Violence is in BJP’s genes
Although the poll panel has declined the request, students of politics fail to understand why the BJP is not taking it as a compliment. In September 1990, then BJP President L.K. Advani decided to undertake a countrywide tour to whip up passions of gullible masses about demolishing the mosque in Ayodhya — “a symbol of Mughal dominance in Hindu India.”
This had been the BJP’s main election plank in 1989. A Toyota truck was redesigned as a rath (chariot) and Advani embarked on the journey catalyzing a chain of events that resulted in the wilful demolition of the 650-year-old mosque two years later. As expected, there was a backlash as communal disturbances broke out in Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. The trick worked in the BJP’s favor: From 2 seats in 1984 to 88 seats in 1989 and then to 120 seats in 1991.
What is their formula of success? Provoke the enemy, incite masses and play the victim. Babri Mosque’s demolition was the party’s core issue that transformed the Saffron brigade from a minnow into a giant. The famous black and white photo of a gleeful firebrand leader Uma Bharti over the shoulders of a smiling Murli Manohar Joshi while the razing was in progress doesn’t leave a shred of doubt that things were on the “right track” as planned. Why were they gloating then if they don’t want Cobrapost to x-ray their antics now?
Ideally, the BJP should take pride and repeatedly thank Cobrapost for brushing up voters’ memory about the unforgettable service the Saffronites have done to their cause. The party, after all, never regretted the Muslim pogrom carried out by its committed supporters throughout the country in the wake of Advani’s “yatra.” The Saffron outfit used every means at its disposal to vitiate the atmosphere.
By branding the sting operation “Congress sponsored,” the BJP is in fact unwisely sharing the credit with India’s grand old party that, under the Narasimha Rao government, silently allowed the ugly drama to continue in Ayodhya for one full day. Nothing moved despite frantic calls from Muslim leaders to the PMO as dome after dome was allowed to come down. The Congress wanted the job done through the BJP without losing Muslim patronage at the hustings.
Now, the Congress made itself a laughing stock when it said in its reaction that “the BJP which claims to be nationalist had tried to damage the secular fabric of the country in the name of religion.” It was during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure that Babri locks were surreptitiously opened to place idols in its sanctum sanctorum. Much has already been written on how the Center could have airdropped platoons of commandos at the site and saved the day. The Rao Cabinet preferred to look the other way and came out with dozens of excuses as to why it could not act. Shedding crocodile tears, Rao addressed the nation in the evening and promised the principal minority that the mosque would be rebuilt on its original site as soon as possible. But what ensued was the construction of a makeshift temple over the mosque’s debris. Following it, little was done to contain a formidable wave of anti-Muslim riots that enveloped the nation.
It is getting clearer by the day that violence is in the BJP’s DNA, in its genes. The party with fascist leanings was born out of a movement to assert that India is essentially a Hindu nation. Amit Shah, the right-hand man of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, made it crystal clear when he called for “revenge” in a village near riot-hit Muzaffarnagar, UP. He set the stage for another Muslim carnage by declaring that 2014 elections are about revenge and honor. Brazenly suggesting that Hindus were victims of Muslim attacks, he appealed to the masses to vote out the government “that protects and gives compensation to those who killed Jats.” No one can beat Shah when it comes to twisting facts. It was Muslims in Muzaffarnagar who were lynched, maimed, raped and looted while the state government did nothing to stop the affront.
The Saffron frustration has reached its peak. It is now promising the majority a free hand to teach the principal minority a lesson if it came to power. What else could have been worse? The bunch of bloodthirsty communalists masquerading as politicians cannot survive in peace. They thrive on chaos. A polarized polity alone can guarantee them life. The BJP’s existence is a threat to India’s secular, pluralistic and multicultural ethos.
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