Modi skips Eidul Azha in the line-up of upcoming festivals in India. Act of omission or commission?

In his address Tuesday, Modi mentioned up to 12 upcoming festivals till the end of the year, but failed to mention Eid.

Published 01 Jul, 2020 11:42am

The Prime Minister of a nation with 172 million Muslims did not mention Eidul Azha, which is in August, in his address to the nation Tuesday. Narendra Modi rattled off the names of all upcoming festivals such as Guru Purnima, Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Durga Puja, Chhath Puja, and Kati Bihu. He even announced an extension of the Centre’s free-ration scheme till the end of November, and detailed how much wheat, rice and chana families would get.

But there was no mention of Eid.

"From July onwards, the atmosphere of festivals begins to develop. Now see, we have Guru Purnima on 5 July. Then Saawan (month of Hindu calendar) will start. We will then have 15 August, Raksha Bandhan, Krishna Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam. If you move further ahead, we have Bihu, Navaratri, Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali, Chhath Puja," he said in his 15-minute address.

Guru Purnima is the closest upcoming festival, followed by Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh Chaturthi, and Janmashtami, all of which fall in the month of August. But Modi decided to take a convenient leap till Diwali, Durga Puja and Kati Bihu, completely skipping Eid, which will be on 31 July – 1 August.

This is new India where Muslim festivals can be ignored. But is this an act of omission or commission?

A deliberate slip-up

Asaduddin Owaisi, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMM) president, pointed out that Modi made it a point to mention chana in his address, but failed to mention Eid. Nonetheless, Owaisi wished the PM Eid Mubarak. Activist-scholar Umar Khalid questioned Modi’s popular claim of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas.

Modi, however, is not someone to miss such details. He often extols the fabric of India. He is well aware that his words, or his omissions, will be noted and analysed — and he wants them to be. It was nothing less than a deliberate skip, a design to hurt Muslim sentiments, and deny them visibility.

Some will say that he tweets on Eid. But that he does because not doing so would invite direct questioning and international attention.

Pick up any of Modi’s addresses, he rarely includes Muslims or Christians. This is a strong signalling to his core constituency that dreams of a 'Hindu Rashtra'.

Only apathy

Many years ago, Modi refused to wear a skull cap during his sadbhavana fast in Gujarat. Today, he ignores a Muslim festival, even in such grim times of unemployment and widespread morbidity caused by a pandemic.

The only time Modi notices Muslims is when there is a protest on the streets. He recognises them by their clothes, and then his supporters spread Islamophobia identifying Muslims on the basis of their names, beards, and burqas.

A Prime Minister who espouses slogans such as 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' would have at least shown the humility of acknowledging Muslims, who followed his lockdown call to stay indoors during Ramazan, while mosques remained shut. But Modi only has apathy to show for the community. Clearly, the idea of diversity is just a diplomatic postcard for Prime Minister Modi.

This article originally appeared in The Print and has been reproduced with permission.


The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (63) Closed

Jul 01, 2020 11:57am
People used to tokenism, and are slavish, would see problems in places where there are none.
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Hasnain Haque
Jul 01, 2020 12:04pm
This man will destroy India
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Jul 01, 2020 12:05pm
So what? How has that made any difference to what core of message was ," maintain social distance and take care of your and your family's health?.
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Pak lover
Jul 01, 2020 12:10pm
What else can you expect from bigot Modi ? RSS ideology is pushing minorities to the corner.
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Dr Vikas Jamwal
Jul 01, 2020 12:12pm
By the way the huge relief package announced by him is for all underprivileged communities members, followers of different beliefs across the country to help them celebrate their upcoming festivals. His actions speak louder than words and he doesn't take U turns.
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Saif Zulfiqar
Jul 01, 2020 12:14pm
Modi/BJP is anti-muslim, besides anti-minorities. Nothing new.
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Maula Jatt
Jul 01, 2020 12:26pm
He has better things to do.
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Ahmed Shah
Jul 01, 2020 12:39pm
What else can one expect from a bigot Hindu nationalist?
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Jul 01, 2020 12:42pm
This speech is for unlock- 2 rules and ration for poor(below poverty line) upto November. Why diverting the matter?
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Ram Sharma
Jul 01, 2020 01:16pm
While I’m not a Modi fan, I really think Pakistan needs to get a life. If this much interest is shown on own country, maybe you might see some progress instead of failing at every level!
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Jul 01, 2020 01:17pm
Stop doing petty politics. He congratulated everybody on last eid. He will again do the same on next eid.
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Sridhar Raghunath Rao
Jul 01, 2020 01:22pm
Yes. That needs to have been mentioned
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Jul 01, 2020 01:25pm
This shows that how fortunate us Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are, Muslim community should unite against this bigot. His ideology and hatred will ruin the country and dream of Gandhi a nd Nahru dynasty.
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Jul 01, 2020 01:34pm
@Hasnain Haque, What a joke.
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Jul 01, 2020 01:42pm
Last sentence sums it up.
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ON .
Jul 01, 2020 01:42pm
When last time Pakistan PM celebrated Diwali?
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Jul 01, 2020 01:45pm
He also missed Dussehra which is the popular festival in some states where even diwali is not celebrated much. Does not mean he has erred
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Jul 01, 2020 01:53pm
He has left out so many festivals also from many regions. . if he had to mention everything it will be a long list . .He just gave few examples to add flavour to his descision. The benefits he announced reaches everyone and his message is for everyone. ..
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Jul 01, 2020 01:54pm
@BRR, People who are familiar with recent history, such as the pogroms in Gujarat, can discern people's intentions and beliefs just by carefully analysing what they say (and indeed what they omit)
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Rashid khan
Jul 01, 2020 02:02pm
Politics and religion are separate things, perhaps difficult to understand for an islamic republic
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Rashid khan
Jul 01, 2020 02:03pm
Meanwhile, PMIK is celebrating Diwali, Holi, Dusshera, Gurupurab, Good Friday, Christmas, Mahavir Jayanti, BudhJayanti etc.
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Jul 01, 2020 02:08pm
The purpose of him highlighting the festivals are to indicate that the second half of the year always have lots of festivals where people spend money thus there is a greater economic activity expected. Stop pulling stuffs out of context and whine.
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Jul 01, 2020 02:16pm
Modi did it deliberately. He and his associates are relentlessly pushing hindutva agenda even amidst this Covid pandemic.
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Jul 01, 2020 02:28pm
Zero religious holidays are give by National Government of the People's Republic of China. Countries in the subcontinent have much to learn from China.
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Jul 01, 2020 02:36pm
Whats ur problem ?
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Jul 01, 2020 02:38pm
@Samab, Nahru Dynasty ?
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Jul 01, 2020 02:47pm
And that would have made you love him.
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K Srinivas Rao
Jul 01, 2020 03:26pm
Muslims in India are well taken care of , never worry.
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Jul 01, 2020 03:45pm
@Saif Zulfiqar, The free rice and dal will reach everyone irrespective of religion. If he had said Happy Id, does that make any difference to the poor? Religion is not the problem in the region but poverty is. Even Imran Khan mentioned that let's fight poverty. So when Modi is announcing free rice and dal to every poor India irrespective of religion, you are missing that point but harping on religion which hardly matters to a person who doesn't get food and healthcare.
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Jul 01, 2020 03:57pm
@Hasnain Haque, I do not know whether he will or will not; but definitely that is what we want to do.
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Jul 01, 2020 04:33pm
@Hasnain Haque, you fear him so much?
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Jul 01, 2020 04:34pm
@Samab, yes you are very lucky indeed in Pakistan no food no jobs and plenty of loans
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Sounder Rajan
Jul 01, 2020 04:35pm
@Wolf, Are you capable of anything constructive ?
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Jul 01, 2020 04:57pm
@Saif Zulfiqar, That's because he is pro humanity
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Jul 01, 2020 05:18pm
modiji is our super hero
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Jul 01, 2020 05:53pm
So much interest what Modi says .... wow, Pakistan is really worried about what he will do or say next...
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Alla Bux
Jul 01, 2020 06:51pm
So, let us reject whatever he said.
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Chrís Dăń
Jul 01, 2020 06:52pm
@ ON ., India is a secular country.
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Jul 01, 2020 07:21pm
@Dr Vikas Jamwal , Hez not spending from his pocket, its citizens (tax payers) money. And where is PM fund, billions of rupees collected from tax payers.
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Jul 01, 2020 07:23pm
@Sriniwas, There are plothera of hindu festival,f he mention all, he need a day full, Not a single minority festival has he mentioned. Shows hatred to the core.
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Jul 01, 2020 07:39pm
@Maula Jatt, Exactly
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Jul 01, 2020 07:44pm
Most Muslims in India are surviving on Free money schemes started by Modi.
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Jul 01, 2020 08:21pm
modi killed muslims in gujrat-----indian muslims have no leadership
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Jul 01, 2020 08:59pm
So what?
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CT Rao
Jul 01, 2020 09:43pm
Never heard of this festival in India
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Jul 01, 2020 10:07pm
He didn’t want to upset hindu extremists.
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Jul 01, 2020 10:07pm
So the Pakistani Muslims and politicians remember the Hindu celebrations? seriously???
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Jul 01, 2020 10:45pm
Good speech by Modiji
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Jul 02, 2020 05:12am
Can IK mention all the Hindu festivals?
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Jul 02, 2020 05:34am
Who cares!!!!!
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Farouq Omaro
Jul 02, 2020 06:52am
Just like Trunp. Trump hates blacks, Modi hates Muslims.
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Jul 02, 2020 07:16am
Don't worry Modiji will wish at the time of Eid.
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Girish Tarwani
Jul 02, 2020 08:26am
@Pak lover, does any pakistani leader mention of Diwali?
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Jul 02, 2020 08:48am
He is no fake. He practices what he preaches.
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Jul 02, 2020 08:50am
It is not significant that he did not mention in his speech any festival. His speech was about Unlockdown 2 and safety precautions.
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Jul 02, 2020 09:11am
Muslims are only a pawn for the BJP. Their usefulness is limited to vote bank calculations when dealing with obscure triple talaq legislation gets paraded around as an ‘altruistic’ nationalistic concern ahead of key state, municipal or national elections but religious scapegoating becomes the norm during BJP’s disastrous handling of the COVID crisis.
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M. Saeed Awan
Jul 02, 2020 09:20am
@Ram Sharma, well said
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Jul 02, 2020 09:37am
How many Hindu festivals are celebrated in Pakistan... Please take indian muslims into pakistan.
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Jul 02, 2020 11:36am
He is dangerous to Muslims and other minorities in India.
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Jul 02, 2020 09:24pm
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Dr Vikas Jamwal
Jul 02, 2020 09:43pm
@Ashraf, What is your contribution to the cause...?
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Jul 02, 2020 09:59pm
@Farouq Omaro, so does China!
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Jul 02, 2020 10:56pm
Modi is the modern day Hitler.
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