Elections are on and all leaders, especially in the state of Uttar Pradesh are trying their best to woo voters. Recently, Mayawati warned Dalits and Muslims against voting for any other party other than BSP. It is alleged that under Akhilesh Yadav’s reign, his clan of the Yadavas has benefited the most. Caste and religion based appeals are frequently made. And it seemed that PM Modi too had fallen in this quagmire today.
ANI Uttar Pradesh tweeted the following byte from PM Modi’s speech:
Gaon me kabristan banta hai to shamshaan bhi banna chahiye;Ramzan me bijli ati hai to Diwali me bhi ani chahiye;Bhedbhav nhi hona chahiye-PM pic.twitter.com/tOKd87XYna
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 19, 2017
The tweet claims that PM Modi said that if a place for the burial of Muslims is made, then a place for Hindus to light their funeral pyres must also be made. If electricity is available during Ramzan, it must also be made available during Diwali. There must not be any discrimination, said Modi.
On the face of it, this remarks, though talking about discrimination, is indirect appeal to Hindus telling them that they were not getting a fair share in the state’s development. Even if some may argue that this is indeed the truth, media persons and other social media users had an issue with this “communal” appeal:
National Editor of leftist propaganda blog Scroll.in had this to say:
The order of comparison says it all. https://t.co/pC1HrKpneK
— Supriya Sharma (@sharmasupriya) February 19, 2017
Controversial journalist Barkha Dutt:
Hmm. This is not quite ‘Vikas’ is it ? Seems to me these words proof BJP realises it needs a UP narrative despite Modi own popularity. https://t.co/NtZ8uZbNue
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) February 19, 2017
Congress leader AM Singhvi:
This openly communal speech by PM Modi will likely touch a nerve with the Election Commission of India. https://t.co/X1tgHqA6wt
— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) February 19, 2017
Kejriwal too shared a troll’s tweet:
But none of them had probably heard the PM speak live, since those who did, had a different reaction altogether:
A reporter working for the news agency PTI had this to say:
A little misleading. I heard Modi’s speech. In the next line he said if power is supplied in Holi, then it should be in Eid too. https://t.co/Ppn3RSzfee
— Kumar Rakesh (@kumar_1402) February 19, 2017
A common social media user also said the same:
Pm ne ye bhi bola ki ‘Holi me bijli ati hai to eid me bhi aani chahiye’
Wo bhi likho https://t.co/xwVU4ZolBA
— Sachin (@srkian_sachin) February 19, 2017
In fact, if we hear PM Modi’s speech for that particular portion, it becomes clear how ANI UP tweeted only a selected part out of longer portion which spoke about fairness and equality:
As one can see, PM Modi spoke about discrimination against various sections of the populace, not just Hindus. He gave an example of how the schemes of his Government are for all sections and for all regions, without any “bhed-bhav” (discrimination). He mentioned how at any point of time, all different castes and religions seem to be complaining about being treated unfairly. He kept repeating the principle of “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas”.
Coming to the specific statement quoted by ANI UP, Modi did say it, but he also followed up with “If electricity is available at Holi, it must be available on Eid as well”. Only then did he say “bhed bhav nahi hona chahiye”, and not immediately after the Diwali statement, as ANI UP stated.
Further, he even stated that there should be no injustice, no discrimination based on religion or caste or social status, reiterating that “Sabka Saath Saabka Vikas” was the only way out.
Inspite of this, without doubt, only the already highlighted portion will become viral on social media, trying to portray that Modi had expressed concern only about the plight of Hindus and therefore had made a communal statement.