It was a great trap -- the arrest of Pragya Singh Thakur, major (retired) Ramesh Upadhayay, lt.col. Srikant Purohit -- in the case of Malegaon blasts of September 26, 2008. And the BJP walked into it blithely, displaying utter ineptitude. This was the first time ever that Hindu right-wing groups and individuals have been shown to be involved in terror acts. of course, this was an allegation, the investigations are still on, and the accused are yet to be convicted. The BJK should have been more than careful despite the many taunts that there is Hindu terror in the same way as there is Islamic terror.
The first blunder was to say that terror cannot be imputed to a religion. But by implications that is what the BJP leaders had done with regard to Muslim terror suspects under investigation. Of course, they would say that they wanted stern action against terror suspects but not so much against Muslims. It was a thinnest of pretexts. Rightly or wrongly, the BJP is hostile towards the Muslims -- it is an open secret -- and the Muslims reciprocate heartily. There are of course exceptions. Some of the sober BJP leaders know that it is not good politics to display animosity towards Muslims, Christians and others, and that there is a need to send out a more positive friendly message. But as a late prominent BJP leader said, "I do not seek Muslim votes because I know they will not vote for my party. It is a waste of time." But the feeling is growing that this cut-off policy could prove to be a liability for the party. But the BJP just does not know how to get out of this anti-minorities stance. It has to do so without losing out on the core Hindutva constituency. So, it is typically a case of BJP cooking its own goose.
In the Malegaon blast case and Hindu terror, BJP leaders committed the ultimate faux pas when they began to openly support the suspects. The support for Purhoti was under the guise of defending the army personnel from allegations of being involved in terror acts. In the case of Pragya Thakur, BJP leader L.K.Advani held on to the straw of the ochre-robed woman's petition alleging torture. The hidden sympathies for the Hindu terror suspects was now out in the open. The party is trying to backtrack as dignifiedly as possible. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has thrown Advani and the BJP leaders a lifeline by asking National security Adviser M.K.Narayanan to brief Advani about the investigations and of the serious charges involved.
As a right wing party opposed to terrorism, BJP would have won greater plaudits if it had taken a firm stand against the accused in the malegaon blast case as it did in the cases of other blasts. The party does not realise that the same arguments of not judging people on the basis of mere allegations, of the accused being innocent until proved guilty holds good for all those Muslim suspects in the other blast cases as well.
The BJP will have to reinvent itself. It mus stop pretending to be a Hindu party because it is lacks religiosity and Hindus are a religious people. The top leaders of Rahstriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and of the BJP hshy away from ritualistic Hinduism. As a matter of fact, they revel in secular nationalism, and they want to add Hinduism to the cult of nationalism. The BJP is dangerous because it is a blindly nationalist party like the German Nazis, which believes in the credo, "My country, right or wrong." In Hinduism, it is 'dharma' and not 'the nation' that is supreme. If the nation goes off on the track of 'adharma' then that nation has no business to survive. The Hindu religion, with all its faulty and despicable encrustations, is superior to silly Indian nationalism because it stands on the universal principles of righteousness or dharma. Hinduism cannot be used for narrow nationalist and political ends. That is why, the BJP falls on its face when it tries to invoke Hinduism. Hindus have nothing but contempt for this Hindutva party.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Critics misread Alankrita Shrivastava's "Lipstick Under My Burkha" . It is not about feminism's liberation theology
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