Yes, Modi is right, but only partially
Narendra Modi’s political campaigning in the northeast of India has impressed upon an important point, but unfortunately has twisted it enough to drastically disfigure the message. Speaking in Assam, Modi underscored an unrecognised need to provide shelter to the much-persecuted Hindus of Bangladesh, particularly the ones who cross the borders imperiling life and limb, only to become illegal immigrants in India, living a daily lie and dreadfulness. Modi’s insistence that Hindu Bangladeshi immigrants be accommodated in the country and refugee camps be set up to make provision for them, is, therefore, a step in the right direction, given the extent of the humanitarian crisis affecting them in our neighbouring country east of the border. However, the emphasis on Hindus only distorts the note of benevolence, if any, and sends out a chilling reminder that the saffron strongman has not severed his controversial links with the ideological kernel of Hindutva. Modi’s dogged refusal to mention Muslims, or any other religious minorities who are disenchanted with Dhaka, only fans the sectarian politics which India must reject in order to pursue the goal of a holistic and all-inclusive growth. Moreover, the BJP prime ministerial candidate’s hitherto no-nonsense image suffers a dent when he’s seen donning headgears of all kinds to inflame the regional nerve, but his dismissal of the skull cap so far has only distanced him more from Muslims in India. But Modi is least interested in bridging the gap.