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The Algebra of Warfare-WelfareA Long View of India's 2014 Election$
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Irfan Ahmad and Pralay Kanungo

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199489626

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199489626.001.0001

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Modi and the Spectre of Terrorism

Modi and the Spectre of Terrorism

Crafting the Hindutva Icon

(p.91) 2 Modi and the Spectre of Terrorism
The Algebra of Warfare-Welfare

Manisha Sethi

Oxford University Press

Terrorism constituted an important element of the wider ensemble of ideas and images that Narendra Modi’s election campaign disseminated. It reiterated the Bharatiya Janata Party’s idea of India as, essentially, a Hindu nation; Hindus as authentic citizens and Muslims as the ‘other’. Based on a survey of Modi’s election speeches, BJP’s publicity material and the extensive commentary and analysis focused on the person of Narendra Modi, this paper argues that terrorism as an election issue was carefully calibrated by Modi’s managers: a spectre of imminent threats was raised, dangerous ‘other’ identified, the outgoing government was lambasted for failing to quarantine the danger, and an alternative Modi model of battling terrorism held up. This had the effect of crafting the tough, muscular, macho Hindutva icon who would rein in ‘Islamic terrorism’, and consolidating and rallying a majoritarian vote bank behind this leader.

Keywords:   terrorism, Hindutva, fear appeals, advertising, Narendra Modi, Dawood Ibrahim

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