Vol. XLIII No. 20 May 19, 2019
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BJP Flaring Communal Polarisation

Upendra Yadav

SPEAKING in a seminar on May 2 in Bhopal , Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of the CPI(M) said that in the last five years there has been a twin attack on the people of the country. On the one hand, the democratic values and constitutional provisions were incessantly attacked at the behest of the BJP government. On the other, there was severe attack the livelihoods of the people; economic hardships and inequity in the country increased. Compounded with this was a blind eye towards the major looters of the Indian economy, who not just robbed the banks but also took away the savings of the people and eventually fled the country with active and tacit support of the government. The seminar titled, “parliamentary system-elections and democracy”, was jointly organised by cultural front, CITU, JMS, SFI and ‘jan manch for India’.

Sitaram said that the three phases of the elections have given a vivid picture of the 17th Lok Sabha in the making. The BJP is getting a strong drubbing. Realising of a possible defeat, the BJP has once again raised the hood of communalism in the country to polarise the voters for the remaining four phases. Nominating Pragya Thakur, as its candidate from Bhopal, the BJP has given the signal of a rabidly communal campaign in the offing. The BJP wants to garner votes by polarising the people on communal lines as its model of development has burst.

Targeting Modi and his claims of a strong nation, combating the terrorists and infiltrators, Sitaram said that in the last five years actually the terrorist incidents have increased considerably compared to the previous decade. In these incidents more security personnel and citizens died than in the past period. The terrorist attacks in Kashmir and other parts of the country and the recent Maoist attack on the security personnel expose the hollowness of Modi’s claim. Even Imran Khan , the Prime Minister of Pakistan has said that he wants Modi to win! What does this imply ?

Sitaram said that after the Balakot strike, confusion was created about the number of deaths, and for the numbers, opposition was held responsible. After the announcement of the general election, the BJP realising its failure on the development front raised communal issues and in this direction raised the citizenship issue; the entire North East is now in the grip of its discontentment.  To consolidate the communal polarisation, Pragya Thakur was used as a symbol for it. Though she got bail on health grounds, she is actively campaigning in the elections. She even went ahead to give a foolish statement on Hemant Karkare, who was martyred during an anti-terrorist operation, that, he died because of Pragya’s curse; this statement was strongly condemned by the IPS association.

Modi himself gave a tacit support to Pragya’s statement to further accentuate the communal polarisation and said that no Hindu can do violence. Sitaram contested this statement and said that the epics and many other historical facts speak differently. It is after the Kalinga war in which nearly one lakh people died, that Ashoka embraced Buddhism. Modi, Sitaram said, is trying to veneer the historical facts with his communal flagrancy.

Speaking on Savarkar, Sitaram said, there is no connection between Hindutva and customs and practices in Hindu religion. Hindutva is a special political project. Citing examples of meeting between Moonje and Hedgewar with Mussolini, the fascist dictator of Italy, Sitaram said, that RSS and BJP believe in violence. The recent developments of the period, all the more substantiate this argument, he said.

Sangh and the RSS right since its inception worked with the theory of ‘Hinduise military and militarise Hindus’, which is based on the Italian model of Mussolini. The outcome of such a policy is Pragya Thakur and Aseemanand. Sitaram said, the only alternative to such a vicious game plan is the secular, democratic republic and its polity. The political independence must also translate into economic independence and economic equality. Islamic State and Hindu Rashtra, both are drenched with extreme ideology of violence, which is not required in India. Sitaram further said, this collision in represented in Bhopal in the form of an election contest between Digvijay Singh and Pragya Thakur, which is not just a contest between two individuals but between ideologies. Sitaram said, that the primary objective as of now is to defeat Modi government and form an alternative government which safeguards the constitutional values.

The seminar was also addressed by Digvijay Singh, Congress candidate from Bhopal. He emphatically said that the CPI(M) plays an important role in directing the policy of the country towards people’s welfare. The UPA-1 term was magnificent because it was checked by the CPI(M) and the Left. He said that the loss of absence of Left in UPA-2 was felt after the elections.

The seminar was chaired by S S Yadav, an economist. The seminar was attended by intellectuals, people from the working class and social movements.

Sitaram Yechury, before this seminar, held a discussion with another group of intellectuals in the Party office at Bhopal and termed the present election as a fight of ideologies. One represented by BJP, which has no faith in the constitutional values and the second by the secular and those who accept the diversity in India. In such a background, he said that the people must keep in mind that the forces representing hate, violence, ultra-nationalism and extremism are defeated.

Jaswinder Singh, and P V Ramchandran, state secretary and state secretariat member of CPI(M) respectively, were also present in both the events.