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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 110

BJP in CD imbroglio

By Ramu-Tushar - Syndicate Features

The euphoria in the Bharatiya Janata Party camp over its victory in the municipal election in Delhi was understandable. It was without doubt the consequence of the so-called (half-hearted..?) sealing drive started by the Congress dispensation on Supreme Court order. The civic poll triumph however coincided with the rap the party has received from the Election Commission for circulating (since withdrawn as unauthorised) a highly offensive Compact Disc designed to demonise the Muslim community.

If the civic poll result was nothing more than a confirmation that traders and petty businessmen constitute the backbone of BJP’s support, the CD affair was another reminder of the disgusting path the BJP takes in the pursuit of its divisive policies.

Probably it will not take long to expose the BJP’s lack of vision for making Delhi a better city because that would surely clash with the interests of its hardcore supporters. It will also require a show of defiance against the judiciary, something that the BJP seems to take pride in even as it maliciously dubs all unfavourable court orders as having been made at the behest of the Congress or any other party it happens to be targeting. Previous spells of BJP rule in Delhi had laid the foundation of the urban mess that the capital has become –mushroom growth without any planning or regulation and absolutely free hand to the land mafia and unscrupulous builders.

Delhi has long been a city of fluctuating fortunes and it will ride out the latest BJP reign with some more bruises here and there. It is the other episode that can leave a wider trail of distress and trouble in the country—the systematic attempt by the BJP to damn and alienate an entire community of Indians.

It is typical of the BJP to defend its malevolent acts with half-truths and misleading statements. After the impugned CD was released in Lucknow by a senior BJP leader, Lalji Tandon, at a news conference, the Election Commission asked the BJP to submit an explanation. The failure to do so would have opened the possibility of the party being de-recognised. When a police complaint, an FIR, was lodged against BJP president Rajnath Singh and Lalji Tandon amongst other leaders it promptly blamed its political rivals for an action initiated on instructions from an independent constitutional body.

The BJP also lost no time in seeking to derive mileage with the party president, Rajnath Singh, declaring that he would not seek anticipatory bail but court arrest if it came to that as a consequence of the FIR against the party. The CD in question was allegedly released ‘inadvertently.’ A curious twist, call it a drama, was also injected into the affair with the production team of the disc alleging that it was being threatened and pressurised to own all the responsibility for preparing the CD.

The explanation given by the BJP to the poll body is as specious as it is casual, betraying its hate ideology. Since the CD was designed with a clear aim to vilify the Muslim community, the BJP chose one of its only two prominent Muslim faces, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, to answer the query raised by the Election Commission. ‘It (the CD) was not part of the party’s election material,’ said Naqvi who also tried to pass the blame to the BJP spokesman in UP who has since been removed from his post.

It is highly improbable that the CD was produced and distributed without at least some senior party functionaries being aware of its content. Because unseen and unknown election related material is not distributed to the media with senior leaders in attendance, including the state unit president, at the party HQ on an election eve. Its contents must have been seen and approved, if not by the party chief, at least by some other ‘responsible’ functionaries who obviously thought that the contents were in conformity with what the party line.

Yet, the BJP planted enough stories in the media through ‘friendly’ contacts that the top brass of the party was not aware of the contents of the CD. That may be a good argument before Nirvachan Sadan but would look too farfetched if seen in the light of all that the BJP stands for. Even if there was an oversight by the top brass, they cannot be absolved of their responsibility in a matter as sensitive and serious as minority bashing. Claims like unauthorised or not ‘official’ are neither here nor there.

Curiously, while disowning the highly inflammatory CD, the BJP does own up another equally objectionable compact disc that was released at the party’s conclave in the same city, Lucknow, in December 2006. This ‘official’ CD looks to be an abridged version of the controversial CD released and ‘withdrawn’ now. Both the CDs were prepared under the supervision of the BJP spokesman in UP who has since been reportedly relieved of his post. Presumably he remains an honourable member of the party.

Undeniably purpose of both the ‘official’ and ‘disowned’ CDs is the same: spreading the party’s hate-Muslim ideology. The ‘official’ CD of last December has footage to ‘justify’ the half truths the BJP spreads about Muslims. The one that has been disowned now gives a more graphic account of these ‘evil’ designs of the Muslims with a message that if the BJP was not voted to power, another Pakistan will be carved out of India.

The CD soup notwithstanding, the BJP has remained steadfast to its abject communal ideology. At election time this ideology becomes more pronounced as the party seeks votes for the sake of its exclusiveness.

The BJP has got away with this for many years because forces that ostensibly oppose the BJP ideology have not acted against it as resolutely and consistently as they should have. The so-called secular parties have not been able to create sufficient awareness among the masses about the pernicious policies of the Sangh Parivar.

After the release of the inflammatory CD by the BJP, the ‘secular’ parties should not have remained content with firing mere verbal salvos from their party headquarters but should have been on the streets, all over the country, to tell the people why they should reject BJP’s communal politics in the interest of the integrity of the country and the freedom that was fought—with no contribution from the BJP and its predecessors.

- Syndicate Features -

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