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Should BJP Be Derecognized?

By Ram Puniyani

19 April, 2007

Election Commission is in the process of hearing (April 2007) the response of BJP leadership to the compliant filed by V.P. Singh about the communal CD released by BJP state leadership, Lalji Tandon and others. Election Commission has asked as to why BJP should not be derecognized. The clauses which it can attract are 153A, 153B and 505 of the Indian Penal Code, and Clauses (3) and (3A) of Section 123 and Section 125 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The pack of CDs is titled Bharat ki Pukar. The TV Channels showed prominently the release of the same by BJP leadership and also the interview of the CD maker who said that he was given the theme around which he developed the script.

In nutshell the CD contains the demonization of Muslims in the most blatant fashion. All the myths which RSS combine has been spreading about the Muslim minority are scripted in this, in the most glaring form. These myths pertain to Muslims loyalty to Pakistan, they killing cow, who is mother of Hindus, they being terrorists, and producing litters of dogs, threatening to convert this Hindu nation into Islamic state. It goes on to repeat the scenes of Babri demolition and Godhra violence, projects Muslim as the uniform monolith. It contains material which states that integrity of Muslims is suspect, Muslim youth are behind elopement of Hindu girls, and in this they get support from their parents and clerics. Hindu girls are then forced to convert to Islam, Madrassa teachers are engaged in anti national activities, if Muslims have first right to resources, then what should Hindus do? Each and every myth has been showed to be false to the core, and acts to polarize the communities along religious lines. BJP is resorting to this divisive politics, after a gap of some time. In some previous elections like the one in MP, Rajasthan ?development? was projected as the issue of some consequence. In UP the blatant communal tool is being used to the hilt. One recalls there are nearly three methods along which the RSS vote bank has been consolidated.

The first one is the propaganda through its shakhas which began with its formation in 1925 and went on rising slowly first, and exponentially later. Its infiltration in the media and educational arena strengthened the same to higher order. The second one, which began around violence of Jabalpur, Meerut, Malayana and Bhaglapur was implementation of what was being propagated, the violence. Most of the inquiry commission reports, Jagmohan Reddy, Vithyathil, Bhagalpur, Madon, and Shrikrishna have demonstrated the hand of RSS progeny or affiliate in planning and executing the violence. The analysis shows the rise in the electoral support of RSS electoral wing in these areas in the aftermath of violence. Later came in the massive, large scale violence, more like genocide or pogrom, in the aftermath of Babri demolition and then post Godhra Gujarat genocide. The latter pogroms were able to raise the level of communalization many notches higher and their impact was in the country as a whole.

Whenever these pogroms are organized, the level of communalization of minds goes so high that it is difficult to respond to them by facts, reason and logic. The type of communalization is mixed with emotive appeal. The biggest success of RSS propaganda has been to successfully instill the fear in the minds of section of majority community from the community which not only is very low in the scale of social and economic scales but itself has been gripped by phobia, and forced to ghettoize.

The success of RSS strategy in splitting the country along religious lines is very visible lately with the rise in ghettoization in different cities across the country. The work of RSS shakhas has been outsourced to a large section of media, and different state run schemes, more so after the BJP was in power in the center for six long years and also in the states ruled by BJP governments, which essentially are the conduits for RSS shakha program and propaganda.

It goes without saying that BJP gave varied response to the notice by the Election commission. While some sections of leadership said there is nothing wrong in what the CD contains, the official line adopted by the leadership with the Election Commission was to disown the CD. It was said that some fringe elements produced and distributed and the responsible top leadership has nothing to do with it. And that now it is being withdrawn. Where does one place the likes of Lalji Tandon in this scheme of things, Fringe element or a mainline leader? BJP is capable of dumping its leaders for the sake of long term goal. This line of defense continues to say that since the CD has been withdrawn, where is the case for action against the party? It wants others to believe that there are no duplicate CDs being distributed in lakhs if not more. Also to back up the material contained in CD, one advertisement endorsed with BJP symbol has come to light and that openly talks of anti Muslim sentiments.

It is more than clear that BJP wants to spread hate to consolidate its vote bank, without inviting censure of the due process of law. There is nothing surprising about that. BJP knows that it cannot come to power without the politics of hate against weaker sections of society, the religious minorities. Its glorious run to power has always been preceded by such hate propaganda. It is very clear that only by pursuing identity politics and by opposing affirmative action for dalit, OBC and Muslims it can retain the support base required for winning elections. Once the elections are won than to use the existing mechanisms to further drive a wedge between people of different religious communities, to break the concept of Fraternity (Community)

One is witnessing the wily genius of communal politics in full operation. After the Gujarat carnage there is a definite change in its strategy. It is now resorting to low intensity, sustained, violence in different places. The advantage of this is that it does not invite serious reprimand from the official legal mechanisms and social-world opinion at large. Last two years we have seen the violence being orchestrated in Mau, Indore and many other places and to keep the issues like Baba Budan Giri on the boil.

In a way the CD has just showed what BJP really stands for. The withdrawal of CD and sacking of the small fry who made the CD is just a face saving devise, as that will just put the Hate propaganda on vibrate/silent mode. The response of BJP Muslim Leaders Shahnawaj Hussein etc. shows the mindset of those totally blinded by power. He states that BJP is a secular party and that this CD is an aberration, so the withdrawal of CD and sacking of its maker is good enough. Interestingly all the top Muslim leadership of BJP has Hindu wives! Dont they feel ashamed that their own party is demonizing such inter religious marriages by putting the blame on Muslim youth? These Muslim leaders sitting in the lap of BJP deliberately want to overlook that this CD is merely an uncensored expression of what BJP and its parent organization are doing continuously. The propaganda is on any way.

Where does one go from here? Should Election Commission accept the false explanation, which BJP top brass is giving? The dissemination of the CD will go on unabated and the violation of the legal clauses will go on irrespective of what BJP will state in its reply. Election Commission needs to stand up and protect the clauses related to people's representation act, by derecognizing BJP, as such there are no other democratic options.

In a democracy it is a difficult choice to ban/derecognize parties or organizations. What does one do with the organizations which pay lip service to democracy but are tied to apron strings of those organizations which stand opposed to democracy and Indian constitution? It is no secret that RSS chief just six years ago called for scrapping of Indian constitution and bringing in one based in India holy books. It is no secret that RSS combine is working for Hindu Nation. By implication though BJP takes oath for preserving Indian constitution, it has no qualms in violating the same when the time comes.

One also has to remember that Hitler also came to power by using democratic means, by taking the oath to preserve democratic constitution in Germany. Once having come to power how he abolished democracy and brought in fascism is a history written with the blood of over a million Germans. Will we learn from history, as to how to nurture and protect the values of freedom struggle, the values of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, (Community) By constructing and demonizing the other, this political stream is breaking the concept of fraternity. One hopes we have mechanisms to ensure that those parties wedded to extra electoral non democratic outfits are not permitted to be part of electoral system.


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