23 June, 2021

The Fear Factory

The fight against terrorism is new fuel for the BJP, as it fans the flames of communal schisms

The Fear Factory
The BJP is one party which had always stressed its ideological moorings. But in the Gujarat campaign, terrorism was its mantra—nary a squeak about Ayodhya and other Hindutva issues. The message itself was crude and simple. Terrorism equals Muslims. Muslims equal terrorism. Below are some examples of how the parivar tried to induce a fear psychosis in the electorate:

  • "You may have a wife, a car and your own land, but what if your son doesn't return home safe?"—Narendra Modi speaking at public rallies.

  • Compact discs (CDs) distributed across Gujarat had this message: "You are travelling in a train, you might be attacked. You are in prayer, you can be assaulted. You are walking in a crowd, you could be lynched."

  • A pamphlet in Ahmedabad had this ominous warning: "Be careful passing through Muslim-dominated areas. Ask the government to set up police chowkis in such areas. Ask for a Hindu-friendly officer. Women, be careful while shopping in Muslim-dominated markets like Dhalgarwad in Ahmedabad, you might be molested or raped...."


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