Lok Sabha elections 2024: What people say about Modi’s ‘hate’ speeches and Nitish Kumar’s ‘atrocious connivance’

Sami Ahmad, TwoCircles.net

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar often claims that he never compromised on three ‘Cs’ — crime, corruption and communalism. But in recent times, a ‘D’ (duplicity) has crept into his approach as he is completely ignoring unabated “hate” speeches being delivered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Earlier, Kumar used to refute and denounce such Muslim “bashings” but in this ongoing Lok Sabha elections, he is maintaining complete silence — which many believe is his “atrocious connivance”.

International media took notice of Modi’s controversial speech in Banswara, an Adivasi-dominated area of Rajasthan on April 21 during the second phase of campaigning for the general elections 2024.

The prime minister brazenly labeled Muslims as “ghuspaithiya” (infiltrators) and “zyada bachhe wale” (those who produce more babies).

What went unnoticed was Modi delivered the speech on April 16 in Bihar’s Purnia district before his Banswara “hate” speech during the first phase of the election. Purnia is one of the four districts of Seemanchal where the Muslim population is higher than other areas.

Modi said, “Seemanchal is a sensitive area. Those who do ‘vote bank’ politics have compromised the security by facilitating infiltration…. Those opposing the CAA for political gains should know that Modi will not back off.”

Political analysts wondered if Modi was attacking Kumar who has been at the helm of affairs of Bihar since 2005, barring a brief gap in 2014 when he had resigned after a dismal performance of his party (the Janata Dal-United or JD-U) in the Lok Sabha elections.

Despite allegations of infiltration in Seemanchal and dehumanization of Muslims, Kumar has chosen not to denounce or refute them.

There are four Lok Sabha seats in Seemanchal, and Kumar fielded three candidates supported by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) — which has the JD(U) as its constituent.

Those JD (U) candidates from Kishanganj, Purnia and Katihar had a very tough time replying to the charge of infiltration made by Modi.

JD (U) MLC Khalid Anwar could not say that Modi was lying but he insisted that there was “no infiltration” in Seemanchal. He tried hard to dub the conspiracy theory as “BJP’s political agenda”.

What Modi said about infiltration in Seemanchal was echoed by other BJP leaders in their speeches in Bihar.

Professor Abdul Qadir describes Kumar’s silence as a proof of a “majboor” (powerless) chief minister instead of a “mazboot” (powerful).

Talking to TwoCircles.net, he said, “Nobody takes Kumar seriously these days. While sharing power with the BJP, he has ignored or given silent approval to the likes of Modi, (Amit) Shah or Giriraj (Singh) who predicted celebrations in Pakistan, identified people with their dress or talked of the pink revolution (a reference to beef selling).”

Kumar switched sides and joined hands with the BJP earlier in January this year after dumping the Grand Alliance, comprising the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Congress and Left parties.

On the issue of population, Kumar used to refute the BJP’s claim. He was opposed to BJP’s demand for a population control law as he was of the view that education has brought down population growth. He used to say that education was the best measure to control the population.

Kumar is keeping mum on the “hate” speeches, but he makes sure to remind the Muslim community that he had worked for them. He mentions that 8,000 graveyards were walled during his regime.

He also appeals to Muslims to vote for NDA candidates. However, he never addresses the concerns of the community regarding citizenship and their personal law.

Noted journalist and author Nalin Verma says that Kumar’s silence on Modi’s Muslim bashing is a clear case of connivance.

“By maintaining silence on the prime minister’s hate speeches, Nitish Kumar is endorsing Modi’s brand of politics. His role is not even ambiguous but a clear-cut case of connivance with Modi. He has lost his credibility, and he is totally dependent on Modi to get his party’s candidates elected,” he pointed out.

Verma said Kumar was different when he adopted an anti-Modi plank from 2009 to 2014. He did not allow Modi to campaign for the 2010 Bihar Assembly polls. “At that time too, it was not because of his secular ideas but because that was convenient for him,” he said.

He said the claim by Nitish Kumar to have worked for the Muslim community was “well reciprocated by the minorities as they voted for him and his candidates”.

Senior journalist Soroor Ahmed said Kumar’s silence on Modi’s “hate” speeches is a clear sign of the chief minister’s weakness.

“Nitish Kumar’s claim of no compromise to communalism has been proved hollow since the 2019 general elections. His party compromised on many controversial issues like CAA, triple talaq and the abrogation of Article 370,” he told TwoCircles.net.

He said as Kumar is at his weakest political position, he cannot afford to oppose what Modi is saying about Muslims.

Professor Abdul Qadir said, “In the past too when Kumar was not that weak, he did not take a stand on the divisive and apparently anti-Muslim rumblings of BJP’s top leadership.”