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Modi's Divisive Language in Indian Election Campaign Causes Doubts

  • Posted on May 10, 2024
  • News
  • By TSW NEWS DESK
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Indian PM Modi's divisive rhetoric accusing the opposition of appeasing Muslims and vowing to stop wealth redistribution to the minority has sparked concerns about undermining unity ahead of the 2024 election.

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Narendra Modi, India's prime minister who is seeking a third term to tie the record of the longest term, has shifted to divisive rhetoric that is aimed at the Muslim minority during the ongoing 2024 general election campaign, which has brought up concerns about the tactics that may undermine unity and secularism.

While Modi was scheduled to boast about the welfare schemes, infrastructure projects, and hosting of the G-20 summit, his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) campaign has now accused the opposition Congress party of "appeasing" Muslims and favoring the minority community.

At rallies Modi said that Congress is aiming to give the wealth to "infiltrators" and "those who are having many children" - the comments that were seen as a target to the Muslims who are about 14% of the population. 4 billion people. He cautioned women that Congress would seize their gold and give it to Muslims; he also alleged that the opposition wanted to do a "vote jihad" and choose the cricket team based on religion.

This type of rhetoric has added fuel to the fire, with the opposition accusing Modi of using "divisive, hate speech" and even violating the code of conduct. Critics suggest that his comments are meant to rally the nationalist Hindu votes and that the BJP has had a history of high voter turnouts in past elections.

While Modi had heated campaign trail rhetoric, he said in an interview that he is neither anti-Islam nor anti-Muslim but his government's welfare policies are secular. Nevertheless, his remarks have generated worries regarding the possibility of the strengthening of religious divisions and majoritarian rhetoric across the remaining voting phases.

While opinion polls show BJP's victory, some analysts say that the 'divisive strategy' of Modi is a sign of the 'nervousness' of the party which was not able to campaign well in the presence of issues like unemployment and inequality. Having completed a draining election in India, the partisan discord has revived the question of Modi's administration's ability to balance Hindu nationalist rhetoric with development.  

Narendra Modi, India's prime minister who is seeking a third term to tie the record of the longest term, has shifted to divisive rhetoric that is aimed at the Muslim minority during the ongoing 2024 general election campaign, which has brought up concerns about the tactics that may undermine unity and secularism. 

While Modi was scheduled to boast about the welfare schemes, infrastructure projects, and hosting of the G-20 summit, his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) campaign has now accused the opposition Congress party of "appeasing" Muslims and favoring the minority community.

At rallies Modi said that Congress is aiming to give the wealth to "infiltrators" and "those who are having many children" - the comments that were seen as a target to the Muslims who are about 14% of the population. 4 billion people. He cautioned women that Congress would seize their gold and give it to Muslims; he also alleged that the opposition wanted to do a "vote jihad" and choose the cricket team based on religion.

This type of rhetoric has added fuel to the fire, with the opposition accusing Modi of using "divisive, hate speech" and even violating the code of conduct. Critics suggest that his comments are meant to rally the nationalist Hindu votes and that the BJP has had a history of high voter turnouts in past elections.

While Modi had heated campaign trail rhetoric, he said in an interview that he is neither anti-Islam nor anti-Muslim but his government's welfare policies are secular. Nevertheless, his remarks have generated worries regarding the possibility of the strengthening of religious divisions and majoritarian rhetoric across the remaining voting phases.

Also Read: Modi's $400 Billion Welfare Bet to Win Indian Elections

While opinion polls show BJP's victory, some analysts say that the 'divisive strategy' of Modi is a sign of the 'nervousness' of the party which was not able to campaign well in the presence of issues like unemployment and inequality. Having completed a draining election in India, the partisan discord has revived the question of Modi's administration's ability to balance Hindu nationalist rhetoric with development.

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