Modi’s Anti-Minority Policies And India’s Upcoming Elections – OpEd


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been enjoying his position in power since 2014. Widely popular among hard-core Hindu fanatics, Modi has time and again used anti-minority policies to gain support of the Indian masses. However, with increasing violent incidents in India against minorities, patterns might change. 

It is not a new phenomenon in India that Modi and his Hindu nationalist BJP have put forward unfair policies oppressing the minority communities. Looking just a few years back, Modi started a large-scale voter suppression campaign before 2019 elections. Around 120 million eligible voters from religious minorities were removed from the electoral roll due to the demand of documentation to prove residency. Purpose behind this was to wipe off religious groups considered non-Indians in Hindutva ideology. Around 70 million Muslims and Dalits lost their right to vote.

In view of upcoming general elections in 2024, Modi initiated a particularly troublesome agenda to endorse a unified set of personal laws regardless of religion. Apparently, for BJP, the common code is vital to achieve equality and promote national unity. However, obligating a common code for all in an ethnically and religiously diverse state like India will be adding fuel to the fire. Such initiations on part of Modi’s government are dubious attempts to create a rift through communities. It is a useful tool in gathering votes of the Hindu majority. 

According to Human Rights Watch, Modi’s government has undertaken numerous legislatures and actions legitimizing discrimination against religious minorities. These include Citizenship Law of 2019, anti-conversion law etc. There has been a constant suppression of Muslims, Christian, Dalits and Sikh minority groups in India. Muslim minority population of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir(IIOJK) has been constant subject to Modi’s Hindu fascist policies.  Modi revoked article 370 and 35A fulfilling his pre-electoral promise. The move stripped Kashmir off its autonomous status resulting in large scale protests and killings of Kashmiris.  

Fate of Indian Dalits has taken on a worse turn under Modi’s governance. Next to Muslims, they are on the constant target of Hindutva groups. Indian Christians are no less being treated the same way. Recent horrific incident against Christian minority group in Manipur, India has shaken the entire world. Dispute between the largely Hindu Meitei and largely Christian Kuki tribes had been brewing overtime. Narendra Modi had initially been silent it. Only after a video clip of two Christian women being sexually assaulted went viral that the populist leader broke his silence and condemned the incident. Since 3rd May, at least 140 people have been killed and around 60,000 have been displaced from their homes in Manipur.

There is no end to incidents of violence against the minorities. Just few days ago, communal violence erupted in Nuh of Haryana state in India. The rift primarily on religious basis occurred between Muslim and Hindu group. Furthermore, there has been another incident of a terror attack against Muslims in a train from Jaipur to Mumbai killing four people. The culprit was a strong supporter of BJP and Modi’s nationalistic rhetoric.

It is without any doubt that Modi’s highly nationalistic policies have been very favourable in getting him electoral support of Hindutva led voters. Nevertheless, highly rising violent incidents against minorities is shaking India’s image. It is not long for the threshold to be crossed. Modi’s anti minority policies may backfire causing greater loss for BJP in the long run.  

There were wide expectations for Modi to conquer the third term as well.  It came as a shock for the BJP when it lost elections in May to the major opposition Congress party in Karnataka state. BJP’s fanatic policies have intensified violence against minorities to the peak. Leaders of twenty-six opposition political parties in India have bonded together in an alliance to defeat the populist leader, Modi. The coalition named as Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) aims to curb the hostility against minorities.

Politics is an ever-changing process with no permanent positions and stances. Despite Modi achieving success through his hardcore nationalistic policies in the past, the tables might be turned against him this time. 

Qurat Ul Ain

Qurat Ul Ain holds a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from NUST and is currently a research intern at Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI).

One thought on “Modi’s Anti-Minority Policies And India’s Upcoming Elections – OpEd

  • August 22, 2023 at 1:17 pm

    “Life of Muslims in India is much better than the majority Muslim countries be it Iran,Afghaistan.Wish you had visited India before you write on hearsay rumours or what you read. Indian Muslims have greater freedom of speech,right to practice their religion and their women exercising greater freedom. Indian Muslims have held the highest positions in all Government offices including the President.
    Another in the series of Hate India-Hate Modi article from our research friends across. There have been the monumental change in India’s fortunes as a Nation and a player principally in Asia and broadly on the global stage. Modi may be a despised name in Pakistan, but he has done something to brand India which none before him was able to manage. Importantly, India does what it feels in the interest of the notion. To remind our friends The theme of India’s G20 ; “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” a Sanskrit phrase meaning “The World is One Family” Or “One Earth-One Family-One Future” – is drawn from the ancient Sanskrit text of the Maha Upanishad.
    Pakistan remains a dangerous place and vast number of Pakistanis have, arguably, given up on Pakistan.Inflation has reached record levels, with food price inflation touching 46 per cent! Over 750,000 young Pakistanis are estimated to have left the country just this year and 67 per cent of young people say that they want to leave. The only place, in the world, that is worse for women other than Pakistanis is Afghanistan!It appears young Paki researchers are tasked to write regular Hate India-Hate Modi articles!


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