Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi Facts

Information and analysis about Narendra Modi, India's new prime minister.

What does Modi say about Muslims/ Dalits/ minorities?

Here are some examples of Modi's views:
• Just after the 2002 Gujarat violence, Modi famously referred to relief camps for displaced Muslims as child producing centres, and in the same speech used the phrase Hum paanch, humare pachees (we five, our 25) referring to an imagined Muslim family consisting of one man, four wives and 25 children, and the associated myth of the rapidly expanding Muslim population. (The reality is that Gujarat's Muslim population was 8.9 per cent in 1951 and 9.1 percent in latest figures, showing no significant proportional increase.)
• In another incident from 2002, Modi attacked J.M. Lyngdoh, former Chief Election Commissioner of India for delaying holding the Gujarat assembly elections because he was a Christian.
• More recently, when asked if he regretted the violence in Gujarat 2002, he responded "even if a puppy comes under the wheel of your car, it is painful", appearing to compare the predominantly Muslim victims to puppies.
Dalits in Gujarat face widespread discrimination, but Modi believes that they do manual scavenging work because it is a spiritual experience: "I do not believe that they have been doing this job just to sustain their livelihood... At some point of time, somebody must have got the enlightenment that it is their duty to work for the happiness of the entire society and the Gods."
• While rejecting the notion that he is divisive, Modi said, for example: "I'm not in favour of dividing Hindus and Sikhs. I'm not in favour of dividing Hindus and Christians..." Muslims were conspicuous by their absence.
• In an interview Modi gave to the Shahid Siddiqui, editor of the Urdu weekly Nai Duniya in 2012, Modi said a number of things including "These days you people's mouths are watering at the prospect of creating a Muslim-majority nation in the name of Akhand Bharat".
• Modi has made remarks displaying contempt for people with disabilities: "The country does not want a deaf and dumb, handicapped government".

Recently, the BJP has been making attempts to attract Muslim votes. The question is whether this is a genuine turn-around, or is about alliance politics and winning "moderate" votes. In any case, Modi-supporters such as Madhu Kishwar writing in Manushi claim that Modi rarely uses hate speech. However, the quotes above and analysis of further statements by Modi (for example by one blogger here, and in this piece from The Hindu) reveal that Modi chooses his words carefully, while still managing to make his contempt for Muslims and other minorities clear to his supporters in the Sangh Parivar.

Hate speech in our news pages.