Sunday, January 23, 2011

BJP must stop the farcical Tiranga Yatra

The BJP's at it again. They always reach out to the most crude....the most extreme....the most basic of human emotions to exploit for political gains. They did this with religion in the past. They are now doing it with the spirit of patriotism. Their strategy is simple: an overt display of the emotion to be counted in as one of the "good" guys.....they are now asking us to wear our patriotism on our prove that we are adequately patriotic. And all this, blatantly for political gains. This is akin to Bush's "Either you are with us or you are with them" statement....and the American public showed the Republicans which side they were on.

Stoking extreme nationalistic feelings is not a new strategy. History is replete with similar approaches used by various leaders in the past. Most of them were dictatorial by nature....stoking nationalism with the clear objective of furthering their own ambitions. Hitler and Mussolini are examples that come readily to mind. What havoc these leaders created on humankind is well known. The BJP is up to the same thing now.

The immediate issue on hand is the flying of the Indian National Flag at the Lal Chowk in Srinagar. Now this is the kind of issue that is bound to exercise non-Kashmiri Indians immediately. Its like you are being asked a question that has to have a Yes/No answer: Is Kashmir a part of it? Which sane Indian is going to say No? Further, if you say Yes, you are expected to prove it. Prove that you are a true Indian. How do you prove that? By supporting the BJP. What kind of rubbish is this? What kind of a political party is this, masquerading as someone that loves India and wants its good?

The fact is that Kashmir is a disturbed area. Its a state in secession. The people of Kashmir do not want to be part of India. Whether they want to be independent or join Pakistan is immaterial as far as India is concerned. Rightfully (from India's point of view), the Indian state is holding on to Kashmir. Every Indian supports holding on to Kashmir. So far so good. Now, why would you want to test someone's nationalistic feelings by provoking conflict in a war zone? Why should I have to support the Tiranga Yatra to prove that I am a true Indian? Why cant I take a more moderate line: Yes Kashmir belongs to India. Yes, the authority of the Indian state should be total. Yet, we need to handle the matter delicately. Lets not precipitate anything that does harm to the people of Kashmir or to India's interests.

You want to know how the BJP's move will surely harm India's cause? Kashmir will be riddled with violence. The US and China will be forced to intervene. The UN will be forced to take note of the developments. The issue will become top of mind globally. No country can withstand international pressure of this kind. This is exactly what the Pakis have been trying to do for years. Internationalize the issue. And guess who has joined hands with the Pakis? The BJP. The BJP is helping Pakistan's cause.

But then, what else can one expect from a party that has had almost no time to rule India? There has hardly been a requirement for them to display a sense of responsibility. They are like a spoilt child.....always complaining about the parents. Always being a rebel. Yet when this spoilt child becomes a parent, it struggles. It doesnt know what to do. As soon as the shoe moves to the other foot, the BJP wont know what to do.

As responsible citizens of this country, we need to recognize the devious strategy that the BJP has adopted. We must understand that Kashmir is a conflict zone. India's interests are served best when Indian establishes its clout subtly. Its how China handles tries very hard to keep Tibet below the radar, even as it dominates Tibet militarily. That's why it hates Obama when he meets the Dalai Lama. That's why they get worried with Hollywood stars meet the Dalai Lama. They want to do everything to keep the matter silent. Like they say "Time is the best healer".....they believe (and I agree) that over time, most issues sort themselves out. Just last night came the story that the Naga movement has effectively died and Nagaland is ready to become a voluntary member of the Indian nation.

In politics, you need maturity. A modicum of decency. A lot of responsibility. Stoking basal instincts in the people, being personally rude in references to leaders, taking people to the brink over issues of extreme nationalism are all signs of immaturity and irresponsibility. The people of India dont want conflict. They want progress. They want to elevate themselves out of poverty. They want to give their children education. They want to buy all the shimmering goods that are displayed in the stores. They dont want to keep proving that they are nationalists.

The real truth is that the BJP doesnt really care for India. All it cares for is to get to power. The real truth also is that the BJP does not deserve to rule India. They are irresponsible in behavior. And my bet is that the people of India know this. They will make sure the BJP either changes its strategies or is booted out for ever.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree - there are two kinds of jingoists. The one's who are genuinely nuts - like Adolf Hitler or the ones who are calculating and Machiavellian(like Mussolini and most right wing Indian parties).