A grand Ram temple at the site of the demolished Babri Masjid, uniform civil code across the country, abrogation of Article 370? Well, these thingies are part of Bharatiya Janata Party’s election manifesto, but I seriously doubt the utterances that the party will make any movement on these issues.
However, various leaders of the party have been bolstered to colossal levels making them believe that they can translate into reality various despicable schemes once Narendra Modi is voted to power. This has not only led to enormous fear in the minority community but various free and liberal minds in the majority community as well.
According to a popular saying, upcoming things cast their shadows in advance. Well if the selection of Mr Modi for prime minister’s post is an upcoming reality, then dreadful shadows are already being seen.
One doesn’t know how seriously they believe in what they say, but if the statements of a few leaders from the BJP and the Rashtriya Syamsevak Sangh (RSS) are pondered upon, some scary and distasteful situations prod the mind.
A former minister in Bihar and a BJP leader Giriraj Singh’s statement that all those people who oppose Modi would have to go to Pakistan after Lok Sabha polls points towards not just one-man worship but many a thing.
One, Mr Modi — who has been accused of not doing enough to stop the deadly riots in 2002 that killed at least 1000 people mostly Muslims while he was the chief minister of Gujarat — is above reproach.
Two, the people who criticize him are ‘anti-nationals’ and by saying that they should be sent to Pakistan, Mr Singh wants the people in this country to remain hostage to the baggage of history that Pakistan is an enemy country.
What Mr Singh, however, does ignore is the then prime minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited the ‘enemy country’ and brought back on track the derailed peace process between the two neighbours.
When it comes to mode of governance, Congress party and the BJP are two faces of the same coin except the fact that the latter has a brash anti-Muslim posture. This stance has not just been demonstrated through statements only but also by the actions of its leaders, mostly by those having the RSS background.
Take for example, the recent statement of President of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Pravin Togadia, which he made at a gathering of Bajrang Dal workers and his supporters in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar city.
On Saturday, he asked his supporters to forcibly occupy house of a Muslim man, which he has purchased in the Hindu-majority locality. He allegedly told the gathering that they should give an ultimatum of 48 hours to the occupant to vacate the house or else they should storm into it, take possession and put up a Bajrang Dal board. An FIR has been lodged against the leader.
He brazenly called upon the Hindus that they shouldn’t let Muslims buy homes in Hindu-dominated areas.
Saffron groups regularly organize ‘Ram Dhuns’ and ‘Ram Darbars’ to ensure Muslims are not allowed to purchase property in Hindu-dominated areas. Todagia demanded that the Disturbed Areas Act, which prevents inter-community sale of immovable property, be made applicable in Bhavnagar too.
“If he does not relent, go with stones, tyres and tomatoes to his office. There is nothing wrong in it. Killers of Rajiv Gandhi have not been hanged … there is nothing to fear and the case will go on,” Togadia told the charged-up gathering, according to The Times of India.
“I have done it in the past and Muslims have lost both property and money,” he said. “Don’t be reluctant to pressurize Congress or BJP for the sake of Hindus’ safety.”
This was a mild statement of Togadia, given his notoriety in making hateful anti-Muslim speeches.
In January last year, he told a cheering crowd how they sliced Muslims in Nelli (Assam), Bhagalpur (Bihar) and in Gujarat, where the police stood aside as Hindus went on rampage. “Ours is not a religion of cowards, but of Goddess Bhavani, who always has weapons in her hands,” Togadia told the charged-up gathering.
When we talk of divisive and inflammatory speeches we can’t ignore to give due credit to Modi’s aide and former Gujarat home minister, Amit Shah who incidentally is accused in cold-blooded killing of a Muslim couple – Sohrabudin Sheikh and Kausar Bi — who were passed off as Pakistani terrorists.
On Wednesday, he told an election rally in western Uttar Pradesh that ‘intruders from Pakistan wouldn’t dare to cross the border when Modi becomes the prime minister of India’. He said Manmohan Singh-led UPA government was complicit in its approach towards Pakistan.
And proposed the one-man Modi solution that the party has been advocating for more than a year now.
Couple of weeks before, Mr Shah was banned from election rallies by the Election Commission of India for his inflammatory speeches against Muslims in which he asked Jats of taking revenge against the people who ‘are shielding their killers’.
These statements can’t be brushed away as just poll gimmick but such leaders from these right-wing parties have proven that they harbor a deep hatred towards a particular community and in Modi’s candidature they see a prospect of carrying out their venomous policies in a fearless manner.
Only time will tell how successful they are in their endeavours and how Modi who is selling ‘Gujarat model’, development and equal opportunities for all Indians, irrespective of caste or religion, positions himself when it is time to deliver.