So how many times did a “Communal” Narendra Modi invoke “hate” against “Muslims” to “polarize” the vote in Gujarat ?
If on were to go by the tone of media stories in the last 48 hours Narendra Modi has been spewing venom and vitriol to cause a communal polarization in Gujarat.
So what are the facts here ?
About 1092 news stories referencing Narendra Modi in the last 30 days.
About 180 of those news stories with references to the Muslim Community.
Offstumped has analyzed each of those 180 stories for evidence of “vitriol”, “venom”, “hate” against Muslims and “communal polarization” by Modi.
Nov 5 – Congress accuses Modi of harboring contempt against Muslims
Nov 6 – Gujarat is a Terrorist State under Modi
A Bunch of news reports on the Tehelka expose which can be considered irrelevant to this debate.
Nov 8 – Rajdeep Sardesai likens Modi to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Nov 12 – Indian Muslim League demands Modi’s prosecution
Nov 16 – TN Ninan accuses Modi of having incited riots
Still no evidence of “vitriol”, “venom” or “hate”, so we continue to dig further
Nov 17 – Modi exudes optimism while criticizing the Congress for its Muslim Appeasement in response to a deliberate question on “communalism” and “hindutva” (hardly evidence of “hate” or “polarization”)
Nov 18 – Modi is accused of robbing Muslims of voting rights
Nov 21 – Indian Express editorial invokes Modi to criticize Buddhadeb
Nov 22 – Sagarika Ghosh invokes Modi to criticize Buddhadeb
Nov 23 – Barkha Dutt invokes Modi to criticize Buddhadeb
Nov 23 – Kushwant Singh invokes to criticize Buddhadeb on Nandigram
Nov 23 – editorial in the Times of India invoking Modi to criticize CPI-M on Nandigram
Nov 25 – Modi’s Gujarati asmitaÂ accused of denying Muslim riot victims social space
No 25 – Editorial in TOI invoking Modi to criticse Nandigram
Still no evidence of “vitriol”, “venom” or “hate”, and we are nearing the end of November
Nov 26 – Modi invites Taslima Nasreen to Gujarat (hardly evidence of Muslim “hate” or Hindu “polarization”) multiple stories in the media
Nov 27 – Modi once again accused of denying Muslims voting rights
Nov 28 – Modi is accused of not protecting Muslim women in Gujarat by social activist Ms. Shabnam Hashmi
Nov 28 – Modi is accused of being arrogant
Nov 29 – More comparisons with Modi for Buddhadeb
Nov 29 – Story on why Muslims in Sikka prefer BJP
Nov 30 – Congress spews communal venom on Modi accusing him of not protecting Muslim lives or property
Nov 30 – multiple news stories on Congress chargesheet against Modi accusing him of harboring contempt and hatred against Muslims
Now that was all of November and there is no trace not a single story with evidence of any vitriol, hate or communal rhetoric from Mr. Modi. If anything all the vitriol was directed at Mr. Modi and all the communal rhetoric invoking the Muslim bogey was from the media and the Congress.
Dec 1 – Story on EC taking note of one BJP candidate’s alleged anti-Muslim remarks in 1 constituency, no reference to Modi
Dec 1 – Editorial in HT accusing Modi of bloodshed against Muslims
Dec 3 – Modi responds to being called “Merchant of death” by referring to Sohrabuddin encounter by challenging the Congress to pin the blame on him. There is no reference to Muslims in Gujarat nor to any Hindu issue.
Dec 4th – Story on Congress candidate in Amreli and soft Hindutva of the Congress
Dec 4th – Congress leader Ahmed Patel addresses a Muslim majority area does not bring up a single communal issue against Modi instead focuses on terrorism and economic issues while skirting questions on his own part denying Muslims ticket
Dec 4th – Modi and BJP are accused of ghettoism for not fielding Muslim candidates, silence on the Congress not doing the same
Dec 4th – Story on Sikka’s Muslims supporting Modi
Which leaves us all the stories in the last 48hours. So far all of November and the first 4 days of campaigning in December all the vitriol is against Modi and not a single anti-Muslim issue emerged nor did any evidence of communal polarization
So what happened in the last 48 hours that lead the Indian Express in its lead editorial to say this
he hops from rally to rally reviving the ghosts he is so familiar with: the ghosts of fear and hatred.
So what ghosts of “fear” and “hatred” is the Indian Express referring to here ?
Calling Musharraf “Mian Musharraf ?
Do we have such a low opinion of the average Indian Muslim to be suffering deep paranoia merely because a foreign leader, a particular nasty one with known antipathy to India, who was mocked at shared their religion ?
Responding to accusations of having arranged a fake encounter death of a known criminal is using “terror to underline the communal divide” ?
Are we now stereotyping Indian Muslims to have such low moral standards that a hardened criminal like Sheikh Sohrabuddin becomes a role model and his death in an encounter a cause for fear and hatred only because he allegedly shared their religion ?
Offstumped Bottomline: It is no one’s case that extra-judicial killings be condoned. But to monger communal fears based on the religion of a hardened criminal is ridiculous. If we were to apply this perverse logic shouldn’t the majority Hindu community be fearful and polarised in every other state which saw a large number of mostly Hindu fake encounter deaths.
There maybe an argument against Mr. Modi if he condoned extra-judicial killings. But to say he is using terror to underline a communal divide and is playing the Hindu Card to spread fear and hatred is disingenuous secularism at its worst. That Sohrabuddin was a Muslim was incidental. His death in a fake encounter has little to do with Hindu interests or Muslim fears.