By Santosh Bhartiya
If the strongest people and the strongest party get scared, then it is a curious case needing immediate attention. The question is what the ‘Mahabali’ is afraid of? What his party is scared about? And why such questions are being raised in the election which deviate people attention from their core issues like the issue of livelihood? The issues on which people ought to vote are missing, and election debates have become sheer travesty.
I am referring to Gujarat election. We are not here to talk on Rahul Gandhi’s fate; people of Gujarat will decide that. But, discomfiture his Gujarat visit brought in the ranks and files of the BJP gives rise to speculation that the party is struggling with some of its own contradictions in Gujarat. Rahul Gandhi visited Somnath temple. He prayed and bowed down before Bhagwan Shankar. Lest Bhagwan Shankar bless Rahul Gandhi, Bhagwan was reminded of Rahul Gandhi’s non-Hindu background. Subramaniam Swamy went a step further and raked up his college forms to see what he had filled in under religion column. Swamy’s salvos did not stopped here he alleged that Rahul Gandhi is a Catholic or a Parsi? It entails that we started taking decisions on behalf of God.
A similar stance was taken by a BJP spokesman. Beating his chest on a TV show, he asserted that he is not speaking for the country or the Constitution; he is speaking for Lord Rama. Has Lord Rama become so powerless that he needs help from BJP spokesman? Similarly, we decided that Bhagwan Shankar blesses only those who are Hindus, but he cannot identify that who is a Hindu and who is a non-Hindu; that is why BJP people took upon themselves to help him find that Rahul Gandhi is a non-Hindu. At Somenath Temple, someone entered Rahul Gandhi’s name in the temple register meant for non-Hindus. The BJP tried to establish the impression that Bhagwan Shankar’s blessings are not meant for Rahul Gandhi in the Gujarat elections. TV channels threw themselves wholly into it. Has any god said that he will bless only Hindus? They say their doors are open for any needy person. The BJP people are acquainting the country that god’s blessings are only for Hindus.
The question is when you are such a “Mahabali” and you are will win Gujarat hands down, then why on earth the Prime Minister has to invoke the incident related to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. When she came to Morbi she came covering her nose with her pallu because of sickness and the place was stinking. It is absolutely unbecoming to a prime minister to use the incident to garner vote. Instead he could have said that Congress has done nothing for Gujarat before his party came to power 22 years ago, and enumerated work done during this period and their future programs. There is no report card of Gujarat government. Instead Rahul Gandhi’s visiting Somnath temple is BJP’s concerned. In fact they are worried that if the Hindus of Gujarat tilt towards Rahul Gandhi, what will happen to them? These questions show the weakness of the mighty. What to say of Subramaniam Swamy! He does not let any opportunity go to compel prime minister to install him as the Finance Minister, replacing Arun Jaitley. Similarly he secured for himself a Rajya Sabha berth on Sangh’s backing. He takes all such opportunities to score brownie points. Anyway, this is how he does his politics. But my question is directed towards the prime minister, the RSS chief and the BJP, why are they raising such trivial issues? And how are they related to the election?
Moreover, none of the earlier prime ministers, including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, have ever resort to such language as the current incumbent has resorted to. Through his level of language and his gesture in election rallies the prime minister is setting a precedent for people to stoop even lower in future. Cutting down nose and beheading opponents will come into common political parlance. People who are new to politics will learn this too. Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son has already surpassed him in terms of substandard language. Lohia ji used to say that Gangotri of corruption flow from top to bottom. Similarly, degradation of language has a top-to-bottom orientation. If the person sitting on the top will not take care of these things, his followers naturally will emulate him. Such language was never used by Nehru ji, Atal ji or Chandrashekhar ji. They would prefer resigning than using such substandard language. I think the BJP now is far removed from the tradition of Atal ji. It is good that Atal ji is not in a position to speak or hear otherwise he would have been extremely sad. If Atalji had to oppose someone, he did that in decent manner. One should learn from Atal ji as to how to respect your opponents. He had gumption to say in Parliament that “Indira Gandhi is Durga”. Today the BJP has almost shun that tradition, and adherents – be it Arun Shourie, Shatrughan Sinha, Bhola Singh or Bharat Singh of Balia – of that tradition are increasingly being shown the door.
Bharat Singh showed some spirit, but they put a gag on him, so much so that he could hardly heard speaking anywhere. What has happened to “the party with difference”? What is being done to win Gujarat? Party is not interested in showing its work or enumerating weaknesses of the opposition; it is interested in the fact that whether Rahul Gandhi is a Hindu or not. Through whatsoever means prove him Muslim or if that is not possible prove him Christian, so that Hindus votes could be polarized for the party. This style of electioneering tells ominous tale that is something similar to the African democracy. It would be better if we become like them, so that delusion of goodness can be done away with. But the people of the country should think and as far as my understanding is concerned, the new supporters of the BJP too probably do not like this style of politics. The question is why people did not let allow the BJP to hold public meeting in Surat, why the chairs are being left empty in Prime Minister’s rallies? Because people are not able to listen to the answer of their questions and media has been hijacked.
It may be possible that Gujarat election will confirm the fact that the EVM gives different results and ballot paper gives different results. But if this happens then that will be the sad day for the people of this country. Whenever people will get an opportunity to make a decision, they will make that decision in sad mood. Generally, people of this country are tolerant, secular and respect everyone. Whenever they come across a mazar, a gurudwara or a church, they do not abuse them. This is the character of a common Hindustani; this is the character of a common Hindu. Nonetheless, degrading this character will in the end hurt the democracy of this country.