BJP and its ‘terrorism’ mantra | By Moneeb Jaffar Mir

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BJP and its ‘terrorism’ mantra

IN the recent annual session of the ‘No Money For Terror’ conference in New Delhi, Indian leaders have once again hurled accusations at Pakistan of ‘supporting’ terrorism.

The ritual has once again been performed just like the past, however, BJP might not be able to indefinitely delude its domestic audience with such a narrative and the world must not pay heed to such a hollow narrative.

It has become a norm in Indian domestic politics that canvassing primarily stands on the premise of an anti-Pakistan narrative, more intensely since the Hindu radical Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has come into power.

The way is simple: the more the hatred towards Pakistan heightens, the more support the BJP gets.

Mainly, sentiments against Pakistan are flared up by maligning it for carrying out terrorist activities on Indian soil which could not have been proven so far.

Generally, terrorist incidents in India appear to be false flag operations, such as the Pulwama attack, which took place just before the Indian general election in 2019 and sway public sentiments in favour of BJP raising many questions.

Rousing hatred against Pakistan has become BJP’s entrenched party policy. It is now often used to hide the party’s domestic failures and to radicalize common masses to get support from them to further aggrandize its populistic rule.

The main question arises whether common Indians and the world are indefinitely befooled. During the rule of the BJP, in recent years, India has become a majoritarian country that trampled upon every notion of democracy.

The DNA of the fascist government policies has been to suppress dissenting voices and oppress minorities, mainly the Muslims.

According to Amnesty International, the Indian Government has used every tool in its inventory to curtail freedom of expression and intimidate journalists.

Variegated spyware tools have been utilized to hack the phones of journalists; and despite many attempts by the opposition, the government has refused to make an investigation commission on it.

With its burgeoning population, India has remained unable to provide a sustainable life to its youth by denying them outlets to utilize their talents.

In India, the estimated youth unemployment rate in 2021 was 27 percent. While according to the International Labour Organization, the unemployment rate in the last ten years of the Indian youth has remained at 22 percent, completely showing that its economy is in the dire straits.

And in the year 2021 alone, the Indian Government shut down the internet for the 38th time.

With its poor economic performance, the betrayal of its farmers and its weakening of institutions, the polarized social fabric with deeply ingrained hatred for one another, perpetual violations of human rights and ever-increasing socio-economic inequality, BJP is brewing social unrest that if erupted can have a ripple effect all around the region and the globe.

Propagation of hate to the masses is usually through broadcast media which is often observed to be creating sensationalism.

A large chunk of the broadcast media is owned by those who have close ties with BJP, therefore, helping BJP create an environment that is suitable to their interests.

It can easily be asserted that the empire that BJP has erected on its hollow narrative will soon fall when people will start to understand that they have been fooled.

However, it is unfortunate to see how the world buys the Indian narrative when conferences like ‘No Money For Terror’ are being held in India and inaugurated by individuals like Narendra Modi, who before becoming the Prime Minister of India was designated as a terrorist by the United States and his (Modi) entry into the country was banned.

The Indian leaders who have been using such a narrative as an instrument to hold onto power at home and play a victim card in the international arena have now even dragged China into this rhetoric.

According to Indian Express, the Indian Prime Minister remarked about China and Pakistan when he said during his address at the conference last week that some countries instigate terrorism (insinuating Pakistan) “as part of their foreign policy”, while others do so by “blocking action against terrorists” while hinting at China.

It is all done by providing no evidence to prove the stance. What used to be BJP’s domestic narrative has seemed to morph into a diplomatic tool to advance its hegemonic designs in the region.

Therefore, the world, instead of buying such a narrative, should look beyond the wall to see how the hollow narrative is helping an extremist party to stay in power, which in the future can go to any length to oppress its own people and jeopardize regional and international peace.

—The writer is Researcher at Centre of International Strategic Studies (AJK).