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  Communalism in   
  Communalism in 

Mr. Modi  seeks  "Congress Votebank."



Ever since the "purely cultural"   RSS  floated  its front political  organization, the Jana Sangh, in 1951, right-wing Hindu communalists have been accusing the Congress of  playing  "vote bank" politics, to wit, seeking Muslim votes.


The success of this tactic has been  to obfuscate the more monstrous fact that the Jana Sangh and all its subsequent incarnations have  had but one purpose in mind-to consolidate  Hindu votes!  Whenever this has been pointed out,  the RSS has argued that  chasing after  Hindu  votes does not tantamount to communalism or  "vote bank" politics but to strengthen  "nationalism."  One recalls how as early as 1927, Nehru had foreseen  that  majority communalism would be sought to be projected as "nationalism" and minority communalism as "communalism."  Regrettably, after Nehru, Congress regimes have been too   pusillanimous to  voice that perception both  for fear of losing "Hindu" votes and because the Congress has always had closet communalists within its ranks.


In recent history, it is in Gujarat under Narendra Modi that the RSS thesis has been sought to be projected and practiced with gusto.  Wretchedly, though, the enormous plurality of the Indian polity and the  fundamental  non-sectarianism of  the mass of Indians has almost always repudiated this thesis.  Reason why to this day right-wing Hindu political/electoral fronts of the RSS have never succeeded in garnering more than some 29% of the franchise at any national election.  Given that Muslims hardly ever vote for these fronts, the conclusion is obvious that 70% or more Hindus have never voted for them!  Thus the BJP's long career of seeking allies among other political formations.


Who would have thought that even a Narendra Modi would one day be obliged, the Gujarat carnage notwithstanding, to make a pitch for Muslim votes. Yet this is precisely what we have witnessed during the recent BJP conclave at Patna in Bihar.  A compliment, if you like, to "Congress vote bank" politics!


Except for the despicable fact that Modi and the Gujarat government have had to take recourse to criminal subterfuge to inaugurate this new career.  It has been discovered that Gujarat government posters claiming to showcase Gujarati Muslim women seated at computers and  gleefully hammering away at modernity and prosperity were infact stolen from a website of the  much-maligned Shibli College located in much-maligned Azamgarh  (heretofore christened by the BJP as "atank garh.") 

Thus two crimes have come to be committed by the  paragon of uprightness, Modi, atonce:  one, cheating, culpable under Section 420 of the IPC, and violation of copyright laws.  We understand that, not surprisingly, the matter is sought to be taken to court, as it ought to be.


The larger crime ofcourse  devolves around a Goebbelesian attempt to hoodwink the nation's  electorate into believing a gross untruth.  In any Anglo-Saxon or European democracy, this would have been sufficient cause to debar Modi from electoral politics.  Indeed, his imagined counterpart there would have both apologized and resigned.  Trust Modi and the BJP, however, to seek to brazen their way out of this treachery to befool  the Indian citizen.


Interestingly, the treachery having now been found out, what a fine compliment is thereby paid by the  Hindu-Hriday Samrat to the Muslims and their educational institutions in Azamgarh, and their fine work at educating Muslim women in modern areas of knowledge revealed to the country at large.  This, it must be said, is a most salutary fall-out from the low-level cunning attempted by Modi and the Gujarat government.


And this cunning is of a piece with Modi's unrepentant attempts within Gujarat to hide the interminable facts about official complicity in the massacres of 2002, and in the  countless "encounter" killings thereafter.  With the Supreme Court supervised investigations into those episodes of criminality now under way, it is to be hoped that the edifice of lies upon which Modi's government has thus far sought to survive, if not thrive anymore, will equally crumble into the dustbin of India's contemporary history.  Just as fact after fact related to terrorist acts committed by Hindu organizations now tumble out of the closet to full view.


The hope that Indian democracy will yet mature into something non-sectarian and noble if its institutions are allowed to function freely and without fear and prejudice may not be misplaced. 


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