Sunday, April 14, 2013

Nitish is wrong in singling out Modi. All of BJP is communal….

Nitish Kumar has spoken. And he has stuck to his script. Clearly hinting (though not naming) that Modi is unacceptable to him as the NDA PM candidate, he has made his party’s alliance with the BJP hinge on this one single point. But is he being fair in singling Modi out like this? Is it his point that anyone else from the BJP is acceptable as PM, but not Modi? If his argument is one of secularism, then I am sorry but no one from the BJP qualifies to be his partner.

Take Advani, the one that Nitish hinted might be acceptable when he said that the NDA had fought under him in 2009. But how can Nitish forget Advani’s role in the BJP’s mega-treachery of the century (even bigger than the post-Godhra riots), the demolition of the Babri Masjid. It was Advani, wasn’t it, who started it all off with his 1990 yath ratra. With his exhortations to his cohorts days and hours before they went and did what they had already premeditated to do – bring down a centuries old monument? How is Advani different from the Taliban leadership which ordered the Bamiyan Buddhist statues in Afghanistan to be destroyed?

And what about the others? Murli Manohar Joshi, one of the longest serving party MPs of the party, also was right there, in Ayodhya, urging his followers to have no second thoughts about “righting the wrongs of history”.

And what about Arun Jaitley, who is the biggest force backing the Muslim baiter Narendra Modi? What kind of comfort would it give Nitish if Arun Jaitley became the PM; if he felt obliged to either bring in Modi as the Home Minister or something or keep condoning his deeds as CM of Gujarat – back then in 2002 and now (when he continues to keep the Muslims out of the mainstream)?

What about Sushma Swaraj, who is nothing but a part of the opposition-to-Modi camp in the BJP, and is otherwise a backer of Advani for PM? Advani and Swaraj are two sides of the same coin, she backing him for PMship, the he backing her for party presidentship.

And what about all the “sister organizations” of the BJP? The RSS – which not only spews venom against the minorities, but also against the lower castes, especially the dalits? Hope Nitish doesn’t forget why the RSS was first set up – as a counter to Ambedkar’s dalit push in the 1920s. If Nitish believes that the only problem with the BJP is its communal credentials, surely he is not serious? Surely he knows just how much the BJP loathes the lower castes, and vice versa?

Leave RSS, what about the more brazenly branded Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal and the Durga Vahini? These organizations don’t even try to hide behind the fig leaf of “development” as Modi does, or “janata” as the BJP does. They are clear in their agenda – they are pro-Hindu parties (mostly pro-Brahmin), and they will push for India declaring itself a Hindu country. Can Nitish forget how Dara Singh – a Bajrang Dal worker – ruthlessly massacred Graham Staines, the Australian missionary working for the upliftment of the under-privileged in Orissa? Or Praveen Togadia of the VHP whose anti-minority rhetoric can only be bested by an Uma Bharati?

Will Nitish also forget that BJP governments all over the country are silently pushing the Hindu agenda? That saraswati Vandana and yoga are being used as cultural tools to spread the color of saffron? That during the NDA rule, in which Nitish himself was a party, the education department (Ministry of HRD) under Murli Manohar Joshi had all but changed the text books to reflect the glory of Hinduism and show the Mughal rule in a prejudiced manner?

Or will not consider the kind of “permanent” allies the BJP has? The Shiromani Akali Dal, whose very formation is on communal lines. Or the Shiv Sena, which in addition to having a Marathi agenda also has a strong anti-Muslim one? Does Nitish see the JD(U) in this company?

So Nitish is being canny in singling Modi out? If he is serious about his party’s secular credentials, he should never have joined hands with the BJP. The reality is different it appears. Nitish signed up with the BJP to keep Laloo out. It was near-term political compulsions, not any long-term considerations, that brought Nitish into the grasp of the BJP. The 17 year old relationship has been largely driven by near term compulsions. Today, it is again near term compulsions that are making Nitish attack Modi. Nitish realizes he is on a slippery slope in Bihar. His 2nd term has been anything but satisfactory. There are no jobs in Bihar; electricity is a problem; and even his own partymen (refer Indian Express stories of the last two days) agree that corruption is a big issue. Today, to win in Bihar, Nitish needs the Muslim votes like never before. Today, the BJP itself has become a problem for Nitish. Nitish’s identification of Modi as the fount of communalism is just a clever politician’s way to balance his “loyalty to the NDA” while being opposed to communal issues.

Modi is suffering the wrath of Nitish only because he is the loudest of all the loud mouths in the BJP. Modi brags all the time; and has “earned” the #feku tag (#Feku or sapnon ka saudagar). Yesterday’s TOI brings out more about this habit of his. Modi’s ability to gas is profound; his ability to conceal unpleasant facts about his state even more so. But he’s now getting exposed. Stories about the drought in Gujarat; and his government’s mishandling are only now coming out months after similar stories came out about Maharashtra. Modi is a victim of his own “gas bag” quality. He’s easy to attack. That’s what Nitish is doing. Even though – and the BJP should be clear about this – Nitish is actually attacking all of the BJP.

The real truth is that Nitish is trying to be clever by singling out Modi, when in fact she should have the guts to tick off the entire BJP. Such clever attempts at wooing the Muslim crowd will not succeed. Today’s world is vastly different than what it was ten years back….

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