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7 May, 2014

Hindutva redux in Uttar Pradesh – The Hindu

Not surprisingly then, Mr. Modi’s own rhetoric has gradually, almost inevitably, changed from livelihood talk and lofty promises of highways and bullet trains to issues around Pakistan and alleged Muslim appeasement. From insinuating a Pakistani connection in the case of Arvind Kejriwal (AK-49 for his 49 days as Delhi Chief Minister) to alleging a pink revolution (euphemism for beef exports) under the United Progressive Alliance government, to repeated threats to extradite Bangladeshi migrants, the Gujarat Chief Minister has moved towards subjects his campaign had insisted would be taboo in this election.

On the stump in Ayodhya on May 5, Mr. Modi dispensed with the fig leaf altogether. The allegories and metaphors became redundant as he openly declaimed against the backdrop of a giant-sized Lord Ram picture. Add to all this the rain of unfettered rabble-rousing by Amit Shah, Giriraj Singh and Praveen Togadia — with the SP’s Azam Khan returning word for inflammatory word — and the U.P. communal pot would seem to be well and truly stirred. “Development” could well be a phrase fashionable on another planet.

Read the rest: Hindutva redux in Uttar Pradesh – The Hindu.