This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Shashank Saurav. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Why Modi”s Recent Comments Are Strategically Cathartic To BJP”s Poll Campaign

More from Shashank Saurav

By Shashank Saurav:

Narendra Modi is the most written and talked about politician in India at the moment in media echelons. Every thing that he says or tweets is discussed enthusiastically both in the media and public . Many politicians envy him as the press doesn’t pay even half the attention to them as compared to Modi and there is a substantial support that he has gained amongst the educated middle and upper class Indians. Even certain sections of the Muslim community support him inspite of the fact that he turned a blind eye towards them during the riots mainly because they want respite from the Congress and are tired of its fake promises

Narendra Modi

He bears an uncanny combination of both the good as well as the evil. Alliances have broken, riots have been caused and yet he remains unfettered, unaffected by the controversies surrounding him as much as to say that he loves being in the spotlight for either the wrong or the right reasons. He is hailed across the globe for his commendable work in Gujarat whose FDI Investment is even greater than China. His meteoric rise from a mere sweeper in RSS office to the most probable PM candidate of BJP has raised many eyebrows even within his own party. Still , the ‘ghost’ of Godhra still haunts him. He is yet to overcome the blotch left by the Gujarat riots on his political career or rather it can be said that he hasn’t taken any efforts to do so. At the time when he is at the cusp of being declared as the BJP’s official PM Candidate, his recent remarks have been disappointing to say the least.

In the past, he is known to shy away from answering questions pertaining to 2002 Gujarat riots and even abruptly ended interviews when he was drilled on them. However, when he recently chose to answer them in the Interview he gave to Reuters, his choice of words towards Gujarat riots victims was pathetic to say the least. To the question asked by the interviewer – ‘Do you regret what happened in Gujarat in 2002?‘ , he replied that ‘ if we are driving a car, we are a driver, and someone else is driving a car and we’re sitting behind, even then if a puppy comes under the wheel, will it be painful or not? Of course it is. If I’m a chief minister or not, I’m a human being. If something bad happens anywhere, it is natural to be sad.‘  This comment has now been manipulated by the Congress and SP who have termed that he was referring Muslims as ‘puppies’. Honestly speaking, they can’t be blamed given the poor secular credentials of Modi and the fact that he has himself never much endeavoured to revamp his hardcore Hindu image. He has himself given them a wonderful opportunity to refer to this remark in their Political speeches. This may work for him to gain a few Hindu votes but may even lead to loss of many Muslim seats for the BJP. Even many Hindus who consider him a man of development would start doubting if the trend continues.

I believe that the modern Indian is less communal and more secular in its outlook than what it used to be in the past. Such incendiary speeches won’t work in his favour now as it did in Gujarat. We saw a glimpse of it even when the Babri Masjid’s verdict came out when there was no major incident anywhere across India. Already, many state parties are unwilling to join the NDA due to the fact that it might hamper their Muslim votes and comments such as these would only bolster their belief. We all want peace now and it would be better if Modi soon realizes that his speeches should aim at solving problems, not creating them. He should attack his opponents on issues of development and corruption where his record has been appreciable and try to build a more inclusive model of growth for India. You are known to be strategic Mr Modi , show us in your political decision making as well.

You must be to comment.
  1. Omi Tewary

    Neither BJP nor Congress is clean but we must accept this man has a vision.The vision that can tremendously change India!Congress has always accused him of being Communal but the question is has Mr.Modi ever made any statement that that concludes he hates any religion?If they talk about the gujarat riots then riots also happened in Mumbai in 1992 under Congress led govt where 575 muslims n 275 hindus were killed(source-wikipedia).why forget that?Can congress explain killing of our 8k sikh brothers.3k sikhs alone were killed in Delhi?sikhs were burnt alive and that was a such a big massacre than gujarat riots but y always ghost of 1992 are recalled but not 1984 anti sikh riots? Over a time Hindu pandits were tortured in J & K.They had to move out of state.The state which was once in Hindu majority now have muslims majority.Does the Congress led govt did anything to restore those Hindus back in their state? Does this means these advocates of Secularism is anti Hindu or anti Sikh? My Muslim brothers should also understand Congress just ruining the country.Everyone should realize if a country develops then prosperity comes to each citizen of India.Congress ruled for more than 50 years in the country and now look the situation!Hindu,Muslim,Christian whatever you are look that your people still making hard to earn bread and butter.Our Financial Capital mumbai has 50% slum population!This happens to be in a state which has been ruled by congress govt for more than 50 yrs!

  2. Shashank Saurav

    Omi Tewary – Please read the article properly . I am myself a supporter of his vision and acknowledge him as the man who has a vision for India but we can’t
    simply turn a blind eye to his secular credentials . I want change to happen in India but at the same time i won’t turn right wing in my zest for it . I firmly am a supporter of secularism and would want my leader to start accepting other communities as well . Lets be pragmatic , not fanatical in our support for Modi .

More from Shashank Saurav

Similar Posts

By Atypical Advantage

By Ritwik Trivedi

By Ecochirp Foundation

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below