Skip to main content

Modi 'losing steam', returns to time-tested divisive communal issues

By Ram Puniyani* 

BJP has a strong electoral machine, well backed up by its parent organization, RSS. The core module of RSS-BJP is based on demonization of Muslims through distortions of the medieval period of history in particular and glorification of the past where caste and gender hierarchy prevailed. When it comes to elections, RSS progeny has resorted to various themes from time to time. 
The first major theme was destruction of Hindu temples by Muslim kings which was the hidden message of the Ram Temple campaign. In due course security (Pakistan as the enemy) was also brought in. Prior to the demolition of Babri, they used to talk of Indianization of Muslims among other anti-Muslim themes.
In recent times, in 2014 it was acche din (good days) to take advantage of the anti Incumbency and the jumlas (mere phrases) like women’s security, 15 lakh per person, 2 crore jobs every year along with the projection of Congress as a corrupt party. Thanks to the Anna movement promoted and supported by RSS wings, Congress as a corrupt party  was made to stick in people's minds for a long time. 
In 2019, National security, Pulwama-Balakot became the major propaganda for winning the elections. All through, anti-Muslim rhetoric formed the backdrop. Truth has been a major casualty in most of its propaganda.
This time euphoria around Ram Temple was anticipated to be the major fulcrum of its propaganda. Gyanwapi issue has also been raked up but with marginal effect. Its seems now there is sort of ‘fatigue’ around this issue, and due to the dwindling social-economic conditions of the people, the grand Ram Temple-Gyanwapi may not give the results which they were expecting. 
That leaves it to fall back on its time tested divisive communal issue, the anti-Muslim propaganda. This time around Modi has set the tone around anti Muslim dog whistles and linked it up with the Congress manifesto centered around Justice for weaker sections of society,( adivasis, dalits and religious minorities), women’s empowerment, and justice for youth (employment- internship) and students (paper leaks).
So far justice for weaker sections of society has been the major point of opposition for RSS and its progeny. Its very foundation in 1925 was in the backdrop of dalits asserting their rights and women beginning to articulate their social presence. 
To dilute the caste based reservations they brought in reservations for economically backwards. In practice wherever possible they have been undermining affirmative action for dalit and OBC. 
Faced with the great appeal of Rahul Gandhi’s emphasis on reservation and affirmative action, BJP had to counter it without sounding that it is inherently opposed to reservations. In this direction the first step was falsehood from RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat that RSS has never been against reservations!
Modi in a clever and fake concoction has been saying that:
“…they [Congress] wanted to grant reservation to one section of the society (i.e. Muslims, added) by cutting into the quotas meant for Dalits and backward classes, which is completely against the Constitution. The reservation rights that Dr Babasaheb gave to Dalits, backward classes, and tribals, the Congress and the INDI Alliance wanted to give them to specific minorities based on religion."
Congress manifesto’s emphasis on caste census and giving the analogy of X Ray was picked up by Mr. Modi and linked with his anti Muslim narrative. Connecting the two, he peaked in the falsehood that Congress will do the X-Ray to find gold, money etc. and give it to those who have more children or who are infiltrators (Meaning Muslims as usual in their fake narrative). And to frighten the Hindus, Hindu women in particular, he stated: 
My mothers and sisters, they won't even leave your mangalsutras (sacred necklace worn by married Hindu women) . The Congress manifesto says that if they form a government, then a survey of property belonging to every person will be done. It will be checked how much gold our sisters own and how much money government employees have…They also said that gold owned by our sisters would be equally distributed. Does the government have the right to take your property?"
He cited Mangalsutra' as something which will be taken away and given to Muslims.
This is like killing many birds in one stone. One is, to criticize Congress Manifesto, two to target Muslims, and three to frighten Hindu women. The limit of falsehood concocted by him is so obvious here. 
Due to dwindling socio-economic conditions of people, Ram Temple-Gyanwapi agenda may not give results which they were expecting
The arrogance that such falsehoods can be believed by a large number of people comes from the solid understanding that the committed volunteers of ‘RSS combine’ the IT cell and the corporate controlled TV channels and media will ensure that this falsehood will be taken seriously by large sections of people. 
The peak point of this exercise was to bring in poor buffalo, which had been left out so far in the ‘cow as mother’ elaborations. "If you have two buffaloes one will be taken away by Congress!" Post truth lies at its best!
How can Pakistan not be made part of the campaign by BJP-Modi? Modi brought in the P factor by stating that Pakistan wants a weak Government in India. One Fawad Chaudhary, an ex-minister of Pakistan, had stated that Rahul Gandhi has socialism within him. Modi’s claim is that Pakistan is scared of Balakot type reaction so they want Rahul as PM. 
Modi must have forgotten that it was Indira Gandhi, who took the bold decision to help in liberation of BanglaDesh, and divide Pakistan into two countries, against the wishes of mighty Western powers!
To bring in Mughals, Modi used the tweet from Tejasvi Yadav, when he was having fish a day before Navratra (Hindu sacred period, when many Hindu do not consume non vegetarian food). Modi propagated that Tejeswai Yadav is consuming ‘non vegetarian’ food in Holy Navratra to insult the feelings of Hindus, the way Mughal kings used to humiliate Hindus by destroying Hindu temples. 
Connecting the opposition leader’s innocuous act with Mughals thereby reflecting on to present Muslims, showed that the BJP’s current ‘propaganda in chief’ can stretch any simple and harmless thing into a tool to demonize the Muslims and along with the political opposition to his power.
Remarkable is the prowess of Mr. Modi to concoct things to generate ‘hate for Muslims’ and opposition parties for his electoral gains and social hegemony.
*Political commentator. YoutubeFacebook, InstagramTwitterPinterestMy WebsiteMy App



'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*   Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity. The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

US 'frustrated' with India’s discomfort: Maritime exercise in South China Sea

By Vijay Prashad*  In early April 2024, the navies of four countries -- Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States -- held a maritime exercise in the South China Sea. Australia’s Warramunga, Japan’s Akebono, the Philippines’ Antonio Luna, and the United States’ Mobile worked together in these waters to strengthen their joint abilities and -- as they said in a joint statement  -- to “uphold the right to freedom of navigation and overflight and respect for maritime rights under international law.” 

Dadi, poti discuss 'injustice' under 10 yr Modi rule: Video campaign goes viral

By Our Representative  Watan Ki Raah Mein, a civil society campaign of the Samvidhan Bachao Nagrik Abhiyan, has released a short video conversation on social media of an exchange of letters between a dadi and her poti discussing poverty, unemployment, corruption and women’s safety. The letters also raise the question of  suppression of our fundamental rights of speech, expression and justice. 

'Enough evidence': Covid vaccines impacted women's reproductive health

By Deepika*  In 2024, the news outlets have suddenly started reporting about covid vaccine side effects in a very extensive manner. Sadly, the damage is already done.

'Uncertainty in Iran': Raisi brokered crucial Chabahar Port deal with India

By Pranjal Pandey*  Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian President, and the country’s foreign minister were tragically found deceased on May 20, 2024, shortly after their helicopter crashed in foggy conditions. In response, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei swiftly appointed a relatively unknown vice president as the interim leader.

Informal, outdoor workers 'excluded': Govt of India's excessive heat policies

Counterview Desk  Top civil rights network, National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), has demanded urgent government action to protect millions of outdoor workers from extreme heat and heatwaves, insisting declaration of heatwaves as climatic disaster.

Right to health and informed consent: Why 'revisit' Mission Indradhanush?

By Deepika*  Extending on to the subject of Misleading ads and acting responsibly , another aspect that needs highlighting is our right to health and to be made aware of quality of products, as pointed out by the Supreme Court.

Indian authorities 'evading' discussion on battery energy storage system

By Shankar Sharma*  In the larger context of the ever growing need and importance of renewable energy sources for a sustainable energy/ electricity sector in our country, the critical role of energy storage systems, especially the battery energy storage system (BESS), is being emphasised frequently at the global level, such as the one by  the International Energy Agency (IEA). Unfortunately, our authorities in India seem not to attach the same level of importance, which the BESS deserves.