The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s state secretary put up hoardings around Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh which say opposition leaders are denouncing the controversial movie ‘The Kerala Story’ because they take orders from terrorists.
The hoardings, put up by BJP leader Abhijat Mishra, describe fictional conversations in Hindi between a man in a mask holding a gun and opposi-tion leaders Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav, Rahul Gandhi and Asaduddin Owasi. They have been erected at several locations, including the busy road near the Lucknow University.
A speech bubble next to the man holding a gun in his hand says, “Disciples somehow ban the film of these Kafirs (infidels).”
The speech bubble next to West Bengal chief minister Banerjee says, “Master, I have banned the movie in Bengal.” Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi’s speech bubble says, “Yes, sir, I am trying my best.” The speech bubble beside Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav says, “I’m opposing, but I’m afraid of bull-dozers.”
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen Presi-dent, Asaduddin Owasi, shown in the hoarding, says, “Master, neither the government nor the court is listening.”
At the bottom of the hoarding are the words, written on saffron background, “Jago Bharat Jago” (Wake Up India).
All the quotes, except Rahul Gandhi’s, have been translated from Hindi. Released just a day before the second phase of the Urban Local Body (ULB) polls in the state being held today (Thursday), the hoardings were evidently a part of the BJP’s strategy to raise communal polarisation.
Abhijat Mishra, the 44-year-old BJP leader who put up the hoardings, began his career as a student leader from the Lucknow University. He has worked for the youth wing of the BJP and for several Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh functionaries in the past. He was recently appointed the state secretary of the saffron party.
BJP leaders – including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – have endorsed controversial movie ‘The Kerala Story’, which claims to tell the story of girls from Kerala who converted to Islam and then joined the militant group ISIS.—INP