A Brief History of Modi’s Changing Idea of ‘Pain’ – By Ajaz Ashraf
…Politics did indeed enter Modi’s mind as he expressed his empathy for the lynching of Tabrez Ansari, a resident of Jharkhand, in Parliament.… He criticised those who had described Jharkhand as the hub of lynching.… In the months to come, the Bharatiya Janata Party will likely tell the Jharkhandis, who will elect a new Assembly later this year, to avenge the insult through the Electronic Voting Machine.
Modi also falsely equated the spate of lynching in Jharkhand with the political violence in West Bengal and Kerala.… He, in a way, was rationalising the violence of Hindutva footsoldiers. It is hard to tell whether Modi really “knows the pain of others,” as the saint-poet Mehta wrote. But, certainly, Modi’s idea of pain and sadness has been changing over the years. He redefines the idea through his periodic public expression of empathy for those who are victims of India’s endemic violence. …
For instance, take what he told the Reuters news agency in July 2013. Asked whether he regretted the violence against Muslims in the 2002 riots of Gujarat, when Modi was its chief minister, he said, “If someone else is driving a car and we’re sitting behind, even then if a puppy comes under the wheel, will it be painful or not? Of course it is.”… From August-September 2002 to June 2019, there is one constant in Modi’s idea of pain – it has always remained hitched to electoral politics.…
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