Message of Modi’s triumph

The leadership tussle going on for months inside the BJP has now been decisively won by the Modi camp. The message is clear: the fascist camp has triumphed over the communal camp. There was a secular and inclusive pretence under the old school led by Vajpayee-Advani and there was an attempt to take all along. The new leaders of the party do not believe in a soft and inclusive Hindutva. They are fascists who welcome anyone coming to them on their terms but would not care a dime if others fail to toe their line and lick their boots. This is the Gujarat model, which some for years have wanted to implement all over the country.

The Gujarat model is exclusivist. It is ready to teach Gujarat 2002-like lessons to all who do not toe the line, especially Muslims and Christians. In the Gujarat model, only Hindus form the mainstream, others have to live on sufferance, on the sidelines. They are first taught their lessons the crudest way, then the authorities will step in to protect the criminals all the way, intimidating, bribing, killing, expelling. Gujarat 2002 victims are yet to get justice with some exceptions due to the intervention of the higher judiciary at the behest of secular activists. The whole justice system in Gujarat has been corrupted, from bureaucracy to Police to courts. Tens of thousands uprooted in 2002 still live as refugees in the state while Hindus live in their homes and till their lands. Areas and localities are now effectively segregated. Muslims are being pushed out from Hindu areas and those wishing to rent/buy in Hindu areas are discouraged, at times by force. Muslim businesses are being boycotted. This is the Gujarat model which Mr Modi wishes to bring to the rest of India with enough support from inside his party and its mentor, the RSS.

But it is doubtful if he will get similar support outside his party. The Indian voter more or less remains secular. Hence the elevation of Modi will have little effect outside the cow-belt. Outside this area, people hardly know Modi. They are least interested in the hate politics of the Hindutvites. If the new BJP leadership will win over some fence-sitters, it will also effectively drive others, especially minorities, to the Congress Party. Muslims were progressively distancing themselves from the Congress under UPA-2 but now BJP has simply pushed Muslims to the lap of the Congress.

No doubt, many Muslims will now go for the Congress in the next elections though they have the option to go for smaller secular and regional parties which offer a better bet any day.

History tells us that a strong BJP or Congress is a danger to democracy and human rights in this country. Both share fascist traits. The best for Muslims and all marginalised sections is to find solace in non-Congress options which are aplenty in all regions.    

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 June 2013 on page no. 1

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