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The Theatre Of Hindutva

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

05 March, 2013

The BJP’s national executive meeting obtained nothing but carefully projected Narendra Modi as the leader of the party for next general election. In a way, it was a replica of Congress’s chintan shivir in Jaipur which did no chintan except projecting Rahul Gandhi as the future of the Congress Party. Fortunately India is huge and diverse and hence cannot be dictated through planted shows through TV.

Those of us who witnessed the ‘well designed’ show of the ‘national executive committee’ of BJP in Delhi can say one thing clear that it was actually a replication of exactly what Congress Party tried to do through its ‘chintan shivir’ in Jaipur. The ‘chintan shivir there was actually meant to project Rahul Gandhi as the ‘future’ of the party and did no ‘chintan’ at all, the BJP’s national executive actually followed it up in the similar way by surrendering to Narendra Modi and did virtually nothing. The speeches were meant more for the television audiences and the sympathizers of the party that now Congress is a gone case like and there is now a big ‘movement’ against Congress party similar to what happened during JP’s movement ‘, ‘sinhasan khali karo janta aati hai’. Conscious of his new found ‘image’ largely created by embedded media, Modi actually used each idiom and words of contempt for his opponent in the Congress party and its ‘first family’ to attract the middle class voters as well as the ‘Indians’ outside India who seems to have become ‘more Indians’ then the people living hear. From the morning our ‘secular’ editors have been tweeting about the timings of Narendra Modi’s speech and eager to jump on it. ‘He is a great orator’ many said while others were waiting because he says those things which many of them ‘agree’ but do not have the capacity to say so in public. Modi has shown in the past that he will target only ‘Congress’ and its ‘pathetic’ leadership in utter contempt using all the contemptuous jokes against the prime minister and others. He said that Congress has become a ‘termite’ and need to be wiped out from the country and only the saffron sevaks have the capacity to do so. He also complimented ‘his’ chief ministers for working ‘wonders’ in their states while condemning the Congress for the ruins it has brought in last sixty years. He also explained to people how Atal Bihar Vajpayee government was the best in independent India and brought the ‘prices’ down. Surprisingly, Modi also said that the dance of death should stop and we should provide youth jobs and growth and that Gujarat model is being appreciated by the west too. He complimented Raman Singh for bringing ‘life’ in the lives of tribal of Chhattishgarh and said only BJP can work a movement like ‘beti bachao andolan’. Modi’s below the belt remarks were for the prime minister who he described as a ‘night watchman’ and for the Congress party which he said has become ‘commission party’.

I would not like to deal with the political issues in this speech as Narendra Modi is free to speak what he wants but yes as a public person he is bound to be scrutinized and rightly so it is important to get into the meanings of his rhetoric and jargon of nationalism. Let us examine what he said and what he wanted to and who were his target audiences.

Narendra Modi should not forget that he is a chief minister of a state and Manmohan Singh is the prime minister of the country whether Modi like him or not, whether Modi consider Manmohan Singh as nothing he is the leader of the nation at the moment and deserves respect. The usage of carefully planned symbols during his speech explain Modi's contempt for Sikhs. Could Modi have used the very similar word against any other prime minister or even for a chief minister? What will Modi speak against Mulayam Singh Yadav or Mayawati ? Can he do that? Can he speak the similar language against Jayalalitha and Mamta Banerjee? Using contempt against Sonia and Rahul is actually on the same basis because of Sonia’s origin.

Modi did not end in lampooning Man Mohan Singh but went on to say that Pranab Mukhjerjee would have been a better prime minister. It may be true that Man Mohan Singh government has become highly unpopular with the middle classes but he is still the prime minister of the country and particularly those in the constitutional position should speak with greater respect and dignity to their positions. Second thing is that how has Modi defined Pranab Mukherjee’s politics. Was Pranab a ‘people’s leader? In his long career as a politician, the first election that Pranab Babu contested was in 2009 in West Bengal. And after becoming the president of India, his son could survive with a narrow margin from the same constituency. So, how come, Pranab Babu was described as a ‘grassroots’ politician by Modi? Was he sending signals to Pranab da for future possibilities and latter’s role as President of India, hence decided not to offend him. No the fact is being Brahmins give you automatic power in Indian politics and bureaucracy. You do not need to say anything on it. Your name gives you clout and power. It is not for unreasonable reason that Pranab could get support from Janta Dal united to Shiv Sena.

Narendra Modi feel that abusing Congress would bring him votes but the fact is that would not help. Is BJP not following the congress trends in bringing leaders without base to the fore front, those cannot even win municipal elections at their own. Has BJP not neglected the most hard working grassroots workers in the past 10 years? Has the party not sidelined those who speak against Sangh parivar. Will they challenge the supremacy of the Sangh Parivar and its divisive politics? What are BJP’s economic policies and will they be different from the Congress Party? Persons like Gobindacharya are out of the party and not wanted. India desperately needs a transformation in politics. The two political parties with the similar political and caste background are vying for each other. It is a strategy to keep the people under their domain. What is BJP going to rest of the country about is involvements with various communal riots and Gujarat riots. What is its message to India’s minorities and Dalits and Aadivasis. Will it believe in providing them political representation or it will continue to side track them. Will it need show pieces with Muslim names who are Arya Samajis underneath or some genuine representatives of the community. And see the ‘honest’ government in Karnataka which was absolutely full of scandal and the ‘great’ Reddy brothers of Bellari who are the strong arms of the party in Karnataka. Do we need ‘sushashan’ of these people in our country?

He did not give single example of what his government in Gujarat has done to rehabilitate thousands of Muslims who were displaced? What is Gujarat government doing for Dalits and Aadivasis? What has Raman Singh done to save aadivasis and their land in Chhatishgarh from going in the hands of the greedy corporate? And regarding Vajpayee government, the least say the better. There were people like Pramod Mahajan in the communication ministry, a predecessor of A.Raja and we know where did the 2G scam start? And how Vajpayee tackled with India Airlines hijacking and how Jaswant Singh went to Kandhaar taking along with him two most wanted persons who have done everything to assault on the idea of India. The most dreaded things happened in the best government time was attack on Indian parliament. The ‘powerful’ home minister that time was sitting next to Modi could not speak anything perhaps enjoying the ‘nationalist’ jargons.

The irony is that Congress obsession with the family and converting entire history around its first family will have counter reaction now. Definitely, when the honesty thing will come, people would still respect Lal Bahadur Shastri as prime minister of India. Why did Congress leave him and his contribution? If the party does not want to remember other freedom fighters, it is bound to boomerang in these times of identity. You cannot throw all those who contributed to building of this secular nation in the hands of those who abhor the very idea of secularism and secular democratic constitution. But that is what Congress has done so far.

Modi seems to have reached the conclusion of his becoming the prime minister of the country. Lal Krishna Advani nurtured that for years and I am sure still will not keep him out even when his own followers have made him as ‘margdarshak’. That is a careful wording but Advani still not consider himself out of the race as Modi will never be acceptable to many others in the party but at the moment Party’s timid surrender is basically to placate the corporate who are pushing Modi to work on their own agenda in the country. The fact is 2014 is still a year left and elections have not happened. There are many other players for the show of 2014 other than Congress and BJP and they need to show their character now. They need to present to the country that they are better than these agents of corporate houses and hard core communalists. India needs a mass leader with uncorrupted image and impeccable secular credentials so that people have faith in the system. India cannot afford a prime minister who is fascist in nature and has contempt for its second majority and who still has to give the account of murders of innocent Muslims in Gujarat in 2002. The scars have not healed and unfortunately there was no attempt to heal them. Moreover, people are still being kept isolated in the camps and in the police lock ups. It is really shameful that there are people trying project the man as future of India without asking him question about his governance and role. Just with a so-called ‘growth’ your participation and promotion in the riots does not end and definitely if Congress was engaged in the riots of Delhi in 1984, that does not give right to the saffron brigade to replicate and get out of it easily. They must face the scrutiny of law and an electoral verdict cannot wash out those crimes which have been committed in Gujarat.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com twitter : freetohumanity skype : vbrawat Facebook : Vidya Bhushan Rawat [email protected]





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