Politics of Intolerance

In his address to joint session of parliament, President Pranab Mukherjee outlined governments intent. Among many things our honorable president mentioned one was zero tolerance towards communal violence and religious intolerance. Yet, we saw on television and read in news papers brutal killing of an innocent muslim youth in Pune. His fault, he looked and dressed like a muslim. Such act of communal violence directly strengthens hands of people who have been claiming that Narendra Modi and BJP victory will  breed intolerance, destroy pluralistic nature of Indian society, polarise nation and terrorise minorities. Such act will definitely shake faith minorities reposed on present BJP lead NDA government, that development and job will get more focus than religious identity. Let us not forget the destruction of hopes and aspirations of an individual and his family.

Perpetrators of crime were members of right wing Hindu Rashtra Sena. I am glad that members of the gang that participated in the heinous act have been arrested. Leader of the gang is also rightly put behind bars. I hope government and law and order machinery comes down heavily on these self declared protectorate of Hindus and Hinduism with a heavy hand. I hope if found guilty such hooligans must be given death penalty. Such an act goes againist the development agenda propagated by our prime minister Narendra Modi.

It seems a concerted effort is being initiated at different levels to create situation that can be used to label BJP communal. At one level,  public opinion is being mobilised about communal and intolerant nature of present dispensation. Prominent TV journalist, through her syndicated column, demanaded prime minister Modi clarify his stance on murder of muslim youth in Pune. We forget that intolerance is not unique to BJP alone. Left that ruled Bengal for thirty years was equally intrusive and intolerant on people whom party perceived to be class enemies.  About ultraleft, less said is better. These people believe in annhilation of enemies of people. They believe in power of gun and believe in silencing any dissent. They blow up schools, telecom towers, and stop any development activity that may wean away their supporters. Trina Mool Congress that has taken over charge of Bengal from left has not covered themselves in glory on the count of tolerance. It must be remembered that intolerance does not become any different when it is practiced by so called secular parties?

On a different level, it appears that a deliberate effort is being made to elicit reaction from a community.  A gang of people protesting publication on Face Book of morphed pictures of Chhatrapati Shivaji and Balasaheb Thakre, goes and kills an innocent muslim youth. Whereas, direct holders of Balasaheb’s legacy Shiv Sena distanced themselves from the act and condemned it. It will be foolish on part of BJP to engage is such an act, especially so when they have been voted to power with such overwhelming mandate. It any link to this effect emerge to suggest involvement of BJP, it may severely dent credibility of the party and its electoral plank. It is surprising that no one is asking question of Maharashtra government, a secular congress NCP government. Why did government machinery not come down heavily on hindu right wing group? More so when law and order is a state matter. It is also important to note that three BJP leaders were gunned down in Uttar Pradesh in last seven days. Uttar Pradesh is being ruled by Samajwadi Party. No one knows who were the killers and what were their motives? It may not be far fetched to assume  that  vested interest group/s may by trying to make concerted effort for last few days to spark violence that can potentially take the shape of a communal conflagration. By the way, violence unleashed on women and dalits in secular Samajwadi party ruled UP is no better than religious violence in other states.

Mr. Modi was voted to power for his message of hope. I think, society has to stay vigilant and avert knee jerk reaction to any event, how deliberate and how provocative it may be. Anything different  may only let vested interest be the winner.

Tags: BJP, Shiv Sena, Hindu Rasthra Sena, Left Parties, Trina Mool Congress, NCP, Samajwadi Party, Communal Violence, Intolerance, 

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