The Economist has published an article slamming Modi government over the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The article says it "imperils the inspiring idea of India as the world's largest democracy".
The cover story of The Economist titled "Narendra Modi stokes divisions in the world's biggest democracy", states India's 200 million Muslims fear the Prime Minister is building a Hindu state.
The article says that "Mr Modi and the BJP are likely to benefit politically by creating divisions over religion and national identity".
"The plan to compile a register of genuine Indians as part of a hunt for foreign interlopers affects all 1.3bn people in the country. It could drag on for years, inflaming passions over and over again, as the list is compiled, challenged and revised".
These subjects "also distract attention from awkward topics such as the economy, which has struggled since the BJP's thumping election victory last year", the article reads.
“Because his rabble-rousing has a human cost, Mr Modi is also tarnishing the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, a preacher of non-violence. As it is, many Muslims have been lynched or beaten to death for supposed slights to Hinduism, such as loving a Hindu woman or killing a cow. From time to time the stoking of anti-Muslim sentiment leads to massacres like the one in Gujarat, in which more than 1,000 people were killed. By perpetually firing up Hindus and infuriating Muslims, the BJP makes fresh bloodshed more likely,” writes The Economist
The Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index for 2019 has ranked India 51st among 165 nations and two territories, with its lowest ever score of 6.9 out of 10. The research and analysis division of The Economist Group has attributed the drop to "democratic regression (in) erosion of civil liberties".
The EIU report mentioned the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or the CAA, which makes religion a test of citizenship for the first time in India's history, and the NRC.