TIME magazine has put Prime Minister Narendra Modi on its cover, called him India's "divider in chief", and asked if India can endure five more years of his government.
The opposition pounced on the story on Friday. The women's wing of the Congress, for example, pointed to the opening line -- "Of the great democracies to fall to populism, India was the first." -- to attack PM Modi.
"Your truth is for all to see," the All India Mahila Congress tweeted to Modi.
In the same issue, TIME published a second story on the prime minister, titled, "Modi Is India’s Best Hope for Economic Reform."
TIME's articles on Modi come as India's Lok Sabha election enters its home stretch, with just two polling phases left before votes are counted on May 23.
The cover story, reported by Aatish Taseer, says "the world's biggest democracy is more divided than ever" -- the broad array of topics that find mention in the piece include mob lynchings, the appointment of Yogi Adityanath as Uttar Pradesh's chief minister in 2017, and the BJP's recent decision to field Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur in Bhopal.
The article is also critical of the the opposition, which it calls a "weak", "ragtag" coalition; it says the Congress has "little to offer than the dynastic principle" and describes Rahul Gandhi as "an unteachable mediocrity".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been on the cover of TIME before -- for example, an interview with the BJP leader headlined a May 2015 cover. (He has also won, more than once, the online readers' poll for TIME Person of the Year.)
TIME magazine has featured a story on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the cover of its May 20, 2019 edition, and says India is "more divided than ever".
It is a mixed blessing.
On one hand, it is an honor, but sadly as a divider and not as a unifier.
This is similar to Trump.