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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 107

BJP’s ‘Partition’ Threat

By Tukoji Pandit - Syndicate Features

During its three-day conclave at Lucknow in December 2006, the Bharatiya Janata Party warned the people that the country was heading towards another ‘partition’ because of the allegedly ‘soft’ approach towards terrorism and ‘minority appeasement’ policy of the present UPA and the previous Congress and other non-BJP governments at the Centre. The ‘warning’ may be dismissed by some as part of the raving and ranting of a party that, feeling like fish out of water since its 2004 electoral defeat, thinks that its future lies only in doing something desperate if it has to achieve its sole goal of grabbing the seat on the Raisina Hills.

BJP’s ‘future’ vision has little to offer for the development of the country; all it is keen on is to discover another ‘magic’ formula that will catapult it back to power. It does not believe in projecting India as a vibrant, forward-looking nation essaying naturally into the 21st century. The BJP refuses to see any merit in communal harmony and living in peace with neighbours at a time when most nations in the world are groping for ways to improve majority-minority relations within their societies and are devising ways of ending long conflicts.

There is always a method in BJP’s madness. The party with ‘differences’ wants Indians to remain forever wedded to a medieval past of uneasy inter-community relations. It discards inclusiveness and pluralism, the very foundation of modern India. In trying to fulfil its not-so-hidden agenda of whipping up communal frenzy that it sees as the only easy path for returning to power, the BJP leadership has threatened to revive the Ram temple issue with renewed passion even as its so-called allies in the NDA refuse to endorse that stand.

Considering that during its six-year rule as head of the NDA government the BJP had to virtually abandon the idea of building the Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, the ‘threats’ issued at Lucknow by a host of BJP stalwarts may probably not look as menacing. But there were clear signs of a sinister design by the party of Ram Bhakts if the tone and tenor of the speeches and statements made by the BJP leaders at Lucknow are taken into consideration.

BJP chief, Rajnath Singh, and Kalyan Singh, a former UP chief minister who had once left the party and pledged to ‘expose’ top leaders like Atal Behari Vajpayee and also obliterate the BJP from political horizon, were unapologetically critical of the Muslims and clearly aimed at whipping up communal passions.

If these leaders are incapable of doing anything other than reading from an RSS script, the words spoken by the Big Two, Atal Behari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani did not give much comfort either. They were as forthcoming as others on ‘minority appeasement’ and ‘soft’ approach towards terrorism that will lead to another ‘partition’. The Big Two raised the bogey of the UPA government gifting away parts of India, particularly the state of Jammu and Kashmir. There was little to doubt after listening to the ‘cream’ of BJP leadership that it was sending an unmistakably aggressive message to the Muslim community in India.

It was an exhibition of both BJP’s double-speak and its audacity. Former Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, speaking at a Parivartan Rally in Lucknow at the end of the three-day jamboree, asked the Muslim community to join the BJP. He may have been right in accusing the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and other ‘secular’ parties of being responsible for the backwardness of the Muslim community. But it takes one’s breath away to hear a BJP leader say, as Vajpayee did, that it will give the Muslims a better deal. Vajpayee asked Muslims of UP if they felt ‘safe’ under the Samajwadi Party leadership in UP? Probably many of them do not; for that matter most other communities might also say the same thing.

Did it occur to Vajpayee that the BJP should be the last party to talk of assuring a better deal to Muslims? As prime minister, heading the NDA government from 1998 to 2004, Vajpayee allowed free India’s first organised pogrom of the Muslims in Gujarat, a state run by the BJP and its ‘iconic’ leader, Narendra Modi. Yes, in a brief moment of aberration, Vajpayee did tell Modi to protect all the citizens of the state, but he soon trumped that call by telling the Muslims—in Gujarat as well as the rest of India— that they lived in India because of the magnanimity of the majority community; or words to that effect.

Repeatedly, BJP talks against Article 370 that gives Jammu and Kashmir certain privileges not enjoyed by other states, unified civil code, and, of course, building Ram temple at Ayodhya. There are many in the country, who feel that not just Jammu and Kashmir but all states should enjoy more, or ‘real’, autonomy. Perhaps a progressive outlook would demand that a unified civil code be enforced in the country. And even an atheist would not take any serious objection to building a temple at Ayodhya or anywhere else. It is the context and the purpose behind the utterances of the BJP leaders that sends a frightening message.

In their so-called ‘Chintan Baithaks’ (deliberations meetings) the BJP could well be chalking out plans to unleash a wave of communal violence in the country. The BJP, more particularly its patrons in the ‘mother’ organisation, the RSS, have not been happy to see the communal temperature lowered in the last two years. A peaceful coexistence between Hindus and Muslims fortifies people’s belief in secularism and that strikes at the ideological base of the BJP. Having got used to the power and pelf that came to it by ascending the throne in Delhi, the BJP would not hesitate to play a politics of destruction for the furtherance of its objective. In any case, as the main Opposition party at the Centre, the BJP has shown its total bankruptcy in thought and unwillingness to take up and discuss development issues.

Vajpayee and Advani told their party members in Lucknow that they see the BJP on the ‘ascent’ and Rajnath Singh said that he is the ‘groom’ (PM-in-waiting?) awaiting union with the ‘bride’ (votes). To enhance the texture of their self-painted rosy pictures, the BJP leadership has also predicted that the UPA government’s fall was round the corner. Perhaps, it is. But not for another two years!

- Syndicate Features -

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