Apology or no apology, BJP remains untouchable

A few months back, I had predicted that Narendra Modi will apologise some day close to the date of polling. Raj Nath Singh, the President of Party, has already offered what people are not even ready to accept as an “apology”. Modi is so desperate to become Prime Minister, and feels so close to his ambition, that he can take an extreme step for bridging whatever gap remains in his calculations between ambition and reality. By choosing to apologise, he may win or neutralise enough Muslims votes to make sure that his party touches the 272-plus mark.

But the focus on Modi or his role in Gujarat or his apologising or not apologising are of no consequence in the background of what BJP stands for in ideological terms.

The only big thing about Modi is that he can be regarded as currently the most dangerous bowler of an old team that aims to unite the religious majority of the country not on the basis of the religion it professes but on the basis of the hatred towards Muslims. It knows that there are so many contradictions in the religious ideology Hindus profess and so many colours of the people they represent in terms of caste and other identities that they cannot be politically and socially united simply on the ground of common faith. They have solid reasons to believe that their political graph can rise only through creating and sustaining a fear psychosis in the minds of Hindus related to Muslims. Their graph rose when they demolished Babri Masjid. The polarization following the 2002 Gujarat riots ensured that they would keep Gujarat under their belt for a long time to come. Bringing the “Hero” of those riots to the national stage would expand their political space and now they are making last ditch efforts to include 7 Race Course in this map.

Everything about BJP is farce. From ideology to practice, it is draped in deception. Religion is an important part of human life; it must in fact be the most important. Secularism in the Indian context is not the negation of religion but synthesis of religious values enshrined in different religions. Every community in India has the right to practice and profess its religion. I do not agree with those who want separation of religion and politics. Negation of religion as such means total negation of the goodness of religion and the moral values that are associated with it. What is bad is not the religionalisation of politics but politicisation of religion, which often breeds communalism. If BJP had been preaching religious values enshrined in Hindu Dharma, there was nothing bad about it. If it had been fighting for the rights of Hindus, even then it would not have created much of havoc. The problem with BJP is that its definition of Hindutva, in practice if not in theory, is based on its aversion of Muslims and Christians and everything that is or can be made to look linked to them. They are not interested in introducing a Hindu vision to the constitution but in demolishing the Muslim personal laws. They are not much fond of building temples; they are more concerned about demolishing existing mosques. They love singing Vande Mataram not because of its inherent beauty but only because it irks Muslims who find it hard to worship the land instead of the Creator of the land. Even if they do not read their scriptures with any regularity, they would want to impose it on Muslim pupils in schools. They are not concerned about saving Hindu lives from fellow Hindus; they derive pleasure if Muslims are killed. They are not campaigning for bringing comfort to their fellow religionists; they are more interested in teasing and harassing the Muslim populace. Even their hatred towards Pakistan is based not on nationalism but on hatred because Pakistan is a Muslim country. They count only the Hindu dead or displaced. The Muslim counts hardly bother them. When talking of Gujarat riots, they will shout about the deaths in Godhra, the blame for which they have put on the heads of Muslims without any proof, and would not want to count the dead in the engineered riots that followed.

They forget that even for the deaths in the train, whoever the killers or the victims, Gujarat government was responsible. First it failed to protect the kar sevaks, and then allowed their deaths to be used to provoke the carnage of thousands of Gujaratis, most of whom were Muslims but also included some Hindus. In Kashmir, they will keep counting the number of the Pandits killed, which does not cross even a few hundreds mark, and would keep mum on the killings of more than 40,000 Kashmiris.

The media is doing everything to help Modi. It is overplaying the recent BJP attempts to appease Muslims and downplaying Modi’s recent outbursts against Muslims. The national media and to my amazement even the Muslim media has remained tight-lipped on his outburst against meat marketing and exporting, what he described as “Pink Revolution”. At least twice, he spoke negatively about the facilities provided by the government to the meat exporters.

When Modi or his folks talk of “terrorism” being a grave threat for the country, it almost always means “Muslim Terrorism”. They forget that more than 95 pc of the deaths in terrorist attacks in India have been caused by terrorists who are identified as Hindus in the Indian Constitution. Sometimes, they talk of Naxalites to counter the Muslim-specific allegation because they regard Naxalites and other leftists as the enemies of their self-styled Dharma. Of course, the Tamils and Aseemanands do not weigh much in their calculations. They always need some Muslim villain to sustain their anti-Muslim psychological warfare. If they don’t find any, they manufacture them. During the last few years, they took the name of Afzal Guru so many times that the people of the country perhaps knew him better even than their President and Union ministers. None in India happens to remember who killed Rajiv Gandhi. They did not talk of 1984 riots till 2002. How can they tolerate Hindus being punished for killing Sikhs? They started making it an issue only as a propaganda tool to silence the Congress after the 2002 Gujarat riots. Nobody is reminding them that the 1984 riots were the result of the brand of majorityism which Hindutva Parivar has been propagating since Independence, or to be more precise, since Partition. In the face of Sikh militancy, this brand engulfed Congressmen too. But I am sure, if the identity of rioters is fully disclosed, many of them will be recognised as fathers of those who are active BJP protagonists today.

Modi has recently unfurled another flag of Hinduism. He vows to take back every Hindu from any country of the world, if he or she happens to migrate to India. And of course he would expel every Muslim from this land whatever the reasons of his migration, even if his human rights have been violated in his country of origin. Not only Bangladeshi Hindus are welcome and Bangladeshi Muslims unwelcome, he may be thinking in terms of preempting any possibility of Myanmar Muslims migrating to India in the face of extreme levels of persecution there.

I can also not understand how “secular” people including Muslims can be so appreciative of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Of course, he might not have been as dangerous a bowler as Modi is. But, of course, he was a member of the Hindutva team, a kind of an all-rounder who can do something in all the matches. Vajpayee was also a shrewd captain. He let the blame of Babri Masjid demolition stick to Advani. He expressed anguish in the evening of that black day of India’s history when Babri Majid was demolished. But he never expelled Advani and others involved in the act from the party. Advani became his Deputy Prime Minister instead. He only reminded Modi of “Raj Dharma” in the wake of Gujarat riots but did never punish him. Neither was he dismissed from office nor expelled from the party. Advani has now settled into the shoes of Vajpayee. If Modi becomes Prime Minister, sooner or later, he will step into the shoes of Advani. Hopefully, he does that before presiding over any countrywide riots that can ensure him the highest post in the government till he is alive or till a new faster bowler emerges in the ranks of Hindutva.

Dr Javed Jamil is a Delhi-based thinker and writer. He can be contacted at

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 March 2014 on page no. 2

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