Issue Brief on “The Politics of Hate: Modi’s Anti-Muslim Campaign in 18th Lok Sabha Elections”



Around the world, political parties and leaders while running their election campaign focus on their past achievements, promises for the future, and the problems faced by society and common people. They instill hope in the people by presenting their vision for a better future. This is not the case in India. In India, among other things, the election season also usually witnesses bashing and all sorts of threats to Pakistan. However, this time around, there is more than that set menu. Besides the traditional anti-Pakistan rhetoric, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ongoing 18th Lok Sabha election campaign is being waged for most part on hate against its minorities, particularly Muslims.

The Election Campaign

It has always been the BJP’s tactic to attract votes by stoking hatred against Pakistan. This was true in both 16th and 17th Lok Sabha elections fought in 2014 and 2019 respectively. The false flag operation in Pulwama in February 2019 and how it was used to the benefit of BJP is no more a secret. This time, Modi’s hate attacks on Pakistan, Congress and Muslims started even before the elections commenced in India. In Saharanpur, while addressing a rally on 6 April 2024, Modi equated Congress’s manifesto with Muslim League and said “Yesterday’s manifesto release by Congress completely bears the imprint of the Muslim League’s thinking, with the Muslim League’s thinking, with the remainder dominated by leftists.”[1]

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