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Is Narendra Modi a terrorist?
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Narendra Modi’s rhetoric inflames terrorism

Narendra Modi's rhetoric incites acts of terrorism and enables disgrunted extremists.
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Following the murder of the murder of 85 Hindu pilgrims who were burnt to death in a train fire in Gujarat in 2002, Narendra Modi, then the state’s chief minister, deliberately blamed Muslim tea sellers and used inflammatory language to promote a response. [1]

The Argument

After the murder, Modi publicly blamed the Pakistani secret services and asserted the Muslim tea sellers had started the fire that killed the pilgrims (an investigation later absolved the tea sellers of wrongdoing). [1] He paraded the charred bodies of those killed through the city of Ahmedabad. An angry Hindu mob then retaliated with the murder of between 1,000 and 2,000 Muslims across the state. The mob raped Muslim women, killed pregnant women and doused girls in gasoline then set them alight. [2] If Modi wasn’t complicit in the attacks, they were a direct response to his inflammatory rhetoric. He even cited Newton’s third law, publicly reminding the Hindu populace that “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”, effectively greenlighting retaliatory violence.

Counter arguments

While Modi can be accused of encouraging violence with his rhetoric, he cannot be accused of encouraging terrorism. The 2002 Gujarat riots were an instance of communal violence. The Hindu mob sought retaliation and vengeance for the murder of the Hindu pilgrims. Absent of any political objectives, the acts cannot be considered acts of terrorism.


[P1] Narendra Modi's rhetoric inflamed religious tensions and encouraged acts of terrorism. [P2] Therefore, Modi is an enabler of terrorism.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] The acts of violence Modi enabled were not acts of terrorism.


This page was last edited on Thursday, 5 Nov 2020 at 23:28 UTC

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