It was during the last Lok Sabha election campaigns that Giriraj Singh, the BJP leader from Bihar, said that those who oppose Narendra Modi should all go to Pakistan.
His remarks invited criticisms from across the country. The BJP and Prime Minister Modi responded to his poisonous rants by rewarding him with a post in the Cabinet. Neither Modi nor his party had any inhibitions in inducting into Cabinet a person who spits communal venom all the time he opens his mouth. That is the party’s culture. But the truth is that that party really believes that they can make a hike in their vote-bank through such remarks. The recent comments of another BJP leader and Member of Parliament Sakshi Maharaj should also be considered as an attempt in that direction. “This population rise is not because of Hindus. The population has risen because of those who support the concept of four wives and 40 children. It is not acceptable,” the MP had said while speaking at a gathering in Meerut last week.
It is unlikely that they are unaware of the numerous studies that pointed out that polygamy is comparatively less among the Muslim community. The party’s sole focus is the opportunities their communal rants would bring in in its favour. On one side, some leaders keep ‘airing’ communal tirades while, on the other side, some others keep playing ‘gentlemen’ by rejecting those remarks. This double-standard has always been the face of the BJP.
The BJP leaders in Kerala normally don’t pass such poisonous statements like their counterparts in North India. It might be due to their calculation that such behaviour will only yield the opposite results in Kerala which has much political awareness. But the recent statements of the BJP leaders in the state indicate that they intend to experiment the ‘North Indian’ style here too. BJP General Secretary A N Radhakrishnan had come down on prominent film director Kamal, who is the Chairman of the State Chalachitra Academy, saying that he had links with terrorist organisations and therefore should leave the country. Such statements prove that the party has begun to play their games in the state.
That hate politics is the basic culture of the BJP isn’t anew. However there are several aspects that deserve serious thought if the party had decided to play such politics in Kerala. The alarming message it gives is that the so called political decency and awareness is just a shield to cover up the ugly face of a large community that keeps spitting communal venom. The BJP thinks that it can make use of the sensitivities of that community for its own political mileage.
The Sangh Parivar thinks that even making the remarks of A N Radhakrishnan and Sashikala teacher a subject of discourses would benefit them. That is, they believe that the sentiments like intolerance and hatred shouldn’t be kept hidden. Expressing them as much as possible, creating controversies and taking advantage of them for political gains is what they are planning. They firmly believe that even resistance to such remarks of theirs would turn into their favour.
Those who wish to keep the atmosphere of secularism and tolerance intact should approach this muddle with great vigilance. Hate politics should definitely be fought back. But a proper homework should also be done in a situation where even that opposition is seen as an opportunity to split the community and reap political gains.