Indian Express’ editorial attacks PM Modi for his innuendo during his election speech at Gujarat’s Banaskantha district to attract votes
NEW DELHI – A scathing Indian Express editorial has criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “none-too-veiled innuendo in an election speech” on Sunday, as he campaigned at Gujarat’s Banaskantha district.
Recalling the statement, where PM Modi, almost in the same breath stated Congress, Pakistan and a Muslim candidate for CM, hinting at an anti-national conspiracy, the editorial reads, “If politics in a mature constitutional democracy is also about the unwritten rules of the game, if it includes a reciprocal pact between players to acknowledge and uphold dignity, their own and their opponent’s, then this is a disquieting day”.
The editorial, well analyzing the repercussion of the statement made by the PM further reads, “Speaking in the same breath of the Congress, Pakistan and a Muslim candidate for CM, he suggested that they are partners in an unholy, rather anti-national, conspiracy. In one stroke, he labelled his political opponent as unpatriotic and lent the immense weight of his office to a shameful politics of stereotyping that holds all of India’s Muslims to be pro-Pakistan and guilty.”
Recalling PM Modi’s hunkar (roar) during 2014 Lok Sabha election’s campaign in Bihar, where he had asked a united society (Hindus and Muslims together) fight poverty, the editorial states that a similar effect was not seen when the PM was seen campaigning during the Bihar Assembly election. Not even Amit Shah’s remark that firecrackers would be burst in Pakistan is BJP loses in Bihar.
If politics in a mature constitutional democracy is also about the unwritten rules of the game, if it includes a reciprocal pact between players to acknowledge and uphold dignity, their own and their opponent’s, then this is a disquieting day
The editorial scathingly attacks the policies and silence maintained by PM Modi. It states, “Whether the BJP wins the Gujarat election, or loses it, the PM’s day out in Banaskantha should bring a moment of reflection and pause. So far, over the last three years or so of the Modi regime, whenever unseemly and outright bigoted statements were made that cast the Muslim as the Other, the Anti-National, and the Enemy, the PM’s office was signed.”
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The editorial further criticizes the PM for maintaining “a modicum of distance and deniability” when it came to Muslim issues. It further maintained that he PM’s statement made at Banaskantha “imperil that distinction”. With many of the guests invited to that particular gathering hosted by Mani Shankar Aiya denying PM Modi’s version, the IE editorial maintained that the damage was already done, despite Modi government wanting to challenge their response.
Holding the PM’s silence over recent splurge in the number of hate crimes in India, the editorial summed up, “The Modi government has sought to challenge their response, but the damage is done. It travels far and runs deep. Next time there is a hate crime, the next time a Shambhulal Regar counts on state protection and impunity, the silence of the PM can — and should — be interrogated more loudly.”
The editorial, might be contested by a few, but one can definitely not deny the facts and insight that this editorial had on offer.