical issues, such as food and energy security, primarily because he derives his authority from being the elected leader of the world’s largest democracy. This matters a lot.

That said, it is only natural that people who have a stake in democracy within their country and without keep a close watch on happenings here and raise an alarm if they spot danger signs. Many have voiced fears that India’s democratic institutions are being weakened, the popular will as expressed through elections undermined and governmental machinery used to browbeat Opposition leaders into submission. The correct response to this should be to investigate if there is any truth in these apprehensions, and to take corrective measures if required. Ignore them only if they are being aired with an agenda. India’s democratic system has proved its worth several times over making corrections of its own accord. Its robustness is built into it; no foreign hand stands a chance.