BJP is doubling down on the hate propaganda! It’s just not PM Modi.

Vanathi Srinivasan, a BJP MLA from Tamil Nadu, makes a veiled religious pitch ahead of Kerala Lok Sabha polls using a misleading claim that 5338 girls are missing from Kerala.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is heavily criticized in the past couple of days for his horrendous comments on Muslims and making misleading claims about Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statements way back in 2006 when he was in the office. His comments have been dubbed as the last resort to stay in power as the anti-incumbency is slowing making its impact in the election campaigns in the northern part of India.

Despite Narendra Modi’s past track record of religious violence under his watch as the Chief Minister of Gujarat and past actions & comments, he created an image for himself amongst the people who are not politically savvy as the man for ‘growth and development’. The ‘Gujarat Model’ narrative played a huge role in boosting his image among the people outside of the hard Hindutva clique. Now, the image has been all but shattered. Many are expressing shock and disgust for his comments.

Meanwhile, Vanathi Srinivasan, a BJP MLA from Coimbatore South constituency in Tamil Nadu, is making a similarly toned but ‘veiled attack’ on the Muslims on the X social media platform. Her tweet read, “5338 missing girls in #Kerala over the past 4 years, echoing the disturbing narrative laid out in #TheKeralaStory. Yet, instead of addressing these alarming figures, Mr. @pinarayivijayan chooses to dismiss them as mere @BJP4India propaganda! It’s high time we prioritize the safety and well-being of our girls over political agendas.  Every missing girl represents a family in anguish and a community in distress. Let’s unite to #ProtectOurGirls and ensure a safer future for all.#KeralaMissingGirls”

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Missing Girls?

Vanathi’s post claims that 5338 girls are missing from Kerala. She also makes a connection to the propaganda film “The Kerala Story”. The controversial film initially claimed that 1000s of women are abducted from Kerala and sent to the middle eastern countries as sex slaves and are either sold to or in some cases married to ISIS terrorists. But after a suit was filed against the film, the makers of the film claimed that the movie is a fictional story and also backtracked on the claims that number of missing women.

Coming back to the 5338 missing girls, it is only one side of the story. We went through the NCRB data from 2019 till 2022 (2023 data not released yet). In the above period, 3803 girls were reported missing. But the most important point to note here is, 3819 girls have been recovered in the same period. The number of untraceable girls at the end of 2022 stood at 50. Without this key piece of information, the data on missing girls is completely misleading and the MLA from Coimbatore South has used to make a ‘dog whistle’ that Muslims are abducting Hindu girls and makes a case for “safety and well-being of our girls”. It is important to note that from the data provided for supposed RTI query, we could deduce that the number of missing girls in 2023 went up to 1535 which is concerning. It should also be looked at along with the number of recovered girls to get a clear picture. Similar narratives have been used in the past as well by the BJP leaders to make false claims about the law-and-order situation & the safety of women in Tamil Nadu.

The anti-Muslim pitch:

The whole of the right-wing is going all in on appealing to its core Hindutva vote base with its recent narratives. Even the BJP President J.P.Nadda labeled the Congress’ election manifesto reflecting the ideology of the Muslim league. Assam’s Chief Minister and another notable leader from the BJP Himanta Biswa Sarma claimed that the manifesto would serve Pakistan more than it would serve India. A BJP candidate, Madhavi Latha, contesting in the Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency made a miming gesture to shoot arrows at a mosque in Hyderabad during the election rally. The list keeps getting longer and longer. It is a growing concern, and it is unclear at the moment as to how this is going to impact the electorate.

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Ramasamy Jayaprakash

Ramasamy works as a Senior Sub-Editor at YouTurn and writes articles in Tamil and English. He also makes videos for YouTurn's Tamil & English YouTube channels.
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