Indian Elections

Author: Daily Times

The writing on the wall suggests that the world’s largest elections have already been decided. However, while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi may revel in the sight of his impending third stint in power as victory, the real winner in the so-called secular state would be bigotry.

As if he had not done enough harm already by melding anti-Muslin tendencies into mainstream political discourse, the situation is being increasingly exacerbated by the rise of his favourite playpal, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing Hindu nationalist organization.

Known for its divisive and exclusionary ideologies, the RSS has been instrumental in promoting anti-Muslim sentiments and fostering an atmosphere of intolerance and hatred towards religious minorities, forcing ordinary Indians to look at everything through a biased lens.

Voting for Lotus does not mean they agree with what the BJP government has done for the social structures of the economic parity in a country where income inequality is said to have become worse than under British rule but that they too believe in Hindu supremacy over all. From the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act to the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir, the BJP government has systematically marginalized Muslims and undermined their rights and freedoms.

Ergo, by giving Mr Modi another popular mandate, Indian voters would scream out their preference for vigilante identity over the ideals of modern India.

Voter suppression, manipulation, and violence remain the nauseating themes as all brazen attempts to silence opposition parties by branding them “traitors” have become the new norm. Could Mr Modi believe that by freezing accounts of the Congress party and arresting its leaders under the guise of accountability charges, he would not be digging his own grave?

How hollow would that victory speech ring when it has been acquired in the face of no visible competition? The BJP may exploit the rising tensions between states to further its political agenda and suppress dissent but once sowed, these seeds of discord and mistrust would soon become a menacing monstrosity; tearing apart the social and cultural fabric of the country. *

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