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  Asia-Pacific
Policy of Radical Hindutva Boomeranged on the BJP
By Tanveer Jafri
Contributing Writer
BJP President Rajnath Singh, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh BJP government can be seen with so called Sadhvi Pragya Main accuse of Malegaon Bomb blast.

In India while the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has started its second consecutive term, the main opposition party, Bharatiya Janata Party which faced an enormous defeat this time, has not been able to come out of shock. Instead, there are daily incidents of accusations on one another within the party, for defeat in the elections. Even some party leaders have questioned the main agenda of the party i.e. the radical Hindutva. Strategists of the BJP gave it the name ‘Party with a difference.' By the use of this strange adjective, the ‘proficient' leaders of the party tried to tell the people that their party is very much different from that of other political parties. Party strategists tried to establish the identity of the BJP as the most disciplined and incorruptible party of India. But, since the party came to power under the leadership of Atal Behari Vajpayee, and till today, the realities which people have witnessed of the BJP, it has proved wrong, all the claims of the party strategists. In fact, after the recent defeat of the party, it seems that the BJP has become the ‘Party with differences.' rather than the ‘Party with difference.' Voices of dissent which we are hearing today perhaps are unprecedented within any political party of India.

Strategists of the BJP now seem to be trapped in their own net. The journey of promoting aggressive Hindutva started with the controversial ‘Toyota' Rath Yatra by Lal Krishna Advani in 1990, which ultimately helped the BJP to reach its culmination of 183 seats in 1999 general elections. As a result, the party strategists assumed the policy of radical Hindutva as evergreen success formula. Since December 6, 1992 to Godhra carnage & post-Godhra massacre, the BJP continuously tried to polarise the Indian politics on communal lines. Thousands of innocent Indians, both the Hindus and the Muslims, lost their lives in this dangerous game of communalism, played by the party. Even though the people of the country might not have liked it, but politicians like L.K. Advani, Narendra Modi and organizations like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) blindly continued their mission of spreading venom of communalism.

People of India ultimately taught a lesson to BJP that this is the country of ‘Unity in Diversity.' The nation wants development instead of entangling in the anti-developmental issues like temple, mosque, religion, casteism and communalism. The party strategists completely tried to follow the path of radical Hindutva and to get results out of it, the party taken support of the RSS and its sister organizations, the VHP & the Bajrang Dal. Besides this, the party used two young Muslim mascots, which it repeatedly presented via media to show the nation and the world, its ‘secular' credentials. But in recent elections, this ‘disciplined' and ‘party with a difference,' was ruined so badly by the people that the same party strategists of the party started rendering each other responsible for this defeat.

The biggest question facing the BJP today is- what is the future of the party hitherto surviving on the Ram Temple issue, aggressive Hindutva and communal riots? On one hand, the BJP defended Varun Gandhi for his hate speech against the Muslims, on the other side; by adopting double standards, the party tried to distance itself from his objectionable comments. This same tendency of double standards has got the BJP at such position, where only differences seem to exist. Advani, who during the entire election campaign tried to prove Dr. Manmohan Singh a weak and inert Prime Minister, is now apologising for his uncivilized language. Differences in the party have reached to such an extent that some leaders, differing from the policy of Hindutva, have started questioning the relevance of radical Hindutva. Many such leaders are of the view that the defence and support of Varun Gandhi proved costly to the party.

Not only the BJP is thinking on the policy of radical Hindutva, even there is debate within the RSS, the source of Hindutva, itself. A senior leader of the RSS has too favoured a rethink on Hindutva by the BJP. Indeed many strategists of the BJP and the RSS are now thinking of the future strategy to be followed for extending its support among the Indian masses. In the journey of communal churning, since last two decades, from their commencement to conclusion, these communal forces have understood that a bullet can be fired only once. So, there is need to take a new ‘slough.' These forces have understood that the voter of the nation is getting more aware by the day. The issues of Amarnath shrine land allotment, Sadhvi Pragya & Col. Purohit's involvement in Malegaon bombing, Varun's venomous speech, Gujarat of Narendra Modi and the Ram Temple, Common Civil Code, and Article 370 are not seen by the people in the way the party wants them to see. Instead, people have understood the all the communal issues like these are just the electoral tools and propaganda of the BJP. Consequently, the party is today far away from power.

The BJP, hitherto proud of the aggressive style of speaking of Narendra Modi, is now in the position of serious thought that which style is acceptable to the voters- Aggressive & uncivilised or soft-spoken & cultured? The BJP stands unmasked of its Hindutva. People of the country have understood that in fact the main objective behind following the path of Hindutva was to come in power by suppressing and insulting the minorities, particularly Muslims. Besides, the aware voters are also of the view that nation can't develop in the atmosphere of communal and religious tensions. The BJP might be trying to show any picture of Gujarat through publicity and advertisement, but by seeing the adverse effects on business of Gujarati people as a result of communal riots, their ruined homes, and refugee camps; one can imagine where the Gujarat formula would take the country.

This saffron organization, which claims to be most disciplined, has now become a case of indiscipline. Certainly, it is a challenge before the BJP, which hitherto promoted communalism through godmen and party workers, that how it would acquire secular values after the six decades of independence? Time will tell that during this tedious process, the party would get more integrated or disintegrated. Later, how would the people view the new face of the party? Nationalist or Opportunist?



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Other Articles by Tanveer Jafri
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Mr.Tanveer Jafri, who serves as contributing writer for The Seoul Times, is a noted columnist in India. He writes on a variety of issues including world peace, anti-terrorism, and national & international politics for numerous news dailies and portals in India. As a devoted social activist he is member of Haryana Sahitya Academy & Haryana Urdu Academy.

 

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