This is how IndiaSpend’s faulty ‘hate tracker’ and Kamal Nath’s statements are related

Recollecting these innumerable instances, one is only convinced that the Congress party has always used religion as a tool for politics, not as a matter of faith.

A controversial video surfaced recently wherein Kamal Nath is heard using the Muslim card, weeks before the Madhya Pradesh state elections. In a ‘behind-closed-door-meeting’, Kamal Nath is heard saying that ‘only the Muslim votes can make the Congress party win’.

He declares that if 90% of Muslims don’t vote for them, Congress will be in trouble. One can argue here that Kamal Nath was assuming that a high voter turn out among Muslims will mean more votes to Congress. For a party that cries secularism at the drop of a hat and brands itself as the harbinger of secularism, to appeal to Muslims to save Congress, in its desperation in itself should be branded communal.

With the Assembly elections fast approaching and then the 2019 elections looming large, the Congress seems to be getting increasingly desperate in its bid to garner votes. This statement is particularly interesting since it comes after Rahul Gandhi was declared a ‘janeu dhaari Brahmin’ in order to hold on the fast disappearing Hindu vote of Congress.

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Now, if Congress wants 90% of the Muslim population to come out and vote, which is a terribly high voter turn out to expect, to begin with, how would they go about ensuring it? In the normal course of things, to expect a 90% voter turn out is outlandish. So what is it that would convince 90% Muslims to come out and vote for Congress?

Perhaps nothing drives a person like fear. And one would imagine that it is exactly what Congress would bet on. Fan the persecution fear psychosis with lies, fabricated data etc to ensure that the Muslim population comes out in larger numbers than usual to vote for Congress as their messiah.

We have seen time and again how Congress has tried to create a fear psychosis amongst the minority community so that they are bound to choose Congress as their representative. From the narrative that BJP is out to neutralise all Muslims, to the skewed narrative of ‘Muslims getting lynched in Lynchian’, Congress has tried to convince the minority that if they are not voted back to power, it would spell doom for Muslims.

However, creating fear psychosis and mass hysteria can’t be an easy task. And a party can only talk about this often behind closed doors and seldom, openly. To that end, to create ‘mahaul’, one would need other functionaries who do so with faulty data leading to faulty and dangerous narratives.

It is, thus, unsurprising how that narrative was furthered by IndiaSpend’s fact-checking website, where it fear mongered liberally with faulty data. It shamelessly peddled half-baked data like 97% cow-related violence happened only after 2014.

It will worthy to note here IndiaSpend, which has been maintaining a fabricated database to portray Hindus as aggressors and Muslims as victims have Praveen Chakravarty as its founding trustee. Praveen Chakravarty is also the head of Congress party’s data analytics department. Factchecker.in is the Fact-checking arm of IndiaSpend itself.

Recently ‘factchecker.in’ started tracking ‘cow-related hate crimes’. They claim that since National Crime Records Bureau does not collect data on cow-related hate crimes, they have collected the data of over eight years. While they claim that their data is collected from 2010, their database in 2010 shows zero ‘cow-related hate crimes’.

As per the website in 2010 and 2011, no cow-related hate crimes were found and in 2012 and 2013, 1 incident each. All these 4 years were under the UPA. But could it be possible that no such incident took place in these years?

This prejudice in reporting was evident as there were innumerable such incidents covered by mainstream media before the Modi government came to power, which the website conveniently chose to not include in its so-called fact-check.

This narrative based on faulty data was then furthered by Barkha Dutt and other publications to claim that there was ‘rising hate’ in India. It is, of course, no surprise that the founding trustee is closely working with Congress and Rahul Gandhi. This one-sided, skewed narrative is what achieves the aim of creating the fear psychosis that will ultimately force Muslims to come out in large numbers and vote for the Congress as their saviour, considering Congress believes that it will be finished if 90% Muslims don’t vote for them.

This biased reporting is not new. Earlier we had reported how Hindustan Times had started a similarly biased ‘hate tracker’ which focussed only on identity-based crime reporting of Dalits and Muslims. Their hate tracker also conveniently ignored hate crimes against people belonging to certain political or religious inclination and so were crimes perpetrated by people belonging to certain political or religious ideology.

The ‘hate tracker’ was supposedly tracking hate crime from September 2015 onward, but had conveniently missed out on reporting hate crimes when the victim was a Hindu or the one time when one Farooq, who identified himself as an atheist and a free thinker was killed by a radical Muslim group.

While organisations like IndiaSpend create the ‘mahaul’, Congress repeatedly furthers their plea to the Muslim community and pretends to be their messiah. Even earlier, a video surfaced in which Kamal Nath was allegedly advising Muslims to remain patient till the assembly elections and said: “we will deal with them later”. BJP spokespersons suggested that the senior Congress leader Kamal Nath was talking about dealing with Hindus on behalf of Muslims.

The party has been long known for appeasing the minority, who has been their core vote bank for decades. Sticking to its age-old tradition, the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had termed Congress as a “Muslim party”. Rahul Gandhi is reported to have said so during a meeting with ‘Muslim intellectuals’ on July 11.

Taking cognizance of the social media posts and the report in Urdu media,  Nirmala Sitharaman attacked Congress saying that the party was trying to fight 2019 elections based on religion. Sitaraman further suggested that this statement by Rahul Gandhi should be seen in conjunction with ‘Hindu Pakistan’ statement by Shashi Tharoor and support of Sharia Courts by Congress leaders.

During Karnataka, Rahul Gandhi and his coterie had preferred to share the political bed with radical Islamist outfits like PFI and now, as 2019 nears, their aims seem to be to demonise RSS, a cultural organisation, to create a fear psychosis that might just help them recover from their dwindling political fortunes. And we remember the cable released by Wikileaks where Rahul Gandhi was quoted saying that Hindu extremists were a bigger threat to India in the context of the Lashkar-e-taiba.

Recollecting these innumerable instances, one is only convinced that the Congress party has always used religion as a tool for politics, not as a matter of faith. It has always attempted to put on a facade of ‘secularism’. And organisations like IndiaSpend and Factchecker.in only help them use that tool a little more effectively.


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