By  Kunal Purohit

Mumbai, India – A grimacing police official, staring into the camera, declares her intent to publicly shoot dead “leftists” while attacking “left-liberal, pseudo-intellectuals” as well as students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), a left-leaning university space in the cross-hairs of the Modi government.

Men in skull caps, the visuals intercut with bloody violence, declare that Rohingya Muslims will soon displace Hindus and make for half of India’s population, while a harrowed Hindu woman fighting against these men says she wants to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A biopic on the early 20th century Hindu nationalist ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar has a voiceover that insists that India would have freed itself of British colonial rule over three decades before it did, if not for Mahatma Gandhi.

These are scenes from upcoming Hindi films slated for release over the next few weeks.

As India’s nearly one billion voters get ready to pick their national government in general elections between March and May, Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are receiving campaign support from an atypical ally: cinema.

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