Why is BJP still people's choice
Elections in IndiaThe gods also voted
The nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, the BJP, has been in power since the last election in 2014. For the first time in 30 years, a party received an absolute majority. The BJP politician Maneka Gandhi at an event after the start of the current vote:
"I only win the election with the support of the voters. And it would not be good if Muslims did not vote me. But I will win the election even without their votes. However, I am not willing to do anything for them without something in return If Muslims ask me about jobs later - well, then I can't help them either. "
Attacks and lynching
Maneka Gandhi's speech not only sparked outrage among the country's Muslims, politicians from other parties also criticized it heavily. Academics, however, have become more reluctant to speak about politics.
"Some people have been attacked just because they had a different opinion than the ruling politicians. These were people who expressed themselves objectively and were not affiliated with any party."
Says the historian Raziuddin Aquil from the University of Delhi.
"Such people have to enjoy liberties so that our society is properly informed and not only heard political propaganda. But neutral political observers have been attacked in our institutions and in public. This is completely unacceptable."
Since the BJP came into power five years ago, not only have there been attacks against people critical of the government, but farmers who trade in cows have also been targeted by radical Hindu nationalists.
Since the cow is sacred in Hinduism, so-called cow protectors repeatedly stopped transports with cows, pulled the drivers out of the driver's cab and beat them up. Some injured them so badly that these people died.
In 2015, the head of government of the state of Haryana, a minister of the BJP, called on Muslims living in India to stop eating beef.
In the same year, a mob lynched 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq in a suburb of the Indian capital: he was accused of keeping beef in his refrigerator. Since then, nearly 50 people who were attacked by the Hindu nationalists have died.
"The law must be the same for everyone. Nobody should be discriminated against because of their religion. Minorities must also have the same rights. However, if you want to forbid Muslims from eating beef and lynching, then the constitution and the law are really nothing worth. And if a mob can simply disobey the law, what about state authority? "
"Politics fails and we have to live with it"
The police were also powerless in 1992 when Hindu militants in Ayodhyia destroyed the Babri Mosque within a few hours. After that, violent riots broke out across the country, killing over 2,000 people - mostly Muslims. The Hindu god Rama is said to have been born 60,000 years ago where the mosque stood. A Rama temple should be built here, BJP politicians and Hindu nationalists have repeatedly called for. The Supreme Court has yet to pass judgment as both Muslims and Hindus are claiming the place. At the end of November last year, 200,000 Hindus demonstrated in Ayodhiya and other places for the construction of the Hindu temple.
The writer and activist Urvashi Butalia:
"If our politicians were interested in peaceful coexistence, they could have achieved this long ago. But they have failed and we now have to live with them. And if the political will is not there to grant everyone the same rights, that will also work Do not change the situation of those who have been disadvantaged for a long time. "
In India, 80 percent of the population are Hindus and 14 percent Muslim. Most Hindus have prejudices against their Muslim fellow men in the country: the majority of them are aggressive, secretly support Pakistan and have too many children. And politicians show no interest in wanting to correct this opinion - on the contrary. The Hindu priest and head of government of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, coined the term "Love Jihad". He denounces that Muslims marry women of other faiths. And that these women have to convert to Islam.
"As far as Muslims are concerned, there are a lot of stereotypes among Hindus. For the sake of truth, however, it has to be said that Muslims in this country have not been noticed by aggression for a long time. The only exception is the riots that took place in Bombay in 1992, Today's Mumbai. And the originators of it all - fanatical Muslims with Indian roots - came from Arabia. And from there came the money that was used to finance the attacks at that time. "
Vote for Modi and the Rama Temple
Shortly before the start of the election of the new parliament, the largest religious festival in the world came to an end in Uttar Pradesh. Millions of Hindus came to Prayagraj, the former Allahabad, to take a ritual bath in the holy Ganges to rid them of their sins. This festival, the Kumbh Mela, was funded by the federal and state governments. For Yogi Adityanath, the Kumbh Mela was the most important project after taking office.
At the festival, Hindu priests and religious leaders sang praises of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath for the best Kumbh Mela ever. They also called on the faithful to support the ruling BJP party in the next election so that the Rama Temple in Ayodhya can finally become a reality.
"Instead of creating new jobs, as Narendra Modi had promised, the number of unemployed has risen! And in this situation the BJP is trying to win the elections again. Almost 40 percent of the Indian population is young, wants to work and get involved Most of the young people are Hindus. They cannot find a suitable job, feel discriminated against and are therefore easily roused. "
Aggressive positions against Muslims
Although the election has already started, politicians are still campaigning to win votes. Not only Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on the road with his ministers, but also Rahul Gandhi, the chairman of the National Congress Party. He is the fiercest competitor for the office of future prime minister.
"Muslims have always supported the Congress Party and also the communist parties. These parties profess the separation of religion and state. The BJP gets into trouble because of the lynching, the ban on slaughtering cattle and other incidents. It likes very good BJP candidates that get support from Muslims. But since this party takes a very aggressive position against Muslims from time to time, it is unlikely to get votes from this religious group. "
Varanasi, the holy city on the Ganges, was recently the prime minister's destination. On the banks of the Ganges, Narendra Modi performed a Hindu ritual in the presence of priests and many devotees.
The demonstrators who have been protesting in New Delhi since the end of January are also concerned with the Ganges. They oppose government plans to build dams in the holy river.
"The Ganga traditionally plays a big role in our religion. The river is a goddess for millions and millions of Hindus. And our politicians want to destroy our goddess by hindering her course. Our government consists of hypocrites who describe themselves as religious and corrupt We oppose these people with all our might. "
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