Mainstream media never tires of telling us that bygones should be bygones. That 2002 cannot be repeated again. That Mr. Narendra Modi has turned a new leaf. That Indian democracy perforce transforms all claimants to power into secularists.
The Modi campaign too hasn’t tired of showcasing its inclusiveness. Who could have missed the symbolism of a judge, boatman, weaver and singer proposing Modi’s nomination in Benaras – if only Ustad Bismillah Khan’s family hadn’t played spoilsport. But no one is fooled. Beneath the thin veneer of ‘development’, the Hindutva agenda is alive and thriving. And, no, it’s not the loony fringe, excitable and un-tame-able, that is indulging in politics of hate. Modi is leading from the front, assisted ably by his lieutenant Amit Shah.
Here is a select sample of ‘inclusiveness’ of the Modi Brigade. Is this a sign of times to come? Kya acche din aane wale hain? Ya kuch aur?
Modi has not travelled that far from the days of his ‘Mian Musharraf’ barbs or declaring refugee camps as baby producing factories. He is still slyly invoking language – words like votebanks, cow, mutton, infiltrators – which are barely concealed codes for his strident Hindutva. Here are some examples of divisive Hindutva ideology Modi has been promoting throughout his campaign, in Modi’s own words:
Cow Slaughter and Pink Revolution
“The centre was promoting beef exports by providing subsidies even while levying duty on cotton exports.” (4th Annual General Meeting of the Jain International Trade Organisation, 28th October 2013)
“This country wants a Green Revolution… but those at the Centre want a ‘Pink Revolution’. Do you know what it means? When animals are slaughtered, the colour of their flesh is pink. Animals are being slaughtered and taken out of the country. The government in Delhi is giving subsidies to those who are carrying out this slaughter.” (Nawada, 2nd April, http://www.
“The country wants a white revolution but those indulging in vote bank politics want to promote pink revolution.” (Ghaziabad, 3rd April; http://www.youtube.com/
“There is a “big racket” involving smuggling of cows to Bangladesh.” (At unveiling of National Dairy Plan under the Mission Milk, 18 April)
Raising the spectre of the Bangladeshi ‘Infiltrator’:
“There are two kinds of people who came from Bangladesh to Assam: those brought as part of a political conspiracy for vote bank politics of a particular party (Muslims] and others who were harassed in the neighbouring country [Hindus]. Those brought for vote bank politics and smugglers must be pushed back, while the second category must be accommodated.” (Silchar, 22nd February; http://www.
“Aren’t rhinos the pride of Assam? These days there is a conspiracy to kill it. I am making the allegation very seriously. People sitting in the government…to save Bangladeshis… they are doing this conspiracy to kill rhinos so that the area becomes empty and Bangladeshis can be settled there.”
“Those who are conspiring to finish off rhinos, they should listen to this carefully. After May 16, they will be taken to task one by one (chun chun ke hisab liya jayega).” (Dhemaji, Assam, 31st March 2014; http://news.
And this, barely two days after the massacre of Muslims in Assam: “Those who observe Durgashtami can stay… will deport the others”
(Asansol, 5th May; http://indianexpress.
Amit Shah, Modi’s man in UP, flanked by BJP legislator Suresh Rana, one of those accused of inciting tension between Jats and Muslims during the Muzaffarnagar riots exhorted a gathering of Jats in Shamli:
“The elections in Uttar Pradesh, especially in western Uttar Pradesh, is an election for honour, for seeking revenge for the insult, and for teaching a lesson to those who committed injustice,.” (Shamli, UP, 3rd April 2014; http://www.ndtv.com/
The BJP saw “nothing wrong in his remark”. (http://indiatoday.intoday.in/
Modi has meanwhile sworn revenge against arch rivals Congress. “…I am going to take revenge…I will seek accounts of every penny and every minute. Your CBI will not be able to harm me in any way. Twenty more days remain…” (Jamnagar, 23 April; http://indianexpress.
Want to criticize Modi? Go to Pakistan
BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Nawada said at a rally, in the presence of BJP leader Nitin Gadkari and BJP MP Nishikant Dubey: “Woh log Narendra Modi ko rokna chahate hain, woh Pakistan dekh rahe hain. Aane wale dino mein aise logon ke liye jagah Hindustan mein nahi, Jharkhand mein nahi, parantu Pakistan mein hoga, Pakistan mein hoga. (Those who want to stop Narendra Modi are looking to Pakistan for support. In the coming days, there won’t be place for such people in India, in Jharkhand because their place will be in Pakistan),” Singh said. (Deogarh, 18 April; http://indianexpress.
Mr. Giriraj Singh followed this up with this, er, strangely worded tweet. @girirajsinghbjp: “I maintain many Pakistani pro are constantly opposing namo. This nation belongs to Indian at heart else Pakistan always welcome anti India.”
BJP’s Housing Policy, Ghetto style
‘Protesting’ against the purchase of a property by a Muslim businessman in a ‘Hindu’ locality, VHP leader Praveen Togadia told the storm troopers of VHP and Bajrang Dal that there were two ways to stop such deals: the first, to pressurize the state government to bring in Disturbed Areas Act in Bhavnagar, which prevents inter-community sale of immovable property. The second, to take forcible possession of the house and fight a legal battle later which will go on for years. Giving the Muslim occupant 48 hours to vacate the house, he advised his followers: “If he does not relent, go with stones, tyres and tomatoes to his office. There is nothing wrong in it. Killers of Rajiv Gandhi have not been hanged … there is nothing to fear and the case will go on. I have done it in the past and Muslims have lost both property and money.” (Bhavnagar, 19 April; http://timesofindia.
Modi responded, not in any rally or public meeting, but in a single timid tweet, embraced by many as the sign of the new moderate Modi. Here is the so-called strong condemnation: “Petty statements by those claiming to be BJP’s well-wishers are deviating the campaign from the issues of development and good governance. I disapprove (of) any such irresponsible statement and appeal to those making them to kindly refrain from doing so.”
BJP’S secularism: Disenfranchising riot victims
Hukum Singh, BJP Lok Sabha candidate and one of the MLAs booked in Muzaffarnagar riots said he would oppose riot refugees from voting in his constituency Kairana as they were living “illegally” on government land. Singh said here that he would not allow “so-called” refugees to be enrolled in the voter list of his constituency Kairana in Shamli District as they were living away from their homes and had encroached upon government land by camping. (Muzaffarnagar, 20th March; http://www.rediff.com/
Hate Speech while Modi looks on
Ramdas Kadam, a leader of BJP’s oldest ally, Shiv Sena, fumed against Muslims while Modi sat on stage unperturbed. Kadam said: “These Muslims riot against the police and burnt their vehicles. They vandalised the statues of our martyrs. These Muslims molest our women policemen…I am sure that Narendra Modi will ensure that such acts do not go unpunished. Remember the days of 1993 blasts in Mumbai. Life of many Hindus was saved because of late Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray and Shiv Sena. Now, if Modi comes to power, he will destroy the Pakistan in six months.” (Mumbai, 21st April; http://www.
Baba Ramdev’s sexist and casteist remarks
In what he thought was a jibe at Rahul Gandhi, the yoga instructor exposed his anti-women and anti-Dalit mindset: “Rahul is not married, he goes to Dalit houses for picnic and honeymoon but he will never marry a Dalit girl…If he would have married a Dalit girl, her fortunes would have turned.” BJP’s response? “Ramdev is a saint.” (http://www.dnaindia.com/
Fake encounter specialist calls Azamgarh a den of terrorists
Amit Shah, Modi’s right hand man, currently on bail in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case spewed venom in Azamgarh, saying: “Azamgarh is the base of terrorists as there is no fear of the government, which is advocating their release.. The accused in Gujarat bomb blasts are from Azamgarh. Being the Home minister there (Gujarat), I have got the accused arrested. Since then not a single terrorist act has taken place in Gujarat.” He quite forgot that assassination attempts on Modi’s life also stopped after the arrest of D.G. Vanzara, Gujarat’s DIG, known to be close to the then Home Minister of Gujarat, aka, Amit Shah.
Ridiculing Sexual Minorities
A sticker released by Namocars.com (one of the hundreds of Modi merchandise shops) asks voters to choose between “Gau Raksha” or “Gay Raksha”. (https://www.facebook.com/
Modi threatens the Election Commission
‘I want to tell to the Election Commission and state Election officials that it will be your real test whether you conduct a free and fair poll in Firozabad. I will monitor this, install CCTV cameras and after the election I will set up inquiry.” (Firozabad, UP, 21 April; http://ibnlive.in.com/
This sums up the attitude of the ‘Rambo-who-can’t-wait-to-be-
We can hear the footsteps of fascism loud and clear. Come out and vote for a plural, inclusive and gentler India.
Released by NOMOre Campaign
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