Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often been accused as the first head of state of India to use his office to propagate violence. In the last few days, Modi has faced intense social media roasting for seeking to divide the country along the lines of religion.
His first speech was in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh, where he openly invoked religion by blaming Rahul Gandhi for calling Congress the party of Muslims. His insistence on highlighting that the Congress was a party for Muslims earned of widespread condemnation as critics detected a tinge of desperation to cause hatred against India’s minority community among the Hindus.
Academic and columnist, Ashok Swain, wrote in Janta Ka Report to conclude that Modi’s ‘Muslim’ remarks in Azamgarh smacked of his intention to cause 2002 Gujarat-like riots ahead of 2019 elections.
Unperturbed by criticism, Modi travelled to Bengal, where he criticised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for keeping puja (Hindu prayer) in danger thereby hurting the sentiments of Hindus in the state. This was once again seen in poor taste as journalists and commentators slammed for functioning as India’s hatemonger-in-chief.
On Monday, Modi’s official Twitter handle @PMOIndia tweeted something which was in direct contrast to what he had said in his previous two speeches. Its tweet read, “Where the power of hope prevails over mindless hate. Where 125 crore Indians write their own destiny. This is our New India: PM @narendramodi.”
Where the power of hope prevails over mindless hate.
Where 125 crore Indians write their own destiny.
This is our New India: PM @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) July 16, 2018
Modi’s official Twitter handle advocating hope against mindless hate evoked plenty of reactions with many wondering if the person handling his tweets had been replaced. Journalist Nitin Sethi wrote, “Who took over this handle.”
Reactions from other users weren’t as civilised as Sethi’s. One user @SanjeevaniPage mockingly wrote, “Pass me the weed, Modiji!” Another user @MrsNair47 wrote, “Mindless hate. Like the one y’all have against muslims, xtians, dalits… That kind??? Yes. It is indeed new India, where mindless hate prevails, people read muslims get lynched on just rumors, politicans give communally charged statements… Very very new. ” User @Ajit99701175 “this is extremely peculiar of this government- they say, do and spread unconstitutional things and then pm speaks exactly the opposite – this has been the pattern in all these 4 years.”
India goes to polls to elect a new prime minister in 2019, when Modi will be seeking a second term for himself. Critics say that he’s failed on all fronts as governance touched a new low during his time as India’s prime minister. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and many other independent analysts have expressed their fear that India will turn into a Hindu Pakistan if the BJP won another term in office next year.