Four Key Takeaways from PM Narendra Modi's Ramlila Speech in Lucknow
PM Modi addresses a gathering at Aishbagh Ramlila Maidan in Lucknow. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter.com/BJP)
It was not an overtly political speech, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi had messages for multiple constituencies. Here we decode a few:
To Pakistan: It’s no more Kashmir or sundry Indo-Pak issues. India will engage Islamabad henceforth on the issue of terrorism and will expose Pakistan as a sponsor of terrorism. By invoking Syria and the image of child victims of terror, Modi has made it clear terrorism is a monolith that doesn’t fit binaries of “good terror/bad terror” as Pakistan is prone to categorise. Shun terror, we will live as friendly neighbours. Keep fiddling with the terror tap, we will ostracise you in the international community
To Political Opponents: Don’t play politics with terrorism, don’t challenge the government’s stand in Indo-Pak matters. Terrorism is enemy of entire humanity, choose your side. By equating Ravana with terror, Modi has sought to put opponents such as Mayawati and Rahul Gandhi on the defensive.
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To His Core Constituency: The three loud Jai Shri Ram chants at the end of the speech replacing the usual Jai Hind would be enough to prep up the BJP/RSS cadre on the ground to go to the people with the core agenda of nationalism with a dash of Hindutva. Mythology mixed freely with politics. Ram as representative of humanity slaying the scourge of terrorism, Ravana as terror personified, Jatayu as the first line of defence…
To the Broader Indian society: You can’t be Ram, but be the Jatayu who put up the first resistance to Ravana (terror). Fits in with his larger message of being alert towards terror. Exhorted society to make Dussehra a daily war to fight evils within. See Ravana in every social evil. If you respect Sita, if you are so angry against the injustice done to her, respect womanhood. Cherish the girl child.