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PM Modi in Siddaganga Matth, Karnataka: After ‘Divide and Rule’ failed, ‘liberals’ return to prejudice against Lingayats

The “Divide and Rule” policy failed miserably. If anything, Lingayats voted rock solid for the BJP.

On a scale of 1 to 10, liberal hatred for PM Modi has always been a 12 at the very least. But after the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was passed, liberal hatred seems to have finally broken the meter. Nothing quite makes liberals so angry as helping out persecuted Hindus escaping from Islamic countries. In this backdrop, a recent picture of PM Modi addressing people at Siddaganga Matth in Karnataka received a surprising amount of hatred. Sample this from a liberal who has written in the LA Times, The Hindu and Caravan.

Tweet by “journalist” Vidya Krishnan

Wait! It can get a lot more hateful than even this. Here’s from a very popular liberal handle run by one Professor Rohit Chopra whose humour and wit has previously been covered in The Telegraph and The Guardian.

Tweet by IndiaExplained
Tweet by IndiaExplained

For what it’s worth, the handle also ran a Twitter poll speculating about an assassination of India’s Prime Minister. Talk about intolerance…

Does anyone still wonder whether Hinduphobia is real?

I am sure that going forward, anything and everything that PM Modi does will continue to trigger liberals in such self-destructive ways. And in doing so, they will only further expose themselves and their Hinduphobia.

But there is something specific about this image of PM Modi which makes the liberal hate particularly ironic.

Read: Delhi-based think tank pulls down essays of hate-monger Rohit Chopra alias ‘IndiaExplained’ for calling for PM Modi’s assassination

Notice the repeated use of the word “Hindu” in the tweets above?

You see, what PM Modi is wearing here is a traditional religious outfit worn by Lingayats in Karnataka. He has come to the Siddaganga Matth to pay his respects to the much revered Shivakumara Swamiji.

Liberals seem to have forgotten that shortly before Karnataka polls in 2018, the ‘secular’ Congress government in Karnataka declared that Lingayats are not Hindus at all, but a separate religion.


Remember Siddaramaiah? Once upon a time, he was supposed to ‘save’ Southern India from Modi.

At the time, this was supposed to be a political masterstroke. The obvious calculation was that the separate religion status would divide the Lingayat vote which traditionally goes with BJP’s BS Yediyurappa.

Read: Senior Congress leader dubs his party’s Lingayat card a ‘political stunt’

The only snag? People saw through the trick. It was way too easy.

The “Divide and Rule” policy failed miserably. If anything, Lingayats voted rock solid for the BJP. On the day the election results came out, Siddaramaiah was forgotten in a matter of hours. The once-formidable Siddaramaiah now joins the elite club of liberal icons who were supposed to stop Modi, from Hardik Patel to Raj Thackeray and Kanhaiya Kumar.

So dear liberals, when PM Modi wears Lingayat attire, he is actually honouring a religious minority. How could you possibly relate it to Hindu majoritarianism?

What’s that you say? Are you saying that in order to qualify as a “real” minority, one must vote tactically to keep BJP out of power?

Now B S Yediyurappa is Chief Minister of Karnataka. No wonder that liberals have returned to their prejudices against Lingayats.

I expected nothing else.

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a columnist and author.  

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