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Mainstream, VOL LV No 44 New Delhi October 21, 2017

Face of the Danger

Monday 23 October 2017

EDITORIAL

Once again the BJP leaders are exposing their majoritarian proclivities.

First, the Yogi Adityanath Government in UP omitted the world-renowned 17th century monu-ment, the Taj Mahal, from an official booklet on tourist destinations.

Thereafter on October 16 BJP MLA Sangeet Som, speaking at an event in Meerut, questioned the Taj Mahal’s place in India’s heritage and observed that history would be rewritten to erase the Mughal emperors from it.

He further asserted that the present governments in UP and at the Centre were determined to rewrite history, adding:

From the history of Ram to Krishna, Maharana Pratap to Shivaji Rao, they are trying to incorporate them in the textbooks... and the blots which are in our books, be it of Akbar, Aurangzeb, Babur, the government is working to remove them from history.

Instead of pulling up Som for his comments which militate against our pluralist ethos, the BJP came out in support of his observations on the ground that the citizens must enjoy freedom of speech. BJP spokesman G.V.L. Narasimha Rao went out of his way to assail the Muslim rule in India as “barbaric and a period of incomparable intolerance” while affirming that the party members could hold any opinion they want on the specific monuments.

So the BJP has indirectly supported Som’s basic position. Also Rajasthan’s Education Minister Vasudev Devnani has declared that in that State students will be taught that Rana Pratap, not the Mughals, won the battle of Haldighati.

And The Indian Express has disclosed:

The BJP Government in Maharashtra plans to revise school books to focus on Maratha glory and downplay Mughal history, which is now identified solely with Muslims. Elsewhere, there is a demand to rename places, roads, buildings named after the great Mughals.

...From Babur downwards, the Mughals are being described as “outsiders” in the manner of colonial historians who interpreted Indian history as a conflict between Hindus and Muslims to deny the existence of a multi-faith, multi-cultural society.

The intention is to further polarise the society and this attempt is yielding fruit with noted Muslim politicians—from Asaduddin Owaisi to Azam Khan—reacting on predictable lines.

As PM Narendra Modi’s rabble-rousing anti-Congress pronouncements in Gujarat yesterday underline, the ruling party at the Centre is currently facing an uphill task: however much Modi may harp on vikasvaad (development) as opposed to the Congress’s vanshvaad (dynasty), he is actually relying on communal polarisation to mobilise the people on emotional lines in order to overcome the disadvan-tages of the Union Government due to the economic problems springing from demonetisation and GST that are hitting the public hard of late.

This is a dangerous situation. And the only way one can combat this danger is to unite against the Modi dispensation. Regardless of the infantile acrobatics of the Marxist sectarians in the CPM and CPML, it is only by uniting the secular democrats of all hues—from the Congress to the Left—can we effectively fight and defeat the conspiracies being hatched by the Sangh Parivar in power.

October 17 S.C.

ISSN : 0542-1462 / RNI No. : 7064/62