The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Can the US trust Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi?

Narendra Modi. You may know him as the new prime minister of India. But to many, he is the former Gujarat state chief minister who idly stood by as hundreds of mostly Muslim people were murdered in the Gujarat riots of 2002.

Much suspicion surrounds the Indian nationalist’s handling of the situation. According to an article in USA Today, he encouraged the killing of Muslims by stirring the crowds to riot and using police force to aid rioters in their violence towards Muslims.

“What he knew and his level of culpability in orchestrating the violence is certainly up for debate,” said Jeremy Rinker, visiting assistant professor of peace & conflict studies, in an email interview. “But that he failed to adequately respond I believe is clear.”

Because of suspicions like Rinker’s, the U.S. refused Modi a visa back in 2005 while he was chief minister. Now that he is a prime minister he has no such problem. But while the U.S. government has let it pass, there are those who remain devoted to making Prime Minister Modi pay for his actions.

According to a web article in The Economic Times, a non-profit human rights organization — The American Justice Center — decided to take action by attempting to serve him with a court summons for charges of crimes against humanity, extrajudicial killings, torture and inflicting mental and physical trauma on mostly Muslim victims.

Something like serving someone a summons does not seem like an impossible task, but according to an unnamed government official, quoted in an article by The American Bazaar, “Sitting heads of government enjoy personal inviolability while in the United States, which means they cannot be personally handed or delivered papers or summons to be the process of this.”

“I was very frustrated with the Obama administration for so easily backing down on (both) his travel visa and criticism of his exclusivist past rhetoric,” said Rinker. “Of course an Indian head of state must be able to travel, but this does not mean that you welcome him with open arms.

“I think it would have been prudent for the Obama administration to express reservations about his election and visit.”

There were no such reservations, however, while he was in the U.S. During his visit, Modi met with President Obama, members of the United Nations and many of the top CEOs from U.S. companies like IBM, PepsiCo. and Google. In addition, he met with members of the Indian diaspora.

“The outpouring of support from the Indian diaspora while he was here was not surprising (wealthy Indians in this country are predominantly high-caste and pro-nationalist leaning), but it was quite scary,” said Rinker. “This blind acceptance of the ‘new Modi’ and the ’new modern India‘ is just devoid of fact and critical vision.”

This warm welcome displays itself as more of a desire to improve relations with India, than a direct disregard of Modi’s handling of the Gujarat riots in 2002.

“I think America and Britain were in a political no-win situation with Modi,” said Heather Hayton, director of the honors program, associate professor of English and creator and leader of Guilford’s annual summer study abroad program to India and the Himalayas. “We had just horribly mishandled the situation in New York with the arrest of an Indian pseudo-diplomat and needed to get Indian-U.S. relations back on track.”

According to an article in Forbes, Modi’s visit to the U.S. could yield rich benefits for both countries. So in an effort to smooth things over, the Obama administration felt it vital to accept Modi’s visa in order to create better bilateral relations.

This relationship is mutually beneficial, and Modi could gain a lot from a strong relationship with the U.S. His new campaign promises good governance, but his handling and displacement of responsibility for the riots does not bode well for India’s security. And, according to senior Kunga Denzongpa, an Indian citizen, Modi is repeating a common pattern.

“I have heard mixed views from people (on Modi),” said Denzongpa. “The Indian youth definitely seem to be more drawn towards his ideas. However, like every other politician, Modi seems to be full of promises but short of actions.”

View Comments (4)
More to Discover

Comments (4)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • V

    Vikrant V.DangeOct 27, 2014 at 6:30 am


  • V

    Vikrant V.DangeOct 27, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Respected PrimeMinister,

    Wish all the best for your Swacha Bharat Abhiyan And Happy diwali and hope in maharashtra we are expecting from you more i am in navi mumbai kharghar and working in Welingkar Institute .Please make a government with the help of Shiva-Sena because we all people lot of expectation from you and now you are doing good job. you and your team maker. My father in law Mr.Vishnupant Gangakhekar is best friend Late shri.Gopinath Mundaje.Thanks once again for your possitive attitute i am prode of you.

    All the best froma common Man

    Vikrant V.Dange Executive Sm.iNv.Mgmt Welingkar Institute,Matunga,Mumbai-400014.

  • I

    Indian PatriotOct 25, 2014 at 7:46 am

    If you are going to talk about full history from 2002, you should also mentioned that Indian Supreme Court has cleared PM Modi for any wrong doing. While you are giving full facts, you should also mention that Indian voters have elected him and his party with absolute majority defeating long time ruling party congress.

    As a true investing reporter, you should have quoted one or two who are PM Modi supports.

    Good luck in your next Post

  • D

    dayal singhOct 25, 2014 at 5:13 am

    Mr Modi is not good for India as he is basically a Dictator and in India running the govt as one man show with all the ministers being treated as just employees advising them not to talk to press and to take permission even for appointment personal secretary or foreign visit and keeping vigilance through spying agency as in case found one minister sitting with industrialist he immediately called him to get up from dinner and come back and stopped another minister to go abroad from airport for son education as found not taking permission to travel from him and his twitter is active for even small event but recently did not tweeted to Muslim for happy id and number of high level posts are vacant in govt department not filing them as spend millions of dollars in elections being sponsored by two big corporate families and now he himself showing to be be poor man selling tea before becoming chief ministers and managed evidence in 2002 rights by punishing or rewarding high level police officers and even his events in new york were managed by wealthy indians and there were no news in USA media but India media run 24×7 coverage