Part 2 – Modi phenomenon: Propaganda or Reality?

In continuation with the case study, based on the questions & inputs received from responses to the previous (part 1) article, I have tried to analyze them in this article with the help of official reports from archives available in public domain (which I have been tracking and collecting over the past few years as mentioned in part 1 as a part of the study) and have tried to consolidate & present those findings here.

Part 1 & all other parts of the case study can be found here:
http://guruprasad.net/posts/tag/modi/

Following are the questions which will be analyzed in this part of the case study.
(I received hundreds of questions for the part-1 article, but these were the most frequently asked 5 questions which we shall analyze today)

1) Was the burning of Sabarmati Express at Godhra (on Feb 27, 2002) really a pre planned arson or some conspiracy? There are several alternate/conspiracy theories including that of “fire accident”, “cylinder/stove burst”, “faulty electrical” etc.

2) Is it not true that Modi gave inflammatory speech soon after the Godhra carnage to incite mobs?

3) Why are only Hindus praising/supporting Modi? Why nobody from the minority seem to be supporting him.

4) Why does Modi’s Gujarat have so many fake encounters compared to other states?

5) Modi refused to wear a skull cap when offered. How can we call him secular?

1) Godhra train carnage: Fire accident or a planned arson?

When I talked about this with friends, there were mixed opinions. Some of them believed that it was a pre planned conspiracy and some believed that it was a fire accident due to faulty electrical. While each of us can have our own opinions on any matter, it becomes necessary to find out what the courts say based on their investigations.

31 people were found guilty of conspiring and setting ablaze the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express.
11 of them were sentenced to death. Here is the report of the court verdict with all the details:
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/11-get-death-in-godhra-train-burning-case/article1500325.ece

If the above link is broken, you can find it in the archives here:
https://web.archive.org/web/20131020121633/http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/11-get-death-in-godhra-train-burning-case/article1500325.ece

Same news reported by Outlook as well:
http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=712689


2) Modi’s inflammatory speech soon after Godhra carnage

This was the speech delivered by Modi on national television (Doordarshan) soon after Godhra carnage:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CiuBBKJ30Q

I was not able to find any other speech, and if you find a video/transcript/report of any other speech given by Modi, please share it here so that I update this article with due acknowledgement to you.

3) Why dont minorities support Modi?

While it is clearly evident that Modi has garnered a huge support base throughout the nation, the question of minority support for Modi still remains. There seems to be some hesitation if not outright rejection. In order to understand why there is such a hesitation, one has to go a little deeper into this issue. From the looks of it, there seems to be hostility towards Modi by the minority community. Even if somebody supports Modi, he would hesitate to disclose it because the situation seems to have gone to such an extent that any support towards Modi by anybody from the minority community is immediately quashed and he/she is penalized. For example, here are some snapshots of news reports of how influential leaders from the minority community were punished for praising or even just taking an interview of Modi.

modi_minority_praise

News reference links:

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-01-19/india/28371112_1_gujarat-riots-riot-victims-maulana-ghulam-mohammed-vastanvi

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/reformist-darul-uloom-vc-sacked-for-praising-modi/821546/

http://newindianexpress.com/nation/article364521.ece

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/1632228/report-official-transcript-shows-mehbooba-mufti-did-praise-narendra-modi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7W61h2hpRo

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/SP-sacks-Siddiqui-for-his-Modi-interview/Article1-903065.aspx

It is yet to be determined if this is the reason why some of the influential minority leaders are hesitant to support him (since they might be punished for praising or supporting him). However, inspite of this, several influential people have been showing their support towards him.

For example, here is one such influential person:
http://ibnlive.in.com/group-blog/the-india-blog/3581/why-gujarati-muslims-are-with-modi/64627.html

Some of the critical writers like Mohammad Neyaz Asghar have tried to look at it from a neutral perspective and published articles in “Muslim Mirror” which might indicate a paradigm shift & acceptance:
http://muslimmirror.com/eng/why-demonize-only-modi-for-communal-riot/

Jamiat leader, Madani, openly spoke out and took this stand which irked several parties and questioned the status quo:
http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-02-19/india/37179304_1_gujarat-and-modi-muslims-maulana-mahmood-madani

Whether these will result in votes or not is beyond the scope of this study since this sub-topic is to only find out if there exists supporters in minorities as well. Please note that I am not criticizing any political party but only trying to present available reports for the purpose of analysis. Each party might have it’s own reason to remain hostile to Modi but when a young man from a minority community who is interested in Modi’s vision sees Vastvani sacked for praising Modi and Siddiqui sacked for just interviewing Modi, it starts to become a subject of taboo and the young man might suppress his views.

modi_minorities

Image sources:
http://www.hindustantimes.com/photos-news/Photos-India/modivictory/Article4-977163.aspx

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/on-narendra-modi-s-63rd-birthday-bjp-s-secular-party-419773

http://www.indianmuslimobserver.com/2011/03/battlelines-drawn-for-muslim-votebank.html

4) Why so many fake encounters in Gujarat?

Since I am analyzing this from the perspective of a psychology student, it becomes important to detach from any preconceived notions and look at it from facts based perspective. There are lot of discussions in social media about how Modi has been encouraging “so many” fake encounters in his state. What does “so many” mean? It becomes necessary here to quantify.

According to the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC), there were 440 cases of alleged fake encounters in India during 2002-2007. The breakup of each state is as follows:
Uttar Pradesh – 231
Rajasthan – 33
Maharashtra – 31
..
..
Gujarat – 4

source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encounter_killings_by_police

Hence, when people on social media or expert panel in news channels discuss about “so many” fake encounters in Gujarat, they are actually referring to the 4 alleged fake encounters.

5) Modi & Skull cap

A few months ago, there was a furor across news channels about Modi refusing to accept skull cap.
http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-09-19/india/30175204_1_narendra-modi-muslim-cleric-gujarat-university-convention-hall

Several political leaders who claimed to be secular condemned Modi’s non-secular act and this was the news story for the next 48 hours across popular news channels.
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/nitish-kumar-says-pro-narendra-modi-wave-is-artificial/1/310904.html

So, we come to the question: “How does wearing skull cap indicate secularism?”. Does that mean someone who refuses to wear a skull cap become non-secular? I have been asking this to many of my friends but nobody seem to have any convincing answer. Does this incident really need so much of media coverage? If you have any views on this, please let me know.

But since as many as 17 readers had brought out this point in the response for part-1, I cannot ignore it and must look at it from a neutral standpoint irrespective of whether this incident deserves such weightage or not.

Let us assume that Nitish is right. To prove one’s secular credentials, one has to wear skull cap when offered, failing which he becomes non-secular.
Nitish claims that he is secular and hence will always accept skull cap when offered.

But to the surprise of many, Nitish refused to wear a skull cap recently:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSOEL4f58iM

It is contradicting now. According to Nitish, he is secular (he claims to be) as well as non-secular (he did not wear skull cap nor did he accept the shawl). This is getting complicated and confusing and I will leave it to the reader to figure it out.

nitish_skullcapHowever, keeping the topic of skull cap & secularism aside for a while, I fail to understand why popular news channels highlighted Modi’s incident for several days but his rival leader’s similar incident went unnoticed. From a neutral standpoint, we must apply the same yardstick to everybody irrespective of who they are. Media has a very important role in the nation and must strive to be transparent and free of bias. If media (which influences millions) is being biased, it becomes propaganda and affects people’s mindset.

In psychology, this effect is called “Anchoring effect“:
http://www.spring.org.uk/2013/05/the-anchoring-effect-how-the-mind-is-biased-by-first-impressions.php

So, we have analyzed all the 5 questions and saw several available reports and facts which are in public domain but not shown in main stream media (news media channels). Also, we studied about “Anchoring effect” and how it is being used by main stream media. So, we are all set to delve into the vast ocean of main stream media which we shall do in the subsequent/future parts of this case study.

UPDATE:
All other parts of the case study can be found here:
http://guruprasad.net/posts/tag/modi/

Note: This case study is not to support or criticize any politician/party/govt but to dig out the reality and to quash false propaganda, if any. This case study will be updated based on more inputs & unearthing of further facts and new parts added over time.

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