BJP Deletes Its X Video of Religious Targeting

BJP Deletes Its X Video of Religious Targeting

May 9, 2024 Off By Sharp Media

The Modi-led Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has removed a cartoon video from the social media platform ‘X’ after facing criticism for allegedly targeting minority Muslims during ongoing elections. India’s election code prohibits campaigning that incites communal tensions, yet the Hindu-nationalist BJP has frequently leveraged the country’s religious divide for political gains.

According to reports, the contentious video, posted by an official BJP account, depicted caricatures of opposition politicians purportedly plotting to revoke special affirmative action programs for marginalized Hindu groups, redirecting them to Muslims instead. The Election Commission promptly intervened, sending a letter to the platform’s Indian office on Tuesday, citing the post as “objectionable” and in violation of Indian law. Subsequently, the original post vanished from the platform, replaced with a notice stating it had been deleted.

The opposition Congress party lodged a police complaint against the video, accusing it of fostering “enmity between different religions.” However, Prime Minister Modi, widely anticipated to secure a third term in office once the six-week general election concludes next month, has echoed similar sentiments to those depicted in the video during his campaign speeches since last month.

This incident underscores the contentious intersection of politics and religion in India’s electoral landscape. While the BJP’s campaign strategy has often relied on polarizing rhetoric and appeals to Hindu nationalism, critics argue that such tactics risk exacerbating communal tensions and undermining the country’s secular principles.

The deletion of the video comes amidst growing scrutiny of online content and its potential to fuel religious discord and hate speech. Social media platforms are increasingly under pressure to moderate content that violates laws or incites violence, especially during sensitive political periods like elections.

While the BJP may have removed the controversial video, the incident raises broader questions about the role of social media in shaping political discourse and the responsibility of political parties to uphold democratic values and principles of inclusivity.