November 24, 2013
Thwart the Efforts to Sharpen Communal Polarisation

WHEN the RSS decided to project the Gujarat chief minister as the BJP’s prime ministerial aspirant, these columns had said that this signalled that the RSS/BJP has finally abandoned its need for a mukhota to mask its real intentions behind a democratic façade. It signalled that the RSS has gone beyond the need for people like a Vajpayee. Importantly, this signalled that the RSS is back to its bases – seeking the transformation of the secular democratic Indian Republic into its version of a rabidly intolerant fascistic `Hindu Rashtra’. While the RSS will use all weapons in its arsenal to achieve this objective, its mainstay, however, remains the sharpening of communal polarisation by creating antagonistic divisions between the religious majority and the minorities particularly against the Muslims with all its gory consequences of communal riots, bloodshed and mayhem. Amongst the other of its deadly weapons are the efforts at rewriting Indian history; appropriating the icons of the freedom struggle, a struggle that the RSS deliberately, hence consciously stayed away from; brazen denial of personal liberty and naked violation of individual privacy; the usage of undemocratic language and anti-democratic methods of electoral campaign etc etc. In other words, the re-assertion of the law of the jungle – might is right. This is the very antithesis of democracy and democratic practices. Thus, they are, once again, demonstrating that they are not only anti-secular but are anti-democratic to the core. This is, once again, being vindicated by the latest decision of the BJP to `honour’ two of its MLAs accused in the recent Muzaffarnagar riots at a political rally in Agra on November 21 to be addressed by the BJP’s PM aspirant. These BJP MLAs who would be sharing the dais with the Gujarat chief minister were arrested for giving inflammatory speeches on September 7 following which riots broke out in Muzaffarnagar. One of these MLAs was also accused of uploading a fake video on social media that inflamed passions leading to the riots. The other BJP MLA was booked in another case of rioting which occurred in June this year. In these September riots in Muzaffarnagar, at least 65 people were killed and more than 60,000 have been displaced, as reported by the media. These two BJP MLAs, who were arrested under the National Security Act (NSA), were recently released on bail when the UP High Court’s State Advisory Board did not confirm the applicability of the NSA in this case for want of sufficient evidence. Recently, both these MLAs along with another BJP MLA and 34 other BJP workers, who were arrested in connection with the Muzaffarnagar riots, were publicly felicitated by the UP state BJP. These MLAs and the workers were given `appreciation letters’ as a recognition of their “struggle against the state government during the riots and the sacrifice (sic) they made and got arrested for the cause of safety of mata, behen and betian as well as Indian culture”. Significantly, this function was held in Muzaffarnagar itself. The UP Legislative Assembly BJP party leader, who himself was named in this riots case for delivering a provocative speech, was the chief guest. It is clear that the BJP is getting wary that its attempts to communally polarise the voters in the region are not succeeding. People of both the communities have been badly hit financially in the region due to mass migration of labourers that is hurting all households. Consequently, the community elders from both the communities have begun reconciliation efforts which clearly does not suit the RSS/BJP’s designs. Hence the attempts to re-polarise and further divide the people on communal lines hoping that this would help the BJP electorally. A crass effort of practicing vote bank politics for consolidating the majority vote bank. Such are the desperate efforts being made by the RSS/BJP in their frantic bid to form a government in the post-2014 general elections. In order to achieve this, the RSS/BJP seems to be using all the weapons in their arsenal. Their success will only herald the beginning of the efforts to completely negate and undermine the secular democratic Indian Republic as we know of it today. This cannot be permitted. The RSS/BJP led combine of communal forces cannot be allowed to exploit the growing popular discontent arising out of the anti-people policies of the current UPA-2 government to achieve their objective. The growing popular discontent amongst our people must be so mobilised that it finds an expression in a non-Congress, anti-BJP political alternative that shall pursue an alternative policy direction for the country which will provide the much-needed relief to the people and steer the country on a sustainable path of economic development and progress. (November 20, 2013)