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February 04, 2007

Page: 4/32

Home > 2007 Issues > February 04, 2007


Congress frustration and Karnataka violence

The Congress in Karnataka is behaving like the proverbial mad monkey bitten by the scorpion ever since the formidable BJP-JD(S) government was formed. The intermittent communal eruptions in the state is largely the outcome of this Congress desperation.

The Chamundeshwari by-election, where the JD(S) defector-turned-Congress leader Siddharamiah scraped through by a humiliating margin of 176 votes, convinced the Congress the invincibility of the BJP-JD(S) alliance. The Congress has been trying to scare away the JD(S) by hurling corruption charges and inciting communal riots. First, it tried to rake up a scandal on the mining contracts awarded by the previous government. When that backfired the party instigated a section of the JD(S) to revolt against former Prime Minister Deve Gowda and to expel him from the party. That the leaders who expelled Gowda had no mass base became clear when Deve Gowda reconstituted the party set-up and openly blessed the Karnataka experiment for honestly implementing the Karnataka Development Front programme. In an interview to Organiser the JD(S) patriarch said ?the ten months of administration by Kumaraswamy as the captain of the team has convinced me that they are trying their best to adhere to the KDF programme and that is why I reconciled myself to the coalition.? A few months earlier Chief Minister Kumaraswamy also talking to Organiser expressed his confidence that the coalition would complete its full term and the alliance would even face the next election together. This bonhomie is what is worrying the Congress. The party has finally taken to its old tactics of creating communal polarisation with the idea of defaming the coalition. The totally unprovoked violence in the state capital last weekend cannot be explained in any other context.

The Congress leader C.K. Jaffar Sharief was in the forefront organising the rally supposedly to mourn the hanging of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. It is unbelievable that the Congress took so long to mourn the Saddam hanging. In fact, its allies like the CPI(M) and the Samajwadi Party were complaining that the Congress and the UPA had not sufficiently reacted to the alleged US-inspired assassination of the Iraqi leader. These complaints had no effect on the Congress response at the national level all these weeks. But in Karnataka, the party intriguingly decided to mourn violently, by attacking Hindu homes and business establishments in a wanton show of religious frenzy in the company of lumpen hooligans. The riot was plotted as a spill-over of the religious Friday prayer which also coincided with the condolence meet for Saddam Hussein.

Political observers point to a Congress template in the violence that followed cine idol Rajkumar?s funeral procession last year also, which again was aimed at creating mayhem in the IT capital. That too was an occasion when the alleged grief became repulsively obscene. That the manufactured rage over Saddam hanging had nothing to do with India or Indian Muslims exposes the mean mischief behind the Friday riots.

Hindus on the streets were attacked and Hindu shops were ransacked and looted. Hindus were dragged out of their homes and vehicles and bonfires made of shops, vehicles and goods. Is this a way to protest the US President, George W. Bush?

Congress leader Jaffar Sharief who organised the protest rally of Muslims three weeks after Saddam?s execution, with the explicit purpose of coinciding it with Shri Guruji birth centenary celebration of the Hindu Sangam in the city on Sunday clearly had other political machinations in mind. That former Congress Chief Minister Dharam Singh, Karnataka Congress Chief Mallikarjuna Karge and other senior Congress leaders participated in the Saddam rally at Shivaji Nagar proves beyond doubt the political ploy behind the synchronised havoc in the city. The participants were geared to create bloodshed. They carried swords and other assorted weapons. The arson and loot that followed had no semblance of grief.

Sharief?s goons have demonstrated that there was a pattern behind the recent surge of communal violence in Karnataka. The Congress hopes to gain by pandering to fanatic elements in the state. The number of arrests made in recent months by the Karnataka police have established a well entrenched terror network in the state. Their roots go down to Kerala, which also under the Left rule has become a haven for trans-national Jehadi modules.

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