BJP posts video calling Muslims ‘invaders, terrorists, robbers’, deletes it

The video posted on Tuesday, April 30, calls Muslims, the “favourite community” of Congress and claims that the Congress, if elected, would “snatch the wealth of all non-Muslims and give it Muslims.”
BJP posts video calling Muslims ‘invaders, terrorists, robbers’, deletes it
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As if Prime Minister Modi’s hate speech in Rajasthan last week did not drive home his claims that Muslims were “infiltrators” and the Congress would implement “wealth redistribution,” the Bharatiya Janata Party’s official Instagram handle posted an animated video which is outrightly Islamophobic and filled with false claims. The video posted on Tuesday, April 30, which has now been deleted, calls Muslims, the “favourite community” of Congress and claims that the Congress, if elected, would “snatch the wealth of all non-Muslims and give it to Muslims.”

While Modi in his speech in Rajasthan’s Banswara, referred to Muslims as “infiltrators” and “those who have more children,” this video directly targets Muslims and calls Congress’ manifesto as “Muslim League’s ideology in disguise.” The animated video also shows Rahul Gandhi holding the “Congress manifesto” which morphs into the green-coloured flag with the crescent and star, which is widely considered as the Islamic flag. 

The video starts with an appeal to the “Bharatiya citizens” and says they have to support “Narendra Modi at this hour.”

Watch: The 4 big distortions in the PM’s ‘infiltrator’ speech | Mandate 2024 Special Ep w Sreenivasan Jain

Then it goes on to make what has become one of Modi’s central claims in this election—wealth redistribution. “Here is the absolute reality. If the Congress Party comes to power, it will snatch all the money and wealth of non-Muslims and distribute it to Muslims. Their favourite community! It is a fact that once Manmohan Singh said that Muslims have the first claim on our resources,” the video claims. This has already been pointed out as a false claim.

Watch: Modi, Muslims, Manmohan Singh and Misinformation| Let Me Explain with Pooja Prasanna

The PM has been taking what former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in 2006 out of context. Singh had said that SC/STs, other backward classes, minorities and women and children should have first claim on resources for equitable development. The full text of the speech is: “I believe our collective priorities are clear: agriculture, irrigation and water resources, health, education, critical investment in rural infrastructure, and the essential public investment needs of general infrastructure, along with programmes for the upliftment of SC/STs, Other Backward Classes, minorities and women and children. The component plans for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes will need to be revitalised. We will have to devise innovative plans to ensure that minorities, particularly the Muslim minority, are empowered to share equitably in the fruits of development. They must have the first claim on resources. The Centre has myriad other responsibilities whose demands will have to be fitted within the overall resource availability.”

The PM’s office, back in 2006, clarified that he meant “first claim on resources” referring to all the “priority” areas listed above, including programmes for the upliftment of SCs, STs, OBCs, women and children and minorities.

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The BJP, however, goes on to say that “this has been going on for centuries.” In an animation that looks more like a cartoon, the video shows temples and a woman like a queen, wearing lots of gold jewellery and says, “Ancient India was really beautiful. We were so rich and prosperous that each and every average citizen had plenty of gold. Plenty of wealth. Plenty of riches.”

Then comes the visuals of Muslim men in horses and the voice-over says that because of our prosperity, “invaders, terrorists, robbers and thieves used to come again and again, used to loot all our treasures. They used to redistribute the loot among themselves. And on top of that, they used to ruin our temples. And the Congress Party has been empowering people who belong to the very same community.”

If this is not clear enough that the BJP is making a targeted attack, the next statement in the video would do so. “Congress party’s manifesto is nothing but the Muslim League’s ideology in disguise. If you are a non-Muslim, Congress will snatch your wealth and distribute it to Muslims. Narendra Modi knows of this evil plan. Only he has the strength to stop it. If you really care about the Bharatiya civilisation, you need to go out and vote for Modi. ApkiBaar400 is the absolute need of the hour.”

Many social media users called out the video saying that it was hate speech and reported the video. While it is not found on the handle now, it is not clear if BJP deleted the post or if Instagram has taken it down.

The BJP’s modus operandi has consistently been invoking the Hindu religious faith, and Ram temple and making divisive remarks, and the silence of the Election Commission of India (ECI) has evoked widespread criticism of the constitutional body. Speaking to TNM in an earlier instance, senior advocate of the Supreme Court Sanjay Hegde said that the silence of ECI would send a wrong message to the people. “If ECI doesn’t take any action, then it’s a signal for increased speech of this kind, for not just the PM but for others as well,” he said.

While the ECI did send a notice to the BJP party’s president JP Nadda over the speech of a ‘star campaigner’, it has not mentioned Modi’s name or the claims he has been making. Nor did it question Modi directly. It has invoked Section 77 of the Representation of the People’s Act, and held the heads of political parties responsible for the statement of a ‘star campaigner.’ “The Commission has taken a view that while the individual star campaigner would continue to remain responsible for speeches made, the commission will address the party president or head of the political party, on a case-to-case basis,” the notice read.

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