The much publicized joint statement issued by the top brass of the opposition is apparently an appeal for peace but in reality, a concealed war cry. The Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Sitaram Yechury, Mamata Banerjee, M.K Stalin, Hemanth Soren, Dr Farooq Abdullah, Tejaswi Yadav, D Raja, Debabrata Biswas, Manoj Bhattacharya, P.K Kunhalikutty and Dipankar Bhattacharya, have jointly diagnosed the malady that afflicts India and have suggested a remedy. On scrutiny, the remedy seems worse than the malady.
Coming from the united front of a disunited opposition, this clarion call smacks of conspiracy and a surreptitious attempt to destabilize the country and deface its democracy. Hidden in this will- o’ -the -wisp text by the leaders, is their agenda to foment confusion through disinformation.
What is it that the leaders want. They want peace and harmony in society. Precisely those virtues which they have been trying to thwart and subvert when they were at the helm of affairs. Impartial observers would suggest that the first signatory of this appeal, Smt Sonia Gandhi, may better do some introspection. Didn’t the following communal riots take place during the UPA government, led by her own party .
1)2013 Muzaffarnagar riots
2)2012 Assam riots
3)2011 Bharatpur riots;
4) 2010 Deganga riots .
5) 2008 Dhule riots:
6)2006 Aligarh riots:
The ruling UPA turned a blind’s eye to these sinister incidents. ’So are they all , all honourable men ,‘as Shakespeare would put it .
It was disclosed on the floor of the parliament that 870 communal riots took place during the Congress rule, 243 during Jawaharlal Nehru era, 337 during Indira Gandhi's rule and 291 during Rajiv Gandhi's time.Then there is the recent incident of eight persons burnt alive in Mamata Banerjee’s domain, Birbhum, in the back ground of the murder of a TMC panchayat leader.
It is not time to forget the bloody carnage of Sikhs on the streets of Delhi, in the aftermath of the assassination of Indira Gandhi. The lynching of two innocent yogis in Udhav Thackeray’s Maharashtra, in the recent past, cannot be wished away as a non event.
Is there a differential scale to measure violence - their violence and our violence. Opposition leaders lament the overt and covert patronage offered by the ruling dispensation to the trouble makers. Is it time to forget the Delhi riots on the eve of the visit of Donald Trump. Who engineered that ? Enforcement directorate has come out with a shocking revelation that the riot was designed by Islamic terrorists, coordinated by the Popular Front of India, who were supported by the opposition. Rs 120 crores parked in 73 accounts, supplied the fuel for the communal fiasco. The riot started with the hurling of bombs from a school owned by the fellow traveller of the Popular Front. Innocent people were killed. The signatories of the peace appeal pretend that they were ignorant of the ground realities. ‘What a fall it is my countrymen.’
When political horse trading lost out before the vigilant voters, the opposition is trying to smuggle in a Trojan horse in the citadels of Indian democracy .’Break it from within’, seems to be the tactics and fact seems to have received the curse of Cassandra. Cassandra, daughter of King Priam of Troy. Whatever she says is fact, but nobody would believe it. In contemporary Indian politics, fiction obliterates fact. Take for instance, the brutal allegations against Narendra Modi, painting him as the villain of the Godhra riots. The Supreme Court committee headed by former CBI chief Raghavan gave a report that Modi had no complacity in the riots. The court also did not find any evidence against him. But as Mark Twain says,’a lie can travel around the world and back again while the truth is lacing up its boots’.
Judged by the facts given above, the exhortation of the opposition leaders is no better than ‘sound and fury, signifying nothing’.
There is minority appeasement in this statement. Communal polarization, aimed at regional politics, is there behind this. Reading between the lines, the opposition seems to be a divided house. Otherwise why the discordant note from Prakash Karat, former General Secretary of the CPIM,’an uncompromising stance, is necessary to protect secularism. Congress needs to explain why they are unable to do that. 50 percent secularism and 50 percent Hindutva stance , is dangerous ‘.
The opposition is concerned about the hate campaigns indulged in by the ‘bigots’ of the majority community, with the tacit support of the ruling dispensation. But the discerning observers ask a legitimate question,’ do you have selective memory?‘ They cite the inflammatory speeches of hate mongering by the minority satraps. India has recently witnessed verbal explosives, thrown by some of the top leaders themselves. AAP MLA Amanathullah Khan is on record ,“If Muslims hit the streets, they will wreak havoc”. Khan openly calls for the beheading of Swamy Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati. He said that ‘such hateful insect should be given most severe punishment by slitting his tongue and neck ‘. Akbaruddin Owaisi said ,’ Remove police for 15 minutes, we could finish off 100 crores Hindus’. He also said that Muslims were not able to save Yakoob Memon from being hanged because they were not in power in the parliament. Maulana Jarjis Ansari has openly threatened to wage ‘Jihad ‘ in India .
Zakir Naik supports the destruction of the ancient temple of Krishna in Pakistan . He says that temples should not be constructed in the Islamic country .He also exhorted ,’ wherever you find a kafir kill him’ . He asked the Islamic countries across the globe to collect data of the non-Muslims in India who criticize Islam and arrest them if they arrived in those countries.
The leaders lament the misuse of social media to create divisiveness in society and drive a wedge between the Hindus and the Muslims.The social media highway is full of cyber warriors of the terrorist and fundamentalist groups, hurling slings and arrows on unsuspecting individuals and institutions of the majority community. The cyber field has Pandavas and Kauravas in battle array. When the opposition laments the majoritarian misuse of the social media, it sounds like the kettle calling the pot black. Times now has reported the hate speech made by the ISIS recruiter Abdul Rasheed, which went viral on the social media. He exhorts Jihadis to finish off Hindus, Christians and democracy, by hook or crook. He suggests poisoning the food of Kaffirs, running trucks over the crowd which comes for festivals, and attacking them with guns and knives.
Hate cannot be ended with hate. ‘All who take the sword, shall perish with the sword’, says the Bible. The cyber sword of the social media is no exception.
In a pluralistic society, it goes without saying that all communities have a right to live in harmony . The diversity of this nation is to be accepted and appreciated by all . This is what the signatories also underline. But let us not forget that this diversity does not exclude the majority . When partisan views are paraded by the opposition stalwarts on issues of fundamental importance to national unity , there is more to it than meets the eye.There is a condemnation of the high handiness attributed to the majority community. But the facts speak to the contrary. Here is the veteran Congress leader A.K Antony, who openly admits that Congress had to pay heavily for their minority appeasement. Confession or wisdom which came late, Antony’s statement goes contrary to the insinuations of minority baiting by the ruling dispensation. Critical observers bring to public memory, the constitutional amendment during Rajiv Gandhi’s time to nullify the Supreme Court in the Shah Bano case. The UPA decision to create a separate Ministry for minorities and Manmohan Singh’s statement that minorities and marginalized sections have the first right over the country’s resources, support Antony’s revelation about minority appeasement by his party. Is minority appeasement the answer to minority ‘baiting’, by the majority.
In the Jungle, the young Turks among the trees once stated that they will not allow animals in the forest. The forest is forest because of trees.Let the animals go and stay in one place instead of roaming around here and there. Don’t they go to the river to drink water. Let them stay put there. They cannot come here and dance on our trees, peck at our trunk, dirty the place. No, we will not allow that. The grandpa tree told the new generation, please do not exclude the animals from the forest . Trees and animals together make the forest . But the young Turks were adamant. When a leopard tried to perch on the branches of the tree, the tree shook violently. The leopard fell down and broke its ribs. Similarly they chased away all other animals from the forest . It was victory for the new generation trees who championed the cause of tree lib. Early morning the young tree felt something sharp falling on it. It was painful. It asked the elders what was happening. The elders said, the wood cutter has come inside. He is trying to cut you down. This has not happened earlier, why is it happening now? The grandpa tree replied, ‘before you chased the animals away, the tiger, leopard, the lion and the bear, were prowling in the forest . The wood cutter was afraid to step in here with his axe. Now that the animals have been driven away, this is what happens. This nation needs to preserve its diversity for its survival . There should be unity amidst diversity and diversity amidst unity. What is required is not the credo of divisiveness, but the mantra of inclusiveness . India is great .India will remain great , when the whole of India learns to be proud of Mother India .
There is a Dr Jekyll and Hyde face to all the politicians in the country . But it has become very apparent in the statement that is issued by the opposition leaders about the majoritarian syndrome in the country .Those who analyze the goings on in the political turf , particularly in the alliance of convenience which is sought to be forged among the opposition parties, see a pernicious design emerging clearly. The ubiquitous election strategist, Prasanth Kishore, hired by the Congress and the TRS to define the architecture for the 2024 election campaign, is reported to be placing his accent on intermittent communal riots on the eve of the election spree. The sharing of the loot is also decided, it appears. The opposition will support the Congress party at the center.You take Delhi, we take the states, seems to be the simple formula. The bogey of majoritarian dominance is flaunted as a potent tool to help speed up minority polarization . But if riots are used as the means, the discerning voter will look at its perpetrators and say ‘ the hell is empty , all the devils are here’ . Isn’t it time to say stops to communal politics. Better cast the vote than vote the caste.
The plight of the opposition seems to be precarious. The old woman in the ballad seems to resemble the motley pack which is coming together for the battle of the ballots .
I know an old lady
Who swallowed a fly...
Which wiggled and wriggled and tickled inside her
And she may die.
So she swallowed a lizard to swallow the fly
Which wriggled and wiggled and tickled inside her
And she may die.
She swallowed a cat to swallow the lizard...."
Is it a spoof on or a proof of the wiggling and wriggling of a desperate opposition.