The Election Commission has finally blown the whistle on Ram Vilas Paswan'sunbridled run of minorityism campaign. He has been openly carrying on a communal campaign, promising to make a Muslim the chief minister of Bihar and provide 10 per cent reservation in jobs to Muslims if his Lok Shakti Party won the elections. Of course the EC has only sent a notice and what happens on the petition filed by former director general of BSF Prakash Singh is yet to be seen. But any chiding of Paswan by the EC will hopefully act as a deterrent to many politicians who are trying to win elections by tapping the vote banks, blatantly on religious lines.
The politicians are brazenly violating the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India by providing reservations on religious lines. The Constitution allows reservation as a special measure to those castes, which have been socially subjugated for centuries, to empower them equally. Both Christianity and Islam claim not to distinguish their followers along castes. So how can reservation for them be justified? The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh took the first divisive step in reserving five per cent seats in educational institutions and government jobs to Muslims.
In Tamil Nadu, the competitive bidding for the Muslim vote has begun, with DMK leader M. Karunanidhi proposing reservation to Muslims. The State has already 69 per cent reservation on various counts. This has been challenged in the Supreme Court and the case is still pending. Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, who is on a minority-wooing and Hindu-bashing binge, has not ruled out the possibility. She has only murmured that the State would have to await the SC ruling.
It is a little intriguing that among the minorities, the Muslims enjoy a status of first among equals. Or is it that the politicians are using Muslims as a test case for further reservations to Christians, which would immensely help their cause of converting poor dalit Hindus into their fold? Expanding reservations from caste to religious lines portends danger to the tender fabric of national unity. In India'ssecular polity Hindu is fast becoming the most oppressed community.
Open LoC and national security
In its diplomacy with Pakistan, India follows Gen Musharraf as the Pied Piper. The General proposes and India concurs. One of the latest is the aftermaths of the earthquake, which hit the Kashmir region on October 8. India has given enough indications to the Pakistanis in general and its rulers in particular that it is willing to go miles for each inch Pakistan comes forward.
Musharraf, given his army training, is doing too well as a diplomat. When India proposed that the LoC should be made penetrable for relief material to reach the Pakistanis and Kashmiris trapped in PoK, he declined. But 10 days after the quake, he came up with the same proposal, as if he is doing India a great favour. Predictably, we lapped it up, taking it as a giant step in the peace process between the two countries. The fact is that the Pakistani President has allowed this as he found it as a convenient means to export his men and material into India, in the name of relief, under the protection of the Indian Army.
Since the quake, there has been an escalation in violence in Jammu and Kashmir. Anybody with a little human goodness in their hearts would have put their time and effort to help the unfortunate victims. But the terrorists have been going about their business, adding to statistics of the deaths caused by them.
An open soft border is what the fifth columns in India have been demanding as a price India has to pay for friendship with Pakistan. And the UPA government has conceded it, in the garb of humanitarianism. The price India would pay with the blood of its soldiers in the coming months may be too high, if it does not watch out on the Pakistani designs. Like 1947, the enemy may be at the doorstep before we can collect our defences.