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Published in the 16-30 June 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

ADVANI - JINNAH ISSUE

Advani's New Avatar 

By Mirza A. Beg <mab64@yahoo.com>

The Milli Gazette Online 

Politicians are known to scheme engaging in double speak. Mr. Advani is a past master. The Brouhaha convulsing the Sanghites is interesting, even entertaining. They may heed the warning in the 1875 poem by Robert Burns, addressed to a mouse, "The best laid schemes of Mice and Men oft go awry, and leave us nothing but grief and pain, for promised joy." 

Sanghites are in knots over the Advani reversing its cornerstone policy of Akhand Bharat. To add insult to injury he came to this epiphany in Pakistan, declaring, " the creation of Pakistan was an unalterable reality of history", one that could not be undone." In April 2000 RSS chief, Sudarshan declared, "At the appropriate time we will form 'Akhand Bharat' (United India). We have to regain the areas we lost in 1947."

Advani, the president of BJP, sent another javelin towards the heart of the 'Parivar' by eulogizing Mr. Jinnah, an anathema to Sanghites, as a scion of secularism. 

All these may be considered real politick tricks. Having solid base with impeccable Hindutva credentials, he may be trying to outflank the secularist left. After all, others have successfully reversed course before. Nixon the ardent anticommunist magically pulled Chinese rabbit out of his hat, by recognizing the communist China, banishing Taiwan from the UN. Sadaat of Egypt and Begin of Israel did it as well. Vajpayee donned a humane mask to become the Prime minister on the coat tails of communal frenzy created by Mr. Advani.

But the most amazing verbal act of gymnastics is Advani's claim that the demolition of the Babri Masjid was the saddest day of his life. Of all the Hindutva leaders he is by far the most responsible for making Ayodhya, "The issue" to gain power for the BJP, rising from a measly two seats in the Parliament to the halls of power. Under his presidency in 1989, the BJP embraced the cause of building a Ram temple at the Babri Masjid site. 

To whip up the communal frenzy and bring virulent groups such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal in BJP fold, he rode a slow chariot in 1990 from the Somnath temple in Gujarat to the widely publicized destination of Ayodhya. Bajrang Dal ritualistically anointed him with blood soaked "Tilak" on his forehead invoking success towards building a temple in place of the Babri Masjid. In its wake it sparked communal riots, killing thousands, accruing huge vote dividends of communal appeal for the BJP. 

He was the chief luminary of the BJP and Hindutva brigade along with other lesser lights, ensconced on the platform on 6th of December 1992, when it took five grueling hours to demolish the historic mosque brick by brick. After attaining power, he shunned the subject to avoid culpability in the resulting law suites. 

Now that he has shed huge crocodile tears and raised the subject, it is time for the reporters to ask probing questions, the answers to which he can avoid only at his own peril. 

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