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Lok Sabha elections 2024: Indian Prime Minister Modi accused of hate speech

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Indian Prime Minister Modi accused of hate speech

 


NEW DELHI (AP) India's main opposition party has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of resorting to hate speech after he called Muslim infiltrators one of his most inflammatory rhetoric about the minority faith, some days after the start of the country. week-long general election.

Remarks during a election rally On Sunday, it drew sharp criticism that Modi was peddling anti-Muslim clichés. The Congress party filed a complaint with the Election Commission of India on Monday, alleging it had violated rules barring candidates from engaging in any activity that could escalate religious tensions.

More than 50 countries will go to the polls in 2024

Critics of the Prime Minister and declared Hindu nationalist say India's tradition of diversity and secularism has been under attack since its Bharatiya Janata Party took power a decade ago. They accuse the party of encouraging religious intolerance and sometimes even violence. The party denies the accusation and says its policies benefit all Indians.

At a rally in Rajasthan state, Modi said that when the Congress party was in government, they claimed that Muslims had the first right to the country's resources. If returned to power, the party will collect all your wealth and distribute it to those with the most children, he said to applause from the crowd.

They will distribute it to the infiltrators, he went on to say: Do you think your hard-earned money should be given to the infiltrators?

Mallikarjun Kharge, the party's Congress president, called the prime minister's comments hate speech and party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi called them deeply, deeply objectionable.

The party has sought intervention from the Election Commission, whose code of conduct prohibits candidates from appealing to caste or community sentiments to secure votes. The first votes came Friday in the six-week election, which Modi and his Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, are expected to win, according to most polls. The results will be known on June 4.

Asaduddin Owaidi, a Muslim lawmaker and president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen Party, said on Sunday: Since 2002 till date, Modi's only guarantee has been to abuse Muslims and obtain votes.

While there have long been tensions between India's majority Hindu community and Muslims, rights groups say attacks on minorities have become more brazen under Modi.

Muslims were lynched by Hindu mobs following allegations of consuming beef or smuggling cows, an animal considered sacred to Hindus. Muslim businesses were boycotted, their homes and businesses were bulldozed And places of worship burned. There were open calls for their genocide.

Modi's remarks referred to a 2006 statement by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of the Congress party. Singh said lower castes, tribes, women and, in particular, India's Muslim minority deserved to share equally in the country's development.

They must be the first to claim the resources, Singh said. A day later, his office clarified that Singh was referring to all disadvantaged groups.

In its petition to the Election Commission, the Congress party said Modi and the BJP had repeatedly used religion, religious symbols and sentiments during their election campaign with impunity. These actions were further reinforced by the commission's inaction to penalize the Prime Minister and the BJP for their blatant violations of election laws, the statement said.

In Indian history, no prime minister has lowered the dignity of his office as much as Modi, Congress leader Kharge wrote on social media platform X.

The commission can issue warnings and suspend candidates for a certain period of time for violations of the code of conduct.

We decline any comment, a commission spokesperson told the Press Trust of India news agency on Monday.

In his speech, Modi also repeated a Hindu nationalist cliché that Muslims were overtaking the Hindu population by having more children. Hindus make up 80% of India's 1.4 billion people, while the country's 200 million Muslims make up 14%. Official data shows that fertility rates among Muslims have fallen fastest among religious groups in recent decades, from 4.4 in 1992-93 to 2.3 between 2019-21, just more than that of Hindus at 1.94.

Modis BJP has already branded Muslims as infiltrators and termed them as illegal migrants who crossed the Indian border from Bangladesh and Pakistan. Several BJP-ruled states have also passed laws that restrict interfaith marriage, citing the unproven conspiracy theory that I like jihadwhich claims that Muslim men use marriage to convert Hindu women.

Despite all this, Modi has remained largely silent, and critics say this has emboldened some of his more extremist supporters and enabled more hate speech against Muslims.

Sources

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