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BJP Unveils Third Animated Video, Stirring Controversy Over Muslim and Congress Portrayals

Arvind Dharmapuri, the Telangana MP and leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), attacked the Congress on Sunday, May 6, by posting an animated film on reservations that included anti-Muslim rhetoric and implied that granting Muslims reservations would impact the SC, ST, and OBC quotas. This occurs just one day after the Karnataka BJP released a similar hate movie in which Congressmen Siddaramaiah and Rahul Gandhi are seen giving “funds” to a Muslim bird while the birds branded “SC,” “ST,” and “OBC” go hungry. It should be noted that the Congress manifesto makes no reference of taking away the rights of SC, ST, or OBC members in order to provide them to Muslims.

The Nizamabad MP shared an animated video of a boat with people on board called “SC, ST, OBC Quota,” ready to set sail. Caricatures of Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Congressman Rahul Gandhi are shown introducing a Muslim man and requesting that they allow him some room. Following their agreement, the man is shown grinning deftly and offering Rahul his “vote” before getting into the boat. Rahul can be heard ordering those inside the boat to modify as more Muslims, including women and children, get inside it. It is soon seen that the Muslim man who had entered the boat had thrown the original occupants into the water. The words “Muslim” are written in Telugu above the words “SC, ST, OBC,” which have been knocked out from the boat. At this, the animated representations of Siddaramaiah and Rahul Gandhi can be seen chuckling.

With Baahubali 2’s soundtrack playing in the background, the video then portrays Prime Minister Narendra Modi arriving to help them after hearing the cries of those in the sea. Jai Shri Ram is written on the boat that is transporting Modi. He pulls the survivors out of the sea and into the “SC, ST, OBC Quota” boat.

The BJP has released three videos criticising Muslims. A larger egg branded “Muslims” is added to a nest containing three eggs labelled “SC,” “ST,” and “OBC” by a figure that resembles Rahul Gandhi in a previous video that the BJP Karnataka posted on May 4. When the eggs hatch, the bird known as “Muslim” appears larger than the rest, sports a beard, and dons a skull cap. In the image, Rahul Gandhi is shown giving the bigger bird “funds” to eat while the rest go hungry. The bird eventually gets bigger and starts eradicating others.

Either Instagram or the BJP took down the initial video that the party’s Instagram account uploaded on April 30. The Congress manifesto was referred to in the video as the “Muslim League’s ideology in disguise,” and it explicitly targeted Muslims. The animated film further claimed that Muslims would receive all of the wealth and money belonging to “non-Muslims” if the Congress were elected to power.

In an earlier speech in Rajasthan, Modi called Muslims “infiltrators” and “those who have more children.”

Given that they were released in the midst of elections, the PM’s speech and every one of these films violate the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). But the Indian Election Commission (ECI) has said very little. The ECI has not explicitly questioned or named Modi by name, but it has given a letter to BJP president JP Nadda on the speech of a “star campaigner.” Invoking the Representation of the People’s Act, the electoral body held political party leaders accountable for their remarks regarding a “star campaigner.”

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