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Is PM Modi’s Buddha Purnima call aimed at his own party leaders?

Let us analyse one by one the words used by Prime Minister Modi and see where his own party leaders fit on them

Wednesday May 26, 2021 8:12 PM, Aleem Faizee, ummid.com

Narendra Modi Vesak Day Speech

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s keynote address on the occasion of Vesak Global Celebrations on Buddha Purnima is puzzling as some of the observations made by him appeared to be directly targeting his own party leaders and ideological mentors.

Delivering his keynote address on the occasion, PM Modi appealed to the world leaders to come together in the fight against “forces trying to spread hate, terror and mindless violence”.

Remarking that the life of Gautama Buddha was about peace, harmony and co-existence, the Prime Minister said, “There are still forces today whose existence depends on spreading hate, terror and mindless violence.”

"Such forces do not believe in liberal democratic principles," the PM said without mentioning names and gave a call for all those who believe in humanity to come together and defeat terror and radicalisation.

If the observations made by Prime Minister Modi in his address and the wording used by him as reported by news agencies are true, they are puzzling as they exactly fit on his own party leaders and one wonders if the Prime Minister has indeed realised their mistakes and has given a call to fight against them?

Let us look one by one the words used by Prime Minister Modi and analyse where his own party leaders fit on them.

“Spreading Hate”

Shiv Sena, once BJP’s staunchest supporter and ally had on August 18, 2020 alleged that the BJP benefitted the most electorally using social media and gained politically by spreading religious hatred since it assumed power at the Centre in 2014.

As early as February 3, 2021, the main opposition party in India, Congress, had levelled similar accusations against the BJP.

"During the Delhi riots they carried out tiranga yatras and now also they are doing the same. One can clearly see their design. When BJP takes out a tiranga yatra, it is actually 'Haath mein Tiranga, man mein danga' (Tricolour in hand but riot in mind). This time farmers movement and Sikhs are their target," Himanshu Pathak, Punjab Congress Vice President, said on February 3, 2021 while addressing a press conference.

"We are all watching how the harmony among Sikhs, Hindus and dalits is being disrupted by BJP during the farmers movement. BJP sent goons in the guise of ‘locals’ to attack farmers and police colluded with them. But later a farmer was arrested by the police," he said.

If these are the allegations made by BJP’s opponents and cannot be taken seriously, there are independent sources who have similarly accused the BJP of hate mongering. Among them are Time who called Modi “Divder In-chief” whereas the Wall Street Journal accused the Facebook of turning a blind eye to hate speech by a BJP elected representative and three other “Hindu nationalist individuals and groups” in a bid not to hurt the social media company’s lucrative business prospects in its biggest market.

In a 14 August, 2020 report headlined “Facebook’s Hate-Speech Rules Collide With Indian Politics”, The Wall Street Journal has quoted former and current Facebook employees as saying that the aforementioned accounts, flagged for “promoting or participating in violence”, were spared a ban at the intervention of the company’s top public policy executive in the country, Ankhi Das, The Print reported.

These are few latest allegations levelled against the BJP and its leaders. Further study can reveal more that said the BJP’s “existence actually depends on spreading hate”.


The details of the members of Hindu extremist organisations and members of RSS – BJP’s ideological mentor, and their involvement in various terrorist attacks like 2006 Malegaon blasts, Mecca Masjid bombing (Hyderabad), Samjhauta Express bombings and the Ajmer Sharif Dargah blast are in public domain.

The killing of Graham Staines, a Christian Missionary, in 1999 by a Bajrang Dal leader Dara Singh has also been listed as an act of terror.

While addressing a public rally on January 27, 2020, Rajratna Ambedkar, great grand-son of Dr BR Ambedkar in fact said, “RSS is India's terrorist organisation that must be banned.”

“Mindless violence”

The BJP, its leaders and their affiliates have always been accused of inciting “mindless violence” for political gain. Here again not only BJP’s critics but independent observers too have accused the BJP of using violence as a tool to polarize voters and win elections.

“The BJP’s loss to a local party compelled some commentators to declare that it would have no choice but to tone down its use of communal rhetoric and focus on policy issues. However, the Delhi riots demonstrate that the party is far from abandoning the politics of hate and, in fact, may escalate further”, Pragya Tiwari, Editor and Journalist based out of New Delhi, wrote in Al Jazeera, referring to BJP's loss to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi and the consequent riots in the National Capital.

“Inter-communal incitement has reached such proportions in India under the BJP that it is no longer possible to dial back. Communal fault lines have existed in the subcontinent for ages, deepened irrevocably by the bloody partition of India in 1947. The BJP’s propaganda exploits these fault lines to turn India’s unemployed and undereducated youth into its foot soldiers and the country’s middle-class into armchair supporters of its politics of hatred”, she further wrote.

Similarly, Rukmini S, a Chennai-based data journalist, writes in The Print.

“Analysing close assembly election races between 1962 and 2000, Yale economists Gareth Nellis and others concluded in a 2016 paper that a Congress candidate winning significantly lowered the likelihood of a riot breaking out.

"This, the authors found, was the result of Congress candidates’ dependence on Muslim votes to win elections, and the apprehension of religious polarisation if riots were to break out. This apprehension was well-founded in their dataset - a riot breaking out raised the probability of a BJP candidate winning in the next election."

What's more Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat and now Prime Minister of India, himself is accused of initiating and condoning the violence, as were police and government officials who allegedly directed the rioters and gave lists of Muslim-owned properties to them.

These are just glimpses, rashes and tip of the iceberg. Digging further deep could bring out more dreaded and frightening picture, and the grave and worrying situation India has been brought to.

The Prime Minister has not named anyone in his speech. Wondering if he has really woken up to his responsibilities and constitutional duties, and this is possibly why the call to fight the enemy within?

[The writer, Aleem Faizee, is Founder Editor of ummid.com. He can be reached at aleem.faizee@gmail.com.]


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