Nobody wants a war is South Asia, it seemed that much was obvious. However India’s ruling Bharitya Janta Party (BJP) disagrees. When two neighbouring states are in a spiral of escalating tension and the talk of a military conflict is being routinely aired, the leadership of those nations is expected to calm flared tempers and steer their charges away from war – at least that is what a responsible leadership is expected to do. At a time when the Pakistani Prime Minister talks of desiring peace with India at the United Nations General Assembly session, the other half of the equation – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – is riling up the crowd with inflammatory rhetoric and unrestrained jingoism in Kerala.

At a public rally in Calicut city, Indian Prime Minister vowed to “isolate Pakistan”, blamed it squarely for the Uri attack before any investigation has even started, and told the crowd how India was “winning” against Pakistan when it came to poverty, unemployment and illiteracy – all crouched in aggressive rhetoric.

This is not good statesmanship, this is not good politics; this is dangerous and irresponsible demagoguery.

The so-called ‘challenge’ on poverty, unemployment and literacy is illogical too on India’s part; apart from being another virtual battlefield where the two nations can slug it out and increase antagonism.

India and Pakistan are relatively similar in global development’s and demographic indexes, with India’s glittering progress in places like Mumbai and Delhi offset by the vast swathes of backwardness in rural India. It is not wise to compare the two nations, especially when it comes to poverty.

India’s problems with widespread and crippling poverty are well documented. It has the world’s largest population living in slums; a recent government survey estimates that 62% of Mumbai lives in slums – a figure above 10 million – that eclipses the population of several major Pakistani cities. Even on global indexes of percentage population living below the poverty line, India’s 12.4 is above Pakistan’s 8.3.

Similar numbers are evident in the other fields nominated by the Indian Prime Minister – comparable figures, and India’s worst far outnumbering Pakistan’s worst. Modi’s challenge does not flatter its own nation, neither does it de-escalate the situation.

They warmongering, fury and vitriol that was present in the Indian media following the Uri attack had surprised even the Indian moderate parties; now we know where it comes from – straight from the top.