Decoding the PM’s Election Rhetoric: Patterns of Hate and Desperation

When it comes to the current prime minister of India, the pattern is as predictable, as the proverbial horse following the cart. Indeed, there seems to be a time-tested, strategic and inevitable method in the madness. As inevitable as an obsessive Freudian slip made again and again, repetitively, compulsively, like a fast-forward-rewind gone all wrong.

Hate has various forms, like the ‘rasas’ in the Indian classical tradition. Hate speech is as deadly and diabolical, as actual physical violence and intimidation. It can be character assassination, destroying a person’s public image using a Goebbelsian pack of lies, back-stabbing with vicious intent, using direct violence in the act of speech, or, simply, using hate speech as hate politics to spread poison in society, to demonise and damage a community of citizens for no rhyme or reason, to spread collective disaffection and mass fear psychosis across peaceful communities, and to polarize the secular nation-state, using religion and other means, so as to gain electoral and political benefits.

There are too many examples, and this article would only cite a few. For one, and funnily enough, the PM has found a new name for Rahul Gandhi. Earlier he was trolled as ‘Pappu’, in what seemed a massive, hugely funded, character assassination campaign, launched by the super-efficient Sangh Parivar troll factory, in India and abroad. Now, Rahul Gandhi is being referred to as ‘Shehzaade’ – for obvious reasons.

It is a symbolic attack on Muslim citizens of India, using a mythical past. Rahul Gandhi has no family links with Islam, and calling him Shehzaade makes no sense because he is no prince of an inherited monarchy, India being a democracy.

Not once has the word ‘Muslim’ been used in the Congress manifesto for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls – and this was asked by none other than a stooge TV anchor in an interview with BJP president, JP Nadda. And, yet, the PM said: “Congress issued a bundle of lies in its manifesto… every page reeks of attempts to tear India apart. It reflects the thoughts the Muslim League had before independence.”

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge replied: “Everyone knows how original Hindutva and Jan Sangh leader, (Shyama) Prasad Mookerjee formed his governments in Bengal, Sindh and NWFP (North West Frontier Province) in the 1940s in coalition with the Muslim League.”

Besides, the Hindu Mahasabha and RSS did not participate in the freedom struggle, when revolutionaries were hanged, others were tortured in the hell-holes of Andaman’s Kaala Paani, and leaders like Nehru spent almost nine years in jail. Instead, their founding father like Guru Golwalkar was glorifying Adolf Hitler, the Nazis, and the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were killed!

Now, suddenly, again for no rhyme or reason, Pakistan is back as election bait. In the beginning of the campaign, the PM said, in Patna: “Ghar mein ghus ke maarenge!” Surely, no statesman talks in such street-brawl language, other than perhaps the PM’s good friend – Benjamin Netanyahu! This is one step ahead of Donald Trump.

Said the PM in Anand, Gujarat, recently: “The weak Congress government used to give dossiers to the masters of terror. But, Modi’s strong government kills terrorists on their ground. It is a coincidence, today Congress is getting weaker in India, and, when, here, Congress is dying, and, there, Pakistan is crying. Now Pakistani leaders are offering ‘dua’ for Congress. Pakistan is eager to make ‘Shehzaada’ the prime minister and Congress is already Pakistan’s fan. This partnership between Pakistan and Congress has now been completely exposed.”

This speech, predictably, was also low on facts. An obscure former minister in the overthrown Imran Khan government in Pakistan made some appreciative reference to Rahul Gandhi. So how does it boil down to “Pakistan eager to make” Rahul Gandhi the prime minister? Besides, Imran Khan is in jail, his party has been rendered powerless. So how can his former minister manipulate the dance of democracy in India?

Since the hyperbolic hype on the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya simply did not take off, not even substantially in many parts of UP, such as Western UP, (also Punjab and Haryana), where the BJP is struggling in the face of huge farmers’ protests, the PM is playing all kinds of desperate cards in rally after rally. This is driven by certain specific reasons.

One, low turn-out. Apparently, even BJP supporters refused to come out and vote, so stark is the spread of anti-incumbency. Two, a CSDS survey pointed out that mass unemployment and inflation are the two most important reasons which stalks the people and their political economy, not Ram Mandir, or Hindu-Muslim propaganda. Third, the ‘Abki baar, 400 paar’ slogan of the BJP has boomeranged. The INDIA alliance has effectively campaigned and spread the message among the SC-ST-OBC communities and minorities, that the BJP wants to score 400 to ‘change’ the Indian Constitution. This successful message has rattled the PM. That is why, he is now saying that the Congress wants to change the Constitution, and take the benefits of reservation from the SC-ST-OBC communities, and give it to the Muslims. The egalitarian Congress manifesto says no such thing.

And, fourth, ground reports are predicting that the BJP might just get stuck around 200 plus seats. It might even go down to 150 – and the key states like Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Rajasthan, might not go completely its way. In any case, unless there is a massive EVM fraud, the BJP just can’t sweep the elections like it did in 2019 – and that was because of the post-Pulwama national mood. Besides, there seems mass fatigue with the PM’s personality and speeches.

Hence, the apparent desperation! Now, the narrative is that if you have two buffaloes, Congress will take away one. If you have two houses, the Congress will take away one. Your gold will be taken away by the Congress. Your Mangalsutra will be taken away. And all that will be given away to the Muslims! Pray, why should the Congress do that, and did they do that in the half-a-century of rule in Delhi in the past?

Hence, the 5Ms: Mutton, Machli, Mangalsutra, Muslims and Mughals. And this card too too has flopped, in a country where food habits are private, diverse and cultural, and the majority consumes non-vegetarian meat. For instance, Hindus, Muslims and Christians in Kerala – they all relish beef. And the food habits in Bengal, the North-east and Goa are not the same as in Gujarat – certainly!

During and after the Gujarat Genocide of 2002, when he was at the helm as chief minister, he was reported to have described the camp of thousands of displaced people in Ahmedabad as a “baby-producing factory”.  Later, he was again reported to have said – “Hum paanch, hamaare pachchees…” This was a direct attack on Muslims, and that two after 2000 innocent Muslims were butchered in broad daylight in Gujarat, children burnt alive, and women gang-raped, including Bilquis Bano, whose family was killed and child was murdered, as a public spectacle.

Recently, her rapists and killers were released by the Gujarat government, garlanded publicly, and sweets were distributed. If anything, it shows the character and intent of this regime. Thankfully, the Supreme Court has packed them off back to prison.

Indeed, in an interview with Reuters, replying to a question on the Gujarat killings, the PM said: (NDTV, July 13 2013): “Even If I am in the back seat of a car and a puppy (“kutte ka bachcha”) comes under the wheels, isn’t it painful? It is. Whether I am a chief minister or not, I am a human being — I will be sad if something bad happens anywhere.”

Hence, his recent controversial speech at Banswara in Rajasthan, falls in a pattern. It, yet again, reflects acute psychological signs of desperation: “This ‘urban Naxal’ mindset, mothers and sisters, they will not even leave your ‘mangalsutra’. They can go to that level… Congress manifesto says they will calculate the gold with mothers and sisters, get information about it, and then distribute that property. They will distribute it to whom — Manmohan Singh’s government had said Muslims have first right on assets…”

“Earlier, when their (Congress) government was in power, they said Muslims have the first right on the country’s assets. This means to whom will this property be distributed? It will be distributed among those who have more children. It will be distributed to the infiltrators. Should your hard-earned money go to the infiltrators? Do you approve of this?” the PM said.

Actually, Manmohan Singh had said, “We will have to devise innovative plans to ensure that minorities, particularly the Muslim minority, are empowered to share equitably in the fruits of development. They must have first claim on resources.”

Now Amit Shah is declaring that Rahul Gandhi will run the country based on ‘Sharia’.  Yogi Adityanath has said that the Congress will allow cow slaughter. This is when, reportedly, the BJP took money from a beef export company as electoral bond! Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena leader, has said that they took Rs 550 crore from a beef exporters. Besides, cow slaughter is banned in many states of India.

All in all, the next phases of the polls might see many more such signs of public speeches by the PM and BJP leaders with diabolical intent. While the Election Commission, predictably, will look the other way.

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