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Monday, 16 December, 2002, 14:25 GMT
Gujarat result 'harvest of hatred'
Narendra Modi
Can Modi's success be translated nationally?
Indian newspapers see the right-wing Hindu BJP's landslide in Gujarat state elections as a personal victory for Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

But they point out the win could be difficult to replicate in other states.

What the BJP has harvested now are verily the fruits of hate

The Hindu
The Times of India attributed the victory to the Hindu platform which Mr Modi used to attract voters.

"It should be clearly seen that the results are not a vindication of either the Modi government's record in office or the BJP at the national level," said an editorial in the paper.

It argues that "Modi-ism" is unlikely to be repeated in other states, not only because Gujarat has a niche market for the BJP but also due to the changing fortunes of sectarian politics.

'Ominous'

Gujarat is not India and Modi is as yet only the winner of a state election

Indian Express
The Hindu newspaper described the BJP victory as a "harvest of hatred" in a state engulfed by religious riots earlier this year.

The result was "extremely ominous for the country's future as a truly secular and pluralist polity", its editorial said.

"What the BJP has harvested now are verily the fruits of hate which it chose to spread assiduously and aggressively in pursuance of its agenda of majoritarian communalism."

The Indian Express said Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, a moderate, must rise above the aggressive Hindu ideology of the right-wingers.

The BJP has won but India should not lose

Hindustan Times
It cautioned: "Gujarat is not India and Modi is as yet only the winner of a state election."

The Asian Age newspaper said attempts by the opposition Congress party to talk up its Hindu credentials had "boomeranged badly".

The Hindustan Times warned the result could be misread by Hindu right-wingers seeking to spread anti-Muslim venom.

"It will violate Hinduism's sacred tradition of tolerance and end up destroying the stability of the world's largest democracy," its editorial said.

'Extremist policies'

In Pakistan, the result was front-page news in most papers.

The News daily said the vote was a watershed, and feared "hardline Hindu revivalism".

Gujarat endorses hate

Greater Kashmir newspaper
"It will now be difficult to see how safe India would be for non-Hindus now that a state has vindicated the success of its extremist policies," it said.

Newspapers in Indian-administered Kashmir, the country's only Muslim majority state, said hate and "politics of mass killings" had been endorsed.

Gujarat also featured in the foreign pages of newspapers around the world.

The Washington Post said the vote was "a potential bellwether of India's future as a secular, pluralistic nation".

In London, The Times said right-wingers would "push for aggressively pro-Hindu policies elsewhere in the country".

The Guardian said Mr Vajpayee would now come under intense pressure from hardliners.

Gujarat conflict in-depth

Key vote

Tense state

Background

BBC WORLD SERVICE

TALKING POINT
See also:

15 Dec 02 | South Asia
12 Dec 02 | South Asia
12 Dec 02 | South Asia
12 Dec 02 | South Asia
10 Dec 02 | South Asia
15 Dec 02 | South Asia
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