Uttar Pradesh.

Uttar Pradesh
PLACE
Uttar Pradesh (UP) is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity.
RELATED TO.
Samajwadi Party

Samajwadi Party

ORGANIZATION
Azam Khan

Azam Khan

PERSON
Bharatiya Janata Party

Bharatiya Janata Party

ORGANIZATION
Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha

ORGANIZATION
Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi

PERSON
Bahujan Samaj Party

Bahujan Samaj Party

ORGANIZATION
FROM THE WEB.
One of the good things that might come out of the communal polarisation in this year's general elections is a serious examination of Indian secularism. When all parties target one man, and when communal rhetoric and innuendo - whether utilised by Amit Shah or Azam Khan - are par for the course, we have to see the Indian version of secularism for what it is: a sham. This time it is largely the so-called secular parties that have polarised the election. Thanks to the emergence of Narendra Modi as a development icon, the non-BJP parties have gone out of their way to add horns and war-paint to Modi's visage in the hope that it will scare Muslims. Given his perceived status as a Hindutva hardliner, this embellishment is intended to ensure a Muslim consolidation in favour of the secular tribes who feel threatened by Modi. While this may not happen everywhere, what it has ensured is a reverse polarisation of the Hindu vote - a sampler of which we saw in the western Uttar Pradesh phase of polling on 10 April. In effect, by painting Modi as Resident Hindutva Evil, his rivals have enhanced his appeal to Hindus outside the core Sangh Parivar. This is a fantastic feat for secularists. It is a defeat for the Indian brand of secularism, which is now clearly past its sell-by date. As Shekhar Gupta writes in <a href=http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/national-interest-secularism-is-dead/><em>The Indian Express</em> today </a>(19 April), the anti-Modi liberal war-cry is bogus and an affront to both Hindus and Muslims. This is to presume that only Muslims can stop communalism, and that most Hindus are communal. <em>To say that only Muslim consolidation can stop Modi, or at least limit his mandate, is unfair to the Hindu majority... The most generous opinion poll estimates put the NDA's vote share in the mid-30s, which accounts for just over a third of India's Hindus. The remaining majority will be voting for others. And most of these 30-odd percent would vote for the BJP/NDA not because they want to build grand temples, spank the Muslims or banish them to Pakistan. They will be voting in search of an alternative to the weakest, most incompetent, uncommunicative and incoherent full-term government in our history. To insinuate that this mass of Hindus will be voting Modi because they have suddenly turned communal is unfair to them.</em>
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