PM Modi says there is no space for discrimination in India, as Manipur still burns
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a joint press conference with Joe Biden, said that democracy is in India’s DNA and there is no space for discrimination in the country
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been known as a man of many words unless it is in front of media. However, that changed on June 23 when Modi decided to appear for a press conference at the White House, alongside the United States President, Joe Biden.
On the dias, a Wall Street Journal journalist had asked Modi about the growing instances of hate crimes and religious intolerance against Muslims and other religious minorities. In reply to the question, he said, “Democracy is in our DNA, democracy is our spirit, democracy runs in our veins."
He added that there was no space for discrimination in India. “"We live in a democracy. And our ancestors have actually put words to this concept, and that is in the form of our Constitution. The entire country runs on that. We have always proved that democracy can deliver, and when I say deliver, this is regardless of caste, greed, religion, gender. There is absolutely no space for discrimination,” he said.
The Indian Prime Minister had essentially agreed to only two questions each at the press conference, two for Modi and two for Biden.
Although this may seem like a more hopeful tact of telling the First World countries that India is still a democracy which is still answerable to the media, CNN had earlier reported that two anonymous US officials had said that the Indian administration had initially disagreed to holding a joint press conference with Biden. The Indian authorities had been trying to push for the two leaders making separate statements without accepting any questions.
However, during the interview itself, it has been alleged that Modi was using a teleprompter while answering the questions and also, while delivering his statement.
In the run up to the Karnataka elections, Modi in his appeal to the people of Bellary to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party, raked up the fictional issue of ‘love jihad’. He said, “The Congress has always pursued vote-bank politics. As a result, there has been a spurt in terrorism. In the last few years, the forms of terrorism have changed. In present times, acts of terror are not only carried out using guns and bombs. Certain people in the society are quietly pursuing new forms of terrorism. 'The Kerala Story' has a similar storyline and it is being discussed.”
If one is to think, with a track record like Modi’s it becomes a tad difficult for them to hold a press conference, especially if one is brought to giving answers which are blatant lies. Modi’s India is not the India where democracy is in its DNA, or in spirit, or in its veins. Modi’s India is one of hatred, and the hatred is marked by data.
In a report by Deepankar Basu, an economist at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, he found out a link between the BJP coming to power in 2014 and a 300 per cent rise in hate crimes. In states where there had been no recorded instances of hate crimes, out of the 28 states, 20 showed a rising trend in hate crime, with 7 showing double-digit increase.
A Council on Minority Rights in India report published on November 21, 2022, also depicted similar trends following Modi’s second tenure in office. The report said that in 2021 itself, 294 cases of hate crimes had been recorded against Christian, Muslim and Sikh minorities. Hate crimes against Muslims were the most at 192, followed by Christians at 95 and Sikhs at 7.
With such statistics being posed against the Dear Leader already, it is only safe to say that such a person can never appear in front of the camera, let alone the media. Thus, he does what he does best, he gags it.
As of now, PM Modi is still in the USA, while Manipur still burns with over 100 casualties racking up on either side, yet he stays mum.