Narendra Modi’s ‘development for all, appeasement for none’ notwithstanding, his chief strategist Amit Shah has reportedly called for revenge in Uttar Pradesh, says Adil Riyaz
The endorsement of Congress party by the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid raised heckles across the political spectrum with a beeline of politicians, especially from the BJP, questioning the authority of Syed Ahmad Bukhari in matters political.
Whatever the motives of Shahi Imam in exhorting Muslims to vote for Congress and its allies, one thing however seems rather astute: Muslims can’t vote for the parties whose leaders feed and thrive on anti-Muslim vitriol.
They may be shouting from the rooftops that Narendra Modi has changed and that development for all Indians, irrespective or religion or caste is his mantra, but the ground situation hints otherwise.
On Thursday, Mr Modi’s chief strategist and the party’s general secretary, Amit Shah deflated his ‘development’ balloon by giving a vitriol-filled clarion call for revenge against those who he said were “protecting the killers of Jats”.
Mr Shah doesn’t sell ‘Gujarat’s development dreams’ to the people in Uttar Pradesh – India’s most populous state, which send 80 legislators to the country’s parliament. Instead, he is trying to harvest the crop (read Muzaffarnagar riots), seeds of which were sown six months before.
Standing next to BJP legislator Suresh Rana, who was jailed for 12 days for his alleged role in instigating the deadly riots in September last year, Mr Shah who himself is an accused in a Sohrabudin fake encounter case, told Jats in Raajghar village, during a public meeting that this election is about “badla (revenge) and protecting izzat (honour)”.
“This election is about voting out the government that protects and gives compensation to those who killed Jats,” Indian Express quoted him as saying.
Batting for Rana and Hukum Singh – another BJP leader accused of instigating the riots, Mr Shah said “this is the time to avenge. The leaders standing next to me have been humiliated.”
He didn’t stop there but appeared in his true colours (read anti-Muslim ideology) when a man demanded that the ‘false cases against Jats be withdrawn.”
Mr Shah responded by saying that women in UP were not safe. “And when we protect them, we are called rioters because Mullah Mulayam is busy defending the minority,” he said, as quoted by Scroll.in.
Here, he invoked his mentor and the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi by quoting his tweet, promising to stop “pink revolution (referring to cow slaughter) and star green revolution (pure vegetarianism).
“Beggars have turned millionaires by running butcher shops,” he referred to the area’s Muslim community.
Thousands of Muslims, with some reports projecting them to be about 40, 000, were displaced because of the Muzaffarnagar riots. 65 people were killed, majority of them Muslims and dozens of women were raped during the riots, which were, according to various rights groups, engineered by the right-wing parties to polarise voters ahead of Lok Sabha polls.
Yet Mr Shah doesn’t think twice and goes ahead by saying that certain communities (read Hindus) have been made to live as ‘second-class citizens’ due to ‘minority appeasement’ carried out by Mulayam Singh.
Majority of Indian Muslims live in Uttar Pradesh and when a particular party’s chief planner thinks about Muslims in this way, then it should not surprise anyone that many Muslims will heed to Shahi Imam’s call to vote for a secular party.