This refers to the report “Modi invokes Ram, EC seeks report,” (May 6). The BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi appears to be landing himself in unnecessary controversy. Is he trying to provoke the Election Commission? His speech in Faizabad district invoking Lord Ram is a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct. There is a strong possibility of him becoming the Prime Minister because of anti-incumbency and other negative factors concerning the Congress/UPA-II and he must let it rest there and stop playing to the gallery. A prime ministerial candidate should always act in a restrained and non-controversial manner.
Even though the Ram temple issue did not find a prominent place in the BJP’s 2014 Manifesto, it is odd to find a religious depiction finding prominence at Mr. Modi’s rally. The party’s manifesto is only an excuse to reinvent Mr. Modi. Now that the election is in its last lap, tapping religious sentiment seems to be gaining more importance than extolling the development or growth mantra. In doing so, Mr. Modi seems to be revealing his true identity as a hardcore Hindu leader out to exploit the sentiments of innocent voters. Secular India wants a peaceful India and not a return to a polarised existence.
I hope better sense prevails on the empowered and enlightened voters to make a distinction between the good, the bad and the ugly.
The use of religious imagery by Mr. Modi needs to be condemned. Election campaigning has become murkier with each passing day. One only hears of mudslinging and insincere remarks. As the prime ministerial candidate, Mr. Modi seems to forget that he represents the whole of India and not a part of it. Acts such as the one in Faizabad are bound to stoke communal tension. It is time that Indian democracy matured, enough to discard such election tactics outright and instead focus on development and policy-based campaigning.