'Failed Foreign Policy': EX-Indian PM Singh Takes a Dig at Modi's 'British Inspired Nationalism'

© Sputnik / Evgeniy BezekaIndian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.02.2022
The US, Gulf nations, and rights groups have accused the Narendra Modi government of fuelling hatred against minorities by implementing specific policies or remaining silent about threats made by Hindu groups against Muslims in the country.
India’s former prime minister Manmohan Singh has unleashed a tirade against his successor Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which Modi leads, describing its nationalism as “fake and dangerous and based on the British policy of divide and rule”.
“We never divided the country for vested political gains. We never tried to shroud the truth,” Singh said.
His remarks come against the backdrop of an ongoing controversy concerning the hijab, the Islamic headscarf, which erupted after several pre-university colleges banned girls wearing the hijab from attending classes on campuses in the BJP-governed state of Karnataka.
The hijab row has provoked widespread criticism, with many accusing Narendra Modi's government of violating constitutional rights.

“Today, people are divided. This government’s fake nationalism is empty and dangerous. Their nationalism is based on the British policy of divide and rule,” said Singh - who was prime minister for the first time from 2004 to 2009, and for the second time from 2009 to 2014 - referring to the British-era policy of inciting friction between Hindus and Muslims to rule the country.

Singh said that the government has failed on every front, ranging from the economy to securing its borders with China.

“I hope that the incumbents would have realised by now that by hugging leaders, making them sit in swings and stopping by uninvited to have biryani (a dish made of rice) does not improve bilateral relations,” the octogenarian politician said as he took a swipe at Narendra Modi.

Prime Minister Modi is known for greeting foreign dignitaries with a “bear hug”.
Before tensions with Beijing escalated after a violent face-off in June 2020, Modi held several informal summits with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The two leaders conducted one meeting sitting for hours on a traditional swing on the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, a city in the state of Gujarat.
In an attempt to reset ties with Pakistan, Modi also made an unplanned visit to Lahore city to attend the family wedding in December 2015 of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. But relations have gone awry since 2016 when Indian military installations came under a series of terrorist attacks by Pakistan-based groups.

“Internal tensions aren't the only problem. This government has proved a complete failure even on foreign policy. Chinese soldiers have been occupying our territory for a year. And attempts are being made to bury the entire matter,” Singh said.

The senior Congress leader said India is at a vital crossroads today as “old friends are getting alienated, and relations with neighbours are deteriorating”.
In this aerial photograph taken on May 5, 2021 funeral pyres of Covid-19 coronavirus victims are seen in a cremation ground along the banks of the Ganges River, in Garhmukteshwar - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.05.2021
State Authorities in India Tight-Lipped After Hundreds of Bodies Found Floating in Ganges River
Referring the devastation wrought by COVID-19 where thousands of people lost their life in the absence of a proper healthcare system, Singh said today’s circumstances are more troubling.

“Because of the government's faulty policies during COVID, people are anguished by a shrinking economy, rising prices and joblessness,” Singh, a distinguished economist and former finance minister in the Nineties, said in a video message.

Accusing the BJP of promoting divisive politics, Singh said that the ruling party does not have “even one-bit faith in the constitution which is the basis of India’s democracy.”
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