‘Ram Rajya’ Might Just Become A Problem For Modi

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi reads a document during a Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) Parliamentary Committee meeting at the Parliament house in New Delhi on July 23, 2019. (Photo by PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

Just when one thought that the Hindutva narrative had taken a back seat and references to the contrary from some motormouths like central legislator Pragya Thakur were an aberration, here comes a video that will make one cringe.

The said video, shared on social media by journalist and activist Prashant Kanojia is in the form of a bhajan for Lord Ram that exhorts all true devotees to decimate those who do not say #JaiShriRam. “Jo Na Bole Jai Shri Ram, Bhej Do Unko Qabristan,” says the video that is picturized on a person attired in saffron clothes.

The video contains the mobile phone details of the person who has reportedly produced and directed it, one Rajesh Verma. On Twitter, the video has already garnered 30K views at the moment and by the look of it is getting shared quite vigorously– both by proponents as well as opponents of religious fundamentalism.

That’s a win for Rajesh Verma, clearly.

In his tweet, Kanojia ridiculed the fact that it is only in India that terrorists get to make their own music videos and upload them on YouTube. “Even the likes of Taliban and the ISIS haven’t been able to scale this level of expertise,” he says and quips that with Digital India comes Digital Terrorism.

The video has young boys and girls, dressed in saffron clothes, dancing to the tune of the music and background images of Hindu fundamentalists brandishing swords. The song, which goes on for about two minutes and fifteen seconds, also has suggestive images of a Muslim graveyard.

The lyrics of the song are inflammatory and suggests that anyone opposed to Lord Ram would be buried and that the whole of India would soon see ‘Ram Rajya’ returning. The entire video also carries suggestive pictures of zealots wearing saffron terrorizing others, though never once actually naming Muslims as the target.

Among the first to respond to the post was Sudheendra Kulkarni, a technocrat turned politician, who was part of the BJP’s thinktank during the Atal Bihari Vajyapee regime. Kulkarni exhorted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to punish “these anti-nationals”.

Several Twitter users have sought immediate intervention from security agencies to get the offensive video removed and initiate action against its creators. Kanojia goes on to point out that such videos, if created by members of other communities, would have invited the wrath of the security agencies though in this instance there is complete silence.

Which brings us to the dilemma that Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces. While the likes of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Pragya Thakur come in handy when there is a need for rabble rousing, the problem gets exacerbated when they fail to recognize the need to stop one narrative in favor of another.

At a time when the BJP is making every effort to prove that Modi 2.0 is about development and social justice, such videos only contribute to bringing back the fear amongst those who switched over to the party in the 2019 General Elections, especially in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.