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Ecosystem: BJP’s go-to word for both criticism, self-praise

Not just in context of the violence and protests, the BJP across ranks has taken to using the word “ecosystem” in all situations – from introducing the government's policies to attacking its rivals – including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Written by Vidhatri Rao | New Delhi |
Updated: July 1, 2022 7:34:39 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Union Home Minister Amit Shah. (PTI)

On June 28, responding to a question on the arrests of AltNews co-founder Mohammed Zubair and activist Teesta Setalvad, BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia at a press conference in New Delhi suggested protests against the same showed “there is a poisonous ecosystem”.

Bhatia went on to accuse the Congress of supporting and opposing judicial actions as per its convenience.

(Credits: The Oxford dictionary)

Three days earlier, on June 25, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, speaking to news agency ANI, also used the word “ecosystem” to describe what had followed the 2002 riots. Commenting on the Supreme Court order upholding the clean chit to the Narendra Modi government in the riots, Shah said: “BJP’s political rivals, journalists who came to politics for ideology, and some NGOs together publicised the allegations. They had a strong ecosystem so everyone started believing lies to be the truth.”

Not just in context of the violence and protests, the BJP across ranks has taken to using the word “ecosystem” in all situations – from introducing the government’s policies to attacking its rivals – including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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On June 14, during the row over party spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s remarks on the Prophet, BJP national spokesperson Gopal Krishna Agarwal, speaking to The Financial Express, said: “The party has stated that we respect all religions. The current debate is an over-amplification by the anti-BJP ecosystem, harbouring a hidden agenda.”

On May 20, while addressing party workers in Jaipur virtually, PM Modi said eight years of his government have been dedicated to “good governance” and “social justice”, and that the BJP must not “fall into the trap” of some political parties with an “ecosystem” to divert the country’s attention from main matters.

Earlier, on March 15, PM Modi while speaking of the film The Kashmir Files, on the Pandit exodus, at a party meeting said that “instead of assessing the film on the basis of facts and truth, a campaign is on to discredit it”. He blamed an “entire ecosystem” that “opposes anyone who tries to show the truth”.

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Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma used the same word, in a tweet posted on February 13: “Congress has developed an ecosystem & the people part of this ecosystem may tolerate things against India, but they’ll not tolerate anything against the Gandhis. Today, no one listens to them.”

On February 6, 2020, speaking in Parliament as protests raged against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the PM said: “I’m thankful to the Congress and their ecosystem for creating a fuss around the CAA. If they did not oppose it, the country would not have seen through their real face.”

On March 26, 2021, during the election campaign in Bengal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, while speaking to CNN News 18 on the issue of illegal immigrants in West Bengal, said: “Infiltration cannot be controlled by the Central govt alone. It is controlled by an entire ecosystem. If a DM (District Magistrate) or SP (Superintendent of Police) promotes infiltration under the state administration’s policy, the BSF (Border Security Force) cannot stop it. An ecosystem has to be built to stop such activities”.

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Last year in July, during the peak of the coronavirus, Union minister Hardeep Puri, replying to a tweet by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, accused the Congress “ecosystem” of “hurtling towards crazy!”.

It’s not just in the negative sense that the BJP uses this word. The party also sees it favourably in context of the policies it is implementing.

While rolling out the 2022 Budget, Financial Minister Nirmala Sitharaman used the word six times: talking about providing the middle classes a necessary “ecosystem”; launching a digital “ecosystem”; creating a national health “ecosystem” under the government’s programme to digitise health services; promising digital payment “ecosystems”; improving the Electronic Vehicle “ecosystem”; and Venture Capital and Private Equity “ecosystem”.

Union minister Puri also used the word while praising the government’s efforts on the coronavirus. “We produced an ecosystem which today made us one of the leading manufacturers of vaccines,” he said.

Party leaders often use the word tweeting about other policies, especially on startups, which have seen a push under the Modi government.

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On July 8, 2020, P Muralidhar Rao, erstwhile national general secretary of the BJP, spoke about the ban on 59 Chinese apps, adding: “It will also provide a fillip to self-reliance of India in tech/start-up ecosystem.”

On July 16, 2021, PM Modi talked about making India among the “fastest-growing startup ecosystems in the world”, adding: “I invite the world to invest in India, based on the five pillars — Talent, Market, Capital, Ecosystem and Culture of openness.”

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Less than a fortnight later, on July 29, Modi said: “India’s youth is revolutionising the Indian start-up ecosystem, preparing India’s leadership for Industry 4.0 and giving new wings to Digital India.”

Putting out a tweet on January 15 this year, quoting a PM Modi speech, the BJP’s official Twitter account said that, in this decade, “the decisions being taken by the govt for innovation, entrepreneurship & startup ecosystem had 3 major aspects – entrepreneurship, innovation, handholding innovators.”

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On June 7, Modi, while virtually addressing Rotary’s 113th annual international convention in Houston, said: “India is among the largest and fastest-growing startup ecosystems in the world.”

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First published on: 30-06-2022 at 09:16:57 pm

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