Unveiling Modi’s Strategy: Fear, Propaganda and the Politics of Division

Tracing Narendra Modi's evolution of divisive politics and fear tactics, from Gujarat to national leadership, revealing the strategic agenda of Hindu-Muslim polarization

Narendra Modi’s vicious speeches spitting poison everywhere have become normal during the past 10 years though he started in 2002. Amidst his campaign in Gujarat, he started with ‘Mian Musharraf’ and then spoke of the faith of the then election commissioner Mr Lyngdoh, who termed the utterings as ‘despicable’, Modi has used all forums to spread his propaganda.

 His strategy is simple. Bring the Hindu-Muslim issue to the centre of political debate and people will forget their pains and agony and vote for a strong leadership which teaches ‘them a lesson. Fascism always demands an enemy or an issue. When you run out of issues or when the country asks questions to you about your governance model then bring Musalman in between so that we all start speaking about it and you get the benefit of polarisation.

I hope the people in north India particularly Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are not that naïve who don’t understand these dirty tricks. At the moment, issues of unemployment, rising prices, Agniveer etc are the major issues concerning the youth as well as old. You can not divide people on religious lines. The prime minister and his party have made the word Muslim look like a crime. This is despicable. Can’t Muslims as citizens of India speak for their grievances? Can Muslims not demand jobs? The problem starts when our ‘experts’ as well as political parties are unable to respond to this with arguments.

 Modi quotes Manmohan Singh’s speech. We all know that speech and it is well archived. Nobody would have remembered that speech but Modi has now made people think about it. In a democracy, political parties speak to the people to address their grievances. In the Western world too, people speak about immigrants and minorities and it is up to the people to respond but BJP’s only agenda since it was born is based on the fear psychosis to be instilled among the non-Muslims about their dominance. Some of their grievances might have been genuine but the one-point agenda to blame Muslims for all evils and political parties speaking about them is termed as anti-national or sell-out.

The RSS and Narendra Modi have succeeded in one thing. Modi blames Congress’s manifesto as that it will redistribute wealth to all. His speeches make a party like Congress look ‘revolutionary’. The fact is Congress was dominated by Brahmins and funded by the Banias. BJP has altered that. BJP today is under the absolute control of the Banias. It needs Brahmins to legitimise their acts. It has used social engineering at different levels to demolish the dominance of various communities locally. Rajputs, Patidars, and Jats in various states used the fear psychosis among the rival groups. While Patidars has become a party to it in Gujarat, Rajputs are out of favour now. Suddenly, they see a number of their leaders getting sidelined. While Rajput agitation in Gujarat may not be that effective though some experts believe that it might hurt the party in several places, the Rajputs in Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are up in arms and these leaders of the community are not working in isolation as they know well that politics is not that of isolation but inclusion.

I think the fear of the BJP is emerging from a possible alliance between Muslims and Rajputs at various places in Uttar Pradesh. Most of the relationships in our rural areas are caste-based and religion is secondary. Rajputs, Jat and Gujjar Hindus and Muslims have close ties and most of them are proud of their social heritage. The tension in Western Uttar Pradesh among these communities was sown by BJP and Hindutva politics as these regions, once upon a time, were out of bounds for BJP. It seems the same thing might happen to the party. Perhaps, there is a negative report regarding the voting. The rumour will also move out to other places where Muslims voted in large numbers while the Hindus did not come out of their ‘ivory towers’. So, what Narendra Modi is speaking is not a sudden thought but Hindutva’s politics. The only difference is that before 2014, there was a fear of speaking this much of a lie or provocative through the RSS and Sangh Parivar knew well that nothing would happen to them as long as they were making Muslims the villain for everything but since 2014, Narendra Modi and BJP has rarely felt threatened or restricted. After 10 years of work, this government has nothing to show except for the lies and hence they have resorted to all kinds of lies and the gutter-level language. They know well that notice will not go to BJP leaders but to those who would counter these things. The Election Commission has not uttered a word so far. In any liberal rule-based democracy, such utterances by a political leader would make him liable to be prosecuted and unbecoming for holding the highest office in the country. In India, we still weigh the pros and cons. Congress leadership as well as those in other political parties have not uttered the ‘M” word in their campaign and manifesto. And this is the success of RSS. They have forced all the political parties to keep a silence on Muslims and their grievances. You can’t even promise them protection and a job as it will be termed as ‘appeasement’ and ‘sale out’. The parties have refused to draw themselves into a discussion on the issue for fear of losing the Hindu votes. Modi and BJP’s Hindu agenda is nothing but a Bania Brahmin hegemony on all Indians. All their acts of the last ten years are nothing but this. The other communities who have joined them are not because they got something but because some of their ‘ambitious’ leaders are purchased exploiting local insecurities emerging from caste rivalries. The experiment of targeting the top community leaders from different OBC communities worked but people are now watching it. They are asking questions and that is becoming difficult.

Narendra Modi and BJP’s politics need to be defeated politically and for that, our political leaders and intellectuals have to be intellectually honest and keep their facts and figures ready when they speak in public. Let us ask the simple question as to who has the maximum control over India’s resources. And please don’t speak in terms of Hindus and Muslims. Who owns our stock market? Who are the industrialists who defaulted on our money? Who defrauded the nation and ran away with drowning our banks. Who owns the huge money and power in our temples and mutths? Who has the maximum share in our power structure, namely bureaucracy? Provide the caste of those who have been made through lateral entry. Which caste is maximum represented in the judiciary? Maybe provide the castes of various judges in various courts. Provide jaatis for the owners of media houses. And please provide how many Adivasis, Dalits, OBCs, Rajputs and other communities are in all your powerful structures. Let there be a debate on jaati and resources. This is the only way that expose this criminal propaganda. They are afraid of the reality that the jaatis they are making powerful and giving all resources will get exposed once the centre of the politics around caste and hence they will bring Muslims which means essentially speaking as a Hindu from the position of ‘leader’ of the majority community so that internal contradictions of castes are hidden and non-question the caste duopolies that you have created ye public hai sab jaanti hai. Ten years down the line, people are now well aware of such theatrics and hope they will respond politically. 

Vidya Bhushan Rawat

The author is an activist and is currently working on Impact of Ganga and its tributaries in the Himalayas and the plains of India

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