Maha leaders red flag BJP's sub-nationalist agenda in the state

Tiwari feels that the BJP-RSS are "obsessed with acquiring a cloak of credibility as they had no role to play in the country’s Independence movement and later progress, but shamelessly claim"

BJP members hoisting party flag (photo: Getty Images)
BJP members hoisting party flag (photo: Getty Images)


For the past few years a fervent wave of ‘sub-nationalism’ is sweeping many parts of India, causing both concerns and distress among many, including most Opposition parties.

There are apprehensions that as the 2024 election season approaches, the jingoism will become shriller and the chasm between the majority and minorities may run deeper in the coming months, portending ill for the country.

Veteran politicians such as Congress General Secretary Sachin Sawant, Nationalist Congress Party National Spokesperson Clyde Crasto, Samajwadi Party state President Abu Asim Azmi, Shiv Sena (UBT) National Spokesperson Kishore Tiwari and Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi Vice-President Siddharth Mokle, express deep concerns over the goings-on that can undo the achievements of the post-Independence era.

"This is part of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s strategy of secondarisation of the Muslims, Christians, Dalits and other minorities, for safeguarding their short-term electoral interests," said Sawant in a direct attack.

Under this, the BJP-RSS are "attempting to decimate minorities to sell the concept of a 'Hindu Rashtra', create their icons, distort or dilute historical facts by propagating their own versions, misuse the names of icons like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and brutally run down Emperor Aurangzeb or Tipu Sultan to suit their immediate needs", he explained.

Azmi said that all minorities, specifically Muslims, are "systematically targeted after 2014" when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government came to power, and now "it is being done more blatantly" in different parts of the country.

"They have been highlighting and using only the alleged negative aspects of Aurangzeb or Tipu Sultan's reign... History shows that they never attacked Hindus or their places of worship and whatever may have happened could be due to the politics of that age. Forget what they did centuries ago, what have you been doing for the past 10 years? The BJP is brazenly stoking disharmony as it apprehends a backlash," Azmi said.

Tiwari feels that the BJP-RSS are "obsessed with acquiring a cloak of credibility as they had no role to play in the country’s Independence movement and later progress, but shamelessly claim achievements in which they had no hand".

"Despite being in power for nearly 10 years, the BJP has nothing to match the achievements of the earlier 65 years of previous governments ... everything is merely a follow-up or improvisation on past policies, or just name-changing games to desperately get a fig-leaf of political character… But it seems to backfire every time," Tiwari said.

Crasto accused the BJP of all-round failure especially on the economic front, for 10 years, "its (BJP's) inability to fulfil the promises made to the people who trusted and voted for them, is making them play with the emotions of the majority masses".

"They invoke Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj or Swatantryaveer Savarkar or chant Hindutva to lure pockets of influence around them and simultaneously abuse Aurangzeb-Tipu Sultan to dig deeper divides among those coexisting peacefully for many centuries. But everyone has realised the BJP's sinister machinations, and this was amply proved in Karnataka...," Crasto asserted.

Mokle cautions that now the BJP "is jittery and going all out to make people emotional, polarize on communal lines, and divert attention from its disastrous handling of the economy, inflation, unemployment, safety of women and Dalits, farmers’ distress or the unprecedented corruption".

"Now, ahead of the 2024 elections, the BJP-RSS will be hyper-active, people must beware as Dalits, Muslims, Tribals and women will be targeted even more, the ‘Gujarat Model’ is witnessed in Manipur and would be experimented elsewhere. The commoners are bewildered so they fall into their trap," Mokle said.

Accusing the BJP of demonizing minorities, especially Muslims, Sawant feels that "while they (BJP) may be playing to the majority gallery, the rulers are also instigating the minorities, which could actually backfire in the long run".

"They say don’t use DP of Aurangzeb or Tipu Sultan. Then why not display courage and enact a law to this effect, list all the names that are forbidden and punishable," Sawant demanded.

Arguing that the common Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Dalits, and others want to live peacefully, both Mokle and Tiwari refer to the recent disturbances in Maharashtra which were "designed to spark communal riots, but the minorities are awakened and were restrained despite provocation".

Tiwari said: "But riots or atrocities are happening in Haryana, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh and other places which are part of a larger conspiracy to make all communities -- majority and minority -- feel perpetually insecure so that BJP can milk them during elections."

All the leaders -- Sawant, Tiwari, Azmi, Crasto, Mokle -- are unanimous that "the poison is spreading fast" and it is up to the masses to drag the country out of the "morass as the BJP that has found ways to control all the other pillars of democracy - by hook or by crook, or by deploying central investigation agencies".

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Published: 06 Aug 2023, 10:49 AM