4 years of Modi: Shah's claims on atrocities against Dalits are far from the truth
The BJP which prides in calling itself “the party with a difference” set the Congress led UPA regime as the benchmark for presenting a report card on the completion of four years of the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre.
Addressing a media conference on the occasion, BJP President Amit Shah enumerated various schemes of the Modi government to assert the country to have made all-round progress including improving the lives of 22 crore families.
However, while replying to a specific query on rising atrocities on Dalits and the skyrocketing fuel prices, Shah fell back on the UPA regime comparison to paint a rosy picture.
“The current level prices of fuel prevailed for over three years under the Congress rule and you are perturbed in just three days,” said Shah as he also tried to assure the government was making efforts to bring the prices
On the question of rising atrocities on Dalits, Shah replied: “There is no rise in Dalit atrocities under Modi regime. If you look out for statistics, you will find that atrocities on Dalits were far more rampant under the Congress rule. Villages after villages had to be vacated by the Dalits owing to attacks on them,” claimed Shah.
In sharp contrast to Shah’s claims, a US 2017 report points out that attacks against Muslims and Dalits grew sharply in India under Modi.
Titled the 'Constitutional and Legal Challenges Faced by Religious Minorities in India' and sponsored by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the report says religious minority communities and Dalits face discrimination and persecution in India where hate crimes, social boycotts and forced conversion have escalated dramatically since 2014.
Data journalism initiative Indiapsend too has claimed that “over the decade to 2016, crime rate against dalits rose by 25%; from 16.3 crimes per 100,000 Dalits reported in 2006”.
It not just the Opposition including the Congress that have made similar claims but even BJP lawmakers too have made such assertions.
BJP MP Yashwant Singh has earlier written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Dalit MPs like him in the ruling party are victims of atrocities against scheduled castes.
The BJP president also shirked the Centre’s responsibility over Tamil Nadu Police firing that consumed 13 lives during the violent protest against Sterlite Industries' controversial plant in Thoothukudi.
“Law and order is a state subject so the Centre has nothing to do. Still we have sought a report. The home minister has reacted strongly and sought a report. He has also directed that police should not open fire. The Prime Minister also has expressed concern,” said Shah on the May 22 incident.
Shah in his address to the media claimed that the Modi government has fulfilled most of its promises including its twin assurances of being a pro-dalit, pro-farmer and pro-poor government and taking India to place of glory on the world map.
“Under Modi we have given a transparent government which is not afraid of taking strong decisions,” said Shah claiming the Modi regime has ended many a prevailing contradictions.
“It is this government which through its policies ended the tussle between whether to be pro-poor government or pro corporate. We also ended the tussle of the government either being pro-rural or pro rural through effective all-round development. This government has also established that even after satisfying all economic parameters, welfare of the masses through various social security schemes can be undertaken,” asserted Shah.
On the economic front, Shah credited the Modi government for making India the “world's fifth largest economy”.
Shah also used the opportunity to attack the opposition which he said was driven by the sole agenda of driving away Modi.
“Under the Modi government, the country has seen a big change in the political landscape. From the late 60s’ politics of dynasty, appeasement and casteism, we have moved to the politics of performance and development.
“From policy paralysis (during UPA) we have moved to politics of development where the agenda is sabka saath sabka vikas (inclusive growth),” said Shah.
Continuing the attack, he accused the Opposition of resorting to “lies, repeated lies and loud lies”.
“The opposition has the sole agenda of removing Modi and while the BJP under Modi wants to remove corruption and poverty and provide stability. Those who put at stake democracy for the sake of their family are now giving us sermons on democracy.
“Those who jailed over one lakh innocent people durIng emergency are now talking of an environment of fear. Those who put locks on the media are now preaching about press freedom,” Shah said targeting the Congress.
He claimed that the Modi government in its four years has fulfilled most of its promises. From providing electricity to every single village to giving 3.5 crore LPG connections, from building toilets in 7 crore houses to providing job opportunities to 9 crore youth under the Mudra bank scheme, the government has changed lives of 22 crore families,” claimed Shah.
He also asserted of the BJP retaining power in 2019 with absolute majority.
“It is Modi’s politics of development that has enabled the BJP and the NDA to be power in 20 states. 70 percent of the country’s geographical area and 65 percent of the population is under our rule,” added Shah.
The BJP has also gone overboard in endorsing and canvassing the achievements of four years of Modi governments. Union ministers and BJP leaders have all taken to the social media in campaigning the what it calls the various achievements of the government.
The BJP official website has come out with an infographics on the “4 Years Of Modi Government” detailing its achievements in various fields.