Modi’s Anti-Muslim Rhetoric During Poll Campaign Draws Massive Outrage

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The level of debate has sunk to a new low after April 21. It is a shame, says home minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – Prime Minister Narender Modi’s controversial remarks specifically targeting Muslims have sparked massive outrage across the country’s political and social spectrum with opposition leaders variously describing them as “hate speech”, “outrageous”, “communal” and “toxic”.

Addressing an election rally in Rajasthan’s Banswara on Sunday, Modi called Muslims “infiltrators” and “the people who have many children”.

“Earlier, when their [Congress] government was in power, they had said that Muslims had 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 among the infiltrators. Should your hard-earned money go to the infiltrators? Do you approve of this?” media reports quoted Modi as saying.

Modi was referring to remarks by his predecessor Manmohan Singh wherein the two-time prime minister mentioned all the marginalised communities – women, children, SCs\STs, OBCs, and minorities. However, Modi conveniently omitted all other sections and picked up only the Muslim community to target the Congress party.

Soon after Modi made the Islamophobic remarks, prominent people took to social media to express their anger and outrage over the anti-Muslim diatribe coming from none other than the prime minister himself.

Former home minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram pointed out that no prime minister has ever made such outrageous remarks against Muslims. 

“Each sentence outdid the previous sentence in its absolute falsehood and brazen mendacity,” he said on X.

The Congress leader also posed some questions to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) concerning the claims made by the prime minister. When, where and what did the Congress say about redistribution of wealth among Muslims and the survey of people’s wealth, Chidambaram asked.

“The Prime Minister must have some respect for his predecessor. Dr. Manmohan Singh’s speech to the NDC in December 2006 has been reproduced in the Indian Express today. Dr. Singh had said that the first claim on resources lies with SC, ST, OBC, minorities, women and children. It is scandalous to distort his words as Mr. Modi has done,” said Chidambaram “The level of debate has sunk to a new low after April 21. It is a shame”.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin also came down heavily on Modi terming his speech as “toxic”, “vile”, and “highly deplorable”.

“Hearing public anger against his failures, Modi has attempted to whip up religious sentiments and resorted to hate speech to avoid what seems to be an imminent defeat. Hate and discrimination are the real guarantees of Modi,” said Stalin on X.

The DMK chief also slammed the Election Commission for “turning a deaf ear to the PM’s blatant hate speech”.

“The ECI has shamelessly abandoned even a semblance of neutrality,” he said.

Explaining the promises made by INDIA bloc, Stalin noted that “the socio-economic caste census promised by the INDIA bloc is a remedy long overdue to create an egalitarian society. It is sad that the PM is twisting it and depriving socially disadvantaged communities of their due share in education, jobs, and seats of power”.

He added: “Leaders of the INDIA bloc should be wary of the BJP’s devious diversionary tactics. We must firm up our commitment to exposing the miserable failures of Modi”.

Taking to X on Tuesday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan strongly condemned Modi’s “insidious remark” saying that the PM’s communal statement is a threat to democratic and secular values.

“The PM himself making such communal remarks seeking to make political gains is a clear indication of the threats democratic and secular values are facing in the country,” said Vijayan.

The chief minister urged the Election Commission to take strong action against Modi for the speech.

“All progressive and secular forces must stand together to ensure an election that is transparent and in tune with democratic values. Any effort to dent India’s secular credentials and religious harmony should be resisted,” he asserted.

Even Akhali Dal, an erstwhile alliance partner of the BJP, has condemned Modi’s statement. Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal said the prime minister should never have made statements that spread communal hatred, mutual suspicion and venom among India’s people.

“India belongs equally to Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Christians and others. The PM and the BJP must learn from Sardar Parkash Singh Badal how to ensure peace and communal harmony. Badal Sahib used to personally honour and celebrate religious events and occasions of every community. This country belongs to all of us. Everyone must respect this fact,” Badal said.

Earlier, Congress president Malikarjun Kharge, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, prominent Supreme Court lawyer Kapil Sibal, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor and several others slammed the prime minister over the controversial speech.

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