Unpacking the Potential for False Flags in India’s 2024 Polls

India, the world’s largest democracy, has long been a stage for political maneuvering, but recent concerns have arisen regarding the lengths to which some political entities are willing to go to secure victory.

In the run-up to the forthcoming general elections in India next year, the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government appears poised to explore every possible avenue to secure victory.

Under Modi’s leadership, the BJP has adopted a bold and assertive stance on issues related to national security and sovereignty. This approach has been prominently displayed in its handling of foreign policy matters, particularly in relation to India’s neighboring countries, especially Pakistan and China.

One of the most controversial aspects of this strategy is the suspicion that it may involve the orchestration of false flag operations. These operations, which typically involve staged incidents or provocations designed to appear as genuine threats or attacks, can inflame nationalist sentiments and rally public support behind the ruling party.

It is now speculated that the RSS-backed Modi regime may contemplate another such operation to bolster its sagging electoral fortunes in 2024.

There is a growing discontent among Indian voters regarding the governance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, primarily stemming from elevated levels of inflation and unemployment. This has corresponded with an increase in the popularity of the principal opposition leader, Rahul Gandhi.

Furthermore, a new opposition alliance consisting of 26 parties, referred to as “INDIA,” is poised to perform well in upcoming elections.

 Prime Minister Modi, who assumed office in 2014 with a promise of transformative change, has subsequently reinforced his position through the implementation of welfare economics, an emphasis on infrastructure development, and the promotion of assertive Hindu nationalism.

In July, India experienced a persistent rise in retail inflation, reaching a 15-month peak of 7.44%. This inflationary surge can be attributed to a substantial increase in food prices, with food price inflation surging to 11.5%, its highest level in over three and a half years.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate, which has hovered around 8% in recent months, continues to pose a significant challenge.

Economists have stressed that India faces the daunting task of generating 70 million new employment opportunities over the next decade, a goal that is expected to fall significantly short, with only approximately 24 million jobs likely to be created.

The BJP recently faced a humiliating electoral setback in Karnataka in May 2023, prompting a sobering realization within the party ranks that future state elections may pose significant challenges.

Historically, India has employed false flag operations, including the Pulwama attack, Samjhauta Express blast, Pathankot, Uri, and Indian Air Force Jammu base attacks, among others, to achieve various objectives.

These false flag operations aim to exploit nationalistic sentiments and fear, effectively manipulating public opinion to bolster support for the BJP and its “strongman” image. The apparent intent is to portray Modi as a decisive leader capable of safeguarding India’s security and sovereignty.

Prominent Indian lawyer Prashant Bhushan has issued a stark warning, suggesting that the Modi government could be planning another Pulwama-like false flag operation in the lead-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Addressing a gathering in New Delhi, Bhushan cautioned the nation about the government’s intentions and the potential for divisive tactics designed to sway Indian voters in favor of the BJP.

Bhushan’s allegations range from speculations about dividing India akin to Manipur or orchestrating ‘Pulwama 2.0’ and ‘Balakot 2.0’ incidents to stoke hypernationalism among the masses.

Advocate Bhushan contends that such false flag operations align conveniently with the BJP’s overtly ‘nationalistic’ approach to establishing electoral dominance. He goes further, suggesting that the audience brace for a possible state-orchestrated terror attack on the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, aimed at consolidating votes along communal lines.

Bhushan also references statements made by the former Governor of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Satyapal Malik, who alleged that the Modi regime concealed critical facts about the Pulwama incident.

In light of these concerns, there is growing apprehension that the Bharatiya Janata Party government may resort to another Pulwama-like false flag operation in a bid to secure victory in the 2024 general elections.

Mehbooba Mufti, President of the People’s Democratic Party, voiced agreement with Satyapal Malik’s claims in a tweet, indicating that the BJP’s actions could be driven by a sense of desperation in the face of potential defeat in the 2024 elections. Mufti goes on to suggest that the ruling party’s actual agenda might be focused on maintaining power at any cost.

Prime Minister Modi’s political strategy, characterized by the exploitation of India’s nationalism for electoral and political advantage, remains a subject of intense debate and scrutiny. As India approaches the 2024 general elections, the nation’s electorate will play a pivotal role in determining the trajectory of this nationalist-driven political agenda.

Muhammad Wasama Khalid is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at National Defense University. His interests include history, politics, and current affairs. He has been published in the London Institute of Peace and Research, South Asian Journal, Diplomatic Insight, International Policy Digest, Sri Lanka Guardian, Global Village Space, Global Defense Insight, Global Affairs, And Modern Diplomacy. He tweets at @Wasama Khalid and can be reached at Wasamakhalid@gmail.com

Wasama Khalid
Wasama Khalid

Muhammad Wasama Khalid is a Correspondent and Researcher at Global Affairs. He is pursuing his Bachelors in International Relations at National Defense University (NDU). He has a profound interest in history, politics, current affairs, and international relations. He is an author of Global Village Space, Global Defense Insight, Global Affairs, and Modern Diplomacy. He tweets at @Wasama Khalid and can be reached at Wasamakhalid@gmail.com

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