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Sunday, May 19, 2024, 5:23 am

Sunday, May 19, 2024, 5:23 am

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Determined PM seeks to invigorate stale cadres.

Prime Minister
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In a fiery electoral speech in Rajasthan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushed the bounds of inhibition, unlike any other PM before. In an open rally, the prime minister referred to Muslims as “infiltrators” with “more children” who would inherit India’s wealth if his opponents took power. This demonstrates his confidence in his self-nurtured administrative apparatus, which lacks checks and balances. Modi’s decision to directly address his core voters may be controversial, but it could benefit him politically by instilling vigour in the cadres, which had previously appeared passive and listless. The BJP cadre is less enthusiastic in 2024 compared to 2019 or 2014, as caste identities and “muddas” (problems) dominate the narrative. So, Modi was trying to address this part of the BJP voters. Modi, a skilled and experienced politician, would not make such a brazen comment on Muslims unless he believed he could get away with it. Critics may view this as a sign of anxiety and a reflection of his declining popularity. He utilises impunity to intimidate and unnerve his opponents, who lack the ability to respond effectively.

Right-wingers saw what many consider a misstep as a planned ploy to project himself as the founder of modern India, rooted on Hindu Hriday Samrat doctrine.  Modi is focused on leaving a lasting legacy.  Modi proudly wears the “M” remark, claiming zero discrimination in dispensing benefits.  The speaker emphasises that even Muslims have received welfare benefits such as toilets, roofs, and monthly rations. This creates a dichotomy and positions him as a generous leader, but also creates a second class of citizens that secular liberals criticise. Modi has redefined Hindu dominance, stating that no religion can reject it.
According to BJP spokesperson Tom Vadakkan, PM Modi’s words about Muslims were mistaken as referring to “intruders” or “illegal migrants”.

While it is up to the spokespersons to defend, Modi has taken a risky step towards promoting a Hindu agenda. The Election Commission’s unwillingness to raise its head contributes to the high level of confidence. Can the Opposition file a coordinated FIR against Modi? However, they cannot risk being pursued by enforcement authorities like as the CBI, ED, and IT.

During electoral rallies, Modi frequently highlights his accomplishments, including the repeal of Article 370, which Muslims view as removing the semi-autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir.
He admits to enacting the Citizenship Law, which is largely considered discriminatory towards Muslims. Most notably, the Ram Temple in Ayodhya was built on a contested land between Hindus and Muslims. Modi has often been a symbol of Hindu assertiveness. Modi aims to fulfil the goals of a Hindu state by prioritising the government’s agenda over institutions, rather than amending the Constitution.

Right-wing officials in the Modi government promote conversion to Hinduism as a “return home” and have passed laws criminalising it in many states they govern.
Hindu fundamentalists have killed Muslim men for carrying cows or beef, accusing them of “love jihad” and enticing Hindu women. Vigilantes have often entered churches and confronted priests suspected of proselytising or converting.

The BJP’s main objective prioritises the politics of Hindutva and promotes hatred. Politically, PM Modi is a hero for his core base. The Opposition may squirm and cringe, but Modi’s confidence in carrying out his plan is undeniable and serves a purpose. Critics and Western powers may express their dissatisfaction, but they cannot undermine his current confidence. It’s unclear whether this narrative will help him reach 400+ seats. The BJP may face challenges in 2024 due to voter fatigue with Modi-ism, secular Hindus asserting themselves, and BJP cadres feeling isolated from the central leadership. However, with six more phases of polling to go, the outcome remains uncertain.

ABHISHEK VERMA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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