Shikha Dalmia in The Daily Beast On America's Visa Ban on Hindu Nationalist Narendra Modi


The big debate right now in America is whether to hand more visas to Indian techies who want to study or live in the United States. But the issue that dominated the news cycle in India last week concerned the visa of one man: Narendra Modi, the chief minister of the state of Gujarat, who wants to do neither.

Modi is the current favorite for prime minister for India's main opposition party. He is also a Hindu nationalist on whose watch the worst pogrom of Muslims happened, prompting the U.S. along with other Western countries to ban him from obtaining a visa eight years ago.

His fiercely loyal supporters are campaigning the Obama administration to lift the ban—and his opponents are equally fiercely campaigning to maintain the ban. Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia examines what the U.S. should do in The Daily Beast.

She notes:

[W]hy does Modi covet an American visa, given that unabashed love for the motherland is a central plank of his politics? It is not because Modi is desperate to visit Disneyland…

It is because the Hindu nationalist project involves just changing the perception of Hinduism as a weak religion at home but abroad as well…

Modi, a fire-brand Hindu, is perfect for the job—except that he can't do it so long as he remains a pariah on the international stage. Obtaining a U.S. visa is an important step in rehabilitating himself in the West.

All of this puts the United States in a difficult predicament. Should Modi become the elected prime minister of India next year, it would be awkward for the head of the world's most populous democracy—and an American ally—not to be able to travel to America. At that point, an ongoing ban will become a slap in the face not just of Modi and his backers, but of India.

Go here to read the whole thing.

NEXT: Amnesty International Blasts Calif. Prison Conditions

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. At that point, an ongoing ban will become a slap in the face not just of Modi and his backers, but of India.

    What difference at this point does it make?

  2. This propaganda piece should come with disclaimer:
    “All characters appearing in this work are mauled beyond recognition. Any resemblance to facts is unintentional. Any shred of reason is purely coincidental, and should not be construed as rational.”

    Few example of Sikha’s suppression, and falsehood in this & prior article:
    1) Sikha trots out “modi won’t wear green” as a proof that Modi is polarizing. Firstly, Modi won’t wear green is a lie. The fact is Modi was offered an Islamic Skull Cap which he refused to wear and requested a Shawl. Islamic cap is nearly identical to Jewish Cap.US & Europe has substantial Jewish & Islamic population. I haven’t seen Obama in a Skull cap. Does that mean he is anti-semitic and anti-muslim?

    2)Sikha used word “allegedly” for Godhra train massacre which was proven in Court, and used word “allow” for allegations which were found false in Court.

    3) Absent Facts:
    a) In response to riots, Narendra Modi’s police detained 35,552 civilians (27901 Hindus and 7651 Muslims), fired 10,000 rounds of bullets killing 170 civilians and injuring many more. Sikha is indirectly asking for more police brutality. Is this how Reason foundation promotes individual liberty and the rule of law?
    b) Article deceitfully created the impression that 0 Hindus were killed during riots; However, Nothing is further from truth. Here are the factual numbers: 790 Muslims and 312 Hindus were killed. 61,000 Muslims and 10,000 Hindus fled from their homes.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.