Text Size:A- A+
Union Home Minister Amit Shahs noxious Shaheen Bagh comments underscore how Narendra Modis Bharatiya Janata Party wants to convert the Delhi assembly election into a nationalists versustukde tukdegang narrative and reduce it to nothing more than an overtly polarised contest.
Considering this is the national capital, the election conversation should have been around larger national issues of development, jobs, government schemes, and the economy, among others. But the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), despite being in power at the Centre, has chosen to ensure the dominant theme of its campaign remains around Shaheen Bagh, tukde tukde gang, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, nationals versus anti-nationals and more such convenient rhetoric. This, even as its main rival Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwals Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has based its entire campaign on its five-year governance and promises for the future.
Modi-Shahs approach towards the Delhi election, however, fits into their larger disdain towards the national capital, the desire to make it a sum of binaries and project it as a hub of nation-unfriendly activities. The duo has long declared war on Delhi, given the city particularly the elite Lutyens zone, campuses like Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Jamia Millia Islamia as well as the tentacled sphere of influencers visiting Khan Market is often critical of the BJP and its leadership. The segment critical of the BJP in Delhi is influential, has platforms where it can ensure it is heard, and more damningly, can reach out to an international audience.
Also read:The peoples occupation of Shaheen Bagh speaks truth to power
It is almost as if the anti-CAA protests in Shaheen Bagh and what they represent gave the BJP exactly what it was looking for a polarising point to keep harping on.
Therefore, Amit Shah feels Delhi should vote toget ridof Shaheen Bagh. He alsowants Shaheen Bagh to feel the current when people press the button on the EVM on 8 February. Then again, the former BJP president claimsKejriwal is not giving permission to prosecute thetukde tukde gang.
Amit Shah isnt the only one spewing such rubbish. Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad Monday said the true face of Shaheen Bagh protesters had to be exposed and questioned whytheAAP andtheCongress were silent.
And minister of state for finance Anurag Thakururged the election crowd in Delhi to chant shoot down the traitors (Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko).
The BJPand its campaignersdo talkabout other issues, butShaheen Bagh and communal polarisation (like its leader Kapil Mishracallingthe election a contest between India and Pakistan)has become the dominant theme for the BJP. Essentially, the Delhi election isnowsimply about the Shaheen Baghs of the world,whileModis favouritevikas (development) andjan kalyan(welfare) talkshave been relegated to some dark corner.
TheBJPisused to playing this dangerous, polarising game ahead of elections. Its entire politicsisbuilt on a toxicmixof communal and nationalisticagenda. But even then, and especially under the pro-vikas Modi, the party has raised development initiatives just as much as it has temples and termite-like infiltrators. And yet, Delhi election is jarring because of the number of times people have been made to hear Shaheen Bagh and tukde tukde gang, but rarely the BJPs plans to improve Delhi residents quality of life if it is voted to power.
Also read:Amit Shah raises Shaheen Bagh in Delhi election: BJPs desperation or trump card?
Reducing the Delhi election to a Shaheen Bagh versus India contest gives away Modi-Shahs larger discomfort with the national capital.
Both have looked at themselves as outsiders, and Delhis elite, its media and all its intellectuals and influencers as enemies. The war on Delhi, therefore, has been a long one.
It flared up inFebruary2016, when one of Indias premier institutes Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU)wasfirstdubbedas a hub of anti-national activities,whileits student leaderswerearrested and slappedwithsedition charges. The university has remained in the eye of stormeversince,withtherecent attackby masked goonsonlytakingthat tale forward. The urban Naxals, thetukde-tukde gang, the unpatriotic elements all live in Delhi, and the BJPs purpose in life is to teach them all a lesson.
Modis Khan Market gangjibe in May 2019further highlighted this contempt and dislike for Delhis influential sections.Thatgrouse is now coming out in the form of this Shaheen Bagh-obsession ahead ofthe Delhielection.
Imagine, this locality in Delhi, which was unknown before the anti-CAA protest began mid-December, has become the BJPs prime enemy, almost its raison dtre, in this election. Sources in both AAP and BJP say Arvind Kejriwal has a definite edge in this election. So, perhaps by making Shaheen Bagh and the tukde tukde gang their chief rival, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah want to send out an even more dangerous message to their voters that either they are withtheBJP,which espouses therealidea of India,or with these separatist elements who are out to destroy the country.
ThePrint is now on Telegram. For the best reports & opinion on politics, governance and more, subscribe to ThePrint on Telegram.
- Sixt generates positive earnings in the third quarter; in view of the currently drastically worsening effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, no forecast... - October 22nd, 2020
- A New York Times op-ed tried to elevate Black women, but it failed to address Louis Farrakhan's bigotry - JTA News - Jewish Telegraphic Agency - October 22nd, 2020
- Here's a list of September inflation rates for Canadian provinces - Yahoo Canada Finance - October 22nd, 2020
- Letters to the editor, Oct. 14, 2020 | Letters To Editor - The Daily Courier - October 16th, 2020
- 2021 Audi E-Tron GT to get RS hero and jet sounds - CarAdvice - October 13th, 2020
- A Day in the Life of the Grand Strands Snake Chasers - grandstrandmag.com - October 8th, 2020
- Teche Sketches: 'Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things' - The Daily Iberian - October 6th, 2020
- Rajnath Singhs China performance shows why Modi and Amit Shah need him - ThePrint - September 26th, 2020
- The saga of Decriminalization of Electoral Politics in India and the way forward - 244th Law Commission Report - India Legal - September 21st, 2020
- Handloom Day announcements look like a mix of the good and the bad, but are mostly foggy - The Indian Express - August 22nd, 2020
- The CarAdvice team name their favourite car they've ever driven ... and more - CarAdvice - August 22nd, 2020
- Termite Control Products and Services Market Competition Landscape by Key Players, Growth Strategy, Business Opportunities, Trends and Forecast Study... - August 20th, 2020
- Termite Monitoring Service Market Projected to Witness Vigorous Expansion by 2020-2026 | , DoMyOwn, Specialist Termite Control - Bulletin Line - August 17th, 2020
- A Spokesperson Died After A TV Debate. Will We Do Nothing? - NDTV - August 14th, 2020
- Column: Avoiding self-care can be just as damaging to loved ones - Alton Telegraph - August 6th, 2020
- The Bible doesn't allow divorce on grounds of mutual love that has died - Brunswick News - August 6th, 2020
- Restrictions on religious shops, mrityubhoj and expensive weddings - Avenue Mail - July 6th, 2020
- Letters to the Editor | Local Editorials and Opinion | tucson.com - Arizona Daily Star - July 5th, 2020
- From Hormonal Balance To Preventing UTI, The Many Ways Khus Roots Can Benefit You - NDTV Doctor - June 24th, 2020
- Repairing Termite Damage: Can Termite Damage Be Fixed? - June 21st, 2020
- Conservative Jews: Do you care about Israel? Then vote Trump out - Forward - June 21st, 2020
- Millions of Indians suffered because of administrative failures on a criminal scale - The Indian Express - June 15th, 2020
- Donald Trump is having a bad week. He must find an Amit Shah of his own - ThePrint - June 4th, 2020
- Nokia 5.1 Plus now receiving Android 10 in the latest update - News Lagoon - May 29th, 2020
- Termite Control Market Recent Trends and Developments, Challenges and Opportunities, key drivers and Restraints over the Forecast Period 2020-2026|... - May 23rd, 2020
- Termite infestations in your home: How to find, treat and ... - May 16th, 2020
- When termites swarm, don't hide; track them down ... - April 30th, 2020
- Seth Green bio: age, height, net worth, wife, movies and TV shows - Latest News in Nigeria & Breaking Naija News 24/7 | LEGIT.NG - April 30th, 2020
- Baiting Vs Liquid for Termites, Which one is better ... - April 27th, 2020
- The Rich Are Fleeing the Plagued City, Again - TheStranger.com - April 18th, 2020
- The worst holiday destinations, according to Telegraph readers - Telegraph.co.uk - April 18th, 2020
- News, Finance and Lifestyle - Yahoo Singapore News - April 12th, 2020
- Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Drug Market is Expected to Thrive at Impressive CAGR by 2026 & Top Key Players are Roche, Boehringer Ingelheim,... - April 9th, 2020
- Letter: Editorial cartoon was not a collectable one - The Westerly Sun - April 9th, 2020
- 15 ways to practice social distance in Jersey and still have fun - New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio - March 20th, 2020
- Get 2nd opinion on termite inspection - SFGate - March 19th, 2020
- Stevens: Is there room for extremists on social media? - Oregon Daily Emerald - March 12th, 2020
- Anacapa View residents forced to pay for years of neglect - Tri County Sentry - March 10th, 2020
- Leaky boot among host of car troubles - SowetanLIVE - March 3rd, 2020
- Bangladesh is doing well - The Navhind Times - February 23rd, 2020
- Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet - WIRED - February 22nd, 2020
- Commentary: 'Parasite' became an Oscars success story overnight because of years of Asian American support - The San Diego Union-Tribune - February 15th, 2020
- Your letters to the editor: Shame on Evers for ditching Pence - Madison.com - February 1st, 2020
- Letters: The democratic freedom to decide Britains policies is the fundamental point of Brexit - Telegraph.co.uk - January 31st, 2020
- The thin line of healing - The Hindu - January 27th, 2020
- Why there is a need for Home Improvement? - RecentlyHeard.com - January 24th, 2020
- On the job in Illinois - The Baxter Bulletin - January 20th, 2020
- The case for ... making low-tech 'dumb' cities instead of 'smart' ones - The Guardian - January 15th, 2020
- Modi-Shahs BJP govt has failed Indias youth and is now stuck fighting them - ThePrint - January 13th, 2020
- The Modi-Shah BJP government has failed and is now fighting India's youth - Daily Gaming Worlld - January 12th, 2020
- 7 Mistakes To Avoid While Renovating Your Living Room - RecentlyHeard.com - January 4th, 2020
- Rollins, Inc. - ROL - Stock Price Today - Zacks - January 2nd, 2020
- What went right in the past decade around the world - The Times - January 2nd, 2020
- Burt Prelutsky: Beware the Unelected! - Patriot Post - December 16th, 2019
- A threat to the idea of South Asia - Dhaka Tribune - December 16th, 2019
- So that nobody can be somebody - Telegraph India - December 15th, 2019
- Mistrust and confusion - The Hindu - December 15th, 2019
- Defend against Chronic Wasting Disease this fall | Sports - Richmond Register - December 1st, 2019
- How the BHU students were demonised and the ones who refused to be secularised unfairly called bigots - OpIndia - November 20th, 2019
- Wood Destroying Insect Inspection Reports | Arizona ... - October 30th, 2019
- Cheap DIY Termite Treatment, save - forums.whirlpool.net.au - October 7th, 2019
- Primitive Technology: Termite clay kiln & pottery - YouTube - October 5th, 2019
- Gorongosa National Park - Wikipedia - October 4th, 2019
- Housewraps, Felt Paper and Weather Penetration Barriers ... - October 4th, 2019
- Second Opinion Termite & Pest Control - Yelp - September 13th, 2019
- Pacific Termite - 46 Photos & 78 Reviews - Pest Control ... - May 17th, 2019
- Opinions On Termite Stakes For DIY Pest Control - Pest ... - May 4th, 2019
- Nix Termite - 63 Photos & 214 Reviews - Pest Control ... - April 25th, 2019
- Termite Biz - 21 Photos & 132 Reviews - Pest Control ... - April 12th, 2019
- What Termites Can Teach Us About Cooling Our Buildings ... - March 30th, 2019
- Termite Ceiling Damage Signs and Symptoms | Terminix - March 16th, 2019
- Go Pest Bendigo - Termite inspections & treatments - March 12th, 2019
- Top 6 Best Termite Treatments | Updated for 2019 - March 9th, 2019
- Borax, Fleas and Misconceptions | Thrasher Termite & Pest ... - February 12th, 2019
- Termite Control South Africa - pestcontrolpros.co.za - February 2nd, 2019
- Termite Dream Meaning and Interpretations | Dream Stop - January 26th, 2019
- Termite Chemical Information - Termite Specialist - January 24th, 2019
- Alien (creature in Alien franchise) - Wikipedia - January 21st, 2019
- Life With No Males? These Termites Show That Its Possible ... - October 5th, 2018
- Amazon.com: Customer reviews: Spectracide 95853 Terminate ... - September 27th, 2018