Vinod Mubayi and Daya Varma


The deliberately fomented riots in Muzaffarnagar leading to scores of deaths, mainly minorities, are simply the opening salvo of killer Modi’s election campaign, which is sure to become a fusillade in the run up to next year’s parliamentary election. It is a tried and tested strategy that paid off big for Modi and the BJP in the elections in Gujarat following the 2002 pogrom of Muslims. Earlier it was used by L.K. Advani in the rath yatra campaign that ended with the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya in 1992. The recent arrest of UP BJP MLAs, one of them for circulating a fake and doctored video of a  killing in Pakistan to polarize and incite local Hindus against UP Muslims, demonstrates, if any demonstration is needed, of the bag of dirty tricks that the BJP has in hand to inflame communal sentiments.  The sad fact is that communal feelings have so seeped into the core of civil society that average people can be affected by these despicable tactics.


Of course, the other parties, especially the SP which is ruling UP, is hardly immune to the the temptations of communal or casteist polarization as a means of mobilizing vote banks. SP poses as the “protector” of the minority community, so why did they agree to allow the holding of the mahapanchayat where outright communalist speeches were going to be made to rouse communal passions and incite the majority sections to violence? The remnants of Charan Singh’s Hindu-Muslim coalition built on Jat identity is also in tatters and the RLD/BKD elements have been playing fast and loose with this wretched communal-caste game to recover their lost fortunes. All of them are responsible to some extent for allowing or inciting this communal polarization in western UP, although BJP is by all indication the major culprit and benefactor of this shameful affair.


While the Congress has not been tainted so far in this particular episode, the failure of the Central Government to pass the anti-communal bill in parliament is also an indication of its weakness in confronting the rabid communal elements in the country. One gets the feeling that over the last couple of years the UPA in general and the Congress in particular has lost the ability to govern effectively. But they clearly have to realize, as should every other party that claims to be secular, the enormity of their responsibility in ensuring that the BJP led by a fascist like Modi does not come to power in the next election.

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