Nationalism is very powerful among Indians and it can hide everything, including the demonetization and GST. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was at great high in popularity after the “surgical strikes,” but lately his government is seen suppressing the real issues of the country and paving ways to highlight issues like religious sentiments with the self-declared deadline of Ram Mandir coming closer and controversies over Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati movie release.
Winning by majority votes in 2014 the Modi government started its journey with promises to focus on economic growth, but the prime minister’s rather conservative party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), having ties with hard-line Hindu groups, was always in the news for unwanted reasons including pursuing laws catering to Hindu majority and questionable statements by its leaders.
Citing offensive to Hinduism, some of the states led by BJP banned beef consumption. A Muslim man was even lynched by a Hindu mob in September this year suspecting he had eaten meat of cow, a sacred animal. Most of the accused were found to be relatives of a local BJP worker.
Breaking silence after about three weeks of the incident the prime minister called killing of the Muslim man in northern India as undesirable and sad. He added that his opponents are trying to exploit it.
Union Minister Giriraj Singh challenged film maker Sanjay Leela Bhansali whether he or his counterparts in the industry have guts to make films on other religions apart from making on Hindu gurus, gods and warriors.
Several Rajput groups including the Karni Sena have called ban on the film Padmavati alleging it is a disrespect to the sentiments of Rajput community and its release may distort historical facts.
Uttar Pradesh has a BJP-led government and chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath has written to the censor board to take into account views of people too before taking decision on the release of Padmavati.