India questions New York Times editorial on Yogi Adityanath

Amit Shah- Yogi Adityanath- Narendra Modi
BJP governments working hard to give housing facilities for all by 2022.
New Delhi, March 25: India has reacted sharply to The New York Times’ editorial criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s choice of Yogi Adityanath as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and said the paper’s wisdom to write such a piece was “questionable”.
“All editorials or opinions are subjective. This case is particularly so. The wisdom in doubting the verdicts of genuine democratic exercises, at home or abroad, is questionable,” said external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay.
The New York Times in the highly critical editorial, titled ‘Modi’s Perilous Embrace of Hindu Extremists’, said since he was elected in 2014, Modi has played a “cagey game, appeasing his party’s hard-line Hindu base while promoting secular goals of development and economic growth”.
The move by Prime Minister Modi’s party to name “firebrand Hindu cleric” Adityanath as Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister is a “shocking rebuke” to religious minorities, the editorial said.
You can read the editorial of New York Times below: 
Since he was elected in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India has played a cagey game, appeasing his party’s hard-line Hindu base while promoting secular goals of development and economic growth. Despite worrying signs that he was willing to humor Hindu extremists, Mr. Modi refrained from overtly approving violence against the nation’s Muslim minority.

On Sunday, Mr. Modi revealed his hand. Emboldened by a landslide victory in recent elections in India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh, his party named a firebrand Hindu cleric, Yogi Adityanath, as the state’s leader. The move is a shocking rebuke to religious minorities and a sign that cold political calculations ahead of national elections in 2019 have led Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party to believe that nothing stands in the way of realizing its long-held dream of transforming a secular republic into a Hindu state.

Mr. Adityanath has made a political career of demonizing Muslims, thundering against such imaginary plots as “love jihad”: the notion that Muslim men connive to water down the overwhelming Hindu majority by seducing Hindu women. He defended a Hindu mob that murdered a Muslim man in 2015 on the suspicion that his family was eating beef, and said Muslims who balked at performing a yoga salutation to the sun should “drown themselves in the sea.”

Uttar Pradesh, home to more than 200 million people, badly needs development, not ideological showmanship. The state has the highest infant mortality rate in the country. Nearly half of its children are stunted. Educational outcomes are dismal. Youth unemployment is high.

Mr. Adityanath has sounded the right notes, saying, “My government will be for everyone, not specifically for any caste or community,” and promising to make Uttar Pradesh “the dreamland” of Mr. Modi’s development model.

But the appointment shows that Mr. Modi sees no contradiction between economic development and a muscular Hindu nationalism that feeds on stoking anti-Muslim passions. Mr. Modi’s economic policies have delivered growth, but not jobs. India needs to generate a million new jobs every month to meet employment demand. Should Mr. Adityanath fail to deliver, there is every fear that he — and Mr. Modi’s party — will resort to deadly Muslim-baiting to stay in power, turning Mr. Modi’s dreamland into a nightmare for India’s minorities, and threatening the progress that Mr. Modi has promised to all of its citizens.”

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