The Delhi election campaign is in full swing and the Bharatiya Janata Party has dropped all pretence of fighting this one on the “development agenda”. The party’s entire campaign seems to be based on creating communal division and targeting the Muslim community.
BJP Ministers have been trying to cast away the fears as fear-mongering and paranoia but if one looks closely and analyzes statements given by various BJP leaders, the posters that have cropped up around Delhi and their official social media communication, a pattern unmistakably emerges. The BJP is intentionally working to stir the communal pot and incite hatred. The narrative being built is clear as day: Muslims are traitors who need to be taught a lesson this election.
Home Minister Amit Shah has been holding public meetings across the capital, accompanied by Delhi BJP Chief Manoj Tiwari. He said, “Your voice should reach the supporters of Shaheen Bagh. People of Babarpur, when you vote on February 8, you will not only make Naresh Gaur the MLA. You will also make the city and country safe and secure. Your vote will stop thousands of Shaheen Baghs.” He also said, “When you give your vote, press the button so hard and with such anger that the current reaches Shaheen Bagh.”.
This bears testimony to the fact that Shaheen Bagh has made an impact on the hearts and minds of the BJP ideologues that even the Home Minister is unable to complete his speech without mentioning it a dozen times. Amit Shah also reiterated that Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi are somehow ideologically in line with Pakistan and they are not loyal to India. He said, “Modi ji gave citizenship to these people who needed help, and Kejriwal opposes it. Kejriwal, Rahul baba and Imran Khan speak the same language.”
Does the BJP really think Pakistan is financing a movement that swears by the Constitution? That swears that Muslims are loyal patriotic Indians? That swears by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Bhimrao Ambedkar, Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh and Sarojini Naidu?
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has issued yet another threat to those who are protesting against the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). This time he has threatened those raising “azadi” slogans with sedition charges. He also took a sexist dig at the protesters in New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh asking “where are the men?”
BJP ideologues are sharing fake videos claiming that AAP has not done any good work in the schools while the people are very happy with the work Arvind Kejriwal has done. And after BJP MP Anurag Thakur incited violence by raising inflammatory slogans “desh k gaddaro ko goli maro” chant at a BJP rally in New Delhi a man named Rambhakt Gopal opened fire at the peaceful Jamia protests. Both Anurag Thakur and BJP MP Parvesh Verma, who alleged that protesters at Shaheen Bagh “can enter homes and rape our sisters and daughters” received bans from the EC.
Another place where Shaheen Bagh caused an imprint is London where there was no Delhi police to harass and intimidate the protesters. The vicinity of Downing Street—where the official residence of British Prime Minister is—briefly presented the scene of Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh where hundreds of diasporic Indians representing various faiths and ethnicities assembled to march to Indian High Commission to protest against the ignoble CAA and NRC.