Thursday, January 20, 2022
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Modi and minorities

Congress alleged thatRSS workers wearing burkhas were present at NarendraModi’s public rally in Goa.Addressing a press conference, Congress spokesperson BabuAzgaonkar said: “RSS workers were given burkhas specially tailored and they were seated at the rally to make it appear that minority community members were attending his rally in large numbers.”He also named two BJP party leaders who Azgaonkar said were responsible for tailoring nearly 5,000 burkhas for the meeting.Over one lakh people, an unprecedented number in Goa, attended Mr Modi’s public meeting held on the outskirts of Panaji. Modi and minority isthe biggest issue in our country, after Gujarat riots he is been labelled as Muslim haters. In between, he tried his level best to correct his image too, by taking a bold step;Modi called on BJP to unite with the minority community, saying that if around 25% of minority voters had supported the saffron party in his state, the same could be possible in other parts of the country. India needs leaders who unite the communities rather than divide them. Whether he wants to become PM or not, it is always better to connect with each and every person. Particularly with the blames he got, it is necessary to connect with minority in particular. No doubt that Muslims in Gujarat have voted for him and many Muslims in India too are fond of him, in Hyderabad rally we have seen the Minority attendance.

The change is predictable, people are going to vote for him decelerating all the barriers of religion, caste or creed and this will be the biggest game changer for him and for the BJP. Those who are still in misperception about Modi must rethink his thrice win in Gujarat which couldn’t have been without his confidence in Muslim voters. In fact it will give him extra push. His Muslim voters in Gujarat should come forward to campaign for him on national level. Now if they come forward then the situation would move in favour of BJP.
Muslims at large are conditioned and guzzled with the impression that they belong to secular parties or they should go with Congress. There are many political parties who have equally treated them as any other Indian without bifurcating them to minorities or vote bank politics. There is a stable government in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh; these two chief ministers are secular and they just want development in their states. Whatever development work is done in these states is for the people of the state, not for any particular religion or people. In these states, both Hindu and Muslims are given equal status and opportunities. BJP always attacked Congress for their so called minority card politics. Many Muslims have supported BJP and brought revolution in elections in the past. Some of them sabotaged the notion that Minorities are the vote bank for Congress. But in the recent past, that too after 2002, wrong political agenda and incorrect way of campaigning has damaged the election scenario. There should be no such terminology called as Minority in a modern day India. Development is for Indians irrespective of their religion, caste, language, and domicile. Whether you are Hindu, Christian, Muslim, and Sikh or of any other religious background, you are Indian. Indians are special and the development story belongs to you.The development has to be in the form of Education, Food, Health and Infrastructure in the same order of priority. In five years of time, there should be no village without electricity or drinking water. There should be no child below the age of 14 not going to school. If we are able to achieve this, then we are talking about true development.

Setting out “272-plus” as the ambitious target for BJP, Modi seemed to elaborate that governance should not discriminate and emphasised that the only “prayer book” for any government was the Constitution. The emphasis was seen as an attempt to correct or soften a hard saffron image. He asked his party not to exclude sections among minorities who remain unrepresented and are searching for an identity of their own. Modi made very strong statement that no one should divide communities but ensure all sections are represented.The Gujarat example may rile his rivals, but Modi insisted that BJP benefits from a significant section of Muslim voters who have been convinced of the party’s credentials. The approach has shown results in local body elections with the election of Muslim councillors.

Mosi said there is a particular section of society which has been used by Congress for political gains and is vulnerable to the ruling party’s shenanigans. This section should be brought on board. Modi set out some specifics before a meeting of national office-bearers, state presidents and state organising secretaries. He said there was a need to form constituency level plans to track local issues so that anti-incumbency against the Congress could be fully exploited. He said BJP needed to identify opinion makers at the local level and make sure they were associated with the BJP campaign. Young voters were clearly a target constituency given the efforts made by the Election Commission to add new voters and encourage them to cast their votes. Modi said BJP did not have much time to get its act together as the countdown for the LokSabha elections was ticking away. Supplementing the presentation by IT expert Rajesh Jain, Modi also stressed the importance of social media in forming opinion, at least in urban areas. Modi’s minority pitch seems to hinge on the assessment that there are large sections which have failed to benefit from the sops promised to them and who need not be seen as “out of bounds” for the BJP. It is not about what happened in 2002, it is about what is going to happen after 2014. We have witnessed a great leader who led a state with one of the fastest growing states with a growth rate of 10 percent. India needs such a leader and its important Muslim voters support him. The party which has ruled this country for a long time and has wrongly given the impression that they are the messiahs of the minorities should be kicked out only for bad governance. Elect good candidates who can deliver results for all of us. Let’s see where this new found love of Modi makes him Prime Minister of this country or not.

Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 14 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazine Beyond The News (international). She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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