Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official state visit to the United States, Rajdeep Singh of the Sikh Coalition provides some perspective on the controversial figure who until recently was even denied a travel visa to enter the country:
In 2002, while Modi served as Chief Minister of Gujarat, over a thousand Muslims were massacred in retaliation for the deaths of 59 Hindu pilgrims, who burned to death when a train they were traveling in caught fire. Muslims were blamed for the tragedy and subjected to a brutal backlash. Modi is still dogged by allegations that his government facilitated the violence and that he subsequently capitalized on anti-Muslim sentiment to win state elections. At the time, he justified the violence by saying, “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”
…For most Indians, the sovereignty of the individual is trumped by tradition and the deadweight of determinism. If suffering is not considered a fact of life, it is seen as deserved.
Read Rajdeep Singh’s full essay on The Hill.