Mumbai: Sadhavi Khosla, entrepreneur, blogger and political analyst based in Gurgaon, while analyzing the Gujarat campaigns expressed her deep concerns over religious communalism, negativity, and communal canards, slur and conspiracy theories widely used in the state.
She also said the country will take decades to recuperate the impact of such "hate mongering" and the poison being spread by none other than a person holding the high office of prime minister.
"Modi may win Gujarat, but the communal poison that he has been spreading will be one of the worst ravages of all time. The country will take decades to recuperate, if at all.
"Strictly speaking, there is no bigger tragedy for a nation than having a prime minister who tries to destroy its very soul with communal canards and conspiracy theories", Sadhavi Khosla said in an article published by dailyo.in.
She further said that embarrassed by hard realities on ground and because of a strong, yet composed campaign by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Prime Minister Modi and the BJP drifted away from its "development" plank used so successful to win the 2014 General Elections and the consequent elections in some states.
"The BJP, however, has been seen parting ways with development-based conversations during its campaigning. The ruling government in the state seems to have forgotten its Gujarat model. Perhaps, the vibrancy of the state has waned. Narendra Modi and other leaders of the BJP sound not just nervous and defensive but almost hysterical.
"The BJP even released its election manifesto just one day before the first phase of polling ended in Gujarat, as the entire party was busy deriding the Opposition". she said.
Sadhvi Khosla also pointed out how Prime Minister Modi ridiculed Congress and its leaders during Gujarat campaigns, forgetting talks of "development" and "sab ka saath sab ka vikas" - his pet slogans in earlier elections.
"During most of his campaigning, a major part of Modi’s speeches focused on ridiculing Indira Gandhi, misusing historical incidents to take a dig at the Nehru-Gandhis, fostering communal polarisation, talking about mandir, masjid, Kashmir and Pakistan.
"Last month, while addressing a meeting in Morbi in Gujarat, he did not fail to bring Indira Gandhi in his speech. He said, “I remember Indira Gandhi had come here and Chitralekha (a magazine) had printed her photo with a handkerchief over her nose, trying to avoid the stench, while another photo on the same front page had RSS workers carrying bodies", she said.
"Likewise, Modi’s series of unscrupulous attacks continued when he targeted the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru by saying, “When Sardar Patel took up the work of re-construction of Somnath temple, Nehru was unhappy. Your great grand father Nehru wrote a letter to President Rajendra Prasad when he was to come for the opening ceremony of the temple.” He also remarked, “This land of brave people will not forgive those who have acted against the Somnath temple", she added.
"As if that was not enough, he has resorted to playing the victim card, accusing former Rajya Sabha MP Mani Shankar Aiyar of questioning his parentage, because of the latter's “neech” remark", she said.
"Belonging to a party that proudly uses offensive and uncouth language, it is bizarre that the PM is crying for attention by twisting words and their actual meaning. He is the same person who had called his predecessor Manmohan Singh a "night watchman", Sonia Gandhi a "Jersey cow" and Rahul Gandhi a "Hybrid bachhada (calf)", before governing the nation.
"The PM’s grim statements have done an irreparable damage to his constitutional commitment and office. While many of Mani Shankar Aiyar’s guests, including former PM Manmohan Singh, have denied the allegations, stating that the discussion was confined to India-Pakistan relations, what amazes me the most is the courage with which the PM is spreading falsehoods, lowering the dignity of the office he occupies.
"Questioning the intents of a former PM, a former army chief, and former diplomats indicates the beginning of a new low in Indian polity", Khosla said.
"Narendra Modi must remember that he is no longer an RSS pracharak. He is holding a secular, constitutional post and one of the highest offices in Indian democracy. He cannot and must not indulge in communal politics. His remarks about religion - asking whether the Congress party wants mandir or masjid are past bearing. He must not spin lies and fabricate stories against the nation’s loyalists – for he is India’s PM, not Gujarat’s CM.
"The nation’s PM and the BJP may have forgotten that excess of everything is bad. They are riding on a wave filled with self-assured hubris. Their extreme negativity and arrogance will see an end, and positivity will win, if not now, then in the future for sure.
"Clearly, Modi’s shrill rhetoric is in absolute contrast to the calm, composed Rahul Gandhi that we have been seeing of late.
"On December 18, Modi and his party might win the Gujarat elections, but he will lose India. And, Rahul Gandhi might lose Gujarat, but he has already won the hearts of Indians", she said.