These days, PM Narendra Modi is fond of saying that terrorism and religion are not linked. He has reiterated this statement multiple times during his tenure as the Prime Minister of India. But, has he always held this view? Narendra Modi, the CM, and Narendra Modi, the PM, have often been found to be at logger heads regarding multiple issues from Aadhar to MNREGA to GST and so on. Narendra Modi, the CM, opposed many policies which Narendra Modi, the PM, now wholeheartedly embraces. Therefore, it will be worthwhile to see what Narendra Modi in an earlier avatar thought about the linkage between religion and terrorism. Here is a clipping from a Star News program called ‘Big Fight’ back in September 2001 where in Rajdeep Sardesai conducted a debate on the back of the 9/11 attack and Narendra Modi, the then BJP General Secretary, was part of the debate.
Today Rajnath Singh claimed that terrorism has no religion, but Narendra Modi disagrees in this video. pic.twitter.com/3PtVodLo2Y
— Truth Of Gujarat (@TruthOfGujarat) July 31, 2015
In the above video, Narendra Modi clearly uses the phrase “Islamic Terrorism” and states how people were afraid to use this phrase because of their pseudo-secularism, i.e. how people were afraid of using the words ‘Islamic’ and ‘Terrorism’ together till 9/11 happened. Back then, Narendra Modi did believe that religion and terrorism are linked. In fact, in yet another video, possibly during his ‘Guarav Yatra’ after the 2002 Gujarat massacre, he also claims that a Hindu can never be a terrorist and were Hindu terrorism to become a reality, Pakistan would disappear from the world map. Here’s the video:
Since then, there have been multiple cases of terrorism from Samjhauta Express blast to Malegaon blast to Ajmer Dargah blasts where prime accused have been found from right-wing Hindu organizations, some even associated with Mr Modi’s mothership, RSS. Be that as it may, within a span of one year (2001-02), Mr Modi claimed that people are afraid to use the words “Islamic” and “Terrorism” together in a single phrase and that a Hindu can never be a terrorist, thus subtly stating that terrorism is limited to Islam. Both these accounts would indicate that Mr Modi definitely believed in the linkage of religion and terrorism back then. So, what has changed now? Or, is it just the facade of a statesman that one needs to wear as a PM?