The Shiv Sena, in its mouthpiece Saamna on Tuesday, hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-nation tour as success, even as it pointed out that the United States-led West did not back India against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism or on Kashmir.
The editorial, which is seen as the view of Sena chief and editor of the newspaper Uddhav Thackeray, praised Modi for his popularity among the Indian diaspora. It said the contribution of former Prime Ministers like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, PV Narsimha Rao and Manmohan Singh should not be undermined just because they were from a rival party.
The party, however, struck a discordant note, on how India’s 125 crore-strong population was only being eyed as a business market. “They are tying security equipment around our neck, but are refusing to help with regard to Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, which is similar to how their forces invaded Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein. Why has no world leader, including Obama, backed India on Kashmir,” the editorial asked, seeking to prick holes in the US’ friendly overtures. “Why is America not stopping millions of dollars of aid that is granted to Pakistan? No one seems to be in the mood to answer these questions.”
The editorial also showered praises on the Nehru-Gandhi family, adding they were popular even without the social media. “Pandit Nehru enjoyed immense popularity across the world. It was at a time when there was no media or social media. People in countries like Russia and America continue to praise him till date,” it said.
Taking a dig at Modi, the Sena also invoked former Prime Ministers PV Narsimha Rao and Dr Manmohan Singh, both of whom were never considered charismatic leaders and orators. “These two leaders laid the foundation of India’s economic growth. Even if they are not as popular as Modi, their contribution to the country can’t be discounted.”