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In a world marked by geopolitical complexities and diplomatic intricacies, the role of a nation’s leader on the global stage is pivotal in shaping the perception of their country. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, has faced both acclaim and criticism for his tenure in office. While his supporters laud his domestic policies and charismatic leadership, there is a growing concern regarding his handling of India’s foreign relations and the impact it has had on the nation’s secular image. In this article, we delve into five key reasons why Modi’s diplomatic approach has raised questions about India’s secular identity on the global platform.

1. Neglecting India’s Secular Legacy

India, from its inception, has been known for its secular fabric that embraces diverse religions and cultures. However, under Modi’s leadership, critics argue that the government has leaned towards promoting a more homogenized, Hindu-centric identity. This shift is reflected in policies like the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which have sparked concerns about religious discrimination and exclusion. Such actions have led to international criticism, tarnishing India’s secular image globally.

2. Handling of the Kashmir Issue

The Kashmir conflict has long been a flashpoint in South Asia, with India and Pakistan both claiming the region. Modi’s government took a drastic step in August 2019 by revoking Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which granted special autonomy to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. This move was met with condemnation from Pakistan and concerns from the international community. Critics argue that the decision disregarded the voices and aspirations of the Kashmiri people and escalated tensions in the region.

Howdy, Modi!Prime Minister Narendra Modi

3. Controversial Foreign Visits

Modi’s foreign visits have been extensively covered in the media, but they have not always garnered positive attention. His visits to countries like the United States and the United Arab Emirates have been accompanied by extravagant events, leading some to question the priorities of the Indian government. Critics argue that such grandiose displays divert attention from pressing domestic issues and do little to bolster India’s diplomatic standing on the global stage.

4. Inconsistent Approach to Religious Minorities

One of the key tenets of secularism is the protection of religious minorities. Critics argue that under Modi’s leadership, there has been a lack of decisive action to address incidents of religious intolerance and violence against minority communities, particularly Muslims and Christians. These incidents have drawn international concern and have led to accusations that India’s commitment to secularism is wavering.

5. Handling of International Crises

Modi’s handling of international crises, such as the India-China border standoff in 2020, has raised questions about India’s diplomatic finesse. While the government presented a strong front domestically, there were concerns about its ability to resolve the conflict peacefully and avoid escalation. Diplomatic failures in such situations can have far-reaching consequences for a country’s global image and the worst relations with neighbouring nations, especially China, Pakistan and Nepal.

Conclusion

Finally, Narendra Modi’s tenure as Prime Minister has been marked by both domestic achievements and diplomatic challenges. While his supporters hail his leadership, critics argue that his approach to diplomacy has tarnished India’s secular face on the global stage. From controversial policies to handling international crises, the concerns raised are valid and merit attention. It is essential for India to reevaluate its foreign policy approach to regain its reputation as a secular and inclusive nation.

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