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Narendra Modi is on a Hindu-Muslim seesaw in a no-thump, no-thunder election

Narendra Modi is on a Hindu-Muslim seesaw in a no-thump, no-thunder election


The absence of a dream project and the diminishing returns of Ayodhya have led the ruling party to focus on Madrasa Mulla mantra.



Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a curious statement in an interview to a news channel, which he promptly released on X after filing his nomination papers in Varanasi.

The day I do Hindu-Muslim politics, I will be unworthy of public life. I decide not to make such a policy, Modi said in the May 14 interview.



I'm shocked. Who told you that when we talk about people having more children, we infer that they are Muslims? Why are you so unfair to Muslims? he asked, saying that having more children than a family could support was a problem regardless of religion.

Moreover, he said that in his childhood, his family celebrated Eid. Their Muslim neighbors were sending them food, so no food would be prepared in their home that day. I grew up in this society, Modi recounted with nostalgia.



Was May 14 a Buddha-like moment of enlightenment for Modi? Is he really a transformed person?>

He was chief minister of Gujarat in 2002, when at least 1,000 people were killed in riots, mostly Muslims, and a million people were uprooted. Unofficial figures put the death toll at 2,000.Modi said he was sad and would be sad even if a puppy passed under the wheels of a car. Had he changed now?>

However, the veil was removed within a few hours and he was spreading fear again Muslim reserve.>

This prompted one commenter to describe Narendra Modi is a loner who alone decides what policy his party should follow, with no one else knowing what he will do next or being able to ask him for an explanation.



Why then did he suddenly shift gears and claim that his remarks about Muslims had been misinterpreted by the media and his opponents? No one in the so-called mainstream media has come forward to question the claims of misinterpretation.>

For the first time, Modi is leading an election without the bulldozing effect of a radical campaign theme. In 2002, the polarization linked to the Gujarat riots allowed him to win the elections. Enduring community division also facilitated his victory in subsequent state elections. In 2014, he came to power at the Center on the back of a weak regime and a positive image with full corporate support.

But unlike 2019, this time he encounters an election without the Balakot wave and the 56-inch images. The Ayodhya effect seems to be fading even though every time the opposition raises the issue of job creation, the BJP responds with giving rise to the fear of a Babri lock.>

Coming back to Modi's brief fall on May 14, this appears to have more to do with the Election Commission's view on opposition complaints of violation of the model code of conduct with hate speech. Such a recorded explanation could help the poll panel settle its case with a light warning. BJP president JP Nadda has already responded to the commission to this effect.



For the first time, the Electoral Commission, instead of notifying the alleged offender, sent it to the party president. Several opposition leaders had filed complaints against Modi.>

In Banswara last month, he had said that if the Congress comes to power, it distribute the wealth of the country among those who have more children. People’s jihad is an age-old argument of the RSS parivar that fuels religious hatred within the majority community. Modi himself was quoted using the words ham paanch, hamare paachees (there are five of us, we have 25 children) in Gujarat to make fun of the Muslim population. Shortly after his speech in Banswara, the the prime minister's economic advisory council released a report this gave credence to the idea of ​​population jihad.>

This thesis, however, has been strongly contested by independent economists.



Although the interview's detailed explanations of the points raised by the opposition in complaints filed with the Election Commission should help it get away with it, the unease among many of the BJP's allies may have also be played in Modi's mind. Chandrababu Naidu and Chirag Paswan have officially expressed their opposition to hate politics. Unlike the BJP, Naidu said he would implement 4% reservation for Muslims if he won in Andhra Pradesh.>

Paswan, who joined the NDA on the eve of these elections, said there is no need for BJP to spread hatred against any religion. He would worry about the impact on his Muslim supporters.>



Shiromani Akali Dal, a traditional ally of the BJP which severed ties, warned Modi against explosions against religious minorities.>

A third reason could be that the Prime Minister had sought to make a change of direction when the drop in the vote percentage suggested a change in voter mood. The Electoral Commission carried out a special campaign, particularly among new voters. After the first two rounds, the final poll results were released to reassure the population that there was no voter fatigue. But participation and crowd reaction at public rallies are also lukewarm, with anti-Muslim calls failing to elicit much response.

Another explanation is that the change in mood forced the Prime Minister to adopt what political scientist Suhas Palshikar calls a dual approach and addressing different audiences differently.>

Her awareness program last year, targeted Muslim groups in certain pockets. The Christians of Kerala and the North-East and the Pasmanda Muslims of the north were target to gain support.>

Whatever the reason, the paradox of playing the hard Hindutva card and also seeking minority support is starting to hurt the Prime Minister. Contradictory positions will have a negative effect, leaving Modi very vulnerable to accusations.

Unlike in 2019, this time Modi is caught between contradictory attractions and pressures. Let's look at his campaign goal over the last fortnight:>

If Samajwadi Party and Congress come to power, they will bulldoze the Ram temple and send Ram Lalla back to the tent. They should take lessons from Adityanath on how to use the bulldozer at the right place, Modi said. Adityanath's bulldozing mainly demolished Muslim properties.

Modi said the Congress allocate 15% of the budget to Muslims if he wins. In response to this, former Finance Minister Chidambaram said the prime ministers' speech writers have lost their balance>

In Dhar, Modi declared on May 6 that he research a mandate of 400 seats to ensure that the Congress does not bring back Article 370 and put a Babri lock on the Ram temple.>

However, in a later television interview he denied that said.>

Then again during a rally on May 16 in Zaidpur, he warned that if the INDIA bloc had the chance, it would bulldoze the Ram temple. And so it continues.>

P. Raman is a veteran journalist.>




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