Billionaire philanthropist George Soros has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of trying to transform India into a Hindu nationalist state, NDTV reported on Friday. “Nationalism, far from being reversed, made further headway,” he said while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “The biggest and most frightening setback came in India where a democratically elected Narendra Modi is creating a Hindu nationalist state, imposing punitive measures on Kashmir, a semi-autonomous Muslim region, and threatening to deprive millions of Muslims of their citizenship.”
India had on August 5 revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution, and divided it into two Union Territories. It also imposed a curfew and a complete communications blockade in the region. However, the curfew and the communications ban are slowly being eased. The government’s actions in Kashmir were widely criticised.
Meanwhile, India is also witnessing large-scale protests against an amended citizenship law. The Citizenship Amendment Act provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims. Twenty-six people died in last month’s protests against the law – all in the BJP-ruled states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Assam.