Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go down in history as a man who rode to power on dog whistle politics and sought to cling to office on vulture politics. It has been a seamless transition from one technique to the other.… This politicisation of tragedy is not new for Modi. Recall the Godhra incident of February 2002 where 59 people died in a fire on board the Sabarmati Express. Modi used the tragedy and its gory aftermath – the 2002 Gujarat riots – as electoral manna from heaven.
As Gujarat chief minister, he relentlessly dog-whistled his way through virtually all his public speeches at the time, terming Muslim relief camps as “baby producing machines” and jeering at the riot victims with the phrase “hum paanch, hamarey pachees”, a crude joke on the fact that India’s family laws allow a Muslim man to have four wives.
Till date Modi has not expressed any remorse for the riots that happened on his watch. Modi has confined himself to saying “that you feel bad even when a pilla (puppy) comes under the wheels of your car.” Here is clarity to the dog whistle and no prizes for guessing who he was dehumanising. Modi’s true appeal to his faithful is the 2002 riots and his othering of the Muslims. Modi has ensured that the bigoted true believers are always appeased. Hence his comparison of “kabristan” (graveyards) and “shamshan” (cremation ground) in February 2017 in Uttar Pradesh.…
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