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VOL XLV No 19

Face of the Danger

Editorial

Friday 4 May 2007, by SC

While the UP Assembly elections are still on and the BSP, according to some projections, is surging ahead (whereas some others have forecast a significant improvement in the BJP’s poll performance), none has been able as yet to remove the prospects of the most important State in the Hindi heartland moving towards a hung Assembly. However, whatever the final outcome of these elections, once again the unquestionably communal agenda of the BJP and Sangh Parivar has come to the fore. With Rajnath Singh as the party President the BJP’s ties with the Parivar have lately been further reinforced as is manifest in the decision of Uma Bharati to withdraw all her candidates from the electoral fray in the interest of the parent political organisation. But that apart, the ‘hate Muslim’ propaganda in the CD that the BJP’s front bodies have distributed (never mind the party’s official statements denying any association with the CD, there is not a shadow of doubt that it is the handiwork of the BJP/RSS) has given fresh evidence of the pernicious role that this form of Hindu communalism continues to play in our polity. With a resurgent BJP preparing for the next general elections emboldened as it is by both the Congress’ electoral reverses and a string of its own successes, the danger of the communal venom being spread by the Hindutvavadis far and wide is assuming a new dimension.

The anti-Muslim tirade of the Parivar takes different forms. The ‘hate Muslim’ CD is just one illustration of the poison the Hindutva protagonists are capable of spouting. The post-Godhra carnage in Gujarat 2002 was another reflection of the same malaise. It is a matter of shame that the effects of that carnage are still alive in that State precisely because it reveals in a flash the incapacity of the secular forces to stem the rot in Gandhiji’s birthplace.

But then the ‘nationalist’ project of the BJP is at all levels intertwined with its communal agenda. And this project relies on the national security angle as well. The heinous way in which ‘fake encounters’ have been carried out in Gujarat is a fresh reminder of how the national security angle has been twisted to serve the wider interests of the party and the Parivar. The experience of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bano is a case in point. The term ‘fake encounter’ is actually an understatement to camouflage the sinister, cold-blooded murder of the innocent victims. They had to be killed in order to establish the Lashkar-e-Taiba plot to assassinate the Gujarat CM! (And the same persons are now baying for the blood of Mohammed Afzal Guru.) As an initial reaction one experiences a sense of shock but if one probes deeper into the psyche of the BJP one is not at all surprised because that is exactly how the Parivar functions.

What is striking is that, even if belatedly, the horrendous tragedy of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Kaiser Bano has finally come to light and three senior police officers of Gujarat and Rajasthan have been arrested. Conscientious officers like Geetha Johri must be complimented for having exposed through hard work and diligence the planning that went into the entire operation. It is here that the diabolic character of those who perpetrate such ‘encounters’ comes out in the open. This helps to once more unmask the real face of the BJP/RSS.

While the UPA Government and its Left allies are trudging along without much to show in terms of performance that is getting overshadowed by the ruling coalition’s glaring failures and mismanagement, especially on the economic front, the BJP is anxiously waiting to strike at the earliest possible opportunity. The Gujarat episode of ‘fake encounter’ as also the ‘hate Muslim’ CD reveal in a flash its diabolic game. It is this which needs to be comprehended in full measure. Only then can we thank of formulating our political response.

But while doing so, one should not be oblivious—even for a moment—of the sinister and diabolic nature of the conspiracy being hatched by a reinvigorated Sangh Parivar.

April 27 S.C.

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