Hold your fire oppostion, Modi’s graveyard comment is a wake up call for caste, communal politics

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New Delhi | Updated: February 20, 2017 12:15:18 PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'graveyard' comment may have given the opposition parties some more fodder to attack him, but they may not reap much political benefit from their attempt.

narendra modi‬, ‪fatehpur district‬, uttar pradesh‬, ‪akhilesh yadav‬‬, congress, modi fatehpur speech, up election news, modi kabristan, modi shamshan, pm modi, up polls, uttar pradesh assembly elections 2017, up elections 2017Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses at an election rally in Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s graveyard comment may have given the opposition parties some more fodder to attack him, but they may not reap much political benefit from their attempt as they may be thinking. What PM Modi said was right and also reflected how governments and political parties, including at the Centre and in states, have championed their politics over several decades since independence by discriminating among their subjects. It is no secret that often certain sections of people are allowed more privileges on the basis of their castes, class or even apparently religious affiliations — be it Hindus or Muslims.

In a democracy, it is unethical for a government to discriminate on the basis of such criteria. Prevalent practice of nepotism, casteism, and appeasement on the basis of religion are the extensions of such discrimination. In Uttar Pradesh, there is a visible anger on the ground against such discrimination as a large section of the society wants to break away from the old shackles of caste and religion and wake up to the new generation, the rest are also eager.

Even as this latent anger often remain unreported, PM Modi fired it up on Sunday during his speech in Fatehpur. It is ironic that only one line of his speech was picked up by the opposition and also some sections of media. But, while considering the speech in its entirety, even the Election Commission would not be able to decipher any violation of the model code of conduct.

Watch Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s full speech in Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh

Here is the transcript of the part of the speech in which PM Modi talked about graveyards in villages:

“Discrimination is the biggest problem in Uttar Pradesh. There is discrimination in the roots of injustice…you tell me, isn’t there a discrimination?

“I am surprised. If you ask a Dalit, he says they (Akhilesh government) are not giving what is my right and it goes to OBCs. When you ask OBCs, they say he (Akhilesh) doesn’t give me what is my right but only to Yadavs. When you ask Yadavs, they say he (Akhilesh) gives only to people associated with his family and the rest to Muslims.

“Everyone is complaining. Brothers and sisters, this discrimination can’t be allowed. …everyone should get what is their right. This is ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’… Brothers and sisters, if a ‘Kabristaan’ is constructed in a village, then the ‘shamshan‘ should also be set up in the village. If one gets electricity during Ramzan, then one should get electricity in Diwali also. If one gets electricity during Holi, then one should get it during Eid also. There should not be any discrimination. It is the duty of the government to run a discrimination-free administration.”

PM Modi’s comment on graveyards was probably in response to a recent report that Akhilesh government provided electricity to people on the basis of their religious.

Union power minister Piyush Goyal had said on February 10 that BJP MP Sarvesh Kumar lodged a complaint with Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) alleging discrimination in the distribution of power connections on the basis of religion in Moradabad. Goyal said the charges were found to be correct after an inquiry.

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