Modi's fan base grows global, US lawmaker chides Wharton
New Delhi, March 6: The move of Wharton Business School in US to drop Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's name from the list of speakers from its forthcoming conference has come under lot of criticism.
The latest to join the criticism is non-other than a US lawmaker.
Mincing no words, the US lawmaker said that for Wharton "to suppress the views of some at the expense of others" is simply not right.
"When extending its invite, Wharton knew like the US knows that, more than a decade later, India's Supreme Court has not found any evidence against CM Modi regarding the allegations that his critics continue to put forward," said Congressman Eni Faleomavaega in a statement yesterday.
He said, "It is disappointing that Wharton rescinded its invite in response to a protest from a segment of professors and students who are reaching beyond the law and coming awfully close to violating the rights of others who have a different view."
Earlier, Modi was invited to deliver a keynote address via video conference at Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF). The 17th Wharton India Economic Forum will be held on 23 March at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia.
"Universities are a place for divergent views. For Wharton to suppress the views of some at the expense of others simply is not right," he stressed.
He becomes the first US lawmaker to be publicly supporting Modi.
"The US-India relationship is vital to the success of the US pivot to Asia and Modi is one of the most important political leader in India.
This is why I say again that it is time for the US to begin a dialogue now with CM Modi who may very well be India's next Prime Minister," he said.
Moreover, a poll conducted by The Wall Street Journal showed that more than 90 per cent of the over 4,000 respondents said that Wharton was "wrong" to revoke Modi's invitation, while only 6.3 per cent of them have justified the decision.
Sadanand Dhume, Indian American columnist for The Wall Street Journal and a scholar at American Enterprise Institute - a Washington-based think-tank -- who was invited to the annual meet yesterday announced his decision not to speak in protest of the decision of the Wharton on Modi.
"If (University of) Penn (Sylvania) had reservations about a speech by the controversial politician, then why invite him in the first place? If Wharton students have traditionally decided upon speakers for the 17-year-old conference, then why should faculty-from outside the business school suddenly demand a say?" he asked.