Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi Facts

Information and analysis about Narendra Modi, India's prime minister since 2014, and the network of Hindu nationalist organisations around him.

What has Modi said about Muslims/ Dalits/ minorities?

Hate speech has been key to creating the communal polarisation the BJP needs at the polls, and Modi's speeches during his time as Gujarat chief minister are fine examples of this (see here, here and here for example). Since becoming prime minister in 2014, Modi has mostly been more guarded with his words, leaving others in the BJP, such as UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, to arouse the BJP's core vote via such hate (video).

Here are some examples of Modi's words. Most date to before 2014, but some come after the 2014 general election:
• 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."
• 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". He has also mocked people with dyslexia (2019) in an attempt to make jibes at the opposition.
• Regarding the 2015 Bihar assembly elections, Modi stated: "I will put my life at stake if there is a bid to curtail the quota to benefit a particular community", to create the fear of reservations for Muslims which no main party had promised.
• In the run-up to the 2019 general election he accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of contesting from Wayanad in Kerala because Hindus are in a minority in this constituency. (There does not seem to be demographic data for this constituency, but the district is about 50% Hindu with substantial Muslim and Christian minorities: video.)

Hate speech in our news pages.
last updated: Oct. 2019