April 27, 2014

BJP’s Forewarning to the People & the Country

(April 23, 2014)

THE duality in the BJP’s election campaign is getting exposed. At the top, there is a veneer of Modispeak about “development” and promise of good governance and employment. Lurking beneath is an intense communal campaign which is specially concentrated in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The recent speeches and utterances of the BJP/RSS leaders are revealing the Hindu chauvinist and communal character of the campaign. The BJP leader and candidate from Nawada in Bihar, Giriraj Singh, in an election speech, declared that, “Those who want to stop Narendra Modi are looking to Pakistan for support. In the coming days, there won’t be a place for such people in India…because their place will be in Pakistan.” The branding of all critics of Hindutva as anti-national and pro-Pakistan is an old trick employed by the Sangh combine. The allusion to Pakistan is also meant to target the Muslim community who are always caricatured as being loyal to Pakistan. Despite a disavowal of the speech by the BJP, Giriraj Singh has stood by his statement. This speech follows the one made by Amit Shah, Modi’s lieutenant, in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, a week earlier. In a hate-mongering speech, he declared that “This is time to avenge the insult meted out to our community. This election will be a reply to those who have been ill-treating our mothers and sisters”. The call given to a Jat audience in an area which witnessed the worst communal violence in recent times was only meant to rouse communal hatred with talk about “revenge and protecting honour”. It is significant that the BJP leadership defended Amit Shah by saying that he had only called for revenge by voting. Narendra Modi himself came out in his defence. Such hate speeches directed against the minority community and those who oppose the Hindutva agenda are part of the campaign being conducted by the entire RSS cadre who are out in the field to support the BJP’s election campaign. The RSS squads are moving house to house and distributing leaflets which are appealing to the Hindus to come out and vote 100 per cent to save the country from malicious enemies. Pravin Togadia, the leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which is an RSS outfit, has utilised the occasion to spew hatred against Muslims. Addressing a protest outside a house purchased by a Muslim businessman in Bhavnagar in Gujarat, he announced that the house should be vacated within 48 hours, if not the Hindus should take forcible possession of the house. Togadia says Muslims have no right to a house in Hindu areas. Here again, the RSS has come out in his defence claiming that he had made no such remarks, which are available on video tape. What Togadia has threatened is actually the practice in Modi’s Gujarat. In Ahmedabad, Vadodara and other cities, Muslims cannot buy apartments in housing complexes which are for Hindus only. Ghettoisation and segregation has been put in place for the last few decades. Narendra Modi is presiding over such a campaign camouflaging it with talk of delivering all-round development and effective government. But the communal trappings and the divisive hatred being spawned cannot be concealed. In the presence of Modi, a Shiv Sena leader, Ramdas Kadam, at a rally in Mumbai on April 21 declared that Muslims who misbehave will be taught a lesson by Narendra Modi. What is to be understood is that these instances are not aberrations of some individuals. This is integral to the political platform of BJP and Narendra Modi. The people and the country have been forewarned.