TODAY -

PM Modi's purpose
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: May 29, 2024 -



If not for anything else, the 18th Lok Sabha election is likely to be remembered in the days and years to come as one of the general elections in the history of democratic India in which some of the remarks made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is also the star campaigner of BJP, have left everyone baffling.

Even though he started off on a high note of the "ab ki baar 400 paar" slogan, Modi suddenly changed his tactics of attacking the opposition alliance, In-dian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), midway through the campaign of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election by resorting to a language which many people feel is demeaning to the high office of Prime Minister of the country.

After his controversial comments on mangalsutra, machhli and mutton, Prime Minister Modi's latest `mujra' jibe at the Congress-led INDIA bloc of allegedly appeasing Muslim voters has under-standably drawn sharp criticism from partners of the opposition alliance.

While speaking at an election rally in Bihar recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is quoted to have said, "Bihar is the land which has given a new direction to the fight for social justice. I wish to declare on its soil that I will foil the plans of INDIA block to rob SCs, STs and OBCs of their rights and divert theses to Muslims. They may remain enslaved and perform Mujra to please their vote banks."

Apart from the fact that Mujra is a traditional form of dance originated in the Mughal era and used to be performed by courtesans to entertain kings and other high-ranking officials, the sexist and derogatory nature of the remark that came out from the mouth of a prime minister should be a cause of concern for everyone simply because this is not the right way to fight election in a democratic country where success and effectiveness of any institution rests on adherence to decency, decorum and discipline.

This brings us to the question of why Prime Minister Narendra Modi has changed his election strategies midway through the campaign by re-sorting to the usual Hindu-Muslim tropes.

With the opposition alliance, INDIA bloc, still in disarray even after the schedules of the 18th Lok Sabha elections were announced by the Election Com-mission of India (ECI) on March 16 last, everyone got the impression that the 2014 general election was a done deal for the BJP and nothing could stop Prime Minister Narendra Modi from returning to power for the third consecutive term.

So, no one had really raised an eyebrow when Prime Minister Modi announced "Ab ki baar 400 paar" for the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with BJP alone winning 370 seats in a house of 543 parliamentary seats even though there had been only one instance in the 77-year long history of independent India to achieve the electoral feat of winning more than 40o seats when the INC, then led by Rajiv Gandhi won 404 of the 514 Lok Sabha seats in the 1984 general elections held after the assassination of his mother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

But with the opposition alliance unexpectedly turning the tide and putting up a strong fight, it seems Prime Minister Naren-dra Modi is in a panic mode today.

Nonetheless, as almost all opinion polls and predictions made by psephologists are still unanimous about the return of the BJP-led NDA Government to power even if short of the "Ab ki baar 400 paar" target, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have no compulsion of using unparliamentary language in attacking the opposition parties and in the process commit the faux pas of demeaning the very high office he is eying to occupy for the next five-year term.

Afterall, does not he himself had said, "I'm convinced that God has sent me for a purpose"? All that we are saying is that purpose should not be to spread hate and create division in the country.



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