Election Propaganda of Modi: Falsehoods and Sectarianism Galore

Election Propaganda of Modi: Falsehoods and Sectarianism Galore
Falsehoods and Sectarianism Galor

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 Lakhs 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 is a corrupt party that 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 racked 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 Mr. 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 BJP patriarch 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. 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 Congress-Indira Gandhi, which 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.