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Letter to BS: With voting are nearing, there'll be more of jingoism

It is an undeniable fact that the overarching appeal of Hindutva nationalism has diminished the passion for secularism and social justice over the years

Business Standard  |  New Delhi 

Voters show their identity cards as they stand in a queue at a polling station to cast their vote for the state assembly elections in Jodhpur. Photo: PTI
Voters show their identity cards as they stand in a queue at a polling station to cast their vote for the state assembly elections in Jodhpur. Photo: PTI

With poll dates nearing, things are really heating up in the campaigns in the run up to the election. If Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s modulated speeches in the initial stages of the high-profile election campaign are anything to go by, we can safely say that we are going to have more of jingoism, bellicosity and sabre-rattling, as against a well-argued discourse on the bread-and-butter issues of politics from the side of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

It could be argued that the BJP and the PM have made hyper-nationalism their campaign pitch as they cannot run the risk of running their campaign on the below-par performance indicators on the economic front. The plank of national security suits the party to divert people’s attention away from the economic situation visibly blighted by unemployment and farmer distress. It is an undeniable fact that the overarching appeal of Hindutva nationalism has diminished the passion for secularism and social justice over the years.

Evidently, Modi has adopted an aggressive nationalistic posture and shown his resolve to tap nationalist sentiments to the hilt to enable his return to power. The game plan is to inject an overdose of nationalism to tilt the otherwise disillusioned electorate in its favour.

The virulent nationalism represented by the Hindu right, of which the BJP is a principal and prominent part, is a far cry from true patriotism. But then the BJP has a dubious and diabolical strategy that is to juxtapose desh bhakts (nationalists) with desh drohis (anti-nationals) to earn brownie points. Nevertheless, most of the time it is the so-called desh drohis who take up the political cudgels on behalf of the country’s impoverished people.

G David Milton, Maruthancode


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First Published: Sun, March 31 2019. 22:33 IST
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